Nats-new Greens, TOP-Māori Party alliances could shake up NZ politics

Source: 1News

New Zealand politics could be in for another shake up with new alliances emerging, including the possible formation of a new centre-Greens party. 

The Māori Party and The Opportunities Party (TOP) are in talks over working together ahead of the 2020 election, and National could find a much needed partner in a new party that looks to threaten the Green Party.

The Opportunities Party, founded by Gareth Morgan, and the Māori Party both failed to attract voters at the last election and are now hoping a combined effort could pay off.

Kaapua Smith of the Māori Party said being a small, minor party, "we can't do these things alone in Parliament".

"We need to start building our relationships."

Geoff Simmons, leader of TOP, told TVNZ1’s Te Karere it could be an opportunity for both parties which he described as having "an awful lot in common".

Though adamant talks are still fresh, the parties have met twice already, and will not rule out the idea of forming one party. 

"One of the criticisms of the Māori Party has always been that we're too close to National. This is about reaffirming that no we're not particularly close to any particular party. We want to talk to all parties," Ms Smith said. 

National also look to have a possible new partner, with the prospect of a new centre-Green party growing more likely. 

Former Green Party leadership contender and National Party hopeful Vernon Tava said the combination could appeal to voters. 

"There are an awful lot of conservative conservationists out there and a lot of people who would like to cast a party vote for the environment but don't feel they can for a red-green party," he said.

Mr Tava has not spoken to Simon Bridges about the possibility, but the National leader said the party could be "a very valuable option for New Zealand".