Labour leader Phil Goff says his party would provide stable government if in a position to lead after the election.
National leader John Key says Labour would have to form relationships with the Green, Mana and New Zealand First parties - all of whom he says are volatile.
In an extended debate on Radio New Zealand's Morning Report programme on Monday, Mr Goff said in any negotiations, Labour would look first to work with the Green Party and then with whatever other parties were in Parliament.[image:3830:third:right]
However, he has ruled out working with ACT and Mana.
Mr Goff says it is rich for John Key to describe the parties Labour might work with as volatile.
"We've just had a government with National. The ACT Party with all its changing iterations - I don't know what the ACT Party is today and the Maori Party that used to include Hone Harawira. Now, that apparently wasn't a problem for John Key at the time."
During campaigning in Auckland on Monday, Mr Goff said he will talk in good faith with any parties that are ready to work to provide stable government after the election.
However, he will not say if he trusts New Zealand First leader Winston Peters, saying he is not interested in talk about personalities.
"You've got to have confidence that people will abide by the conditions of any agreement that is reached. And we'll sit down - we won't pre-empt that process - we'll sit down with people and work out whether we have enough in common to work with them in a governmental arrangement."
Labour enters the final week of the campaign sitting below 30% in main political opinion polls - well behind the National Party - but Mr Goff believes Labour can still win the election on Saturday.
He says 80% of people are against asset sales - and those are the voters Labour will be appealing to.
Minor parties' debate
On Thursday, the leaders of ACT, the Greens, Mana, the Maori Party, New Zealand First and United Future will take part in a debate on Morning Report.