"I'm in," a delighted Kieran McAnulty said when the general election special votes were counted last Saturday afternoon.

But Mr McAnulty, a first-time List MP for Labour, told the Dannevirke News his goal was to win the electorate seat for Wairarapa next time around.

"I've got three years now to prove to people in Tararua I am worthy of their support," he said.

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Election promises from Labour candidate Kieran McAnulty

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"I'm making sure I'm visible here and if I show that people in Dannevirke and Tararua are important to me and I'm advocating for them, I'm confident I'll do well in 2020."

Last week Mr McAnulty and Labour's former leader Andrew Little were in Dannevirke.

"Life is way less intense as a list MP, so I've the chance to get out and support Kieran," Mr Little said.

Having resigned as leader of the Labour Party in early August, Mr Little said he made his decision based on what was best for the party.

"That decision has been vindicated," he said.

"Naturally, there was a level of disappointment on my part."

And although Labour's choice for an alternate Manawatu Gorge route didn't make the top 13 options, Mr Little said he'd looked at the information at the time and went with the most stable and reliable option.

He had announced his party's option just a couple of days before he stepped down as leader.

"It's still about making the best decision for this district," he said.

Although the special votes confirmed Mr McAnulty's List place for Labour, he conceded he hadn't done as well as he'd hoped in the Tararua booths.

"Although I didn't win Tararua, I had increased support and I put that down to my street-corner meetings and door-knocking," he said.

As for his first couple of weeks in Parliament, Mr McAnulty said it had been "like trying to drink out of a fire hose".

"It's been the most amazing couple of weeks and Parliamentary Services cannot be faulted as I learnt how, as an MP, I can become the most effective.

"I came away with a good understanding and also had a chance at role playing in the parliamentary chamber with question time."

Labour leader Jacinda Ardern had put aside time to meet with all MPs and Mr McAnulty has pushed his desire to work in the area of economic development and rural affairs.

"The Labour Party has a Ministry of Rural Affairs ... "

Always with an eye on Parliament, Mr McAnulty said he told Suzanne McNally (now his wife) 10 years ago when he met her in a pub in County Cork, Ireland, he wanted to be an MP.

"Mum and dad were beaming when they learnt I'd made it into Parliament," he said.

Although list MPs don't have too many resources at their call, Mr McAnulty said he didn't need resources to get out and say g'day to people.

"I'm lucky to have family across the electorate I can call on for a cuppa, but my old 1997 ute won't cut it any more," he said.

Living up to his commitment to be more visible, Mr McAnulty was in Dannevirke on Wednesday night attending the Chamber of Commerce After Five.

And Wairarapa was definitely now a marginal seat, Mr McAnulty said.

"It's on top of the Labour list as a seat we can win next time," he said.