Labour's Stuart Nash is returning to Parliament after a three-year break, having beaten rivals Wayne Walford of National and Garth McVicar of the Conservatives to win the Napier electorate.
"Napier is returning to Labour!" Mr Nash told a rowdy crowd of party supporters at the Dram & Cock Whiskey Bar in central Napier just after 10pm.
Mr Nash's election night majority in the seat - which includes Wairoa -- was 3733 over Mr Walford. He received 14,041 votes compared to Mr Walford's 10,308 votes and Mr McVicar's 7135 votes.
The Napier win was "one bright spot" across the country for Labour, Mr Nash said, as the party recorded one of its worst ever election performances.
He said hard work over three years had paid off in the bid to win the seat.
"What we have done is proven that if you put a good strategy in place, have a great team, raise the money, and concentrate on the issues that are important to the people who decide elections, you can win a seat back," he said.
"We believe we have got the blueprint for winning provincial New Zealand back for Labour."
Mr Nash said he was proud of the win, which had been acheived by the work of a team of volunteers.
"Now the real work begins because we made a whole lot of promises."
The Napier electorate has traditionally been a Labour stronghold but National's has held it since 2005. Sitting MP Chris Tremain announced last year he would retire from politics at this election.
Mr Nash, who was a Napier-based list MP from 2008 to 2011, stood as an electorate candidate in the seat in the 2011 election, but lost to Mr Tremain by 3701 votes.
Results for the other candidates standing in the seat were: Paul Bailey (Greens) 1081 votes, Barry Pulford (Democrats for Social Credit) 47 votes, and Mary O'Neill (Alliance) 53 votes.