Peters turns down Key's spy meeting offer

VERNON SMALL
Last updated 05:00 08/05/2013

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Winston Peters has thumbed his nose at John Key over his offer of a briefing and a one-on-one meeting to discuss laws overhauling the country's spy agencies.

The prime minister wrote to Peters yesterday making the offer, but the NZ First leader said his party would rather work on proposed improvements alone.

"We can work this through on the facts and on the legislation. You don't have to go and have a private sit down like some parties want to do every five minutes," he said.

Key remained conciliatory, though, saying if Mr Peters did not want a briefing "that's totally fine".

National has the 61 votes needed with the backing of ACT and United Future.

Peters also rejected Key's claim about other talks between NZ First and National.

Key had pointed to an agreement with NZ First MP Tracey Martin that would see $35 million over four years earmarked in the Budget to fund grandparents raising children.

"We had chosen to work together as political parties."

Peters said his MPs worked hard to change laws "but none of that fits the description of talks between NZ First and the Government as the prime minister yesterday suggested".

Key, who ruled out dealing with NZ First in 2011, would not be drawn on a future relationship.

The security agencies law change is due to be introduced under urgency tomorrow.

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- The Dominion Post

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