NZ First Leader Winston Peters has hit out at National's economic management, Labour's infighting and Colin Craig's Conservatives in his election night address to supporters.

Arriving at NZ First's election night function with his party netting 9 per cent of the vote, a result that will bring in new MPs Fletcher Tabuteau, Clayton Mitchell, Darroch Ball, Ron Mark and probably Mahesh Bindra, Mr Peters thanked his supporters for running a strong campaign despite limited resources.

"You can't give someone a microlight and expect them to go to the moon."

He said the early election had been called by National before it became more apparent to New Zealanders that there were not living in a rock-star economy, "that we suffer from a two-tier economy" with the cities doing well but the regions suffering.

Despite the result, the great majority of New Zealanders will see "that we cannot go on as we were".

"There are some people who will not get what they wanted out of this election, because they did not make the right effort at the right time."

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Unfortunately the "real issues were sidelined by dirty politics and allegations of illegal spying".

He also criticised Labour in his speech to about 100 supporters in Takapuna.

"There will be those who wanted more from this election but did not make the effort at the right time."

"I think the moral for the Labour Party is that you cannot have this internecine strife where some people put their narrow interests ahead of that of the party or the greater cause. It's a real lesson for the Labour Party."

Asked whether he believed the Conservatives had taken votes that otherwise would have gone to NZ First, Mr Peters said: "Well they did. I always said it was going to be a wasted vote for them," he told reporters later.

"They had millions of dollars to spend, they would have spent ten or 11 times what we spent. It just shows you that some of their financial backers for that party don't have much of an idea about investment returns."

Mr Peters believed his endorsement of Kelvin Davis had helped swing Te Tai Tokerau for the Labour candidate.

"I believe that Kelvin Davis is a fine man and the north needed someone who would see the big issues for the region.

"To run a narrow race-based party as Hone has done and then to sell out to Kim Dotcom was always going to be a disaster."