Incoming Prime Minister Christopher Luxon says National's Gerry Brownlee will be heading to the Pacific Islands Forum leaders meeting next week as he stays in New Zealand to focus on forming a Government.
The final election results will be revealed on Friday afternoon, leaving only a matter of days to form a Government prior to PIF in Rarotonga next week.
Speaking to media on Thursday afternoon, Luxon said he would "love to go to the forum", but the timing makes it difficult.
"I think it is a really important forum. There are a number of issues there and we have great relationships with partner countries in the Pacific Islands that we need to continue to deepen and build our relationships with.
"But I think the reality is with the final results coming through only tomorrow, I won't be able to leave on Wednesday morning, because my priority is to form a Government."
Luxon said National would send foreign affairs spokesperson Gerry Brownlee alongside current deputy Prime Minister Carmel Sepuloni.
New Zealand First leader Winston Peters, who may be needed to form a Government with National depending on the final results, earlier this week said he wanted to see a Government sorted quickly ahead of international events.
There is an APEC meeting in San Francisco in mid-November as well, and Luxon said he would like to go to it as well.
"But again, I am beholden to the system. New Zealanders have voted for a MMP system. They deliver a result on election night. It takes three weeks to capture all the votes."
He said coalition negotiations and discussions are then necessary.
Luxon has kept mostly quiet on those negotiations since election night, refusing to be drawn on developments other than to say they have been progressing well and his focus is on building relationships.
While the preliminary results on election night showed National and ACT could form a Government together, the special votes may lead to that bloc losing a seat. That would then mean New Zealand First is required to have a majority in Parliament.
The final election results are expected to be released by the Electoral Commission at 2pm on Friday afternoon.
Luxon has called the three week wait for the final results "incredibly frustrating" and suggested a post-election review could look at whether improvements could be made to speed up the process.
There are a number of different things that need to happen between election day and the final results being released. That includes processing and checking special votes, checking over and recounting voting papers and scrutinising the roll.
Newshub will have live coverage on newshub.co.nz on Friday of the official election results, including a breakdown of New Zealand's next Parliament expected at 2pm.