• Winston Peters
Deputy Prime Minister

Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters said the Prime Minister's statement today that she took official advice prior to last night's Cabinet meeting that decisions could still be reached without a full complement of Ministers present, suggests that she went into that meeting fully intending to force an unacceptable option on New Zealand First Cabinet Ministers.

"It is disappointing that the Prime Minister saw fit last night to break the agreements we had earlier reached about which options were acceptable and which were not regarding the sale of Wellington Airport.

"She has now confirmed by today's statement that she knew exactly what she was doing, and that there was every possibility that she would provoke a walkout by New Zealand First Ministers.

"My Ministers and I remain of the view that the decision to sell Wellington Airport is a fundamental dispute with the Coalition Agreement.

"We will continue to insist the Coalition Agreement must be the final arbiter in this matter, as it is the document that bound us together in the first place. Without it we would not have a Coalition Government or Cabinet," Mr Peters said.