Russel Norman ruled out as finance minister in future Labour govt
"Here's the thing. Our glorious leader hasn't ruled out working with Winnie to form a government after the next election."Featured comment
Labour leadership candidates David Cunliffe and Grant Robertson both rejected Greens Co-leader Russel Norman taking a Finance role under a future Labour-led Government.
Speaking on TV3’s “The Nation” Mr Cunliffe said no to Mr Norman being Minister of Finance but was open to letting him work closely in an economic role.
“No I've already said a couple of times that Russell would not expect to be Minister of Finance in a Labour government” he said.
“I do think he's got some economic skills, and I think he could certainly play a role in a broader economic team,” he said.
Mr Robertson has also shut the door on Mr Norman getting the finance role, because he said the role needed to go to a member of the largest party in Parliament which he predicted would be Labour.
“I've also made clear that I don’t think a Green Party person could be the Minister of Finance, that role would go to the largest party in a coalition, and that will be Labour,” said Mr Robertson.
Speaking about another potential coalition partner, Mr Cunliffe remained cautious about working with New Zealand First leader Winston Peters if he became Prime Minister.
“Well I think Winston's an incredibly able politician, very experienced and when he gives you his word he keeps it.
“I trust Winston, up to a point. Same way I trust all politicians and journalists up to a point,” he said.
Labour list MP Shane Jones and Wellington Central MP Grant Robertson expressed their willingness to work with Mr Peters in a potential government led by them.
Mr Jones said he already has worked with Winston under the last Labour-led Government and would do so again.
“I dealt with Winston on behalf of Michael Cullen when I chaired the Finance and Expenditure Committee.”
“I've got not a sliver of doubt that a party I lead can trust Winston,” said Mr Jones.
Mr Robertson cited Mr Peters’ work with the Helen Clark –led Labour Government and expressed his willingness to do the same if he becomes Prime Minister.
“I go back to the time of Helen Clark's leadership and realise that you know in that period of time Winston played a very constructive role, and the Labour government that Helen led was able to work with a number of parties. I'm sure a government that I lead could do that as well,” he said.