Jacinda Ardern wants to remain friends with Winston Peters despite end of work relationship

Source: 1News

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says she's hoping to stay friends with New Zealand First leader Winston Peters despite the pair no longer having a working relationship.

Last term, New Zealand First had the sway to govern alongside Labour, with Peters serving as Ardern's Deputy PM.

But at the election last month, the minor party did not get enough votes to return to Parliament.

Today, Ardern told reporters she had spoken with Peters in the days after his election loss but hadn't seen him in person.

"I have no hesitation in catching up with the person that I worked very closely with for the last three years and I expect that we will probably have a relationship going forward as well," she said.

When asked if that relationship could be diplomatic, and pointing to an appointment overseas, Ardern said she was referring to a personal relationship.

"That's not something that probably either of us has given consideration to. He's only just, of course, been in a position of not having a parliamentary role which he's had for a number of years. So we need to give him time to consider what he wants to do next," she said.

The Prime Minister says she's spoken with her former deputy since he was voted out of Parliament, but says she's giving him time to consider what he wants to do in terms of work.