National's Pansy Wong gave her farewell remarks as she left amid controversy while Labour's Kris Faafoi made his first speech in the House after winning the Mana by-election last month.

A packed gallery watched on as Mr Faafoi spoke and there were no heckles from the 17 National MPs or two Act MPs opposite. But his toddler George interjected so much he was eventually ejected from the house by mum Gina.

National's Hekia Parata graciously watched on as the man who beat her by 1406 votes took the floor and former Mana MP Luamanuvao Winnie Laban beamed down from the public gallery.

Mr Faafoi talked about the honour of becoming the first Tokelauan MP in New Zealand and said his parents, who watched on proudly, came to the country with hopes their children could live the New Zealand dream.

His dad Amosa was one of the first scholarship students to come to New Zealand while his mother Metita left her homeland as part of a repatriation scheme.

"Today another dream has come true for your children."

Mr Faafoi, a former reporter who covered politics for TV One, acknowledged that his promotion to MP after working in communications for Labour leader Phil Goff was unusual.

However, he said he always had a strong interest in social justice and had some early involvement in politics.

As a child in Christchurch his mum made him deliver Jim Anderton's pamphlets: "There were hundreds of them - and I read them."

His mother worked in a factory and was a union member and he learned early about expressing his views at the Hoon Hay Workingmen's club, where his dad was president.

Mr Faafoi had even spoken in the House of Representatives before - in 1994 when Mr Anderton chose him to be a Youth MP.

He was "flustered and nervous" but recalled a well-spoken ginger headed Youth MP - Darren Hughes, now a Labour MP.

Mr Faafoi thanked party members and his electoral team and acknowledged the other contenders, especially noting Hekia Parata and Jan Logie.

He said that Mana was one of the few electorates where spontaneous Pacific Island dancing is not an uncommon happening at campaign events.

"I'm sure we are all glad my former TV colleagues did not make it to many of those."

Mr Faafoi gave the media a rare positive comment, saying it was a noble trade and journalists ensured transparency and accountability.

But, he said it was time for him to stop highlighting problems and start finding solutions.

"For me the Tokelauan custom of inati - sharing on the basis of need - is something that is ingrained in my DNA."

When he visited Tokelau in 2003 he saw the villagers catch fish for the village and divide it according to need.

"That concept lies at the heart of Labour Party values."

He promised to work hard in Mana to improve state housing, focus on job creation, on getting parents more involved in education and ensure good public transport and combat the harm alcohol did.

"One of my enduring memories of the campaign will be of a father who'd had a few too many and who approached me after a street corner meeting. He said the booze was too cheap, too easy to get hold of and that he didn't want his kids to do what he was doing.

"I could see the irony - I could also see that he was right."

At the end of his speech Mr Faafoi was hugged and kissed by his caucus and other MPs as the gallery burst into a traditional Tokelauan song.

- NZPA