The National Party will rely on the minor party, ACT, to govern. ACT will offer "supply and support" - vote with National on budget supply and on votes of confidence - but will not formally enter a coalition with National.
National PM-elect John Key is offering ministerial positions outside cabinet to several minor parties, a policy he once criticised Labour for but now concludes works well.
ACT leader Rodney Hide is expected to receive a ministerial post outside cabinet as is Peter Dunne, the leader and only MP of the United Future party.
The Maori Party has held talks with Mr Key about its possible support for a National government in the new parliament. Maori Party leaders will conduct hui with supporters in the next few days to determine whether or not the party should enter an arrangement with National in which Maori Party MPs would hold ministerial posts outside cabinet.