Acting Prime Minister Winston Peters says he's been too busy in the role to think about whether he's enjoying his time leading the country.
"It never occurs to me to enjoy it," he said yesterday.
"I just got on with it, it's been very busy. A few things have arisen which we've had to handle with the greatest of care."
"But basically, it's as I expected it to be," Peters told Newstalk's Leighton Smith yesterday.
Peters wouldn't be drawn on whether it was a role he would like to do more of.
"I'm doing a job and I'll do it to the best of my ability."
Asked by Smith whether the 2017 election was his last, Peters again referenced the situation in Malaysia, where the Prime Minister is 93 and his deputy is Peters' age at 73.
"My point is, in this modern age, a lot of people are living far longer, they're doing things at a far older age group."
Moving on to foreign affairs, Peters, who is also Foreign Affairs Minister said it was between people, not leaders.
"We should never forget to cultivate, the expanded fellowship, companionship, indeed agreement with foreign countries, people by people, not politicians. Otherwise all sorts of cloistered, arrogant, self-centred people might be the controlling feature of our future."
"And that's why we should never make comment on what this person's like, what that person's like."
Peters said he had met Russian President Vladimir Putin and others but he did not express a view of them because it did not help his country.
Peters said it was likely that the meeting between Putin and US President Donald Trump would result in the weakening of the "anti-Russian trade boycott, which might beg the question, well what have we been doing while this was happening".
Speaking on denuclearisation of North Korea, Peters said it was critical it occurred.
"I do think a whole lot of countries will have to step up to ensure, including the influence of China, to ensure it both happens and that we give North Korea cause for it to happen by ensuring that they have an economic future."
Peters said there was no doubt in his mind that US President Donald Trump's meeting with Kim Jong Un in Singapore was the right thing to do.
"I would always applaud people who meet and converse even if they have a wide variance in their opinions and their views."
Peters said spying was leading to greater attempts to interfere with other countries' economic and political affairs.
"And it's leading to greater measures on the parts of other countries to counter-react against that, to stop that happening, to ensure that they know where that level of interference and undue duress is coming on, in terms of geopolitical theatres."
He said that was the reason New Zealand had "collegial relations" with countries it shared information with.
"You can't afford not to."
New Zealand is a member of the Five Eyes intelligence-sharing group, which includes Australia, the UK, US and Canada.
Speaking about local government, Peters said he suspected central government was taking too much money from ratepayers for local purposes, writing the laws for ratepayers' purposes, getting the councils to do things for ratepayer purposes but not giving local councils enough money.
"We're looking at it now ... but let's have one thing that works for all the country, in particular that part of the country to which tourism is flocking without the resources."
Discussing last week's nurses strikes, Smith said he did not believe there was no more money to up the $530 million package offer.
Peters said the Government could pay nurses more if it didn't have to spend money on other priorities such as police, infrastructure, transport, conservation.
"I could tell you a thousand things, including our role in important places like Antarctica, offshore as an international good neighbour because we need to keep our neighbourhood safe and clean and safe from the disharmony we've seen in past times.
"Of course we could do that for nurses if we made other sacrifices. But at the end of the day we're trying to do all this, and also do it in terms of one Budget. There is still room for the nurses to come to us on some things we can handle in terms of what they might want, but to expect us to do it ... in the space of one Budget is a bit too much."
"I wouldn't mind bringing them in and saying 'you have a look at the books and see what's left here'."
Peters cited the M. bovis outbreak, the kiwifruit PSA disease, and other pressures from the medical profession as needing funds.
"In the big picture, I'm not unsympathetic," Peters said, mentioning that his mother was also a nurse.
The Government hoped there would be no more strike but that negotiations would continue until an agreement was reached.
He said the nurses' union and DHBs were not that far apart in what they were seeking.
He said there was clearly a faction intent on going on strike.
"There's a whole lot of pent-up fervour that built up over the years that we were inheriting. In the end we're going to put our best foot forward ... we're going to go into these talks post this strike with the best intent and hope we succeed."
Speaking about New Zealand First's influence within the Coalition Government, Peters said: "Whatever your percentage is, multiply it because it's far more influential than parties with no option, so to speak."
But he cautioned that parties should never throw their political weight around in an MMP environment.
"At all points, when decisions are being made, you've got to ask people what is the basis for that decision. If it's the Coalition Agreement, fine. Or, if it's not in the Coalition Agreement but we have come to an agreement collectively then fine. But you cannot say I'll take these steps for myself and you can all follow me whether you like it or not."
Peters said there should be much more accountability in business and politics when people "screwed up".
"This country has been, for far too long, not accountable.
"Too many screw-ups happen both in business and in politics, and people aren't held accountable."
Peters referred to times he had blown the whistle on such "screw-ups" and been shouted down.
"How many times do I have to tell people there's something rotten going on here, which if I was wrong would see me in a defamation court, but they never did sue."
Speaking about minor parties and their demise in the last election, Peters said it was due to showing their hand too early and declaring who they would partner with in government.
"They're all in oblivion now."
When Smith pointed out that they had sovereignty over their vote, Peters said: "Sovereignty over nothing is nothing. It's sweet F.A. as they say out in the countryside of New Zealand."