Winston Peters claims dispute with teachers solved

Winston Peters.
Winston Peters. Photo credit: Newshub

Winston Peters has claimed the industrial dispute with teachers has been solved.

Peters' comments are in contradiction to comments from the Minister of Education and primary teachers' union the New Zealand Education Institute (NZEI), who both said negotiations are incomplete.

A spokesperson for the Prime Minister refused to confirm Peters' comments, saying any announcements would be made by the Education Minister Chris Hipkins.

NZEI told Newshub it's still in negotiations with the Ministry and has no further comment.

The Minister of Education confirmed negotiations are continuing, saying in a statement "The unions are in the final stages of negotiations with the Ministry of Education."

Peters, the Deputy Prime Minister, made the comments after being thrown out of Parliament for challenging the Speaker.

He told Newsub after being kicked out: "In the last 48 minutes, the strikes will be over, the unions are taking the latest round of negotiations to the members, and a key part of that is pay parity."

When Newshub asked whether he'd made an official announcement that the dispute with the teachers was solved, Peters said: "Yeah. It's not an official announcement - it was announced by the union at 2 o'clock today."

Neither union appears to have made an announcement at 2pm on Thursday.

Opposition Education spokesperson Nikki Kaye has called Peters' comments "negligent and irresponsible."

"The reality is any settlement will be up to teachers and when the Deputy Prime Minister made these comments, no announcement made," Kaye told Newshub.

Negotiations between the teachers' unions and the Ministry of Education have been so tense all sides have kept quiet for the past week.