Despite uncertainty over which way New Zealand First will jump, business leaders say the election result was good for Hawke's Bay,

New Zealand First leader Winston Peters could form a government with either National or both the Green Party and Labour.

Business Hawke's Bay chairman Stuart McLauchlan said strong support for National in the election was a positive result and he expected National and New Zealand First to strike a deal.

"I see that as a positive outcome for business, as much as it can be under MMP, where you always have to expect something to be thrown into the mix," he said.

Advertisement

"The economy is generally strong and we want to keep it going that way. There is obviously a little bit of uncertainty at the moment, until things become clearer and parties talk with each other, but the most likely outcome is a National-New Zealand First deal, which I think business would support."

Before the election Mr Peters issued several "bottom line" non-negotiable policies should the party find itself in the current situation including: no to Labour's proposed water tax except for overseas-based water bottling companies, fewer immigrants and new immigrants to be based outside Auckland, buying back state assets and creating a register of land sales to non-New Zealanders.

Hawke's Bay Chamber of Commerce CEO Wayne Walford said in reality New Zealand First policies would be "wherever the populist thinking is" and strong support for National meant current growth in Hawke's Bay would likely continue.

He said the current business environment was creating jobs, with the chamber receiving calls from cashed-up Aucklanders wishing to set up businesses in Hawke's Bay.

"If we have an environment that continues to enable job-makers that [support] job-seekers, I think it will be really good for the region," he said.

Existing Hawke's Bay businesses were also creating new jobs.

"People are feeling more confident and actually employing more people. If we can continue that then we can support the Regional Economic Development Strategy."

The Strategy was launched last year and a result of councils, iwi, businesses and government agencies working to develop a plan to help raise the region's employment opportunities and incomes.

Havelock North resident and Xero CEO Rod Drury said the election result was a "massive endorsement" for National leader Bill English. The contest against Labour leader Jacinda Ardern "brought out the best in Bill".

"It was a good contest and people got to know him," he said.

"I know him pretty well and I just love we are seeing him flourish.

"He is using the strength of the economy to really think about solving the big problems in New Zealand."

Mr Drury said there was no point in Labour pushing hard to form a government "because it would be a real mess with three parties".

Instead the three years until the next election would give Ms Ardern a chance to build her team and Labour policies.

"From Jacinda's point of view it is a fantastic result - she has got the party back where she needs to, got a whole lot of new MPs and has three years to really get her head around being our next Prime Minister. That's quite exciting because it gives us lots of options.

"She could create a really strong opposition, which in turn I think creates a strong government."

Mr Peters would likely be "painful for a couple of weeks" before "doing the right thing" by forming a government with National.

Mr Drury said Mr Peters had no mandate to demand major policy shifts.

Lawrence Yule as Tukituki MP would be "a good hard-working MP" with strong existing relationships in Parliament.

"It is an exciting time for the Bay and I expect he will represent us well."

Ngati Kahungunu Iwi Incorporated chairman Ngahiwi Tomoana said Hawke's Bay would have strong and effective voices in Parliament thanks to Mr Yule, Napier MP Stuart Nash and Ikaroa-Rawhiti MP Meka Whaitiri.