Act leader Rodney Hide has said National should ditch its plans to abolish the Maori seats so it could form the next government.
Under the provisional election results, Labour is most likely to form a ruling coalition, but any change as a result of the special votes yet to be counted could let Don Brash in.
At present Dr Brash would need the support of Act, United Future, NZ First and the Maori Party to form a government.
However, National's stated intention to abolish the seven Maori seats in Parliament could stand in the way of that.
United Future and NZ First have said they will first talk to Labour, which won the most votes, but Mr Hide said a Labour-led government was not a foregone conclusion.
He said National should immediately try to cut a deal with the Maori Party.
Mr Hide said National should accept it does not have the electoral mandate to scrap the Maori seats and should shelve its plans. It should also change its position on the foreshore and seabed.
It should offer to scrap the Foreshore and Seabed Act and then leave decisions in that area to the courts on a case by case basis.
In principle, that would gel with National's policy of "one law for all", he said.
The Act leader said establishing a National-led centre-right government was more important than holding onto its Maori-related policies.
Former Act Party leader Richard Prebble has said National is dreaming if it thinks it can form a government. He has called on Dr Brash to resign now before he is pushed.
"Don Brash is dreaming that he can form a coalition when he has eaten his allies," Mr Prebble said in Act's weekly newsletter.
"On the present results a National led government would have to rely on the Maori Party. Not credible."
- NZPA, HERALD ONLINE STAFF