29 Nov 2011

Government deals 'likely before end of week'

5:42 pm on 29 November 2011

Prime Minister John Key expects deals to be signed with United Future and ACT by the end of this week as negotiations continue to form the new government.

National will have a slim majority in Parliament with those parties, but it also hopes to negotiate a confidence and supply agreement with the Maori Party.

Mr Key was greeted with cheers and applause as he walked into National's first post-election caucus meeting at Parliament on Tuesday morning.


The room was packed with outgoing MPs as well as the nine new faces in the 60-strong caucus.

Mr Key was to give the MPs an update on the government talks and before entering the meeting said good progress was being made.

"I'm absolutely confident we will get a deal done with United (Future) and with ACT and I'd like to be in a position to tie those up by the latter part of the week if I can."

Mr Key said he was optimistic about progress with the Maori Party though he accepts there is more work to be done before it agrees to support his government.

Mr Key says the National Party's asset sales plan, which the Maori Party opposes, could be set aside from any deal.

"There's no particular reason why the mixed ownership model would have to be part of confidence and supply. We know that the SOE (state-owned enterprises) Act would need to be altered but that doesn't necessarily have to be part of a confidence motion."

National's negotiating team has been talking to each of the parties on Tuesday but no more formal meetings had been set up at this stage.

After dealing with support party arrangements, Mr Key will turn his attention to a Cabinet reshuffle.

He expects Parliament to sit for three days in the week before Christmas.