Winston says he's inching closer to a decision
POST LUNCH UPDATE: After finishing his 1pm breakfast at a popular Wellington Vietnamese restaurant, Mr Peters told waiting reporters he feels as though he has come a bit closer to making a decision and feels better about the process after eating some food.
The next step is going back and “going through all the latest information we have.”
Asked what the latest information was, he says it’s “coming in as we speak” and the talks are still going on.
But, asked if more concession were being offered, he says “not of that nature, no.”
Mr Peters refused to answer if New Zealand would be getting a decision today.
Earlier he said although NZ First is yet to make a final decision on which party it is siding with, it wasn't far away.
He says there has been communications with both parties “all the time.”
Asked if he would inform National and Labour of the decision before it is announced, he says “other matters are extraneous and will sort themselves out.”
He says coming to a decision is “seriously difficult” as there are pros and cons for every aspect of the decision.
But both the deals in front of NZ First at the moment are the final deals from both parties, he says.
“We have one more chance to evaluate what it means both ways.
“Let’s be honest, no negotiations end up perfectly the way you would like.”
This morning National party leader Bill English said he was confident the agreement he and his negotiating team has hammered out with New Zealand First is enough to sway Winston Peters to back a National/NZ First government.
As negotiations with both parties go down to the wire, Mr English said he would be updating the MPs on the “broad parameters of an agreement with NZ First” and seeking the National caucus’ support.
This will be followed by updating and outlining the same parameters to the party’s board.
“We have had a period of intensive negotiation and I’m satisfied that the agreements that we have reached with NZ First would be able to form the basis of a strong and cohesive government."
He would not, however, answer questions about details of the agreement that the two parties reached but did say cabinet positions for NZ First have been discussed.
Mr English suggested he does not yet know which way Mr Peters will go, saying that “like everyone else, we look forward to hearing what that is.”
He is expecting more communication with the party throughout the day.
Asked how confident he was, Mr English reiterated he is confident the agreement National and NZ First have reached would be the basis of a “strong and cohesive government.”
“Later on in the day, Mr Peters will indicate whether he agrees with that.”
Mr English says he “hasn’t considered” if he would resign if Mr Peters throws his support behind a Labour-led government.
Mr English says he does not expect the caucus meeting to go on all day.
“There has been a lot of progress made over the last 24 hours but I’m satisfied that what I can present to the caucus is the broad parameters of the agreement.”
Last night, Mr Peters revealed he will be in a position to reveal which side he is backing to form the next government this afternoon.
At this stage, it is unknown what time the announcement will come.