A relaxed Peeni Henare hits the dance floor among his supporters at Auckland’s Mahurehure Marae.
He can finally let loose after months of campaigning after the Tamaki electorate give him the nod as their man.
But he says it’s not over, “The sights are still set on the horizon to determine how we can affect change for everyone.”
Henare was surrounded by family, friends and staunch supporters last night welcoming a landslide victory over his closest opponent, Māori Party candidate Shane Taurima “We all ran a good race together. A race that was conducted on humility and good values. So I greet the connection between us all.”
The win signals the first time since 2002 that Labour have won all seven Māori electorate seats.
Henare says, “If the Māori Party looked at the statistics they would see that's what the people want. They do not want to push the Labour Party out.
We are well ahead in that arena.”
Meanwhile in Mangere, the initial mood among camp Taurima was high.
But as soon as the polls revealed his placing behind the incumbent MP Peeni Henare, he made sure to return the support to his followers.
He told them, “Tonight is about acknowledging all the hard work that's been done all for aroha over the last four months in this awesome campaign we've run”.
The former broadcaster told Māori Television, “It was always going to be difficult to unseat an incumbent MP. And given the changes in Labour's leadership that made it even tougher.”
But Taurima isn't calling it quits. He says he'll be back to run again in the Tāmaki Makaurau electorate, giving politics another shot