Congratulations to Meka Whaitiri and Liz Kerekere, and commiserations to Heather Te Au-Skipworth, but two out of three ain't bad. Ngāti Kahungunu Iwi Incorporated and Ikaroa Rāwhiti and the East Coast have gone red.
Meka was emphatic in her victory and conversed with Heather during the night. Anna Lorck, after three attempts, broke through and showed that determination and hard work can win the day.
Kiritapu Allan, for the East Coast, who has worked with the iwi over several years was successful in the electoral seat. Of course Stuart Nash as a current minister was always on the front foot to win his seat.
Since "first-past-the-post" (FPTP), we have never seen such a tsunami of a result for any party.
The "Jacinda effect" had huge weight throughout and our people voted en masse for her and all her MP's work during Covid-19, keeping our boarders safe and our communities replete with resources to support our hardest-to-reach whānau throughout Kahungunu.
We have rewarded this support through huge backing for Meka, Kiritapu, Anna and Stuart without reservation or doubt.
Post the election result last Saturday night, Anna and Heather got together in support of each other and Meka also chimed in. We also congratulate Liz Kerekere, who demonstrated full supporting roles of both Meka and Heather. It's a pity that both Tracey Martin and Ron Marks have missed out as they made sterling efforts in their ministerial roles, so kia kaha ko rua.
So what's next? Although Meka was demoted as a minister during her term, we are urging that Meka be reinstated into Cabinet as she has had a strong role in advocating for our rohe and our region, and she has always indicated that her focus is on horticulture, aquaculture and fisheries.
We would love to see her in the ministerial role with her talent across these areas. She has also shown a penchant for overseas trade and indigenous activities within sport, health and economics.
We will be urging Jacinda and senior ministers to support Meka's re-entry into Cabinet circles. She has done her time, she hasn't shirked from her role as MP, and her overwhelming support gives strong voice from the region to cabinet for a return of Meka into the ministerial role.
So what of the future for Heather and Lawrence? Heather is determined to go another round or two and Lawrence has a huge reputation within the agriculture and horticulture sector and will find support in those areas.
We congratulate all candidates from all parties! Well done to everybody who stood for all parties but especially to all of you voters who turned out and put your finger print on this election.
The people have spoken. It's how we make and shape our government that will lead us over the next three years.
• Ngahiwi Tomoana is Ngāti Kahungunu iwi incorporated chairman.