Isaac Davison is a NZ Herald political reporter.

Winston Peters rebuffs Andrew Little over working together during general election

Winston Peters says there is no chance of a combined campaign, Mr Peters. Photo / George Novak
Winston Peters says there is no chance of a combined campaign, Mr Peters. Photo / George Novak

New Zealand First leader Winston Peters says his party has no plan to campaign alongside Labour at the general election or to issue joint policy.

Labour leader Andrew Little said yesterday that Labour was working closely with New Zealand First and the Green Party and met with their party leaders regularly.

"We've got to have a good relationship if we're going to call the Government to account because that's what New Zealanders want us to do," he told TVNZ's Q+A.

Mr Peters said this morning he met with Mr Little to discuss Parliamentary business, such as Question Time and conduct in the House. His party had also aligned with Labour on lobbying for the manufacturing industry in New Zealand and protesting against the partial sale of state assets.

But when it came to an election, there was no chance of a combined campaign, Mr Peters said.

"We have never changed our view about going into the election period and leaving the decision to the voters," he said.

"We don't do joint policy statements. We get on with our own policies and our own strategies."

The Greens, on the other hand, were open to working jointly with Labour.

The two parties were already looking at policy which related to Australian banks' decision not to pass on cuts to the official cash rate.

Green co-leader James Shaw told Q+A that he sympathised with Labour's criticism of banks not passing on rate cuts, though he would personally prefer not to regulate against banks.

Instead, he proposed giving Kiwibank a $100 million capital injection to make it more competitive with offshore banks.

Ahead of the 2014 election, Labour rejected an offer by the Green Party to campaign together.

Mr Shaw said this was a mistake by Labour and it was "absolutely critical" to present an alternative government to voters at the next election.

- NZ Herald

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