Former PM Jenny Shipley turns up to NZ First election night event

Former Prime Minister Jenny Shipley has gate-crashed New Zealand First's election night event.

However, she said she was simply at The Duke of Marlborough in Russell for dinner.

When asked whether she knew New Zealand First leader Winston Peters would be at the restaurant, she said she was aware there was an election going on.

"Winston's a local and so am I, we both love Northland. I'm sure it's going to be a good evening for the National Party."

Mr Peters is reportedly unhappy with Ms Shipley's presence at his party's event.

The two have had a fractured past since Ms Shipley sacked Mr Peters from cabinet in 1998 when she was Prime Minister.

Ms Shipley became the leader of the National Party in 1997, when she replaced then-Prime Minister Jim Bolger.

She became the first female Prime Minister and Bill English was elevated to National Party leader, after Ms Shipley stepped down in 2001.