As it happened: National to hold meeting ahead of Government announcement

NZ First says an announcement on the result of negotiations with both Labour and National can be expected tomorrow afternoon.

Winston Peters and his caucus met this morning, and he met with Labour and National afterwards.

Speculation was zooming around that a decision would be made today, after NZ First MP Fletcher Tabuteau said NZ First is "getting close to a decision".

Former, disgruntled NZ First MP Richard Prosser turned up at Parliament, telling media his money is on NZ First working with Labour. 

What you need to know

  • NZ First says an announcement can be expected tomorrow afternoon.
  • It's been 26 days since the election.
  • We are entering the 10th day of negotiations.
  • On Tuesday night Mr Peters secretly met one-on-one with both Bill English and Jacinda Ardern.
  • Mr Peters told media yesterday the board almost reached a consensus on policy but hasn't discussed the form of the next Government or which party they'd side with.
  • It's understood the policy document will be taken back to Labour and National before roles and Government formation is discussed. The board will then need to reach a consensus on the final agreement.

Refresh the page for the latest updates

7:25pm - National holding caucus meeting

National has announced there will be a caucus meeting on Thursday morning, after Winston Peters indicated a decision on the Government will be likely that evening.

The meeting will "provide MPs with an update on coalition talks", followed by a teleconference with the National Party board - however a spokesperson for Bill English denied they know which party Mr Peters will side with.

"We stress that we have had no indication of what decision New Zealand First will make. We have no further comment at this stage."

6pm - Labour working on document for NZ First

A senior Labour Party source told Newshub the party is working toward putting an agreement to take to NZ First tomorrow.

It's unclear what the National Party are doing, because it's understood Bill English and his negotiating team are currently meeting.

5:33pm - Government to be announced tomorrow

We finally know when the next Government will be announced.

New Zealand First says an announcement on the result of the negotiations can be expected tomorrow afternoon.

New Zealand First Leader Rt Hon Winston Peters said he had "spoken to the leaders of the National Party and the Labour Party today and, amongst other matters, advised them of that."

More here.

4:55pm - 'A little bit longer'

Members of the NZ First caucus have emerged from talks, saying an agreement hasn't been reached.

Deputy leader Ron Mark said talks will go on "a little bit longer." MP Fletcher Tabuteau said talks are "at a stage now where the caucus is no longer needed."

1:07pm - Peter Dunne on creating a stable agreement

Former Minister Peter Dunne knows about forming agreements with Government - he's done it once or twice.

I gave him a call to ask what he thinks makes for a stable agreement. 

He said the one thing that's totally key is a process for managing difficulties. The documents signed by both parties are not legally binding, so he said respect and a no surprises policy is absolutely vital.

As for who NZ First will side with, Mr Dunne doesn't know.

"What it comes down to is who wants it more?" he said.

"Bill English would be desperate to remain Prime Minister because this is his vindication for 2002 [when he lost the election for National].

"Jacinda Ardern, on the other hand, will be equally desperate to become Prime Minister. They are both hungry. They are both determined. The bit that worries me most is they are both probably prepared to concede so much to get an outcome."

11:25am - Greens troll internet with 'important decision'

The Greens have released a Facebook video which says the party has an "important announcement".

Sole co-leader Jame Shaw fronts the video, saying after "weeks of careful deliberation", the Greens have decided to throw its support behind... the kererū for Bird of the Year.

Good one.

11:03am - Ex-NZ First MP thinks Winnie will go left

Former (and disgruntled, so apply salt generously) MP Richard Prosser says he thinks NZ First will go with Labour.

Prosser believes this will be Peters' last term, but only if there's a succession plan in place.

As for that plan, Prosser said deputy leader Ron Mark is by far the preferred successor to Mr Peters among party membership. He said Shane Jones has a lot to do to prove himself as "the superhero parachuted in" to keep the party alive.

It's a big claim that the NZ First membership doesn't back Mr Jones - it's presumed he's Mr Peters' preferred successor.

How much does Mr Prosser know, though? Mr Prosser said he hasn't heard a murmur from the board or caucus.

NZ First won't even let Mr Prosser onto its floor. He just came by to drop off a laptop.

10:28am - Mr Peters takes issue with Fairfax editorial

Winston Peters has sent out a press release taking serious issue with a Fairfax editorial which claims he wants to reduce the 5 percent party vote threshold required for parties to enter Parliament without winning an electorate seat. 

Mr Peters called the editorial "slovenly and deceitful in the extreme."

9:30am - Message for NZ First supporters

Last night Mr Peters posted a message on Facebook implying a decision will take place soon.

"MPs are finalising details in the morning so we can complete discussions with National and then Labour," he wrote.

"We are 98 percent there on policy issues."

But at a press conference on Tuesday night he said he was tracking well to meet his extended new self-imposed deadline of the end of the week but said that is "in other people's hands".