Live updates: Ministerial roles for Green MPs in new Government

After nearly a month in political limbo, Winston Peters will finally unveil coalition negotiation results today.

New Zealand First says an announcement can be expected this afternoon, after 12 days of negotiations.

Refresh the page for the latest live updates.

9:00pm - A historic moment for the Green party - Shaw

Green co-leader James Shaw says that "This is an historic moment for the Green party" after the news that Labour and New Zealand First will form a new government.

"For the first time we are going to be probably in a position to have Ministerial control in the areas that are important to us and the areas that we campaigned on," Mr Shaw said.

The Greens will have three Ministers outside of Cabinet in a confidence and supply agreement with the Labour party.  

8:55pm - Bill English wishes the new government well

National leader Bill English said that he accepts the result, and hopes that all New Zealanders including his own supporters wish the new government well.  

He says he doesn't know why Winston Peters chose to go with Labour.

He called it an "unusual result", saying he didn't know any other party in the world who got 44.5 percent of the vote and didn't win the election. 

But he said that the change of a government was a "legitimate, fair result" under MMP.

"We went into this process setting out to form a strong and energised government, and I was satisfied by today that we had formed the basis of that," Mr English said.

Deputy leader Paula Bennett said "This party of ours is pretty strong and we're ready to pick ourselves up, regroup and get on with it."

Live updates: Ministerial roles for Green MPs in new Government
Photo credit: Newshub

8:30pm - Ardern agrees with Peters' critique of capitalism

When asked about Mr Peters criticism of capitalism earlier this evening Ms Ardern said: "I would absolutely agree that it's not delivering for the people of New Zealand.

We need to make sure that we're an active government working alongside people to ensure that they're having all of their needs met."

8:22pm - Cabinet positions for NZ First, Ministerial portfolios for Greens

Jacinda Ardern says New Zealand First will have four Cabinet positions in the next government and the Greens will hold Ministerial portfolios.

She wouldn't comment on whether they will have positions within Cabinet.

She says Winston Peters is still considering whether he will accept the role of Deputy Prime Minister, which he has been offered.

8:20pm - Ardern sets out timeline, thanks supporters

Ms Ardern says that over the next 24 hours she wants to finalise agreements with both NZ First and the Green party.

Ms Ardern says by late next week Labour will announce the Ministerial portfolios of the next government and there will be a swearing in.

"I feel extraordinarily honoured and privileged to be in the position to form a government with Labour at the lead," Ms Ardern said on Thursday evening.

"I want to thank all those who gave Labour support throughout the election and through this period of negotiation. We campaigned hard on issues that we believed strongly and now we take very seriously the responsibility that we have to deliver on them."

8:11pm - Ardern says English has conceded

"Mr English has already called me this evening and acknowledged that for the National party, negotiations have now concluded," Labour leader Jacinda Ardern says.  

8:07pm - National MP's emotional tweet

National MP Chris Bishop has sent out a tweet emoji of himself shedding a tear.

7:58pm - Ardern's message for English

In a press release ahead of her media stand up, Jacinda Ardern has praised Bill English for his leadership.

"I thank Bill English and acknowledge the service he has given to this country as Prime Minister, and for a hard fought campaign.  We both share a commitment to making New Zealand a better place and Bill has left his mark," she said. 

Watch Ardern's press conference at 8:00pm here

7:48pm - Green co-leader James Shaw to speak to media

Mr Shaw will speak to media after Jacinda Ardern holds her press conference at 8:00pm. 

It's understand that National leader Bill English will also address media after Ms Ardern's conference.

7:44pm - David Seymour scathing of NZ First's decision

ACT leader and sole MP David Seymour has been quick to slam the decision by NZ First to govern with Labour.  

He said that the agreement threatens countless groups: "taxpayers, Auckland infrastructure users, millennials, immigrants and the businesses relying on them, and more."

He said that the "three-ringed circus" is likely to fall apart.

7:40pm - Labour leader Jacinda Ardern to speak to media

Labour leader Jacinda Ardern will speak to media at 8:00pm. We'll be livestreaming on our website.

