Winston Peters is maintaining his silence, despite issuing his clearest signal yet he is planning a political comeback at the next election.
Mr Peters has not returned media calls since an email to New Zealand First Party members emerged on Wednesday, apologising for mistakes made last year and setting the scene for what he calls the battle of 2011.
The signed email refers to a new beginning for the party, which will gather at the end of next month for its first annual general meeting since its failure at the 2008 election.
Radio New Zealand political staff say there is a gap in the political marketplace which New Zealand First could fill and Mr Peters retains a high profile.
New Zealand First president George Groombridge says the current Government is creating a need for a strong centrist party.
Deputy leader Peter Brown told Morning Report the apology was welcome because it was totally Mr Peter's fault the party did not get back into Parliament.