Labour Party leader Jacinda Ardern said it was not necessary for her party, New Zealand First and the Greens to all negotiate together in the same room.
Ms Ardern and her team go into a third day of discussions with New Zealand First, and have more meetings with the Greens coalition talks continue ahead of Thursday's deadline.
She told Morning Report it had always been the plan to negotiate with NZ First and the Greens separately, and there were examples of this approach being used in the past.
She denied it was because the Greens and New Zealand First could not talk to each other, and said it would not be a "fair position" to leave the Green Party - which brings votes and support - on the cross benches.
"We're having a conversation, we've got a number of shared interests and that's been the focus of our conversations.
'We've had conversations around what kind of New Zealand we would want to build as a future government, and that's been dictating our conversations.
"As much as I hear a bit of commentary around bottom lines and positions, actually it has been a constructive conversation based in policy and ideas."
She said she needed both New Zealand First and the Green Party to form a government and would be treating both of them with the dignity and respect they deserved, but that it was not necessary to get them both in the same room at the same time.
"It's up to me as the individual who is party to both negotiations to meld together ... and form what will be a durable and long-serving government under a Labour leadership."