7:33pm - Peters says he's never said a bad word about the Greens

"Some of you people said I hate the Greens and I hate James Shaw and I can tell you this for a fact: I have never said privately or publicly about it. That is a fact," Mr Peters said at his press conference this evening. 

7:23pm - "No one had any idea which way Winston Peters was going to move today"

Newshub political editor Patrick Gower has described the decision by Mr Peters as:  "Without any doubt one of the most extraordinary days in New Zealand political history."

Neither Bill English or Jacinda Ardern were told in advance of the announcement. Mr Peters said the people of New Zealand deserved to know first and he ran out of time to give the party leaders a heads up.

7:19pm - Peters says that Maori seats are safe

Mr Peters has said that the Maori electorate seats will be safe in the hands of the next Government.

7:15pm - Peters says Greens will be outside of coalition with Labour

Winston Peters said the agreement that NZ First has formed is a coalition with the Labour party, with the Greens "outside" in a confidence and supply agreement with Labour. 

In regard to whether Green MPs would be given positions in Cabinet, Mr Peters told reporters they'd have to ask Jacinda Ardern.

7:07pm - Why Winston went with Labour

During his speech, Mr Peters pointed the finger at capitalism, saying it had failed.

"We believe that capitalism must regain its responsible, its human face. That perception has influenced deeply New Zealand First's negotiations," Mr Peters said.

"We had a choice to make - whether it was with National, or Labour for a modified status quo or for change.

"In our negotiations, both National and Labour were presented with that opportunity; working together, co-operating together for New Zealand. That's why in the end we chose a coalition government of New Zealand First with the New Zealand Labour party."

Mr Peters says Labour leader Jacinda Ardern will announce the ministers and allocation of portfolios for the next government. 

Of Jacinda's talents, Mr Peters said, "Amongst other things, she exhibited extraordinary talent in the campaign itself from a very hopeless position to a position where they are in the office of being the next Government today."

Mr Peters said that Kiwis voted for a change of government.

"The people in this country, regardless of what a lot of people said, did want change and we've responded to that." 

7pm - Huge cheers from Labour

A huge eruption of cheers can be heard from the Labour offices.

6:56pm - NZ First choses coalition Government with Labour

Mr Peters has chosen to work with Labour in a coalition Government.

Jacinda Ardern will be Prime Minister of New Zealand.

"As a party NZ First believes that it's secured major policies to advance the New Zealand economic and social position," Mr Peters said.

6:55pm - 'We mitigate, not worsen'

Mr Peters said there will be attempts to blame NZ First, but he believes NZ First will "mitigate, not worsen" the effects of capitalism under the next Government.

"Capitalism must regain its responsible face."

6:50pm - Winston Peters arrives

Mr Peters has arrived to make his announcement. 

He has not said which way he will go.

Mr Peters has thanked both the National and Labour Parties.

Mr Peters begins by explaining why he waited for the special votes to be counted and said it is "not too late to wait."

"The Labour Party and the Green Party campaigned on the Government." 

"Many commentators factored in that support as a given," Mr Peters said and as a result National made out it was working against three parties.

Mr Peters said both visions "failed."

6:48 - NZ First caucus arrives

NZ First MPs have arrived. Winston Peters is not with them.

They did not answer questions about which way Mr Peters will go.

6:43pm - English's family in the House

Bill English's wife Mary English and son Xavier have been seen arriving at Parliament.

6:41pm - Ardern to address media

Jacinda Ardern will be holding a press conference after Mr Peters' announcement.

6:36pm - Champagne for the Green Party 

A Green Party staffer has been spotted, champagne in hand. The staffer dodged when he saw the camera. 

Could be toasting either way, though.

6:25pm - Winston to make announcement via Facebook

Winston Peters is going live from his Facebook page shortly. There were earlier reports of a camera operator heading up to the NZ First floor.

NZ First has sent out a press release saying an announcement will be made in the Theatrette shortly.

6:08pm - Waiting, waiting

It's now 6:08pm and we are still waiting for Winston Peters. There's been no indication from his offices of when he might turn up.

Journalists have not even been instructed to head to the Beehive Theatrette - but movements from NZ First staff and Mr Peters booking it out from the evening seemed indication enough.

