"I would say that once the election campaign is called then everyone is competing with each other," she said on Radio New Zealand.
"You go from a position where you have a confidence and supply partner which works with you on some issues and not others to a position where everybody is out there paddling their own waka towards the finishing line and that changes the dynamic."
And this from Ian Wishart's Briefing Room blog:
The Prime Minister's office has confirmed to TGIF Edition that Helen Clark did not give approval for Foreign Minister Winston Peters' side trip to Las Vegas to attend a boxing match last year.
Peters was supposed to have been flying from Berlin to Singapore on official business, but took a detour to see a title fight in the US.
The Cabinet Manual requires the Prime Minister to approve such detours, but the PM's chief press secretary Kathryn Street has confirmed, "The Prime Minister didn't know about the trip until two Fridays ago, so the short answer is no, she didn't approve it".
So, in conclusion:
- potentially failing to declare a pecuniary interest is not a hanging offence
- having your party referred to the Serious Fraud Office for potential "serious and complex fraud" is not a hanging offence
- having your party referred to the Police for failing to disclose $230k worth of donations from the Spencer Trust is not a hanging offence, BUT
- Taking a trip without asking the PM's permission IS a hanging offence