Iranian-Born Woman Elected to New Zealand Parliament

Meet Golriz Ghahraman, the Green Party's newest Member of Parliament with fellow MP Marama Davidson. Image Marama Davidson  Instagram

The nationalist New Zealand First party is set to decide which parties will form a new government in Wellington after election officials on Saturday published the final vote count of the national election held on September 23.

National leader and Prime Minister Bill English said the final election tally did not fundamentally change negotiations between his party and New Zealand First to form a coalition government.

It left the power to form a government in the hands of Peters and the nine seats held by his New Zealand First Party.

Winston Peters, New Zealand First party leader, has captured media attention after his outspoken comments on immigration.

"I know we've got that real core of support in New Zealand, especially being the Green movement, it's such a part of New Zealand's identity", she said on election night.

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'We will continue our negotiations in earnest with potential support parties beginning this weekend, ' Ardern told reporters in Auckland.

Although neither English nor the charismatic Labour Party leader Jacinda Ardern have revealed what they are prepared to concede in talks with Peters, English said he was "determined" to lead the next government.

The opposition Labour Party, led by Jacinda Ardern, picked up one more seat than provisionally forecast to take 46 in total, with 36.9% of votes.

Peters has in past elections formed coalition governments with both the National Party and Labour. The Green Party, at 6.3percent, lost nearly five percentage points on its 2014 tally following a disastrous start to its campaign when co-leader Metiria Turei resigned over self-confessed benefit and electoral system rorts.

"I don't think it weakens it significantly at all", he said, referring to National's negotiating position.

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In the 120-seat parliament, 61 seats are needed for a ruling majority. NZ First's 7.2 percent is down from 9 percent in 2014.

If New Zealand First chooses to go with Labour, which are thought to have more in common in terms of policy, the gain in seats for the Labour-Greens bloc would make it easier for Peters to justify the move, analysts said.

The National Party has held power for the past nine years.

English described Peters as a "maverick" but said his positions on certain issues were well known and could be reflected in a National-NZ First coalition government.

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