Joseph James "Billy Boy" Borell, the Maori Party's Tauranga candidate, says his party will not give in and will be back.
"We're all disappointed," the 77-year-old Te Puna resident told the Bay of Plenty Times this afternoon.
The Maori Party lost its place in Parliament after Labour's Tamati Coffey beat Maori Party co-leader Te Ururoa Flavell in Waiariki - the party's only remaining electorate and its lifeline. That means Marama Fox will also not return.
"I think a lot of our people have let the party down, but they've spoken - our own people have. All I can say, is that our people didn't vote for the Maori Party, they went to Labour," Mr Borell said.
He said that was clear very early in the night on Saturday.
"That was a trend. As soon as the voting opened, they all went to Labour.
"They targeted all of the Maori seats, and that's the reason [for] our downfall."
Mr Borell said Mr Flavell losing his Waiariki seat was a surprise.
"I thought we would have got that seat, but evidently Tamati had done more than we thought to get the seat. Got out in front and stayed there."
He said the Maori Party would "work hard" over the next three years and was "determined to get back where we were before".
"We won't give in. We'll be back. The party will be back."
Mr Borell received the fifth highest number of votes for a candidate standing in Tauranga with 213.
The Maori Party was seventh when it came to the party vote with 179 votes.
In the Bay of Plenty electorate, Maori Party candidate Raewyn Bennett received 431 votes - the fourth highest.
The Maori Party was seventh in Bay of Plenty for party vote with 163 votes.