NZ election as it happened: The day after the election

Follow along with Newshub's live updates from the day after the tightest election in decades.

It's been a busy morning after for New Zealand's politicians, with the make-up of the next Government still in the balance.

This live updates article has now concluded.

9:46pm: Winston Peters may be keeping his lips sealed when it comes to his coalition choice, but his supporters are certainly making their preferences clear.

There are more than 700 comments on his most recent Facebook post and the majority are calling for him to side with Labour, rather than National.

Several said they were "vot[ing] for change" when they chose his party.

7:49pm: From a new dad to New Zealand's youngest MP in decades, there's a whole variety of new faces coming into Parliament.

Take a look at some of them.

7:15pm: Former Prime Minister Sir John Key says if he has to put money on the table, he's backing a National-NZ First Government for the future.

He told Newshub he was watching the election from home and thinks National "knocked it out of the park".

6:16pm: Bill English is ready to kick off coalition talks with Winston Peters and has already had his staff reach out to his.

"My staff are in contact with Mr Peter's staff to arrange for an individual phone call which we expect will happen in the next few days, and negotiations will begin from that point," he said.

Mr Peters has already expressed that he wishes to take a few days to think it all over, and Mr English says he's ready to work with NZ First "essentially at the pace that they're ready to go."

4:47pm: Labour has clarified comments Phil Twyford made on The Nation this morning.

He claimed the Māori seat discussion was "on the table" in negotiations with Winston Peters.

A Labour spokesperson has since said that's not the case, and Jacinda Ardern has reiterated they're firm on wanting to keep the seats.

3:38pm: Last night, Newshub took the unprecedented move of sending an entertainment reporter to the NZ First headquarters.

Sarah Templeton says she thought it would be pretty straightforward - then Winston Peters himself made a beeline for her.

3:26pm: The final Newshub-Reid Research poll, released on Thursday, was the closest poll to the final election.

This is after some number crunching by a former Colmar Brunton pollster, which was the next closest along with the Herald Election forecast.

Check out the full comparison below.

NZ election as it happened: The day after the election
Photo credit: Newshub.

3:13pm: Are coalition talks about to get underway? Winston Peters asked for several days to think it over, but National is already on the move.

Bill English's chief-of-staff has rung Mr Peters' chief-of-staff to arrange a phone call, Newshub's Patrick Gower says.

2:52pm: Winston Peters has campaigned on a series of "bottom lines", which any party would have to agree to in order to form a coalition.

It's not yet clear how many he's prepared to negotiate on as he heads into coalition talks.

There's one in particular Labour is refusing to budge on - Māori seats, which Mr Peters wants to hold a referendum on over whether to abolish them.

Labour won all seven seats this election in a landslide victory and Jacinda Ardern hasn't ruled out walking away from Mr Peters if he sticks to his guns.

"We've already shared our view on that, that's an issue for Māori voters and as we've said, we think the Māori seats serve an important role in New Zealand," Ms Ardern said outside her post-election barbecue.

2:41pm: Jacinda Ardern has held an incredibly low-key post-election barbecue outside her Pt Chevalier house.

Attending were a number of fellow party members including deputy Kelvin Davis and finance spokesperson Grant Robertson.

And for a while, the gates were opened and media were allowed a glimpse inside. Digital campaigner Andrew Burns shared a photo of what things looked like from the other side of the freshly-painted fence.

2:37pm: To recap, 61 seats are needed to form a Government. It all comes down to who can convince Winston Peters they're the best party for him to work with.

2:31pm: Outgoing NZ First MP Richard Prosser says Winston Peters will be likely to side with the left, if the three parties can make it work.

He had been third on the party list before being bumped down to 15th, and won't be making it back into Parliament.

He told Newshub Mr Peters left space for Labour and the Greens while campaigning.

"This country has indicated there is a mood for change, and propping up a fourth-term Government - or even a third-term Government - generally hasn't worked out well for smaller parties."

2:10pm: Jacinda Ardern says there are "conversations to be had" after the tight election results last night, but there's no rush.

"Mr Peters in particular wants to take a bit of time, that's something I completely understand," she told media outside a post-election BBQ.

With several hundred thousand special votes yet to be counted, Ms Ardern says the impact it has will be "incredibly interesting", but she's not ready to predict what results it could have.

