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Last Updated: Monday, 3 October 2005, 10:44 GMT 11:44 UK
NZ's PM seeks stable government
New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark
Helen Clark's Labour only narrowly won last month's poll
New Zealand's newly re-elected prime minister, Helen Clark, has begun talks with minor parties in a bid to set up a coalition government.

Her Labour Party won 50 seats in last month's election, just two more than the main opposition National Party.

Negotiations were held on Monday with the Green and Maori parties, while talks with others are expected in the next few days.

"All the options are on the table," Ms Clark told reporters.

Six minor parties won 23 seats between them in the 17 September poll, and Ms Clark is planning talks with all of them except for the right-wing Act Party which has just two seats.

ELECTION RESULTS
Labour - 41% (50 seats)
National - 39% (48)
New Zealand First - 6% (7)
Greens - 5% (6)
United Future - 3% (3)
Maori - 2% (4)
Act - 1.5% (2)
Progressive Party - 1% (1)

"We are looking to be inclusive and collaborative in the way we work.

"My bottom line is stability and durability, and to do that I need to engage with a range of parties to test what is possible," Ms Clark said.

Green Party co-leader Jeanette Fitzsimons said she had nothing to report yet.

"Helen has to meet with the other parties before she meets us again," Ms Fitzsimons told reporters.

New Zealand First and United Future have said they will not support the government if any Greens are given cabinet posts.

Maori Party co-leader Tariana Turia seemed to rule out a formal coalition with Labour, but may agree to some kind of deal, such as backing Ms Clark on key votes.

"It is about maintaining our integrity, our identity, our credibility with our people and we don't think when you are in coalition that you are necessarily able to maintain it," she said.

The Progressive Party, which has one seat, has already signalled that it will continue its support for Labour. It has been in coalition with the party in two previous parliaments.




SEE ALSO:
NZ parties begin coalition talks
18 Sep 05 |  Asia-Pacific
Profile: Helen Clark
15 Sep 05 |  Asia-Pacific
Profile: Don Brash
16 Sep 05 |  Asia-Pacific
Narrow win for NZ's Labour party
17 Sep 05 |  Asia-Pacific
Campaigning wraps up for NZ poll
16 Sep 05 |  Asia-Pacific
NZ election goes to the wire
13 Sep 05 |  Asia-Pacific
New Zealand elections: Your views
17 Sep 05 |  Have Your Say


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