Simon Bridges: Most Kiwis believe system 'gamed' at last election

The AM Show 14/08/2019

National Party leader Simon Bridges claims a majority of Kiwis believe the system was "gamed" at the last election.

Bridges was on The AM Show on Wednesday where he was asked about the possibility of helping Vernon Tava's Sustainable NZ Party into Parliament by offering it a deal in an electorate seat.

He wouldn't divulge which parties National was open to working with after next year's election or if a deal was on the cards, but believed Kiwis wanted to see National make sure it had options.

I reckon that there is a very strong majority of New Zealanders right now who say 'you know what, actually National at the last election got 44 percent, the system was in a sense gamed, there was one old rooster who held the country to ransom' and so I think people are open to National making sure it does have options and the ability to be in Government in 2020," Bridges told The AM Show.

While the National Party did receive the largest party vote, it was below 50 percent. Under an MMP system, that meant a coalition was necessary to govern.

The National Party and its traditional partner ACT were unable to reach the 61 seat threshold, meaning National needed the assistance of another party.

However, after negotiations, instead of giving National its support, New Zealand First entered into a coalition with the Labour Party with the support of the Green Party.

Bridges says he hasn't met with Tava to discuss the Sustainable NZ Party but believed there was a gap in the market for a party focused solely on the environment.

If you look at the Green Party in the Parliament, it seems to me they aren't real Greens. They're watermelons. They are green on the outside, red on the inside.

"They're more concerned about Gaza and Ihumatao and these sort of things, and that's valid, but they are not a party that is solely focussed on getting the best deal for the environment."

Tava revealed on The AM Show on Tuesday that his party was close to hitting the 500 member mark necessary to register as a political party and was backed by "exciting people".

Written by Jamie Ensor of Newshub.