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New Zealand PM names likely allies ahead of election

New Zealand Prime Minister John Key made his opening moves on Tuesday ahead of a general election later in the year by announcing a minor cabinet reshuffle and naming likely coalition partners.

WELLINGTON: New Zealand Prime Minister John Key made his opening moves on Tuesday ahead of a general election later in the year by announcing a minor cabinet reshuffle and naming likely coalition partners.

Key said his centre-right National Party, bidding for a third successive election win, would "almost certainly need to work constructively with other political parties to form a stable government".

He named current partners ACT New Zealand, the Maori Party and United Future as likely allies with the possibility of adding the fledgling Conservative Party.

Recent opinion polls have shown the National Party just short of having enough support to win an election outright.

The minor New Zealand First (NZF) party, which has proved a kingmaker in previous governments under New Zealand's proportional representation election system, did not feature in Key's pre-election plans.

But the prime minister said he would not rule out a discussion with NZF after the election.

In his reshuffle, Key reinstated United Future leader Peter Dunne whom he forced to resign last year for not fully co-operating with an inquiry into the leaking of government documents.

Although no election date has been announced, Key has hinted that it will be before November.

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