The Government says it has the option of ordering a Royal Commission of Inquiry into the state of the country's banks, but only if more issues emerge "down the track".

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern spoke with Mike Hosking on Newstalk ZB this morning, where the PM was asked if the Government was "close, potentially, to pulling the trigger on an inquiry" after Finance Minister Grant Robertson put them on notice during a conference call on Friday.

"He was meeting face to face and he actually had a conversation that we haven't had a Royal Commission in New Zealand but that's not to say there isn't a job to be done for banks to maintain their social licence.

"And I absolutely agree with him, we've both been saying the same things.


"The reason we don't have a Royal Commission isn't because there were questions to be answered, it's because we found other ways to move a bit more quickly on some of the issues that have been seen in Australia.

"We don't have quite the same extent of issues but that's not to say we don't have problems."

When asked if an inquiry would be possible if there were more revelations, Ardern said there was already work being done "but if further down the track we had a whole range of issues emerging again we would of course have to keep that under review".

"The message Grant was sending was basically, banks need to step up."

Ardern said New Zealand's banking system was "safe and secure, however that's not to say that we should ever be complacent".

As for Oranga Tamariki and whether the current four inquiries being carried out on the organisation were "ridiculous", Ardern said the whole point of having an Ombudsman and the Children's Commissioner "is that you don't tell them what to do".

"They're our oversight and so they've determined to do this. I'm sure, probably, there could have been a way that it might have been more consolidated but I'm never going to tell an oversight agency what to do. It's not right."

The Government had also allowed $40 million toward garnering ideas for recycling as there were currently no waste solutions.


"So we have basically, worldwide, 90 per cent of plastics are not recycled," she told Hosking.

"Now the issue we have in New Zealand is we have relied on either putting it into landfill or shipping it and countries we have shipped it to don't want it anymore so actually we do have a problem. We don't have ways of dealing with waste in New Zealand.

"We need investment in this area. We're very soon not going to have anywhere to send our waste."