Election 2020: National leader Simon Bridges rules out Winston Peters forever as donation scandal swirls

Simon Bridges has completely ruled out working with New Zealand First for the upcoming election - or any future elections.

"No ifs, no buts, no time," said National leader Bridges when probed by The AM Show host Duncan Garner. "I want to end this charade we've been in."

Bridges said voters deserve to know what the situation is following allegations surrounding the New Zealand First Party and its donation practises.

On Monday, it was announced the Serious Fraud Office is weighing up whether to probe accusations the party is hiding donations in a slush fund.

Last week, Bridges ruled out the possibility of working with NZ First just before politicians gathered at Waitangi. Jabs have been continuously exchanged between The National Party leader and Peters and it appears the bad blood will continue.

"I can't trust New Zealand First or Winston Peters," Bridges told The AM Show on Wednesday. "I don't think New Zealanders can either."

Bridges also doubled down on comments he made last week, saying Kiwis were fed up with Peters holding the country to ransom.

"Everything's in New Zealand First's interests and not New Zealanders' interests."

Bridges said Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern needs to outright say whether she trusts Peters.

When asked on Monday if she trusted Peters, she wouldn't say "yes" or "no", and replied, "We have an excellent working relationship". 

The Prime Minister changed tack on Tuesday morning and told reporters in Parliament she does trust her Deputy Prime Minister and that she thought she had been "implicit" on Monday.

"I couldn't operate this Government without a trusting relationship with Winston Peters and that is at the core of why we've been able to run that strong, stable Government - because of that trusting relationship," Ardern said.

Ardern has said she wants a full independent look at political donation laws.

Peters has repeatedly denied the claims, labelling them "fake news".

"Let's have this matter sorted out by the legal authorities and alongside the legal opinions of this country or the law of this country," he told Magic Talk's Peter Williams on Tuesday.

"Remember, I'm not being investigated here, nor is New Zealand First. It is the New Zealand First Foundation."