"But I'm hopeful we'll see a bit of a lift out of them."

She reiterated Green Party leader James Shaw's comments from last night, saying: "A majority of people have voted against the status quo."

Jacinda Ardern and Clarke Gayford.
Jacinda Ardern and Clarke Gayford. Photo credit: Newshub.

1:15pm: Jacinda Ardern is having a chilled-out BBQ at her place in the Auckland suburb of Pt Chevalier. She might not have put Labour over National in the party vote, but she stomped home in the Mt Albert electorate seat, defeating Melissa Lee by almost 12,000 votes.

She'll be talking to media very shortly.

Jacinda Ardern
Jacinda Ardern and Grant Robertson. Photo credit: Newshub.

1:10pm: She might not have 'won' the election, but Hamilton is still proud of Jacinda Ardern.

1pm: The AM Show host Duncan Garner says the next three years are likely to cement Winston Peters' legacy.

"Ninety-three percent of voters last night did not pick Winston Peters, but the 7 percent who did gave him enormous power," he writes.

"That small group of voters has given Peters the cards to either choose coalition chaos and confusion, or coalition coherence and calm."

12:50pm: Despite the Greens only scraping back into Parliament with 5.8 percent (before the specials are counted), Greenpeace says New Zealanders have asked for "strong action" on the environment.

12:35pm: After 12 years representing Māori in Parliament, Te Ururoa Flavell has found himself unable to speak in the wake of his defeat in the Māori electorate of Waiariki, which he's held since 2005.

Talking to The Nation's Patrick Gower with co-leader Marama Fox, Mr Flavell was overcome with emotion and removed himself from the interview. 

12:25pm: Outgoing NZ First MP Richard Prosser has told the New Zealand Herald that Winston Peters "will go left if he possibly can".

Mr Prosser said he believes Mr Peters will form a Government with Labour and the Greens rather than National.

He said Mr Peters' recent behaviour has been "bizarre" and that he does not consult with the party before making decisions.

"The nation has obviously indicated a mood for change, and if he can capitalise on that as well there is a lot of utu to go on with him and the Nats," said Mr Prosser. 

12:15pm: ACT leader David Seymour received more votes in Epsom than his party's total votes throughout New Zealand.

Seymour won the Epsom electorate with 13,325 votes, beating National's Paul Goldsmith on 8,549.

ACT received 10,959 votes, or 0.5 percent of the party vote.

11:35am: The Opportunities Party media man Sean Plunket says it's "not the end" of the Gareth Morgan-backed party, which scored 2.2 percent on the preliminary vote count.

"This not the end, it is not the beginning of the end, it is just the end of the beginning," he tweeted. "Awesome night talking to young people about TOP."

With the yet-to-be-counted special votes likely to favour the left, TOP could get a few tenths of a percent more but it would take a miracle for the party to reach the 5 percent threshold.

11:20am: David Seymour doesn't expect NZ First to let him join a coalition between them and National. 

"If I was New Zealand, they'd probably actually want us to be in Government because it'll be one fewer people attacking them. But nevertheless, I expect they'll exclude us," he told The Nation's Lisa Owen.

He says every time NZ First holds the balance of power, it ends in "absolute disaster".

"Last time he stepped down as a minister while being investigated by the Serious Fraud Office... but that's what we're faced with as a country now."

If you need a break from all the argy-bargy, check out Jeremy Corbett and Paul Ego's take on the result with Politics in 60 Seconds.

11:10am: There has been a fiery exchange between reporters and NZ First leader Winston Peters, with the veteran MP accusing them of "sucking up" to the main parties.

"You ran a first past the post campaign in an MMP environment, and things suffer for that, and I'm just grateful we survived. I always knew this was going to be one crap campaign the way things were shaping up."

Meanwhile, Metiria Turei says she'll never quit politics, even if her Parliamentary career is over for now.

She told The Hui she didn't regret admitting to benefit fraud in the 1990s, a revelation that effectively ended her political career. 

"I have always stood up for the people who needed me the most and those are the people who have the least voice in Parliament."

11:05am: Te Ururoa Flavell has clarified prior comments that he will indeed be standing down, calling time on his political career.

He told The Nation however he'd like co-leader Marama Fox to stick around.

11am: Another Māori looks to be calling time on his career in Parliamentary politics.

