Incoming Prime Minister Christopher Luxon says a deal with New Zealand First and ACT is "very close".
Luxon said he had a good meeting with NZ First and its leader Winston Peters today.
He also spoke to ACT leader David Seymour on the phone.
A deal was very close, he said.
There were only a handful of issues left to work through, including showing ACT and NZ First the deals National had with them, Luxon said.
He also signalled that all three party leaders intended to get together again this weekend.
"We had a very good conversation this morning... we have been able to meet with ACT virtually... and resolved a couple of issues that way, and making good progress. We have moved things forward and have a couple of outstanding things to talk about which we will do tomorrow."
Asked if the deal would be finalised on Monday, Luxon said: "We are very close... we have got just literally a handful of issues to talk through and make sure we are all comfortable on to be able to bring the parties together again".
They were in the "final stages", he said.
As well as getting the leaders together, there would be "a couple of meetings that we want to do individually".
Getting the three leaders all together was important to make sure they were all aligned, Luxon said.
"The three leaders are all wanting to make this work and it's important that we all understand what we have committed to to each other and our respective policy agendas so we deliver for New Zealanders."
He acknowledged it was "taking time", but it was important they "did it right". Asked if the wait would be worth it, Luxon said "absolutely".
Earlier on Friday, Peters said coalition talks may be closer to the finish line than you may think, but a decision by the end of today would likely be a bit premature.
"We are to form a long-term, stable, enduring government. And that's going to take a few more hours. I don't quite know when ... we're probably closer to the finish line than you guys think," he told reporters.
However, a decision by the end of today would likely be "a bit premature".
"We're still working on things," he said, and confirmed the discussions with National had not yet progressed to talking about portfolios.
"Not quite, no ... I said so yesterday, and I'm saying it again today. One more time: Policy is the most important thing here."
He said he had not thought about how the deal would be announced when it was complete, including whether that would come from all three leaders and the location of the announcement.
"We haven't discussed that and I wouldn't think I should be answering that anyway.
"I know I should be able to answer that question but I haven't even thought about it. The main critical thing is what's in the deal ... some of the media don't seem to understand that in Germany these things can take months and months and months."
A mini-budget would be able to be achieved before Christmas, he said.
"I think I can say that, yes. Not a mini-budget but an announcement that's related to it. I won't be a full Budget, that'll be in May next year."