Winston Peters says he and the NZ First team are exhausted by the process of hammering out a coalition, as the clock ticks down to an announcement on who will form the next government.
NZ First released a statement last night saying the party would be in a position to make "an announcement on the result of negotiations" this afternoon.
In an interview with Newstalk ZB's political editor Barry Soper, Peters said coalition negotiations had been "exhausting for all the team".
"Unlike most political meetings on these occasions you've got to pay attention from the start to the finish, you can't afford to miss anything. It's been one of those very, very highly concentrated environments. But that's what you'd expect in any business."
In the interview, which aired this morning on Mike Hosking's Breakfast Show, Peters admitted he expected harsh criticism whichever way the decision went.
"I'd be utterly surprised if it didn't happen," he said. "But that doesn't avoid the fact that we have to make a decision and that's what we're here for. We're not making a decision by ourselves, we are not holding the country to ransom."
Asked whether he was happy with the deals that had been reached, he said the NZ First decision-making team had to make up its mind and he saw no reason why that would not happen.
"I know that others will be saying but you promised this and you promised that but the fact is, extenuating circumstances and clarity and certainty are far more important than coming to an agreement in haste and regretting it in the future."
Peters said the team had all the facts it could possibly need to make a decision.
Caucus would meet today to hash out all the information and would also talk to the board of NZ First before coming to a final decision.
Peters expected he would personally make the announcement this afternoon, although he could not give an exact time.
He said it had not been considered whether National leader Bill English and Labour leader Jacinda Ardern would be personally advised of NZ First's decision prior to it being made public.