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PM refusing to give up on festival drug testing despite NZ First's objection

Drug testing at festivals "isn't a closed issue yet", the Prime Minister said today - despite revelations NZ First blocked an attempt to have it legalised in time for the summer festival season. 

Jacinda Ardern said today there were still negotiations happening. 

Police Minister Stuart Nash believed it could save lives but told 1 NEWS earlier this week he had failed to legalise drug testing before summer because of New Zealand First’s opposition.

"There's still a bit more work to be done - this isn't a closed issue yet and those talks need to continue," Ms Ardern told media today. 

"With any issue as a Government we go through a period of dialogue, try and reach some consensus and then release that as a final outcome.

"This is an area we just haven't finished those conversations yet."

She said Mr Nash was "reflecting probably on conversations to date".

"It's obviously not done or finalised," she added.

"This has been a policy discussion for the last four years, it is something that is difficult that we as a Government are trying to resolve and are still working on."

NZ First law and order spokesperson Darroch Ball said last week drug testing could legitimise and encourage drug use.

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The police minister believes the move will save lives but NZ First says drug testing sends the wrong message. Source: 1 NEWS

But when asked by 1 NEWS if his party was opposed to drug testing at festivals, NZ First leader Winston Peters said he "wouldn't want to give an answer now. I don't know if you're correct about that".

Mr Peters later said this week he thought it was "better to tell people that drugs and drug experimentation is an awfully risky and dangerous thing to do".

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Stuart Nash said he believes drug testing will save lives, and he blames New Zealand First for the delay. Source: 1 NEWS

Mr Nash said in January the move would save lives and hospitalisations.

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Police Minister Stuart Nash told 1 NEWS he failed to legalise testing in time for summer due to NZ First’s opposition. Source: 1 NEWS