Having secured the leadership of the Act Party Don Brash now seems to be setting his sights on a senior role in the next government.
Brash, who will officially take over the leadership of Act once his position is ratified this weekend, told TV ONE's Breakfast he sees no reason why he could not take an important role in a National-led government.
"In 1996 Winston Peters negotiated with Jim Bolger and got the deputy leader role and treasurer," he said.
But when asked whether he wanted a treasurer role, he shied away from a giving a definitive answer.
"There are precedents for sharing the finance portfolio and what I'm saying is John Key and I had a good relationship when we were in caucus together."
Brash and Key entered parliament at the same time following the 2002 election, and Key was Brash's finance spokesman when he was leader of the opposition.
But the Prime Minister has said it is "highly unlikely" Brash would be offered the post of Deputy Prime Minister or Finance Minister, if Act is back in the house after the election.
He said if Act is returned by the public the party must decide how it wants to engage with National.
"It's the government's view that we run a centre right moderate government that is very focused on balancing the books, growing the economy and on ensuring that we take New Zealanders with us," Key said
"It's up to them to decide ultimately what level of influence they want and it's up to the public to decide if they want them back."
Brash is not put off by the Prime Minister's position and said public support for Act may sway his views.
"We will have to wait till after the election to see what relative power we have. When I was in caucus with John Key we had a very good relationship," he said.
The pair spoke on the phone last night as Key made his way from Paris to London for the Royal Wedding.
"We had a cordial conversation," Brash said, saying Key congratulated him for taking over the leadership of Act.
The pressing issue for the two former colleagues to sort out is the immediate future of former Act leader, Rodney Hide.
Key said the Minister for Local Government and Regulatory Reform, and Act's only elected MP, had his confidence and will retain his portfolios.
Brash meanwhile is not so sure, and the two will discuss the issue at a hastily arranged meeting early next week.
Yesterday he said that he had his eye on banks for Hide's seat in Epsom, a seat he has held since 2005.
"Rodney assures me he could have won Epsom and he may well be right, but I want ideally someone standing in Epsom who can not only win it but can be seen to win it months in advance. I think John Banks could do that.
"What is crucially important for Act going forward is that people know that Act has Epsom in the bag."
Brash cannot take over Hide's cabinet roles as he is not a Member of Parliament.
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