New Zealand election results show National needs other parties to form government

By Lucy Craymer

WELLINGTON (Reuters) -Final results from New Zealand's Oct. 14 election released on Friday show the centre-right National Party will need the support of both the ACT New Zealand and NZ First parties to form a government.

The Electoral Commission said the conservative National Party won 48 seats and right-wing ACT 11 seats, giving them 59 seats in the 122-seat parliament. New Zealand First's eight seats would give the three parties a majority.

The Commission said Labour New Zealand won 34 seats, the Green Party 15 seats and Te Pati Maori six seats.

New Zealand Prime Minister-elect Christopher Luxon told a press conference that the result was much as expected and his party had been in discussions with both ACT and NZ First since the election.

"There is goodwill and good faith from all three political party leaders to move through the (negotiation) processes constructively and as quickly as possible," Luxon said.

Although the Labour Party conceded defeat in the election, right-wing parties were waiting for the final vote to be counted before finalising coalition agreements and forming a new government.

The initial count last month showed National and ACT could form a government as they held a combined 61 seats. National lost two seats after the final count, eroding the majority.

The number of parliamentary seats has also increased - from 121 to 122 - as Te Pati Maori won more electorate seats than it would otherwise would have been allocated from its share of the party vote.

A number of seats are expected to see recounts including a seat won by Te Pati Maori by just four votes.

The final vote includes roughly 603,000 special votes, about 21% of the total, including overseas voters or those who cast ballots outside their constituency that were not included in the initial tally.

Luxon said on Thursday he could not guarantee when a government might be formed.

"I just genuinely can't, because there is complexity in arrangements that we need to work through," Luxon said. "We are working with the greatest speed."

Under law, New Zealand's parliament must sit within six weeks of the official election results, but there is no date for when a government must be formed.

David Seymour, ACT leader, told a media conference he hoped negotiations would be completed within a matter of days or in less than a week.

(Reporting by Lucy CraymerEditing by Alasdair Pal and Gerry Doyle)