The Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet head offered the Prime Minister his resignation after failing to brief John Key that emails between independent MP Peter Dunne and Fairfax journalist Andrea Vance were forwarded to a ministerial inquiry.
At today's post-Cabinet media briefing Mr Key confirmed DPMC (Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet) chief executive Andrew Kibblewhite had apologised to him for the email affair.
Mr Key said Mr Kibblewhite would have resigned if he had wanted him to. The resignation was not accepted.
It would have been better if he had been told about the email at the time Mr Kibblewhite became aware of it, said Mr Key.
Mr Key became aware of he emails on Friday but said Mr Kibblewhite had been on bereavement leave, which contributed to him not relaying the information.
On Friday it was revealed Mr Kibblewhite knew for a month that emails exchanged between Mr Dunne and Ms Vance were accidentally collected by Parliamentary Service and a contractor linked to Datacom, and were given to the Henry Inquiry into a leaked report on the Government Communications Security Bureau.