Newshub can reveal Labour leader Jacinda Ardern will not be forming a formal coalition government with the Greens.
Instead, the Prime Minister is planning a lower-level support arrangement, but there will be no negotiations because the Greens have zero bargaining power – Labour is powerful enough on its own.
Labour’s class of 2020 met together for the first time on Tuesday and Ardern was absolutely giddy with success, welcoming 22 new MPs into the Labour caucus – one so large serious space sacrifices have been made.
“I have not seen this room so full before,” Ardern told the caucus. “There’s no room for the sausage rolls.”
Labour now has 64 MPs – an outright majority – so the Greens are not needed to govern.
The Greens won’t mention a coalition and they’re not going to get it.
“We expect nothing,” Green Party co-leader James Shaw said, when asked if he expects there to be a formal coalition agreement with Labour.
The Greens will be offered a little more than nothing but not a lot.
“New Zealand has delivered us a mandate to be able to govern,” Ardern said. “What I’m looking for are areas of potential cooperation.”
Newshub understands that cooperation won’t be a fully-fledged coalition deal with the Greens in on all the action.
“I want to make sure that I’m having these conversations directly with the Green Party,” Ardern said, when asked if she could rule out a coalition with the Greens.
Ardern is also holding off making a call about who her deputy Prime Minister will be – either the deputy Labour leader Kelvin Davis or her Finance Minister and bestie Grant Robertson.
“Any decisions around roles and responsibilities are yet to be made,” Davis said.
“I totally support Kelvin, I mean he is the deputy leader of the Labour Party and he will remain the deputy leader of the Labour Party, I’m sure,” Robertson said.
But Labour deputy doesn’t necessarily mean Deputy Prime Minister.
“When it comes to the deputy leadership within the party I have no intention of changing that, however keep in mind, all of the role allocation I will work through over the next two weeks,” Ardern said.
In this party of winners, there are a couple of losers.
Helen White lost Auckland Central to the Greens’ Chloe Swarbrick.
“Sorry?” White said when asked why she lost to Swarbrick. When the question was repeated to her, White said: “I’ll talk to you later.”
Tamati Coffey also looks set to lose Waiariki to the Māori Party’s Rawiri Waititi.
“I’ve not conceded just yet,” he said, alluding to the special votes which are yet to be announced.
That’s for another day.
“Today we crack on with the mahi,” Ardern told her caucus.
And with such a large and rowdy bunch, Labour’s definitely got its mahi cut out for it.