Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern insists she asked Opposition Leader Bill English for a meeting to discuss the Child Poverty Reduction Bill, but the meeting never happened.
The Bill aims to place targets on performance of the current and future Governments to reduce child poverty along several different measures.
Speaking to Three's The Project, Ms Ardern said she wrote to Mr English in December - well before the Bill was announced - to discuss its contents.
"I wrote to Bill English last year, gave him a quick summary of the Bill and said, 'Please, let's chat,' and I know he was briefed today by officials, but my door's open," she said.
Mr English told Stuff it was a "pathetic" attempt at bipartisanship and he did not believe the meeting would have much opportunity to change the Bill.
"We didn't have an opportunity to influence it," Mr English said.
"I don't think they were ever seriously intending for there to be a serious bipartisan effort on this."