5:53pm - Applause heard in Labour offices

Fairfax reports two rounds of applause heard in the Labour offices one floor up. A press secretary told Henry Cooke at Fairfax the clapping was for Family Feud.

5:43pm - NZ First head to the Beehive

NZ First staff are heading over from their offices to the Beehive.

When the announcement takes place, this live blog will be updated immediately. We will also live stream the conference. 

You can head to our livestream now, but we are uncertain exactly when Mr Peters will make his announcement.

5:36pm - 6pm news?

A New Zealand First staffer has been overheard whispering "6pm news."

An announcement at 6pm would mean Winston Peters would be live and unedited on a day's flagship bulletin.

5:24pm - Is it looking Labour?

Newshub political editor Patrick Gower has tweeted:

"What we know:

- Winston secretly visiting Labour.

- National makes first leak.

- Greens going ahead with meeting to sign off deal."

5:02pm - The plinth is down

This is getting thoroughly confusing.

The plinth that was set up for Mr Peters to stand on has been removed from the Beehive Theatrette, which was booked out for Mr Peters for the rest of the day.

Mr Peters is not the tallest man in the world, so would stand on the plinth behind the lectern to deliver his speech.

4:52pm - Dispute delaying negotiations?

The NBR reports an announcement has been delayed because NZ First asked National for four positions in cabinet and one ministerial position outside cabinet, but National was willing to give up three - and not all in cabinet, NBR reports.

NZME reports it understands Labour was NZ First's preference but Labour offered fewer ministerial positions than National. 

4:45pm - Greens' teleconference taking place tonight

The Greens' teleconference is taking place at 7pm tonight. It's the vote on the Greens' deal with Labour and needs backing from 75 percent of the delegates to pass.

4:40pm - NZ First books out press conference space

NZ First has booked out a space in the Beehive used for press conferences, asking for it to be kept free for the rest of the day.

4:26pm - Winston Peters seen sneaking around Labour offices

Two witnesses Newshub has agreed not to identify say they have seen Winston Peters sneaking around the Labour Party offices.

He is believed to have been using a little-known route through a warren of Parliamentary buildings, sneaking up through a carpark.

Meanwhile, staff are preparing a lectern in the Beehive theaterette, where announcements are often made. 

There is a box to make sure Mr Peters is the right height, and the staff are wearing stickers at the height of Mr Peters' mouth so they can set the microphone at the correct height. 

4:17pm - Thoughts from Lisa Owen

Newshub's Lisa Owen says there's arguably only one common denominator in Mr Peters' past two Government support arrangements - "He went with the party with the single biggest bloc of votes, so National in '96 and Labour in 2005."

1996 was a two-party full coalition deal. In 2005, numerous parties were involved. The second deal was the one that stuck.

3:33pm - Coalition or confidence and supply? 

So many questions remain. For a start, there's who, what, where, why, when and how?

But one of the big questions remains what shape the Government will take.

Mr Peters could form a coalition Government, which would likely mean gaining NZ First ministers in powerful roles and some hefty policy wins, but would mean talking the fall on potentially sticky issues.

Or NZ First could decide to support a party into power on confidence in supply. That way it would have slightly more distance from the leading party, but would likely mean fewer policies and ministerial gains, because it gives the leading party less of a guarantee of support.

We are now solidly in afternoon territory.

2:00pm - Winson Peters says the 'latest information' is coming

As he headed back to Parliament after breakfast to continue deliberating, Winston Peters said he feels closer to making a decision. 

He told reporters that "the latest information" was coming in "as we speak". 

Mr Peters said negotiations are still going on, but wouldn't confirm whether he still planned to announce a decision this afternoon. 

Winston Peters after breakfast at Where's Charlie? on Lambton Quay.
Winston Peters after breakfast at Where's Charlie? on Lambton Quay. Photo credit: Newshub

1:08pm - Winston Peters 'things change by the hour'

Winston Peters has emerged to go and get breakfast - a pho at a Vietnamese Cafe on Lambton Quay.

He told reporters NZ First hasn't reached a decision.

