Wellington, March 14 NZPA - Prime Minister John Key paid tribute to the "constructive and effective" relationships his party has with its three support partners when he addressed the ACT conference today.
National has a supply and confidence agreement with ACT, and support agreements with the Maori Party and United Future.
Each relationship was progressing well but each was quite different, Mr Key told the conference -- the first time a National leader has addressed an ACT conference.
"There are differences of policy, of process and of personality," he said.
"But together, we are providing stable and results-focused Government."
Already ACT had helped National pass legislation the Maori Party opposed, and there could be times "our friends in the Maori Party" helped pass legislation ACT or United Future opposed.
"There may also be occasions when National looks further than our confidence and supply partners," Mr Key said.
"I anticipate co-operating with other parties in Parliament on issues of mutual interest.
"After all, it is this process of co-operation and compromise that New Zealanders were seeking when they opted for an MMP electoral system."
Mr Key acknowledged the work of ACT leader and Local Government Minister Rodney Hide and Consumer Affairs Minister Heather Roy.
Mr Hide was cutting through the red tape which had for too long smothered New Zealand, while Mrs Roy was a "forceful advocate for New Zealand consumers"
"Together with the rest of the ACT caucus, Rodney and Heather are providing the ACT Party a strong and effective voice in this Parliament," he said.
Mr Key concluded by saying National and ACT were making a real difference to New Zealand.
"Our task is to implement policies that encourage the resilient Kiwis whose hard work, tenacity and initiative will get New Zealand through this downturn," he said.
"We know that, in the end, it is their efforts, their good ideas and their good will that will make our economy grow."
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