NZ First leader Winston Peters has emerged from a caucus meeting this morning, saying the party board and caucus will meet on Monday to discuss the makeup of the next Government.
"Members of the board will be, because of the timeframe that takes a lot of work still to go, will be flying in on Sunday and early Monday morning for a joint caucus and board meeting all day Monday."
Peters, wearing a TGIF tie, said an announcement will be made as soon as the board and the caucus made a decision. He hoped that the announcement would be before the end of next week, though it would depend on the discussions.
"We know time's of the essence."
He said all options were still on the table.
"We've worked overnight and early in the morning with the object of getting as much completed in terms of summations both for the caucus' and the board's point of view," Peters said.
"That includes doing the fiscals as far as we can go and making sure that we will have a very clear idea of what we need to inquire of the other parties to make sure there is no doubt as to the sum of our discussions."
Asked if he expected the Monday meeting to take long, Peters said: "Well they're booked in for the night if we have to. If we've done enough work, the consideration that happens on Monday should take far less than the time we're doing [with the work] we're involved with now."
He said he did not know at the moment if he would be making the announcement, or if it would be a joint announcement. Asked if the announcement could be far sooner than the end of next week, Peters said: "Yes. That's what we're working on."
New NZ First MP Mark Patterson said earlier this morning caucus would today be looking over the two proposals received - one from Labour, and one from National.
"The talks have been conducted with the highest integrity. At my level we haven't had any visibility of what is happening. So we will be looking forward to what is happening now, today."
Peters yesterday stressed he was still 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."
However, he did not yet have a view on whether to back National or Labour.
"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 thinking."
The offerings from Labour and National did not yet include specific portfolios for NZ First members.
Peters said the issue of any portfolios would likely be discussed at today's caucus meeting.