The Māori Party is being credited with mobilising an "outstanding" performance from Māori voters, who may not have voted otherwise.
Former National MP and political analyst Claudette Hauiti says The Māori Party's campaign based on a "liberated Māori voice" resonated with Māori in a way "talking policies" didn't.
"It looks like the Māori voters have come back, that's because they can sense now that there is a time for more Māori and they can actually get more Māori into Parliament," she says.
"Māori should be congratulated in the way they came out to vote. It also showed how Māori can be galvanised and mobilised if there is a party like The Māori Party, that speaks to the hearts and minds of Māori, and not just the pockets of Māori," she says.
"The Māori Party's policies are uniquely Māori and that's what resonated with Māori voters – who couldn't be bothered in the last election, who were brought out by The Māori Party," she says.
Māori Television reported a whopping 79 Māori candidates stood for election across 45 seats.
The New Zealand Māori Council called the election result an "overwhelming win" for the Māori vote.
Executive director Matthew Tukaki says the growth in the Māori Caucus within the Labour Party sets the scene for a resurgence in focus on Māori issues.
"There is just no question that Māori have turned out and turned out in droves," he says.
"We have seen the return of The Māori Party and close results in several other seats but the big news story of the night has to be the increase in the Māori representatives within Labour – and its not just the Māori seats but the General seats where Māori have done extremely well."
While it looks like Rawiri Waititi will be the only candidate from The Māori Party to win a seat, other candidates put up a real fight.
Political commentator Will Workman was surprised by the "good chunk" of votes Heather Te Au-Skipworth took away from Meka Whaitiri.
"Even though Meka Whaitiri in Ikaroa-Rāwhiti has won easily, that is a shift," he says.
The University of Auckland's Dr Lara Greaves says The Māori Party's result is a testament to how hard they worked.
"It was a good effort in those seats where there is quite a popular Labour incumbent, where the Māori Party didn't necessarily have a strong foothold."
Meanwhile Labour list MP Willie Jackson took to social media to celebrate the party's growing Māori representation.
"We now have a 15-member Māori caucus, six of the seven Māori seats as well as new general electorate seats for Jo Luxton, Shannan Halbert, Kiritapu Allan and Arena Williams," he posted.
"I am proud of the way we campaigned against a big challenge from the Māori Party. In terms of general performance, what a fabulous role our Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has played. She has led from the front and now we have a record victory."