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New Zealand First leader Winston Peters has dismissed media reports of cracks looming in the coalition Government as “balderdash”.
The Deputy Prime Minister was speaking to Newstalk ZB’s Heather du Plessis-Allan this morning when she asked about the stability of the Labour-NZ First coalition.
“Balderdash as they’d say in England. This is the first real MMP government and consultation and communication are what we do. There’ll always be things that are called a work in progress.
“You had the coalition agreement, then you had the 100-day statement, then you had the Speech from the Throne, then the Budget. If those things we’re talking about are not in those four documents then they are always work in progress,” Peters said.
He insisted the Government was not “Labour-led”.
“We’re happy to be in a coalition representing real change and a chance to address some of the awful anomalies that have gone on in our great society.”
Peters denied that the disagreements over the three strikes law, the refugee quota and most recently the proposed Crown Māori Partnership agency were issues of friction between Labour and NZ First.
“You’re making a mountain out of a communications molehill. ”
Peters said conflicting statements over the refugee quota were a media fiction, and “to the chagrin of the media”, issues around the Crown Māori Partnership would be resolved very soon.
“I’m afraid it’s a coalition called Labour and NZ First.
“We are forced by MMP circumstances to always think about being in a coalition government, and if it’s not agreed upon then it’ll be a work in progress.”
Peters said he backed Justice Minister Andrew Little to the hilt on his plans for the justice system.
“In terms of public relations you must show the public that your policy is working before you take this one step. Now is that a huge matter of disagreement? No it’s not.”