Two crabbies and a ram. Image: Archi Banal
Two crabbies and a ram. Image: Archi Banal

PoliticsNovember 7, 2023

How the coalition will be negotiated, according to the Zodiac

Two crabbies and a ram. Image: Archi Banal
Two crabbies and a ram. Image: Archi Banal

Everyone involved in coalition negotiations has managed to keep a pretty tight lid on them. We turned to the stars to analyse what might be happening in these boring (according to Luxon) rooms.

Disclaimer: We do not have the leaders’ mums’ numbers so were unable to determine their full birth charts. The following is based only on what we do know – sun signs.

On July 19, 1970, Kathleen Luxon had her first baby, a boy named Christopher. It was probably cold, because they were in Christchurch, and she probably prayed, because the family are Roman Catholics and giving birth is painful and scary. In any case, the baby that was born was destined to be a Cancer, the fourth sign of the astrological calendar. Now he is the leader of the National Party and the incoming prime minister. Big progress for someone who was once a baby.

Cancers, also known as crabbies, are water signs but can seamlessly traverse between the sea and the shore. They are intuitive, meaning they’re very good at reading rooms. But this sensitivity is of course paired with that hard shell, so don’t expect to truly know a Cancer for some time. 

Interestingly, David Seymour also has these qualities. He came into the world via Palmerston North on June 24, 1984. It should come as no surprise to have two Cancers at the apex of the leadership of our country. They are ruled by the moon, which represents, among other things, maternal energies. With these energies, Cancers are quick to adopt caregiver roles – but they must be careful because for them, the line between attentive nurturing and controlling behaviour is blurry. 

Crabs have strange sideways walking abilities. (Image: Tina Tiller)

In relationships, be that romantic or coalition, Cancers need to be needed and like to give. Comfort and support are paramount. Apparently two Cancers are a smooth and stable pairing, and it’s true that these two knew they’d be working together from day dot. It’s not clear exactly how Seymour feels about Luxon calling his proposed Treaty referendum “divisive”, however – perhaps its like a little claw pinch in a chink of his shell. 

Still, these two Cancers get along just fine, being of a similar right-wing ilk. It’s not fireworks, but it’s safe and supportive. They do not call each other “clowns” or “untrustworthy”. But the election results haven’t given them the luxury of an exclusive relationship. There’s a third.

Christopher Luxon, shown here building chemistry with Winston Peters and David Seymour. (Image: Archi Banal)

In 1945, Wynston Peters was born in Whangārei. It is not clear when he switched the y to an i, but in any case he arrived on April 11, making him an Aries. Aries are not exactly easy to get along with. These fire signs like to be number one. The rams love a challenge and usually come out on top. They are passionate leaders who build up communities (votes) with a cheerful disposition and relentless determination. I need to state here that I am not just describing Peters, I am in fact (barely) paraphrasing this in-depth explainer of the Aries personality type.

So what do Cancers make of this rambunctious character?

Well, the internet consensus is that a Cancer and Aries pairing lacks all the qualities that make a great match. One website says “you may not even realise that you are drilling the holes in your own boat. Some astrologers are kinder than me and have tried to make things work between Cancers and Aries, by saying things like “love is blind!”, “opposites attract”, “it feels tough to reach emotional intimacy”, and they “connect well by arguing”.

But let’s be honest. The sensitive crabs don’t have a chance against a ram who always needs to win. Imagine that crab, painstakingly typing a text message to Peters with its tiny pincers, and then being ignored? That crab cried.

Worse than being emotionally unavailable, though, Aries will always take the front seat and try to call the shots, even with only 6.08% of the vote. Peters has already been part of three coalition governments, and the two Cancers have been in zero. He held the balance of power in the very first MMP election in 1996, negotiating with both Labour and National for two months. In the end, National won his affections, with a detailed 50-page coalition agreement that was very favourable to NZ First. So favourable it angered many within the National Party, and probably led to the coalition’s dissolution two years later. It seems that perhaps Peters would rather break up than not get what he wants.

His next coalitions were with Labour, in 1999 and then 2017. Although in 2017 he got to be deputy prime minister, acting prime minister and foreign minister, Peters ruled out working with Labour again, saying “they can’t be trusted in September last year. The distrust was due to working with a fellow fire sign, Jacinda Ardern. Born 26 July 1980, Ardern is a Leo, astrologically destined to be a confident leader. Aries and Leo feed off each other’s energy, until they disagree and both think they are right. In a disagreement between a lion and a ram, I think we know who will win.

Two fire signs shake hands during a coalition agreement signing, 2018 (Photo: Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images)

Almost a year after Peters dismissed Labour, Chris Hipkins retaliated, saying Labour wouldn’t work with NZ First because they were too interested in toilets. The uptight Virgo needed the world to know it was mutual, actually.

The crabby that is Seymour, however, has used his sideways walking ability to turn sitting with Peters in cabinet from “impossible” to “possible”. He must be blushing bright red under his shell at the whole of the country knowing his text suggesting “we should get together” has been ignored. The other crabby has been a little luckier. Peters has talked to Luxon on the phone, though all he will say is he has been “relationship building”.

Peters arrived in Wellington on Monday afternoon to meet with his caucus. It is assumed that he will walk through National and Act’s open doors next. 

In the meantime the two crabbies have been putting together a detailed agreement, and have an “agenda and a policy programme ready to go”. How much of it will “go” will ultimately depend on the headstrong ram. At least the crabbies have got each other to cling onto.

Keep going!