27 Nov 2011

NZ First leader 'happy' with outcome

10:06 am on 27 November 2011

New Zealand First leader Winston Peters says he thought his party would win more of the party vote, but is happy with the outcome.

The party has returned from a three-year absence to secure eight seats after gaining 6.8% of the vote at the election on Saturday.

Mr Peters would not elaborate on his party's position in Parliament, other than to repeat it would not go into a coalition and would play a constructive and co-operative role.

On Sunday, he told Morning Report's election special programme that comment that the teacups saga helped him into Parliament is wrong, with the party already polling strongly before then. However, he says it helped with the final vote.

Mr Peters says his role in opposition will be to represent voters' concerns, including the partial sale of state assets.

The leader praised party faithful for their support in a campaign fought with meagre resources and what he called a media blackout. He pointed to work done by young supporters, especially in universities.

No 2 on the party list Tracey Martin says she believes New Zealand First's opposition to state asset sales played a big part in its return.