New Zealand's Prime Minister-elect Luxon says coalition negotiations continue

FILE PHOTO: Christopher Luxon, Leader of the National Party waves to supporters in Auckland

By Lucy Craymer

WELLINGTON (Reuters) - New Zealand’s Prime Minister-elect Christopher Luxon said on Wednesday that negotiations were ongoing with potential coalition partners ACT New Zealand and New Zealand First, as the country awaits final results of the general election.

Luxon’s conservative National Party and preferred coalition partner ACT won a one-seat majority in the general election Oct. 14. However, this majority could be eroded after special votes are counted and final results are released Nov. 3.

“What we're doing between now and the third of November is progressing relationships and arrangements with both parties,” Luxon told state-funded Radio New Zealand on Wednesday.

He said once special votes are counted, the parties will move quickly to form a government.

“Unfortunately, this will take as long as it takes in order to be able to get a good agreement and good trust and a strong base and a good government,” Luxon added.

Special votes are ballots cast for example by electors overseas or by those who enrolled on the day of the election.

New Zealand is currently being governed by a caretaker government run by the previous Labour government.

(Reporting by Lucy Craymer; Editing by Rod Nickel)