Former television man Tamati Coffey's first politics bid may have fallen short in the seat of Rotorua, but that doesn't mean he'll be returning to the small screen.
The 35-year-old - who had muted birthday celebrations the day before Saturday's election - said yesterday he was finally able to relax after seven draining months on the campaign trail.
He doesn't have an immediate plan beyond a holiday, he said. But he doesn't want to go back to TV.
"It's the day after and it feels like the hangover, but it's all good," he told the Herald yesterday.
AdvertisementAdvertise with NZME.
"I've never done this [politics] before. I thought I'd have a go and see what happens. Over 10,000 people voted for me, so that's nice."
The former TVNZ weatherman lost out in his bid for the Rotorua seat to National's Todd McClay by 7101 votes.
When 75 per cent of the votes were counted he knew it was not going his way, he said.
Trailing significantly at the 92 per cent mark, he phoned his National counterpart and conceded defeat.
"When I made the phone call last night, it was part of the process. When I realised it was going to go that way, you have to man up to it."
After a breakfast at home yesterday with family and supporters, he was taking the day easy.
He wasn't yet sure what his future would hold, although he would not rule out a return to the political ring in three years' time. If he did return he would come back stronger, he said, having learned from this year's experience.