NZ First has joined the fray of leadership elections, although the only vote in its caucus will be for deputy leader.

In a statement, NZ First said leader Winston Peters had been confirmed as the party's leader at caucus.
"His sole nomination was carried with acclaim."

A more interesting contest is in line next week when it will elect a deputy leader.

Barry Soper asks Winston Peters on his thoughts over the resignation of Bill English. / Mark Mitchell

Shane Jones, often tipped as a successor to Peters, would not comment but is unlikely to contest it.


None of the MPs would comment – but possible contenders include current deputy Ron Mark, Tracey Martin and Fletcher Tabuteau.

Martin was deputy from 2011 to 2015 when caucus elected Ron Mark instead.

The party now has a significantly different caucus and Martin could edge Mark out again if she goes for it.

Tabuteau could also be in with a chance if interested. He is an undersecretary rather than a minister like Mark and Martin so could argue he has more time to dedicate to the role.

NZ First is struggling in the polls in the wake of the election as Labour soaks up all the support and the leadership team will be charged with trying to turn that around.

Its election for deputy joins the National Party's election next Tuesday for a new leader, and the Green Party's process to elect a new woman co-leader.

In its statement, NZ First observed that: "During a time of upheaval today's confirmation reinforces the stability that New Zealand First brings to the New Zealand political system."