The Labour leader says "there are conversations to be had" with other parties over the coming days and her party is ready.
Watch her address media here:
Labour leader Jacinda Ardern spoke to reporters in Pt Chevalier for the first time since last night.
Ms Ardern has said that the Green Party would receive the first call post-election, but she will also be calling New Zealand First leader Winston Peters.
"Of course, there are conversations to be had over the coming days and I intend to have them. It seems clear to me though, this morning, that Mr Peters in particular wants to take a bit of time. That's something that I completely understand."
She said up to 15 percent of the vote was yet to be counted so it was understandable that parties would be taking some time to wait and reflect.
The special votes would be "incredibly interesting".
"I don't want to make too many predictions about what they may produce but I'm hopeful that we will see a bit of a lift out of them."
She planned to speak to Green Party leader James Shaw this afternoon.
There were issues and values that were incredibly important to Labour, that would be maintained throughout negotiations with other parties.
But she said there were also common themes between parties.
"I think that New Zealanders would expect that we would form a credible, stable goverment with the parties they have voted into office.
"The majority of people have voted against the status quo. It's up to us to then see whether or not we can produce government from that," she said.
Labour had made its position clear on the Māori seats and would not be seeking a referendum, she said.
Mr Peters has previously pledged to hold a referendum on the Māori seats.
When asked about Kelvin Davis' position as deputy leader, Ms Ardern said it was "safe as houses".