Re-elected Whangarei MP Shane Reti has promised to grow jobs and the local economy, with a particular focus on expanding trade training and apprenticeships during his second term in Parliament.
Dr Reti was voted back in for his second term on Saturday night with 17,071 votes, followed by NZ First's Shane Jones with 6912, Labour's Tony Savage with 6710, Greens' Ash Holwell with 4131, Chris Leitch from Democrats for Social Credit with 910, Robin Grieve from Act with 171, Jim Taylor from the Conservatives with 135 and independent Marie Minhinnick with 95.
National won 46.2 per cent of the party vote in Whangarei, with Labour gaining 30.3 per cent. Those figures will change with more than 380,000 special votes nationally still to be counted. The final result will be declared on October 7.
''I want to thank the people of Whangarei who have put their faith in me for another three years,'' he said after the results came in.
''It's a privilege, but I won't take anything for granted and will work hard for them and everybody in Whangarei.''
Immediately after getting voted in for the first time in 2014 Dr Reti promised to create another 3000 jobs in the electorate during his three year term.
''We achieved that in two,'' he said.
Dr Reti said he had three priorities for his next term.
''Number one, I want to continue growing jobs and the local economy, particularly looking at growing trade training and apprenticeships,'' he said.
''Second I want to focus on infrastructure. We're a growing city and we need the infrastructure to grow too. And thirdly, a strong economy allows us to strengthen the safety net around social issues and provides the fuel by which we can prioritise health, education, housing and safe families.''
He said Whangarei had worked hard together as a community and had some great results like progressing work on coastal barging, improvements to the roading infrastructure and getting the Hundertwasser project across the line with central government funding.
Dr Reti held his seat with a preliminary election night majority of 10,159 vote majority over his closest rival, Mr Jones.
"Whangarei had a strong field to choose from and we knew it would be a closely fought contest. My team and I certainly never took anything for granted and I'd like to acknowledge and thank the other candidates."
Yesterday, hours after winning the seat, Dr Reti paid another visit to Ruakaka to check out the Auckland pipeline repair work and was delighted that the rupture had been fixed and fuel was flowing through it again.
Former Labour cabinet minister Mr Jones said he knew it would be a hard slog wresting the seat from Dr Reti as Whangarei had been a National Party stronghold for decades.
''Whangarei people are very earthy people and I wanted to provide them with another option in the candidate vote. But we shouldn't underestimate the impact of the Jacinda effect. That sucked a lot of the oxygen out the air and made it harder for the likes of myself and NZ First to get our ideas out there.
''I'm extremely confident the party vote in Whangarei will be the highest percentage for the party in any constituency.''
On the party vote he said he was always confident that leader Winston Peters would continue to generate the support to get NZ First into a position to be part of the next Government.
Mr Savage said he had a goal to get 10,000 votes.
"I think we wanted to get at least second and beat Jonesy so that was our game and that's nothing against Jonesy that's the competition. What I was most pleased about is the party vote, that seems to be coming up. It's really hard in Whangarei to change anything and we're going to get straight in to the next three years and get on to each of the issues coming up and hammer those."
Mr Savage said he thought Labour had a chance to form a Government with a coalition.
"The problem is the Nats haven't got many friends left. The Maori Party unfortunately is on its way out, Act won't work with anybody else, or can't work with anybody else, so at least we've got good friends and I know with Shane (Jones) being a previous Labour Party person that hopefully it's going to go with us so I think we're in with a chance with a coalition.''