Former New Zealand First MP Neil Kirton is picking Winston Peters will go into a full coalition with Labour.
Speaking on Newstalk ZB with Mike Hosking this morning, Kirton predicted NZ First MPs Shane Jones and Ron Mark would join Peters in getting Cabinet posts.
Kirton was a NZ First MP in 1996 when the party went into coalition with National. He was appointed Associate Minister of Health, but was fired after falling out with then Health Minister Bill English. Kirton quit NZ First in July 1998 and did not seek re-election in 1999.
Today, Kirton said you could be cynical about the process of the NZ First board making a decision and ultimately the decision coming down to Peters, "but to be fair he is doing exactly what is expected of him in an MMP environment".
"There are 189,000 who people voted for NZ First and he is representing them to the fullest. Their vote actually counts," Kirton said.
The former MP said Peters had backed himself into a corner on the dates and timing of announcing a decision on what governing arrangement the party will go with.
"But when the announcement is made that will pale into insignificance. I see it as a full coalition and I see the result going Labour's way on Sunday," Kirton said.
Peters is promising New Zealand will know who its government is before the end of next week.
After being in near-constant meetings since Sunday, the New Zealand First team now has a little breathing space to consider the offers, starting with an all-day caucus meeting tomorrow.
Peters stressed he was open to anything - from a coalition to the cross benches under which NZ First would not take any ministerial posts. He said the talks on policies were complete.
"I'm very very pleased that we've actually got it finished. We've got a seriously comprehensive dossier from both sides."