2 Oct 2017

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1:31 pm on 2 October 2017

New Zealand First leader Winston Peters has spoken to National and Labour leaders - as talks to form a new government get under way.

Winston Peters arrives at Wellington Airport, as he prepares to hold the first caucus meeting of his MPs after the election.

New Zealand First leader Winston Peters Photo: RNZ / Jane Patterson

National Party leader Bill English told Morning Report at about 7.30am this morning that he had called Mr Peters yesterday but had not had a response.

Mr Peters said he called Mr English this morning.

"I'll be talking to other political parties about preliminary talks. Because of complications that can't start until Thursday," Mr Peters said.

"We have our caucus on Tuesday, and I have a funeral which I must attend on Wednesday, so we expect by Thursday that discussions will be under way."

Labour leader Jacinda Ardern said she had also had a conversation with Mr Peters this morning and they had agreed to meet later this week.

Mr Peters has said the real talks would begin after the final election result was declared on Saturday afternoon, and he would make his decision by 12 October.

Bill English speaking to media at The Pullman Hotel the day after the election.

Mr English speaking to media the day after the election. Photo: RNZ / Claire Eastham-Farrelly

Mr English said he was concerned that the deadline looked pretty tight.

"We've done three coalition agreements, the last three the New Zealand Government has had, and they've all been different.

"This one will be different again [as] the negotiation process is quite a bit more complex.

"Trying to get through that in four or five days would be quite a challenge so some preliminary discussion this week would certainly help, and we'll certainly be preparing for that."

Jacinda Ardern (centre) speaking to media outside her home in Pt. Chevalier, Auckland. Phil Twyford (left) and Grant Robertson (right) stand with her.

Jacinda Ardern Photo: RNZ / Claire Eastham-Farrelly

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