The Prime Minister says the current coalition government is working well - but won't commit to running with New Zealand First or the Green party in the next election.
- Jacinda Ardern unveils the coalition's top 12 priorities they've agreed on
- Labour MP Kris Faafoi refuses to say 'Labour-led Government'
"As Labour leader, by job's always to elevate the Labour vote. For now, I'm making this coalition work," Jacinda Ardern told Newshub Nation.
"The fact that we've made this coalition work so well, I think demonstrates my ability to lead a coalition government."
It's been a tumultuous month for the Government, with Clare Curran resigning her portfolios over undisclosed meetings with tech entrepreneur Derek Handley and Meka Whaitiri being stripped of hers following allegations of an altercation with a staffer.
The Prime Minister has also faced questions over whether NZ First leader Winston Peters holds a disproportionate amount of power in the coalition, and whether he was behind a recent decision to stop referring to the Government as "Labour-led".
"Everybody knows we cannot pass legislation without the support of all three parties," said Ms Ardern. "And of course, that means that we work by consensus. For me, what we call it on a website is neither here nor there. It's the way we work that matters."
Asked if she thought sexism played a role in people questioning the strength of her leadership, Ms Ardern was emphatic.
"Regardless of what's driving this sentiment, I dismiss it."
The Prime Minister also refuted claims that she was caught off-guard by Mr Peters' comments in early September suggesting the Government was not planning to raise the refugee quota to 1500.
"No, I actually refute that I was blindsided by that.
"The question was asked of the Deputy Prime Minister around Government policy. And the point he made was that it hadn't gone through Cabinet. He was absolutely right - it hadn't gone through Cabinet. It now has, and we have an agreement to bring 1500 refugees into New Zealand."
Ms Ardern has repeatedly called the current coalition the "purest MMP" Government in New Zealand history, but emphasised that her focus moving into the election would be strengthening Labour's position in Parliament.
"After election day, we'll see what the voters give us."