Free-to-air sport for major events has emerged as another possible "bottom line" for Winston Peters as he goes into coalition talks with National and Labour.

Newshub tonight showed footage of an old, unpublished interview in which the NZ First leader promised he would make significant sporting events free-to-air.

Speaking at the Karaka race horse sales in January this year, Peters told Newshub that "I'm not going to say we're going to try and implement it - we will implement it".

"Everybody that's dealing with Winston Peters and NZFirst knows we intend, as in the past, to keep our word. So they should stop humbugging around," he said.


"We don't go making promises we don't keep. We will deliver."

He told Newshub roughly 1.2 million people could not afford Sky.

"They're the mothers and fathers who put young kids on sports fields all round this country."

It's speculated the promise could be another non-negotiable for Peters as he begins negotiating with the two biggest parties over who will form the next Government.

That would require a U-turn for National and Labour, as both this year voted against a bill to make significant events free-to-air.

The private member's bill submitted by NZFirst MP Clayton Mitchell aimed to amend the Broadcasting Act so any game of "national significance" would be freely available to all New Zealanders.

It would have included all international rugby, rugby league, netball, cricket, and football games either played in New Zealand or in a major event such as a world cup, the Summer and Winter Olympics and the Commonwealth Games, and National Rugby League (NRL) grand finals or Super rugby finals featuring a New Zealand team.

Writing in the Herald in January, Peters said free sport was a "birthright" for New Zealanders.


"Sport is part of our culture, our identity and it unites us as a people like nothing else," he wrote.