What if Winston Peters doesn't go with Labour or National?

New Zealand First leader Winston Peters is once again in the position of 'kingmaker' or 'queenmaker' after the general election on Saturday. 

Both National and Labour would need NZ First's support to have the numbers to form a government. 

But what happens if New Zealand First do not want to support Labour or National in a coalition government? 

It's unlikely to happen, but Otago University law expert Professor Andrew Geddis said NZ First could abstain from voting on supply and confidence matters. This would reduce the numbers needed for a governing majority to 56 MPs. Even with special votes included Prof Geddis said only National, perhaps with ACT's support, could reach this majority. 

"So in effect a decision by NZ First to abstain is a decision to let National govern - just without the benefits of being in government itself," he said. 

There's another scenario but there's next to no chance of it happening, Prof Geddis said. 

If NZ First actively cast its votes against both National and Labour, no party could reach a governing majority and New Zealand would need to have a new election. "This will never happen - it would be the political death of NZ First as voters would hammer them for forcing us to go through another round of voting," Prof Geddis said. 

Mr Peters told Newsroom before the election that he'd announce his decision on October 12th should he be kingmaker. That's the same day that the writ is returned to the Governor General. While there's been a convention that the largest party forms a government, Mr Peters said he won't necessarily begin negotiations with the party that got the most votes. 

He won't be rushed into making a decision either. The day before the election he said: "You can't be too fast because the reality is the writs don't get in until a certain date… It's very seriously overemphasised this importance of speed. You're better to get it right than do it in haste like any good sound job."