New Zealand First will be in a position tomorrow afternoon to make an announcement on the result of negotiations following the 2017 General Election.

Leader Winston Peters said he had spoken to the leaders of the National Party and the Labour Party today and, among other matters, advised them of that.

NZ First deputy leader Ron Mark has left and returned to the NZ First offices, telling media they will know what's happening "when the boss tells you".

Asked if that meant a decision was made, he said it did not mean anything. "It just means you'll know when the boss tells you".


He said he had nothing more to say.

Asking for patience

Earlier, NZ First leader Winston Peters said his party was moving as fast as it can to decide on the next Government - saying, "we are just asking for a bit of patience".

Party deputy leader Ron Mark emerged from the caucus meeting, saying only that the caucus talks would take "a little bit longer".

Speaking in his regular interview slot on Radio Waatea today, Peters was asked if a decision would be announced by the end of the week.

"We have gone as fast as we can... our intention always was to get this completed as fast as possible... but to make a decision in haste would be a bad idea," Peters said.

"I am confident, that all things being equal, yes, we could look forward to that being the case. But one hesitates to give a timetable [because] then you are beleaguered by all sorts of criticisms about not keeping your promise."

Peters said the substantive negotiations were over.

"There is work to be done on sorting out exactly with great clarity what it is you have agreed on.

"You don't want people after the event to say, 'well actually we didn't quite agree on that'... there is enough in politics let alone the surprises being one you could have overcome before the event even started."

Peters again said it had been necessary to wait for special votes to be counted before starting proper negotiations with National and Labour. He said the wait had been minimal compared to what happened in some other countries.

"In the case of Germany, they had elections the day after us, and they won't have decided until probably late December. Other countries take four, five, sometimes six months. Now, no one is asking for that here. We are just asking for a bit of patience."

Peters and his MPs are meeting at Parliament today. He has not yet spoken to media there.

Today's meeting follows secret one-on-one meetings with National leader Bill English and Labour leader Jacinda Ardern last night, for which Peters drove 100m to an underground Beehive carpark to avoid being seen.

Peters talked to English and Ardern about his party's preferred Government arrangement, which the Herald understands favours ministerial posts rather than sitting on the cross benches.

Both leaders respectively were on their own with Peters without staff or any of their negotiating teams - the first one-on-one meetings between them.

Winston Peters leaving after his secret one-on-one meetings with Bill English and Jacinda Ardern last night. Photo / Mark Mitchell
Winston Peters leaving after his secret one-on-one meetings with Bill English and Jacinda Ardern last night. Photo / Mark Mitchell

Last night's meetings came soon after a two day meeting of the NZ First board and caucus.

Afterwards, Peters told media the board was "98 per cent there" on the policy packages that the two parties presented to NZ First, but leader-to-leader talks were needed to resolve other issues.

He did not specify what those issues were but they are expected to include the shape a government might take, any ministerial portfolios and any concerns Peters might have about working with English and Ardern as Prime Minister.

Peters said all the various shapes a governing arrangement could take were still on the table. He said he would try and resolve the talks as fast as possible.

It was still his goal to reach a decision by the end of the week, but that would partly depend on the other parties as well.

Peters said there was "serious consensus" over the policies put to both sides. "This is a case of policies that survived and those are the ones that will be going into an agreement."

He said once those final details were hammered out, a further board meeting could be held by teleconference rather than in person.