Bill English has admitted soon-to-be-former MP Todd Barclay offered to play him the secretly recorded tape of his staff members.
Mr English earlier this week first said he couldn't recall how he found out about the recordings, then later admitted Mr Barclay had told him.
"I said what I thought. I went and looked at the police statement and I clarified that matter as soon as I could," Mr English told The Nation on Saturday.
At the National Party's annual conference today, when asked if Mr Barclay offered to play him the recording, Mr English admitted that he did.
"Did he offer to play me the recording? Yes he did," Mr English confirmed.
"I haven't denied anything; I've just said that what I was told I passed to the police. There was then an investigation at the conclusion, of which no charges were made".
He continued he didn't think it "was appropriate" for him to accept the offer to listen.
"It was an employment dispute… in the context you don't want to make them worse with loose comments or whatever that could make them harder to resolve".
The admission comes despite telling The Nation on Saturday he wasn't even sure a tape existed.