Labour Party deputy leader Kelvin Davis has declared the election is "not over" as the nation waits on New Zealand First leader Winston Peters to choose a preferred party to form a government with.

Across the country Labour won 35.8 per cent, while National won 46 per cent of the vote.
Labour would need Greens and New Zealand First to form a government.

"I don't have any message for Winston but what I do have for the voters is the election is not over," Davis said.

"Neither Labour nor National has majority to form a government so it's going to come down to some hearty negotiations over the next few days."

Advertisement

The Labour Party deputy leader retained his Te Tai Tokerau seat in the northern-most Maori electorate with 10,448 votes, ahead of former MP and Mana Movement leader Hone Harawira with 6178.

In third place was Godfrey Rudolph from the Greens with 1538 then Maki Herbert from the Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party with 745.

Mr Davis said he was feeling "really good" after the win.

"Very humbled and grateful to the people of Tai Tokerau for putting their faith in me once more and I've got to go out and earn their support for the next three years," he said.

Mr Davis said he would continue to attack social issues regardless of whether a Labour-led, or a National-led Government was formed.

"I'm still committed to sexual violence. Youth suicide is a massive issue and listening to Mike King speak over the last couple of months, there's a lot of social issues that culminate either in suicide or prison and we've got to attack those."

Mr Davis' opponent Mr Harawira, who had not responded to requests for comment, had been advocating a 2-for-1 vote but Mr Davis said that was never going to succeed.

"Any candidate who's coming second in a race can use that argument 'you're going to get the person who's going to win anyway so give me your candidate vote'. It's a real weak argument and it has backfired because, for every two votes I got, Hone got one."

Meanwhile the Labour Party won every Maori seat - including Waiariki, previously held by Maori Party co-leader Te Ururoa Flavell - which means the Maori Party is no longer in Parliament.

Mr Davis said "the people have spoken and that has to be respected".

"The Maori Party were probably tainted with their association with National and when you talk to people in the streets they're really not feeling the love."