Prime Minister John Key is moving quickly to put together his government, and will start negotiations with potential support parties tomorrow.
National walked away from last night's election with 60 seats, narrowly missing out on a majority that would have enabled the party to govern alone, and was quickly on the phone to Act, United Future and the Maori Party to discuss support arrangements.
A number of senior ministers met Mr Key at his Parnell home in Auckland this afternoon to discuss the government arrangements, and the prime minister planned to meet each party separately in Wellington from 1pm tomorrow.
"My expectations around those discussions are that they're likely to be on a similar basis to what we had in the 2008 to 2011 period," Mr Key told reporters this afternoon.
"They're likely to be confidence and supply agreements, there may well be ministerial responsibility outside cabinet."
He would also talk to the Greens, who received a party best 10.6 per cent, in the coming days. However, he said he expected any agreement with the party would be around policies rather than a formal confidence and supply arrangement.
New Zealand First, which swept back into Parliament with 6.8 per cent, giving them eight seats, was also not expected to get a formal agreement with the government.
Mr Key ruled out forming a government with party leader Winston Peters earlier this year, and maintained that position today.
Mr Key said he wanted to move as fast as possible to form the government, and would also be looking at his cabinet in the next week.
"Part of the reason we got the result that we did last night was that New Zealanders really clearly understood that political instability can have a real impact on economic recovery," he said.
"Our first priority is to sign off the agreements with other parties so we can get the government absolutely nailed down."
Goff says he's not quitting - yet
Labour leader Phil Goff will not quit Parliament this term, but is staying silent on his future as Labour's leader.
However he said his decision would be in line with his previous comments that he would leave the leadership on his own terms.
Asked if he would serve a full term as MP for Mt Roskill, regardless of what happened with the leadership, he said "absolutely."
"I have no plans to retire from Parliament. I was elected with a very strong majority to serve the people of Mt Roskill. I've served them for nearly three decades and I'm going to keep on serving them," Goff said from his Clevedon residence today.
Mr Goff said he took responsibility for Labour's result in the election. However, he did not resile from the policies Labour put up, saying "brave" policies were critical for the future of New Zealand.