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Are there cracks in the coalition? Disagreement with NZ First forced Labour to abandon announcing details of Crown-Māori Relations portfolio

Cracks are appearing in the coalition Government with the the big influence of Winston Peters putting heat on the Prime Minister and hampering policy announcements and the passing of legislation.

1 NEWS understands disagreements within the coalition forced Labour to abandon announcing detail of its Crown-Māori Relations portfolio earlier this week.

Monday's cabinet meeting was a chance for the Government to lay out the detail of its new Crown-Māori portfolio, but in an unusual twist the information didn't follow.

"I'm not going to pre-announce cabinet papers," Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said after the meeting.

1 NEWS now understands it was due to New Zealand First and Labour disagreeing over the detail in cabinet, postponing the announcement

In Parliament today, National's Gerry Brownlee said New Zealand First Leader Winston Peters "still hasn't stopped acting as prime minister. He is the veto on everything this Government does".

Mr Peters was unwilling to answer questions about the matter today.

Asked by 1 NEWS if New Zealand First veted the establishment of an agency for the Crown-Maori portfolio in the Ministry of Justice, he replied: "Well look I can't answer that question 'cause I don't have any recall of that."

"Send me a written question, I'll give you an answer because I'm not going to do it off the top of my head. I don't have a very present recall of that."

Asked why he can't recall given that cabinet was only held on Monday, Mr Peters said: "Well because I want to know the exact detail on that before I answer the question."

But NZ First minister Shane Jones didn't hide his contempt just yesterday, telling reporters: "[We] need to be realistic about what we can achieve in the next 24 months."

During Question Time today, National leader Simon Bridges asked the Prime Minister: "Can we no longer believe ministerial press statements unless they're signed off by Mr Peters?"

Ms Ardern replied: "No, ridiculous."

It is the latest issue in a string of disagreements.

Labour was set to repeal the three strikes law but was forced by NZ First to back down.

Then there's the refugee quota. Labour is keen to double it, but NZ First is in no hurry. 

And recently there's been disagreement on employment law, including whether to scrap the youth pay rate.

Asked recently on TVNZ1's Q+A if Labour can't get rid of the youth pay rate because NZ First won't agree, Employment Minister Willie Jackson said: "We agree to disagree sometimes."

Mr Bridges said today he thinks "people are talking about the tail wagging the dog for the first time right now in this Government".

Ms Ardern said: "We debate a number of issues, this is one of many, and we have good robust processes for each."

The Prime Minister was sticking to her mantra today, saying in the House: "All other policies go through a cabinet process."

It's a Cabinet process that's not always straight forward with a coalition government.

The influence of Winston Peters is also believed to be putting the Prime Minister under pressure from rival MPs. Source: 1 NEWS