Bill English tonight exited a one-on-one meeting with Winston Peters in Wellington, as coalition negotiations linger on 24 days after the general election.
Staying true to his tight-lipped approach over the past week or so, Mr English didn't give much away, but was optimistic there would be more to say soon.
"I had a meeting, a good meeting with Mr Peters, but I won't be commenting on the content of it," Mr English said.
"I can confirm it was a one-on-one meeting. I had a one-on-one meeting with Mr Peters and I hope there will be more to say in the next few days."
Asked as he was leaving what the process now was to form a government, Mr English said "we'll let you know".
Mr Peters, who also met with Labour's Jacinda Ardern tonight, has been in a lengthy meeting with the NZ First board and caucus for the past few days as the party tries to decide who it will support for New Zealand's next government.
After meeting with the NZ First board and caucus this afternoon, Mr Peters said they've got a lot of work done but no final decision has been made.
Mr Peters once again refused to give a deadline on when the decision on a new government would be made but said the board's work is "98 per cent done" and they're now making their way home.
"We have spent a couple of days on very comprehensive discussions and preparations for the party to make a final decision, we got a lot of work done, the board's engagement in terms of that work is complete.
"We have things to finish off as urgently as we can, sorting out differences on calculations and opinions with both sides. So if we do finalise it, we know that we've already got the agreement rather than going away and having to go away and write it all again," Mr Peters said.
While the NZ First leader says the talk on policy is complete, he now needs to take the board's decision back to Labour and National for further discussion before then reviewing the outcome with the board again for a final decision.
He said the board wouldn't be required to return to Wellington and he would communicate with them via other channels to make the decision as soon as possible.
All "nine permutations" are still on the table, he said, and will be up until the final decision is made.
He wouldn't be drawn on whether the announcement would be made by the end of the week or not, meaning we're no closer to knowing the make-up of the next government at this stage.