Northland has gone back to blue while Whangarei is still blue and Te Tai Tokerau has stuck with the red.

A fascinating election campaign has ended with National's Shane Reti re-elected as Whangarei MP, Labour's Kelvin Davis re-elected as Te Tai Tokerau MP and National's Matt King winning the Northland electorate ahead of incumbent NZ First's Winston Peters.

The night saw National gather the largest percentage of votes - and therefore be prime position to form the next government - but NZ First holds the balance of power.

Across the country the National won 46 per cent of the party vote, Labour 35.8 per cent, NZ First 7.5 per cent, the Greens 5.8 per cent, The Opportunities Party 2.2 per cent and Act 0.5 per cent.


In Whangarei Dr Reti was voted back in for his second term with 17,071 votes, followed by NZ First's Shane Jones with 6912, Labour's Tony Savage with 6710, Greens' Ash Holwell with 4131, Chris Leitch from Democrats for Social Credit with 910, Robin Grieve from Act with 171, Jim Taylor from the Conservatives with 135 and independent Marie Minhinnick with 95.

National won 46.2 per cent of the party vote in Whangarei, with Labour gaining 30.3 per cent.

Dr Reti said he was privileged that the people of Whangarei had voted him in again. ''First I want to acknowledge the other candidates, they put up a great contest. I want to thank the people of Whangarei who have put their faith in me for another three years.

''It's a privilege, but I won't take anything for granted and will work hard for them and everybody in Whangarei.''

Immediately after getting voted in for the first time in 2014 Dr Reti promised to create another 3000 jobs in the electorate during his three year term.

''We achieved that in two,'' he said.

Dr Reti said he had three priorities for his next term.

''Number one, I want to continue growing jobs and the local economy, particularly looking at growing trade training and apprenticeships,'' he said.

"Second I want to focus on infrastructure. We're a growing city and we need the infrastructure to grow too. And thirdly, with a strong economy and surplus we can look at the social issues, like housing, like poverty and health.''

Former Labour cabinet Mr Jones said he knew it would be a hard slog wresting the seat from Dr Reti as Whangarei had been a National Party stronghold for decades.

''Whangarei people are very earthy people and I wanted to provide them with another option in the candidate vote. But we shouldn't underestimate the impact of the Jacinda effect. That sucked a lot of the oxygen out the air and made it harder for the likes of myself and NZ First to get our ideas out there.

''I'm extremely confident the party vote in Whangarei will be the highest percentage for the party in any constituency''

On the Party vote he said he was always confident that party leader Winston Peters would continue to generate the support to get NZ First into a position to be part of the next Government.Mr Savage who gathered with supporters at the Hora Hora Primary School hall, said he had a goal to get 10,000 votes.

"I think we wanted to get at least second and beat Jonesy so that was our game and that's nothing against Jonesy that's the competition. What I was most pleased about is the party vote, that seems to be coming up. It's really hard in Whangarei to change anything and we're going to get straight in to the next three years and get on to each of the issues coming up and hammer those."

Mr Savage said he thought Labour had a chance to form a Government with a coalition.

"The problem is the Nats haven't got many friends left. The Maori Party unfortunately is on its way out, Act won't work with anybody else, or can't work with anybody else, so at least we've got good friends and I know with Shane (Jones) being a previous Labour Party person that hopefully it's going to go with us so I think we're in with a chance with a coalition.''

In the Northland electorate National's Matt King has won with 13,686 votes compared to NZ First Leader Winston Peters' 12,394.

Labour's Willow-Jean Prime came in third with 7219 votes, followed by Peter Hughes, from the Greens with 1375, Mel Taylor from the Conservatives with 155 and Craig Nelson from Act with 104.

National won 47.8 per cent of the party vote followed by Labour with 28.6.

Mr King said after his marriage and the birth of his children this was the highlight of his life.

He said on the campaign trail he had driven 35,000km and shaken countless hands because the party told him he was an unknown competing against 'a rock star' in Mr Peters.

After the results become clear Mr Peters said his party was in the position to hold the balance of responsibility, but he would not be rushed into making any decisions on which way the party would go with to form the next Government. He would discuss it with the party's full board before any decisions were made.

In the Te Tai Tokerau electorate incumbent, and Labour deputy leader Kelvin Davis retained the seat with 10,448 votes, ahead of former MP and Mana Party leader Mr Harawira with 6178. In third place was Godfrey Rudolph from the Greens with 1538 then Maki Herbert from the Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party with 745.

Labour cleaned up in the party vote in Te Tai Tokerau with 57.5 per cent, followed by NZ First with 12 per cent.

Mr Davies said his win was an indication ''of the work I've done over the last three years in terms of sexual violence, and prisons, and detention centres, and P, and Stat Oil is gone.

And people are saying now you've got another three years you've got to prove yourself once again. I'm grateful for the support of the electorate and hope I can do them justice."

Mr Davis was at Te Mahurehure Marae but was about to head to the Labour Party's "big dance" at Aotea Centre.

Mr Harawira had been promoting a 2 for 1 deal, Mr Davis said you always have to be wary of any opponent's strategy.

Mr Harawira declined to comment.