New Zealand National Party leader and Prime Minister-elect Christopher Luxon speaks to supporters at a party event in Auckland, Oct 14, 2023, following a general election. (PHOTO / AP)
WELLINGTON - New Zealand's prime minister-elect, Christopher Luxon, said on Monday while his party was waiting for special votes to be counted, they would also "get cracking" on building relationships with both ACT New Zealand and New Zealand First.
Luxon's center-right National Party and preferred coalition partner ACT won a razor-thin electoral victory on Saturday, together securing 61 seats in 121 seat parliament.
While National and ACT have the numbers to form a government on the current count, roughly 567,000 special votes, around 20 percent of the total, must still be counted. The official result is due on Nov 3, and right-wing parties have historically lost at least a seat with the final count.
Luxon said he would ideally like to have a government formed before the APEC meeting in November but that this will depend on the special votes and how negotiations have progressed
Luxon told government-funded Radio New Zealand on Monday that National would be waiting for the special votes to be counted but were going to get started on building relationships and having conversations with both ACT and New Zealand First.
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"I'm going to keep that (the negotiations) private," he said.
He added he would ideally like to have a government formed before the APEC meeting in November but that this will depend on the special votes and how negotiations have progressed.
New Zealand is currently being governed by a transitional government run by Labour.
Luxon said the process of transition between the two governments was under way.
Newly elected members of parliament are also in Wellington on Monday to begin their induction to parliament.