As the wait for special votes to be counted is almost over and the country eagerly awaits Winston Peters' coalition decision, political commentator Dr Bryce Edwards explains the reason NZ is holding out for the special votes to roll in.
The long wait for special votes to be counted is in the legislation, Dr Edwards said on TVNZ1's Breakfast this morning.
"They make sure they give the Electoral Commission enough time, ten (working) days, and for all the different votes to come in, especially around the world."
About 15 per cent of the special votes are from overseas, meaning they need to be sent back to New Zealand, then back to the original electorate.
"We do want to have a bit of confidence in those final results."
Dr Edwards said the time it takes to count special votes could be reduced slightly in the future.
Mr Peters was waiting for the special votes to be counted before starting detailed negotiations with the left and right.
Typically the centre-left does well out of the special vote count, and Dr Edwards said the likelihood of National gaining two seats was "incredibly low".
"In this election campaign we have seen some unexpected things happen, it's just a question of how many seats National lose. They might lose none."
He said that would be "the upset".
Dr Edwards said if Labour and Greens did not gain any seats, Mr Peters would not be "comfortable" aligning with the parties on a bare majority.
"But we'll really just have to wait and see."