Winston Peters says there are several members of his party's board that would struggle to make a meeting to decide the next Government if it was held tomorrow - with some having funerals to attend.
"We are doing the best we can in the way we can best organise it ... this country is the same size as Japan. The same size as the UK. We are not a little island nation. It takes people time to organise things, particularly since we are coming up to Friday, Saturday and Sunday," Peters told media this afternoon.
Peters and his team will wrap up final negotiations with Labour and National today, and then have two proposals to take to a meeting of the party's board and MPs.
He had indicated that meeting would be held tomorrow, but today said that would now happen over the weekend or Monday.
"I want to ensure that everybody on that board that can possibly be there, gets there.
One or two or three I think are finding it difficult. So I have got to fit around them. We have got people who have got funerals to go to. And other things they have got to do."
Peters said it wasn't an option for those board members to dial or Skype into the meeting.
"We wouldn't want to do it by Skype. You wouldn't want to have a serious discussion like this, over hours on the technology of Skype. Too much can go wrong."
Peters will hold a final meeting with both National and Labour this afternoon, and said none would be needed tomorrow.
He said he personally didn't have a view yet on who to support.
"No. I said I'd go into it with a totally open mind and I asked my caucus and the board to have the same approach.
"I can honestly tell you I wouldn't take a guess what anyone is currently thinking."
Peters said talks so far had been all about policy. Asked if the two options that will go to the board and caucus meeting will include positions of portfolios earmarked for NZ First MPs, Peters said "we haven't got to that discussion yet".
"I know this sounds like one is being evasive, but that's only relevant if certain options are taken in the end, right? If those options are not taken, then your question doesn't become relevant.
"I'm not being cute but we went in there with nine permutations of what we could do, and there are still nine on the table."
Possible options open to the party include a full coalition inside Cabinet, a support agreement offering confidence and supply in return for some ministerial posts outside Cabinet, to sitting on the cross benches offering support on case-by-case basis in return for minimal policy gains.
Labour leader Jacinda Ardern returned from a meeting with New Zealand First this afternoon full of praise for the process and leadership of the negotiation talks.
She did not take questions from media, but said she had nothing bad to say about the way the negotiation talks are being conducted.
"This has been a robust process. It's been an important process. It's a given that this process should take some time. We need to make sure we are making a considered decision about the future of New Zealand.
"I have no criticism to make about the process that we have undertaken ... one we have entered into in good faith and continue to participate in good faith. I think it's been led well."
She said the session with New Zealand First included policy discussions that included areas of consensus and disagreement.
On his way into a meeting with Labour, Peters bridled at a question why the NZ First board had not been prepared in advance to meet as soon as talks wound up.
"Please don't have these stupid, mindless arguments about the board. The board needed to know at a certain time when they could possible meet.
We are working on their agendas, their timetables, where they live, the bookings and those types of things."
"We are doing this in the breathtaking time we possibly can do it."