Adrian Rurawhe never believed a poll which said he was 13 per cent behind in the race for Te Tai Hauauru.
Turns out he was right.
Mr Rurawhe retained the Maori electorate with a margin of about 1135 margin over the Maori Party's Howie Tamati in provisional results.
It means a second term for Mr Rurawhe who wrested the seat back for Labour from the Maori Party in 2014 following the retirement Tariana Turia.
Gathering a Ratana Paa with about 100 family, friends and supporters as the results tricked in on Saturday night he said he was relieved to have been returned to Parliament.
"It's been a hard fought race again, that's for sure."
Mr Rurawhe claimed victory just after 10pm, telling his supporters it had been "an honour and a privilege" to be the representative for Te Tai Hauauru.
"I thank everyone for giving me the honour and the privilege for another three years."
Mr Rurawhe said in the last term he managed to get into parts of the electorate that hadn't been covered by putting an office in South Waikato and Taranaki and a priority would be to consolidate that.
"It's a real tough job looking after Maori electorates and as a first term MP I've had to work really hard (in those areas).
"I just keep working really hard for my electorate."
He also hit out at the Maori Television/ Reid Research poll that three weeks ago had him trailing by 13 per cent.
"I was quite right to call them out on their poll and their polling method. It was clearly wrong," he said.
"We worked out a strategy to make sure that people received the message that we wanted to talk about."
Meanwhile, Mr Rurawhe said the party vote for Labour was disappointing.
"I was really hoping we would be in Government and I haven't quite given up on that yet," he said.
"Little bit disappointing that we haven't got as many as we would've liked to. But I've gotta say with eight weeks with a new leader is pretty good (from 24 per cent in the polls).
"But the next three years are going to be good. Clearly we are going to have a significant number of new MPs, by my count there looks like 14-16 new MPs coming in.
"That's going to be great for our ability to challenge the Government if we are in opposition."
Te Tai Hauāuru
Adrian Rurawhe (Labour) 8,038;
Howie Tamati (Maori) 6,903;
Jack McDonald (Greens) 2,159;
Wikitoria Waitai-Rapana (Independent) 331;
Candidate Informals (479).
Labour Party (10,399);
Māori Party (2,665);
New Zealand First Party (1,364);
National Party (1,194);
Green Party (1,127);
The Opportunities Party (483);
Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party (163);
Ban 1080 (39);
New Zealand People's Party (18);
ACT New Zealand (16);
Internet Party (9);
United Future (5);
NZ Outdoors Party (4);
Democrats for Social Credit (4);
Party Informals (220).