We see this morning that:
John Key concedes he has privately indicated to the Maori Party that National’s policy to abolish the Maori seats would not stand in the way of doing a deal with the party post-election.
What did Mr Key say in that debate again?
Shane Taurima: ” Pita Sharples said that you told him privately that you would not abolish the Maori seats without Maori consent. Now since saying that you have denied saying that, are you calling Dr Sharples a liar?’
John Key: “Look I have never given that assurance. We have had many meetings with the Maori Party “
Update: I kept watching the debate and caught this even more clear cut quote:
Mark Sainsbury: Why would Pita Sharples say that then?
Key: “Well I think he’s got that wrong, I’m sorry but he’s got it wrong, there is no formal agreement.” (note – Key was not being asked about whether there was a formal agreement).