"We are not very far away from finality," he said.

"It is seriously difficult because there are pros and cons for every part of this decision we've got to make. We've got to evaluate what it means both ways."

"We've got a few hours to go, but we hope to complete it," he said.

"We've set our minds to making a decision [today]" he said.

"We don't rule out things, because you never know what might blow in the next couple of hours. That's the nature and shape of politics... things change by the hour."

He has not made a decision on whether he will inform the parties ahead of the announcement.

Winston Peters eats pho during a break in discussions with his caucus.
Winston Peters eats pho during a break in discussions with his caucus. Photo credit: Lloyd Burr/Newshub.

1pm - What is afternoon?

Mr Peters said we can expect an announcement this afternoon, but that really begs the question: When does 'afternoon' end?

According to the Cambridge Dictionary, afternoon ends at about six o'clock or when the sun goes down. 

The sun sets today at 7:46pm.

According to the Oxford Dictionary, 'afternoon' means 'the time from noon or lunchtime to evening.' The Oxford Dictionary defines 'evening' as 'The period of time at the end of the day, usually from about 6 pm to bedtime.'

Will Mr Peters deliver the announcement in time for the 6 o'clock news? 

12:22pm - The mother of all phone calls

The Greens say its teleconference will still go ahead tonight, as planned.

They have not been asked to bring it forward.

The conference call, with 150-odd delegates, is essential to a deal with Labour.

Seventy-five percent of the delegates need to support the deal in order for it to stand.

The Greens have a quorum - or a minimum number of attendees required for the vote to go ahead. 

That quorum is 50 percent of registered delegates from 50 percent of branches.

There is roughly a branch for every electorate, and there are up to four delegates in each electorate.

It's complicated to work out the number of attendees required, but I believe it's somewhere between 35 and 75 people, depending on which branches turn up in force.

12:12pm - It's the afternoon

The afternoon has now arrived.

The announcement could happen at any time.

12:08pm - National caucus wraps up

The National Party caucus has emerged from an hour-long meeting. 

Ministers and MPs wouldn't comment on whether they are happy with the deal presented to them.

Deputy leader Paula Bennett was asked whether she'll still be Deputy Prime Minister by the end of the day.

"Have a good one," was her only response.

Nathan Guy and Steven Joyce.
Nathan Guy and Steven Joyce. Photo credit: Newshub.

11:58am - Labour looking jolly

David Broome, NZ First chief of staff, has been seen in the vicinity of Labour's offices.

Labour's chief press secretary was also spotted by reporter Isobel Ewing. He wouldn't say anything, but was grinning.

11:55am - Ron Mark joins Twitter, follows Ardern, Robertson first

NZ First deputy leader Ron Mark has just joined twitter, following Grant Robertson and Jacinda Ardern well before folllowing Bill English or the National Party.

Just looking at politicians Mr Mark followed, first was Labour's Grant Robertson, followed by Jacinda Ardern, former Labour Prime Minister Helen Clark, the Green Party, former Green co-leader Metiria Turei, Barack Obama and then National leader Bill English.

Mr Mark then followed Gareth Hughes from the Green Party, fellow NZ-Firster David Broome, National's Steven Joyce and former Green co-leader Russel Norman.

The first accounts NZ First deputy leader Ron Mark chose to follow on Twitter.  Read from the bottom up.
The first accounts NZ First deputy leader Ron Mark chose to follow on Twitter. Read from the bottom up. Photo credit: Screengrab

11:22am - Political landscape will change irrevocably 

Newshub political editor Patrick Gower and reporter Jenna Lynch are discussing where we're currently at. 

Gower says whatever Mr Peters decides to do, the political landscape will change irrevocably.

"We are about to embark on a truly historic day."

10:55am - Bill English 'Wait and see'

National Leader Bill English is addressing media ahead of a meeting with his caucus MPs. He said he'll be updating his caucus "on the broad parameters of an agreement with NZ First." The National Party board will then be updated.

He says he will have to "wait and see" which way Mr Peters will go.

Mr English said Mr Peters will announce his decision later in the day and, "Like everybody else, we look forward to hearing what that is." 

