12 Nov 2008

Tetchy exchange between Dunne and Hide

10:10 am on 12 November 2008

United Future Peter Dunne is dismissing comments made by ACT leader Rodney Hide that question Mr Dunne's reasons for seeking a ministerial post.

The leaders of National's support parties held another round of talks with the National Party leadership on Tuesday.

The ACT and United Future leaders are likely to receive ministerial roles outside Cabinet in return for pledging John Key's Government support on confidence and supply.

Rodney Hide said his focus was on policy, which does not appear to be what Mr Dunne is concentrating on.

"Peter Dunne's keen to be minister, we're keen on good policy for the good of New Zealand," he said.

Mr Dunne rejected that, saying policy is important to his party, and dismissed Mr Hide's comments.

"Oh look Rodney is Rodney, he'll have his own agenda. I'm just simply focussed on what we've been able to achieve, and the things that are important to us, the things we stood on, and I think you'll see those reflected in the agreement."

John Key says he would remain his "happy smiley self" and will be the "glue" between his potential support partners.

He said he expected to be able to announce his new Cabinet by Sunday, and be sworn in by mid next week.

Meanwhile, Mr Hide said ACT was close to reaching an agreement with the National Party, but still had issues to resolve.

He said ACT's policy of scrapping the Emissions Trading Scheme is poles apart from National's policy.

"Its an issue that we need to work through...but again I make the point that we have assured him of supply and confidence and so John Key has the numbers to be the Prime Minister."

Rodney Hide says discussions are moving quickly but further policy details need to be settled before a final deal can be struck.

National has pledged to have an amended scheme in place nine months after it takes office.