The New Zealand National Party has won Saturday’s parliamentary elections, however, they have fallen just short of being able to form a government.
With all the votes counted, Prime Minister Bill English’s party secured 58 seats in the 121-strong chamber.
The opposition Labour Party led by Jacinda Ardern took 45 seats.
With parliament hung, the two main political rivals will look to Winston Peters and the New Zealand First party (nine seats), which is now in a position to play kingmaker.
The centre-right prime minister made the first move, saying he would open talks with NZ First “in the next few days”.
Without NZ First, the National Party is unable to form a government as its only ally, ACT New Zealand, secured just one seat.
Ms Arden’s party can rely on backing from the Green Party (seven seats) – still not enough to govern in a coalition.