National's new leader Todd Muller won't rule out working with Winston Peters as election looms

New National Party leader Todd Muller isn’t ruling out working with NZ First leader Winston Peters, with this year’s election just months away.

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Mr Muller says a refresh of the relationship with the NZ First leader is possible, with the election just months away. Source: 1 NEWS

At his first appearance after rolling the party’s previous leader Simon Bridges, Mr Muller said “it’s quite possible” the party could work with Mr Peters.

But he said National’s position had not changed since January. 

“Maybe, in the future, we could refresh that. I don’t know,” he said.

“Let’s see if it changes in the future.”

Mr Muller added: “This issue has not been put in front of the caucus to even consider. Our issue this morning was who was going to lead the National Party into the election.

Mr Muller said he had some history with Mr Peters, dating back to his Waikato University days in the late 1980s. Mr Peters was Mr Muller’s first guest after he set up a Young National group at the university.

Mr Bridges ruled out working with Mr Peters earlier this year.

Mr Bridges told TVNZ1’s Breakfast in February: "I can't trust New Zealand First and don't think New Zealanders can either, and I want to end the charade we've had in the past and I think we will have again if New Zealand First is there.

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The National party leader also had a testy exchange on Breakfast today about the Serious Fraud Office’s recent charges over political donations. Source: Breakfast

"I'm really telling you after the election National won’t work with New Zealand First, full stop.

"If Winston Peters calls I won't answer and I certainly won't be calling. If they have the balance of power, that still remains the position."

National negotiated with NZ First after the 2017 election. However, party leader Mr Peters instead went into a coalition agreement with Labour to make the current Government.