Labour leader Andrew Little has cried foul after Prime Minister John Key rejected meeting with him to discuss the Red Peak flag despite Mr Little saying he was open to dropping his condition on the referendums.
Both Mr Key and Mr Little said yesterday they were willing to meet with each other after a push to include Red Peak on the shortlist of designs for the referendum in late November.
However, no meeting has taken place and both leaders have now released the exchange of letters over the issue.
In his letter to Mr Key, Labour leader Andrew Little set out the reasons he wanted to change the referendum questions but said he was willing to reconsider his condition.
"That is our preferred option. However, if there is another practical measure that will restore public confidence then let's talk and see what that might be."
Despite the overture, Mr Key's reply said it was clear from Mr Little's letter and public statements that Labour's support was conditional on a signficant change to the process.
He said he remained willing to meet "but only on the basis Labour clearly accepts the rest of the flag consideration process and in particular the fact that the yes/no question on change will take place as a second referendum".
He also took a swipe at Labour for its campaign against the flag process, saying significant effort was made to include other parties, including Labour. "I have been disappointed at the approach your party has taken in the period since to undermine the process that was carefully considered and enacted by Parliament."
Mr Little has since accused Mr Key of acting in bad faith and trying to put the blame on Labour for blocking Red Peak, saying National could make the change without Labour's support.
"John Key is now playing politics again by suggesting that only Labour can put Red Peak on the ballot paper. He could do that tomorrow without any assistance simply by sending the finalists back to the Flag Consideration Panel who could substitute Red Peak. Trying to now blame Labour for its botch-up is breathtakingly arrogant."
The flag change process was also causing some strife in Parliament.
NZ First deputy leader Ron Mark accused National minister Maggie Barry of breaching referendum election rules and Parliament's own rules by wearing a lapel badge with the red, white and blue Kyle Lockwood flag on it.
Act leader David Seymour was also ordered by the Speaker to remove a red peak flag on his desk. And yesterday some Green MPs also had to be ordered to take down desktop versions of the flag, although co-leader James Shaw got away with a red peak themed tie.