Hone Harawira, who split from the Māori Party to form Mana, failed to regain the seat he lost to Kelvin Davis in 2014.

"It's unlikely that I'll run again," he told The Hui on Sunday. "I need to talk with Mana, I need to talk with the Māori Party. 

"We need to consider how we get that Māori voice back into the house. It's not there at the moment and I don't see anybody being strong enough to be that voice from those who have been chosen so far."

Mana got 0.1 percent of the vote - far below its 2014 result of 1.4 percent, as part of Internet Mana (Mana did better than its old partner however - winning 2775 votes to the Internet Party's 464).

10:45am: The chances of both NZ First and ACT's sole MP David Seymour propping up the National Government's fourth term are as remote as ever.

"The ACT party there on three-quarters of a million dollars a year, the most expensive beneficiary in the whole country... The other day he said he'd take one for the team. Take one for the team - he's only one. What team would that be? Why don't you guys stop writing crap and start writing reality."

Mr Seymour called a NZ First MP a "f**king idiot" in August.

10:40am: Winston Peters is sad to see the back of Te Ururoa Flavell, who's signalled his retirement from politics after losing his seat.

But the NZ First leader has a theory on why he "went down".

"Te Ururoa Flavell is a marvellous New Zealander. He's the classic kind of person you need ion this country a million-fold. But I think some of his political ideas were mistaken… it's trash for Māori. It won't help Māori, and that's why he went down."

Winston Peters.
Winston Peters. Photo credit: The Nation

10:30am: James Shaw says "a lot of things would have to change" if the Greens were to form a coalition with National.

He hasn't spoken to Bill English nor Labour leader Jacinda Ardern yet, but is keen to hear what Mr English has to say.

National can't form a Government without either the Greens or NZ First. But it's not looking likely it'll be the Greens.

"I have spent the last 18 months saying we are campaigning for a change of Government," Mr Shaw told The Nation.

"We've got three very big priorities which are completely contrary to the way National has been running the economy."

He believes the Nats can change however, saying under Bill English, they're a different party to what they were in the days of Jim Bolger and Robert Muldoon. He said Mr English has learned a lot in the past 20 years, and has New Zealand's best interests in mind.

10:25am: National MP Judith Collins has called the Māori Party's obliteration from Parliament "awful".

"No doubt they achieved more for Maori in a decade than any other party did in a century," the Papakura MP tweeted.

10:20am: Labour's Phil Twyford says he can't rule out a referendum on the Māori seats.

"I have no mandate to say that now," he told The Nation host Patrick Gower.

NZ First has said a referendum is a bottom line, and Labour needs NZ First if it's going to form the next Government.

"I can't say that now and I won't... all of those issues are going to be on the table."

Labour's policy is to keep the seats. It won all seven on Saturday.

Mr Twyford's comments come after Labour deputy leader Kelvin Davis said Labour would fight "every step of the way" to stop a referendum on the Māori seats.

10:10am: National's finance spokesperson and Green leader James Shaw have just been on RadioLIVE - together. Sign of things to come?

Steven Joyce, RadioLIVE's Ryan Bridge and James Shaw.
Steven Joyce, RadioLIVE's Ryan Bridge and James Shaw. Photo credit: Newshub.

10am: Labour deputy Kelvin Davis has called the party's sweep of the Māori seats a "historic occasion", and now the party has to "do the business".

9:55am: Incumbent and Māori Party co-leader Te Ururoa Flavell has announced he is probably leaving politics.

"They don't want this independent voice, clearly. So they've got to put up with whoever they get," he told RNZ, adding that he'd probably step down as leader.

"I won't be going back to Parliament. I definitely won't be going back there. I'll be hoping to help out with the party in some form. What that is, I don't know."

It comes after Labour's sweep of the Māori seats bunted the Māori Party out of Parliament.

The Māori Party won only 1.1 percent of the party vote, so it needed an electorate seat win to enter Parliament.

Former TV weather presenter and Labour candidate Tamati Coffey is 1321 votes ahead of Mr Flavell in Waiariki, with 100 percent of the electorate's preliminary votes in.

Mr Flavell was the only Māori Party candidate to win an electorate three years ago.

9:30am: With the make-up of the next Government likely hinging on Winston Peters, it's been a busier post-election Sunday morning than usual.

Here's what's happened so far.

Newshub.

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