24 Dec 2013

PM confident of support party choices

10:05 am on 24 December 2013

Prime Minister John Key says he does not believe voters would be put off if National signalled it would work with parties like the Conservatives after next year's election.

Mr Key said he will indicate at the start of 2014 who National would be willing to work with. At this stage, he is not ruling out New Zealand First, ACT, United Future, the Maori Party and the Conservatives.

Prime Minister John Key.

Prime Minister John Key. Photo: RNZ

He said voters understand that not all parties have to campaign on the same polices to be able to work together.

"Over the last five years we've proven that we can deliver very stable government, actually with parties that have quite a wide range of views, many of whom we don't actually agree with."

While Mr Key is leaving open the possibility of a deal with New Zealand First, its leader Winston Peters says the party will not work with National if it pursues an agenda of more partial asset sales.

The Prime Minister says the National Party still has plenty of areas it wants to reform, if re-elected next year, including the public service, the economy, welfare and education.

Tumultuous year

Labour Party leader, David Cunliffe, says he is happy with how his party has ended 2013.

David Cunliffe.

David Cunliffe. Photo: LABOUR PARTY

The party has had a tumultuous year, including a leadership change. Former leader David Shearer stepped down in August saying he no longer enjoyed the full confidence of the party caucus.

Mr Cunliffe said Labour now has its eye firmly on the 2014 general election and is in good shape to contest it.

"Membership is up eighty-five percent since the start of the year. We set ourselves the goal of having a well-attended, mobilising conference in Christchurch and then we went from that to the Christchurch East by-election and the ball got hit out of the park."

Labour held the Christchurch East seat in the 30 November by-election, with its candidate Poto Williams winning 61% of the vote.

Mr Cunliffe says there might be a small reshuffle at the start of next year, but generally he is pleased with the performance of his caucus.

The Labour leader acknowledges voters will need to get a better idea of who he is as a person before they go to the polls next year and he needs to "do a little more to let people in".