Live updates: Prime Minister will be known by end of next week - Winston Peters

The final day of talks between Labour, National and New Zealand First concluded on Thursday evening.

Labour leader Jacinda Ardern came out of the meeting saying she's "feeling really positive" - a sentiment shared by National Finance spokesperson Steven Joyce, who gave the thumbs up as he left on Wednesday.

Thursday's negotiations concluded all policy talks, but discussions on portfolio positions are yet to take place.

Despite criticism for leaving the country waiting, NZ First leader Winston Peters says they're working at a "breathtaking" pace - and have faced delays with unexpected funeral arrangements.

It's still not known when the board's decision will be made public but Mr Peters promises the Prime Minister will be known before the end of next week.

Mr Peters says a caucus meeting will be held on Friday that will likely "go all day".

The following is an account of the final day of negotiations.

8:10pm - PM will be known by the end of next week

Winston Peters says he's committed to ensuring the public will know who the Prime Minister is by the end of next week.

"Write that on the wall," he told media after his final policy negotiations concluded on Thursday evening.

Negotiations with the National and Labour party leaders have now wrapped up.

"We're finished," Mr Peters says. "All the policy stuff is finished."

"I'm very, very pleased that we've actually got it finished. We've got a seriously comprehensive dossier for both sides and there's some fiscals to be shared to make sure that we do agree. But the substantive part of the discussion… has been done."

However, no discussions on portfolio positions have yet taken place.

"The issue of portfolios does not take long at all in these sorts of talks. It's the substance that takes time," he says.

Green Party leader James Shaw says he's already talked portfolios with Jacinda Ardern but put "policy first".

Mr Shaw has just given his 150 delegates a briefing but didn't give them any indication of what had been discussed - and no decision will be made until Mr Peters makes up his mind.

Mr Peters says a caucus meeting will be held tomorrow (Friday) that will likely "go all day".

7:30pm: Ardern "feeling really positive"

Labour leader Jacinda Ardern says she's "feeling really positive" after her final meeting with Winston Peters.

7:00pm: Negotiations a "political circus"

Newshub political editor Patrick Gower says the negotiation process is turning into a "political circus".

"The truth is there is no way of knowing or being sure if the negotiations will end tomorrow or next week.

"The story from New Zealand First leader Winston Peters is constantly changing.

"There is a power vacuum - it should not be too hard to give Kiwis basic details of the process to fill it."

6:30pm - Peters denies delay is a long wait

Winston Peters says it's not unreasonable to take 10 days to complete the negotiation process.

Ten days from October 7, when the Electoral Commission finalised the vote count, will be next Tuesday.

4.29pm - Disorganisation to blame for delay?

Newshub political reporter Lloyd Burr asks whether disorganisation or a lack of communication could be behind the delay in the NZ First board meeting.

Burr writes, "How could New Zealand First not have arranged this before today?

It is not credible to suggest such a vital decision could be three days away due to poor planning by the party."

3.07pm - Funerals reason for delay

Winston Peters has told media funerals are part of the reason for the delayed board meeting. 

He claims there are still nine possible permutations for a new Government.

2.25pm - The writ has been returned

The Electoral Commission has returned the writ for the 2017 General Election.

There were no applications made for a recount, meaning that the election results have now been finalised.

The first meeting of the new Parliament must take place within six weeks of the return of the writ.

A full list of the successful candidates can be read here

2.10pm - NZ First board president says membership is 'strictly confidential'

NZ First board president Brent Catchpole said the board are ready to meet at "a moment's notice" to discuss coalition agreements but there are logistics to organise.

"Obviously it would require everybody getting together and that's a bit of a logistics issue because they're from all over the country," he told Newshub's Lloyd Burr.  

It could be as late as Monday before the board is able to meet. "That's a possibility, some are going to have to take a day off work and notify their bosses so as soon as we get the word that'll be put into motion," Mr Catchpole said.

He said the board's membership is "strictly confidential" and some members are not comfortable with having their names made public.  

"They are not politicians and they are not public figures as you've got to accept."

1.12pm - 'We're doing this in breathtaking time'

Mr Peters is facing criticism for failing to organise the NZ First board meeting required to decided on the next Government.

Mr Peters has reaffirmed his self-imposed deadline of October 12 regularly when questioned by reporters, but said today the board may not be able to meet until possibly Monday.

Mr Peters was asked what has changed since he said earlier this week the board are on standby to fly in.

"Please don't have these stupid mindless arguments about the board," Mr Peters told Newshub's Jenna Lynch.

"The board needed to know at a certain time when they could possibly meet, and we're working on their agendas, their timetables, where they live, the bookings and those sorts of things.

"With the greatest respect it is a silly question, and I wish you'd desist from it, because frankly, you're not helping the process at all.

"We're doing this in the breathtaking time that we possibly can do it. That's all I can possibly say."

12.30pm - NZ First requests privacy for board members who decide next Govt

NZ First has released a statement asking for privacy for the board members who will make the decision on the next Government.

"They are not politicians but New Zealanders who believe in the party and wish to make a contribution to the decision-making process," Mr Peters says.

"By putting their name forward to serve on the board they do not expect to have their privacy invaded and to become public figures. This privacy extends to all party members.

"New Zealand First values transparency but we also value an individual’s privacy especially when they volunteer their services."

12.15pm - Decision delayed, again

NZ First Winston Peters says it's unlikely the NZ First board can meet tomorrow due to availability. 

They won't be able to meet until the weekend.

"It depends on the logistical availability of the board, which could be Saturday, Sunday or Monday," he told reporters.

"I'll know that before too long."

He has not said when the public will be told of a decision.

12.10pm - The waiting

Needless to say, media have been doing a lot of waiting between meetings.

10.30am - The people who will decide the next Government

NZ First's board, as of July 18, has been revealed.

The board will decide whether NZ First should take up the agreement nutted out with Labour or National.

RNZ obtained the list of the board, which is made up of NZ First leader Winston Peters, deputy leader Ron Mark, director general Kristin Campbell Smith, president Brent Catchpole, North Island vice president Julian Paul, South Island 
vice president John Thorn, treasurer Holly Hopkinson and directors Claire Ashley, Toa Greening, Robert Monds, Anne Marie Andrews, Kevin Gardener and Sue Sara.

10.15am - NZ First calls for commemoration of Passchendaele

NZ First leader Winston Peters wants a report into how to best commemorate the World War I battle of Passchendaele, which happened exactly 100 years ago.

Mr Peters says future generations of New Zealanders should "be aware of what happened at Passchendaele."

Within a couple of hours, 843 New Zealanders were killed and 1900 injured.

Newshub journalist and history buff Tony Wright has put together a thorough analysis of the battle, which you can read here.

9.25am - Shane Jones won't say who is on the board

When questioned by Newshub, NZ First MP Shane Jones refused to say who is on NZ First's board.

"That's a question for the rangatira," he said.

9.15am - 'I can't even have a schnitzel in peace!'

Labour leader Jacinda Ardern faced waiting media on her arrival to work this morning.

When asked how the Wellington steakhouse Green Parrot was last night, Ms Ardern grinned, "I can't even have a schnitzel in peace!"

9am - NZ First arrives for meetings

NZ First MPs had very little to say this morning.

Shane Jones said he believed today's talks would be "a continuation of policy".

When asked what she thinks the board will decide, Tracy Martin said she "hasn't got the faintest idea. I haven't spoken to the board for a wee while."

Ron Mark said the content of the talks is confidential.

Last but certainly not least, Mr Peters said policy would be discussed today and asked a Fairfax journalist when he's going to pick up his act.