New Zealand First leader Winston Peters has confirmed that preliminary coalition talks will begin this week.
The confirmation follows phone calls with both National leader Bill English and Labour leader Jacinda Ardern today.
Mr English phoned Mr Peters yesterday and left a message but the two only spoke this morning.
Ms Ardern also rang Mr Peters this morning.
“This morning I spoke with New Zealand First Leader, Winston Peters. We will look to hold a meeting between our respective teams later this week, while we wait for special votes to be counted," she said in a statement.
“Special votes remain an important part of the process for the Labour Party with more than 380,000 votes yet to be counted.
In statement today Mr Peters says preliminary talks will proceed this week when arrangements suitable to both parties are concluded.
He says New Zealand First expects the same will occur if and when other parties make contact.
Mr Peters has said he expects to have any coalition negotiations done by the October 12, but doesn't want to start proper talks until after the special voters are counted on Saturday.
Mr English today suggested that meeting that time frame would be tight.