Dunne set to take ministerial role

United Future's Peter Dunne looks set to take a ministerial role outside of Cabinet in John Key's National led-Government.

Mr Key completed his first round of talks with Mr Dunne shortly after ACT leader Rodney Hide locked in his support for Mr Key.

Setting out to stitch together a government in record time, Mr Key indicated he was looking to offer ministerial roles outside of Cabinet to all parties that offered National support, including the Maori Party.

Mr Key said he had a constructive meeting with Mr Dunne, who had already pledged to back National before the election.

"We agreed in principle where we are going. I am confident that we will be able to reach an agreement and we are regrouping at about 2.30pm (Wednesday) to do that," Mr Key said.

"It will help build on the ambition that I have, to be able to potentially control 70 seats in a National-led government through a variety of arrangements."

To get 70 votes on confidence and supply issues National would need the Maori Party as well.

Mr Dunne had experience to offer National and even though he only brought one vote to Parliament, Mr Key said he was going to honour his pre-election promise to do a deal with him.

Mr Key said it was important to build a large stable majority and show that National could work with other parties.

"Just because we are the largest, doesn't mean we are bullies."

Mr Key said he had received more advice about when he could be sworn in as prime minister.

"I am confident that the progress we are making and the timetable that has been set, is one that is likely to see us in a position that I could be sworn in and attend Apec."

The Apec leaders meeting is being held in Peru on November 26 and 27.

The Governor-General would look to concrete public statements of support before Mr Key would be asked to form government.

"At this stage it would be a little too soon, although the statement obviously that Mr Hide made that he will be supporting a National-led Government will be the sort of statement the Governor-General will be looking for."

Mr Key said in his meeting with the Maori Party tomorrow he would indicate how he would like the parties to work together and ensure they could be comfortable with the arrangements.


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