On the day of the announcement, Mr English said discussion is still ongoing.

"There's been a bit of discussion, and there will be more throughout the day, and that's just how the logistics of the announcement will work."

Mr English is satisfied the agreement National has "reached with New Zealand First is the basis of a stable government."

Mr English said Cabinet positions have been discussed as part of the agreement - indicating a coalition agreement has been considered. Mr Peters has repeatedly said there are nine options for governing, so it's likely coalition and confidence and supply arrangements have been discussed.

Bill English addresses media.
Bill English addresses media. Photo credit: Newshub.

This was the view from the next floor up. 

9:13am - Hello, sweeties

While we wait for more news to come in, "Snapchat dude" comedian Tom Sainsbury has released a new Paula Bennett video.

This one addresses the haters who emerged during the volitile political debate over Bird of the Year.

8:38am - National negotiating team feeling optimistic

National MP Todd McClay, who was on the negotiating team, says he's feeling optimistic Winston Peters will choose National. 

Paula Bennett - also on the negotiating team - was similarly optimistic.

NZ First MP - and former Labour MP - Shane Jones has also arrived. He spoke in te reo, saying "Wait for Winston. He will make the announcement."

Shane Jones, new NZ First MP.
Shane Jones, new NZ First MP. Photo credit: Newshub.

8:13am - Bill English: Prime Minister or leader of the opposition by the end of the day

National Party leader Bill English has arrived in Parliament, saying he doesn't know which party Mr Peters will back.

He told Newshub's Jenna Lynch he has a "fair idea" of what a National-NZ First Government would look like if Mr Peters was to back National.

"I'm sure he'll let us know later in the day," Mr English said.

"Mr Peters has been scrupulous in maintaining neutrality between the negotiations. We're confident that the negotiations we've been part of could form the basis of a stable Government."

Mr English said he'd "pretty much" put the final agreement on the table.

He wouldn't say whether Mr Peters has asked for ministerial roles. 

8:06am - Has a decision been made?

Newshub's Lloyd Burr has run into NZ First's Tracey Martin. 

Burr asked whether the right decision has been made.

Ms Martin said, "I hope so."

When asked whether that means a decision has been reached, Ms Martin wouldn't comment.

Earlier this morning, Mr Peters told NZME the board and caucus haven't reached a final decision.

Tracey Martin, NZ First MP.
Tracey Martin, NZ First MP. Photo credit: Newshub.

7:57am - Paula Bennett feeling confident

National Party deputy leader Paula Bennett says she's feeling confident about today.

Ms Bennett says National have done all they can and she's looking forward to the wait being over.

Paula Bennett arrives at Parliament.
Paula Bennett arrives at Parliament. Photo credit: Newshub.

However, National MP Gerry Brownlee was looking the picture of nervousness as he entered Parliament this morning.

"He looked quite focussed and quite nervous," said political editor Patrick Gower.

National's chief of staff Wayne Eagleson has arrived, saying today is a "beautiful day". It is a lovely morning in Wellington.

Mr Eagleson had no comment on whether National has written up its final agreement.

7:49am - There will be some Winston relief today

For people who are sick of hearing about Winston Peters, there will be some relief this afternoon, as soon as a new Government and Prime Minister is announced.

But spoiler alert: He's not going anywhere any time soon.

7:46am - Winston Peters: no final decision has been made

It's no wonder both Labour and National are in the dark - Mr Peters said this morning he still needs to meet with his board and caucus to make a final decision.

The NZ First board were in Wellington for meetings Monday and Tuesday but have since flown home. Mr Peters will employ telephonic technology and speak to them all via a conference call.

Speaking of conference calls, the Green Party will be making the mother of all conference calls to 150-odd delegates, who need to give the OK to the Green-Labour side of an agreement. 

7:30am -  Wellington-bound

It's slightly ironic, but Jacinda Ardern's partner Clarke Gayford has tweeted he was supposed to be filming in Mr Peters' home town of Whananaki today, but is instead Wellington-bound for the big unveilling.

"I have no idea either", he tweeted - no doubt anticipating one or two questions about who NZ First will back into Government.