In a night that didn't see a clear cut winner for the title of prime minister, a lot was decided locally.

National's Todd McClay won the Rotorua seat with a healthy lead over Labour's Ben Sandford who came in second.

NZ First's Fletcher Tabuteau came in third, followed by Green Party candidate Richard Gillies, Wendy Biddle for the Maori Party, independent Rachel Clarke and Owen Patterson for the Conservative Party.

Gillies said it was a tough night for parties both locally and nationally, with only the toughest surviving.

Advertisement

"All minor parties got really squeezed during this campaign and thankfully we [Green Party] survived," he said.

As a newcomer to politics, Gillies said he enjoyed this years' campaign.

"I thought it was well contested locally and done in a fair spirit.

"I'd also like to say congratulations to Todd on winning the Rotorua seat and to all the other candidates for a hard fought campaign," he said.

He was unsure whether he saw himself running in the next General Election, but said it was too early to rule the option out.

"I've learnt a lot and when you pick up knowledge and skills throughout the process like I have it would be silly to let them go to waste."

Independent candidate Rachel Clark said she will be a presence in Rotorua for the next three years. Photo/supplied
Independent candidate Rachel Clark said she will be a presence in Rotorua for the next three years. Photo/supplied

Independent candidate Rachael Clarke also gave congratulations to McClay and said she was happy with her own effort.

"I joined on a little later than the others so I didn't have the run up that they may have had but I'm happy with what I've done.

"It's only onwards and upwards from here," she said.

Clarke said she aimed to have a bigger presence in the city over the next three years.

"I would like to think I'd be back for the next election but it's too early to say anything.

"This is only the start for me.

Attempts to contact Maori Party candidate Wendy Biddle were unsuccessful.