National, Greens renew deal

03:59, Dec 20 2011

The Green Party has renewed its memorandum of understanding with the new National Government.

But talk of the party's 14 MPs abstaining on confidence and supply has been dashed after co-leaders Metiria Turei and Russel Norman met with Prime Minister John Key and deputy Bill English this afternoon.

"We have agreed that there won't be an abstention agreement between the Greens and National for this term of Government," Turei said.

However, the leaders have agreed to roll over their existing memorandum of understanding. Projects in the deal include home insulation, toxic site clean-ups, pest control, the national cycleway and natural health products regulation.

"And we will be talking early in the next year about how to extend or add new issues to it, so we're very pleased with the outcome," Turei said.

"It's a matter for National and the Greens looking at where there's common ground ... We'll look at that over the summer and we'll make progress on it in the new year," Norman said.

Ahead of this afternoon's meeting, Key suggested he would float a deal with the Greens on abstention.

"If there is a broader relationship to be had then I'm interested in having those discussions. So before we get anywhere near any kind of Memorandum of Understanding I want us to have that broader discussion," he said.

Asked whether he saw the Greens abstaining on confidence and supply being part of those discussions,  Key responded: "Correct."

When asked if he thought that was likely, Key said he thought there "might be conditions under which they would but I just want to test that out".

But Turei this afternoon said the idea of abstention had been canvassed "hypothetically" but dismissed.

"We discussed abstention in a hypothetical circumstance. But the fact is that Government has been formed, they have a sufficient majority to be Government over the next term," Turei said.

"We've both agreed that we'll be looking at our policy, they'll be looking at theirs and seeing where we can find that common ground."

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