12 Sep 2014

Key rules out deal with Greens

8:22 pm on 12 September 2014

The National Party has ruled out working with the Greens if it is able to form a government after the election.

In the past, the parties have found some common ground, working together on the national cycleway project and the home insulation subsidy.

National leader John Key, third left, visiting Marsden Point refinery today.

National leader John Key (third left) visiting Marsden Point refinery today. Photo: RNZ / Chris Bramwell

Greens co-leader Russel Norman has been indicating that his preference is to work with Labour in government, but the Green Party would work with a National-led Government where it could to get Green policies implemented.

However, John Key said today that, though a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) agreement worked well in the past, it is not going to happen after this year's election on 20 September.

"Look, in the course of having that MOU we had some considerable discussions with the Greens, and I think what came out at the end of it was the Greens don't want to be with National. So yes, we can spend time with them - but the sorts of initiatives we work on with the Greens we could work on with other political parties or just initiate ourselves."

Russel Norman

Greens co-leader Russel Norman. Photo: RNZ / Diego Opatowski

Mr Key said he had already clearly set out which parties he would work with after the election - and the Greens are not one of them.

Russel Norman said today that National's stance does not surprise him.

"Well, I think it demonstrates why we need a new government and a change of government in a week's time. If we're going to get any action to clean up rivers, get a fairer society or a smarter economy, then we really need the Greens in their to achive it because the Prime Minister doesn't want to achieve any of those things."

Dr Norman said the Greens were always highly unlikely to support National in a confidence and supply agreement because they don't have enough policies in common.

Labour leader David Cunliffe said today he does not see Dr Norman's comments as a signal the Greens are distancing itself from Labour. Mr Cunliffe said he had not spoken to Russel Norman about the parties' relationship, as he saw no need, and did not agree that the remarks could hurt Labour.

Meanwhile, Internet Party leader Laila Harre today accused the Greens of undermining the push to remove the National-led Government and said they need to reconsider their strategy.

"National is damaging New Zealand economically, damaging New Zealand socially and damaging New Zealand environmentally. We see no room for making deals with the National Party."

Ms Harre said the strong turnout for early votes shows there is momentum to change the Government.

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