'No intention' of forcing a second election - James Shaw

Green co-leader James Shaw is "imagining some scenarios" of how to punish his newest MP, over suggestions the Greens might force a second election.

Barry Coates, the former head of Oxfam NZ who replaced Kevin Hague in Parliament last year, said the Green Party would refuse to support a Labour-NZ First Government, if the Greens weren't formally invited to be a part of the coalition.

If that meant forcing the country back to the polls, so be it.

Mr Shaw, himself a first-term MP, said that would not happen.

"We have no intention of forcing an early election," he told The AM Show on Thursday morning.

"We are committed to changing the Government, but we only want to change it once in the next three years."

He said it was up to the party's leadership to make calls on coalition arrangements, not "new MPs".

"It's been a bit quiet as an election so far. People love a little bit of drama and it's created a bit of drama, but I think it'll all be over by lunchtime."

NZ First hasn't said whether it would support Labour or National, should it be in a place to choose the next Government. Current polling suggests it would take all three - Labour, Greens and NZ First - working together to topple the current National-Maori-United Future-ACT regime.

NZ First leader Winston Peters said the Greens' stance was "very concerning".

"We expect the government to be formed after the people have spoken - not in some pre-organised trading deal behind the voters' backs," he told Newshub.

"As far as New Zealand first is concerned, and I've told you from a long way out in this campaign, this is a three-way battle between the National Party, the combination of Labour-Greens and NZ First. This is a three-way fight and we are very confident of the outcome in this battle."

Mr Shaw said he's not too focused on Mr Peters, adding that the Greens and Labour would be a "stable, responsible" pairing.

"If New Zealand First want to be a part of that, well that's great."

What Barry Coates said

Mr Coates' original comments come from a post he wrote for left-wing site The Daily Blog.

"The memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Labour is the foundation for building the next Government. If we were not part of the coalition, we would not accept a Labour-New Zealand First Government and certainly not a National-New Zealand First Government. Neither will be acceptable to the Greens."

He later clarified to Newshub this "could" result in a second election, if no other combinations of parties could form a Government.