NZer likely kingmaker in Australian election

NZer likely kingmaker in Australian election

A New Zealander is likely to be a key kingmaker in Australian politics after a tight election result threw its Parliament into turmoil.

Former Taranaki journalist Derryn Hinch is being courted by the two major parties desperate to form a government.

From shock jock, to power player Mr Hinch is the Kiwi now holding one of the keys to Australia's political future.

"I spent 15 minutes last night on the phone with the Prime Minister of Australia, and on Friday I got a call from Bill Shorten wishing me well, so they're out there trying," he says.

Mr Hinch could either help save Malcolm Turnbull's government or get Labor across the line.

Neither party has the numbers to form a government, the Coalition with 67 seats and Labor with 71. There are five minor parties and independents, and seven seats are undecided.

The magic number for a majority is 76. Even if a party manages to form a government, it will be messy. It will be reliant on powerful kingmakers who can be difficult and tricky to control. Kingmakers can name their price.

Some are less desirable, like One Nation's Pauline Hanson, who says Mr Turnbull has "lost my number". But she's happy being on the outside.

Mr Hinch revealed his tricks of the trade.

"The key to being in the Senate is being on Dancing with the Stars. That's where you learn your steps and your fast moves."

Mr Hinch hails from New Plymouth and worked at the Tarankai Herald. The broadcaster is known as the "Human Headline" for his calls for a public register for sex offenders. But he says he's got a new nickname.

"It's not going to be the Human Headline anymore; it's going to be the Senator Headline."

If things go his way, Mr Hinch could also be dubbed chief kingmaker.