Winston Peters has hinted he could back down on his wish to hold a referendum on the Maori seats now that the Maori Party is out of Parliament.

The New Zealand First leader said at the party's convention in July that he wanted a binding referendum on whether the Maori seats should exist.

But Labour leader Jacinda Ardern has ruled out a referendum and said it would not be on the table in coalition talks.

In an interview on Wednesday night with Australian political commentator Andrew Bolt on Sky News, Peters was asked whether he had any policies in common with Labour.


"On the question of the Maori seats, it was written up as 'Peters is opposed and is going to abolish the Maori seats'. That's not true," Peters said.

"I said 'Let's have a referendum and let the people decide', but apparently some people don't like democracy.

"Anyway, the Maori Party itself was one of the things behind us saying it. The Maori Party are a race-based, origin-of-race party. It got smashed in this election and is gone.

"So some of the elements to the environment in which a promise was made have since changed. That's all I can say."

The Bolt Report interview followed a bruising press conference on Wednesday where Peters vowed not to hold another presser before all the special votes had been counted on October 7.

Bolt - a right-wing commentator - said it was generally assumed Peters would pick the National Party, based on their vote count and because they appeared to share his "socially conservative" views.

But Peters denied that they had that in common.

"The trouble with the National Party has been that of late...they've gone down the path of Maori parallel government, a social and statutory system, they've gone a long way down it and they're opposed by a lot of people in this country, and my party's one of them.

"So when you talk about them being Conservative, no they're not. They're conservative with a small c, and nationalist with a small n, and they're globalists and they're doing things which a lot of people aren't happy with."

Pushed to give one definitive "big thing" that he would demand from his eventual coalition partner, Peters said he wanted a "promise that they've got a grasp of economic reality".

"I think that we're in a very serious international state with respect to the international economy.

"I think that the situation in China's very, very uncertain and unstable in terms of the debt, and I think it's not so flash in Australia, our biggest trading partner, and one tremor could have a serious effect on New Zealand.

"I wished that in this campaign the two biggest parties had a grasp of what I think is the inevitable correction that's going to take place and how much pain that's going to bring. That's what I really hope for."