Editorial: Hawke's Bay is now a red bay.
With a region split down the middle (two Labour and two National seats) going into Saturday night, a Split Enz special ensued.
Anna Lorck knocked over National's Lawrence Yule in Tukituki. Meka Whaitiri got her vindication with a crushing win in Ikaroa-Rawhiti. Stuart Nash kept his majority in Napier. And Kieran McAnulty stormed home in Wairarapa, an electorate that includes Dannevirke, Waipawa and Waipukurau. The Labour dominance extended north, with Kiri Allan taking East Coast.
The result is one for the books, for Lorck in particular. She gambled everything on Tukituki, running a relentless street corner-style campaign.
She refused to take any form of list spot and in doing so not-so-subtly hinted that she was in politics only for the people of Tukituki, rather than the free lunches.
Yule's campaign on the other hand focused on National promises that he'd worked hard to seal for his electorate.
It made for good headlines — who wouldn't love a huge $500m rebuild of Hawke's Bay Hospital? — but because of the rabble that his party had become, they were promises very unlikely to ever be delivered.
The relationship between the pair, if there ever was one, had clearly disintegrated by the end of the campaign, and the last few weeks descended into some politically petty moments on both sides as they fought for every last vote.
Ultimately, Hawke's Bay's turn to Labour can be put down to Jacinda Ardern's incredible popularity, gained through her constant displays of competence and compassion, in three years of history that New Zealand is unlikely to ever forget.
McAnulty, Whaitiri, Lorck and Nash have all been boosted by the Jacinda effect.
Now it's time for them to do great things for Hawke's Bay. They have the biggest mandate to make changes, to fix what is broken, to not compromise on what matters to the people of this region for the sake of votes, in modern NZ's political history.
Labour has been given the power to rule, but it'll have to do so wisely. Immediate issues need addressing — housing woes, water allocation, and picking the fruit this summer are among them.
If the region struggles to recover from its Covid hangover, or if the ever-present possibility of the disease sneaking in again comes to reality, there is hope among the destruction for National.
Tukituki will flip in a heartbeat if all's not well in camp Labour. And Katie Nimon, who was closer than most would have predicted in Napier given the big party vote swing to Labour, will be snapping at Nash's heels in 2023.
On Saturday night, Labour turned red. Now the hard work begins.