What will Winston do?

Politics is a game where sometimes you have to place nice with someone who has just shafted you. So it would seem odd if the indignity of National's Matt King defeat over Winston Peters in the Northland electorate would rule out the NZ First leader choosing National as a coalition partner.

Particularly given Peters' respect for the majority. Peters' loss was a surprise for many. But when you're the kingmaker does it matter?

Either way, Northlanders now have something other than promises of bridges to hold politicians to - Shane Jones (elected as a list MP) and Peters will be under pressure to deliver rail to Whangarei's deep water port as well as shipping business from Auckland.

Advertisement

And we gain increased Northland representation in parliament with the election of Labour's Willow-Jean Prime as a list MP.

In Whangarei, NZ First's Shane Jones and Labour candidate Tony Savage split more than 13,000 votes between them and put a healthy dent in National MP Shane Reti's majority, as Reti retained the seat.

In Te Tai Tokerau, Labour's deputy leader Kelvin Davis was re-elected, and Mana Party's Hone Harawira was uncharacteristically quiet on his future in politics after losing.

In Te Atatu, David Wilson - the CEO of Northland's regional economic development agency - placed third and wasn't quite high enough on NZ First's list to make it as a list MP.

Hopefully Wilson, who lives in Auckland and commutes to Whangarei during the week, can now put aside his Auckland plans and once again champion the Northland economy.

In some ways, who better to cajole NZ First into keeping those rail/port promises.

The last word is for the Greens' Whangarei candidate Ash Holwell.

He stood as a local government candidate last October, and would probably have been elected if not for the politically naive decision to leave his name off roadside election signs, which a good portion of Whangarei's voting demographic pay heed to.

If, after two election campaigns now, he still wants to be an MP and endure the accountability and scrutiny that comes with it, then he should stand in the upcoming byelection forced because Jayne Golightly, although travelling on a visa that non-citizens are required to have, did not quite realise she was not a citizen.

Why? Because Holwell was campaigning for the party vote in Whangarei - he was openly telling people to not vote for him, but to vote for his party.

Despite this, he got just over 4000 candidate votes. People clearly like him.

It would be interesting to see what happens if he told people to vote for him in the byelection.