WELLINGTON, Sept 23 (Reuters) - New Zealand National Party leader Bill English said on Saturday the nationalist New Zealand First Party would play a role in determining the next government after a hotly contested parliamentary election.
National, which was set to win the largest share of the vote, would start speaking with New Zealand First “in the next few days”, English said from his party’s campaign function in Auckland.
Votes cast for the National Party reached 46.1 percent with 98.6 percent of results counted by the Electoral Commission, while the opposition Labour Party won 35.8 percent support.
Each Party would likely need New Zealand First’s support to form a government, based on those results.
The final result that includes overseas votes will not be released until Oct. 7.
Reporting by Charlotte Greenfield and Ana Nicolaci da Costa; Editing by Lincoln Feast