Paul Carrad was one of only a handful of people selected to join Winston Peters as New Zealand First held the first talks with National and Labour yesterday.

Carrad's role in negotiations comes after he played a key role as an aide during the campaign, including dealing with media in the days immediately following election day, when Peters retired to his home at Whananaki in Northland.

Carrad is a director at the corporate relations and PR firm Pacific Communications Limited and has known Peters since the 1980s when Peters was a National MP.

He has represented yachting on the New Zealand Olympic Committee and been a Sailing NZ Council member. A keen boatie, Carrad part-owns a charter vessel based in Fiordland, with golfer Greg Turner and others.

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A well-known figure in the Cook Islands, Carrad has previously submitted to Parliament asking for NZ Superannuation rules to be changed so residents of the Realm countries - the Cook Islands, Niue and Tokelau - be exempted from the "five-year residency rule".

Currently in order to qualify for super payments, retirees need to have lived in New Zealand for more than 10 years since the age of 20, with five years since the age of 50.

In June, Peters said in a speech NZ First would ensure residents from the Realm countries would be exempt from the rule. That position is backed by Labour.

Peters was also accompanied yesterday by deputy leader Ron Mark, MP Tracey Martin and chief of staff David Broome.