As far as birthday presents go - gaining the majority of the votes for the Waiariki electorate seat would have to be up there for the Māori Party's Rawiri Waititi.
The newly 40-year-old has provisionally taken the seat but the results hung on a knife's edge due to the tight margin between him and incumbent Labour candidate Tamati Coffey.
Coffey has not yet conceded and has confidence that the special votes still to come could tide him over.
However, a local government expert says he believes Waititi will hold on to the seat and called it a "major achievement" for the Māori Party.
Massey University political commentator professor Richard Shaw said although it was "entirely appropriate" for Coffey to withhold conceding, he did not think Coffey would take the win.
He said the tight margin was "not huge" in context to the size of the Waiariki electorate and for this reason, Waititi's lead would be too large.
It was a particularly impressive win for Waititi, he said, because it was "really hard for a party tipped out of Parliament to find its way back in".
"It's quite a major achievement on the Māori Party's part. Now they will build an even bigger public profile and have more of a shot in 2023."
Shaw said it was an opportunity to "expand Māori voice in Parliament" and he picked that Ardern could seek a coalition in the future.
"It really is significant."
Waititi told NZME on Sunday morning, "The people have spoken and I am absolutely overwhelmed that they have put their trust in me to represent them for the next parliamentary term."
When asked about heading to the Beehive, Watiti laughed and said, "I am not a very good structured man myself ... get rid of the Redbands [gumboots] ... I'll keep the hat."
On working with Labour, he said, "I have known those fullas for years ... the cards are in their hands ... we will work with anybody who has the same values as our Māori movement."
In the health system Māori die 10 years
younger than anybody else, so there needed to be earlier access to screenings, etc, he said.
What are the new systemic things we can do to make change, he said.
"There is a young, astute, intelligent, strategic voter coming through that knows who they are" and where they were going, he said.
"When you have got something to say, you take to your feet and you say it."
He said people had voted strategically this election to get more Māori voices into Parliament, with Coffey high enough on the Labour list to secure a spot.
"We have done something that people would not have expected of a minor party."
Watiti had been feeling "really elated"
Saturday night as the results pipped him as the provisional winner, however, Coffey made it clear the "show's not over" and special votes could still tip the scales in his favour.
Waititi had been in contact with former Māori Party leader Te Ururoa Flavell who congratulated him and told Waititi he was "really proud" of their campaign.
The previous election had seen devastation for the Māori Party, with Flavell losing the Waiariki seat he had held for more than a decade to Coffey.
The Māori Party devised a raft of progressive policies in its campaign launch in June, including lifting the minimum wage to $25 an hour, making Māori language and history core subjects at school, and returning conservation land to Māori.
Flavell said he was unable to comment to NZME about
Saturday night's results.
Coffey had described the night as a "cliffhanger" and a "nailbiter" saying at one stage that the "sweat is real".
He was not ready to concede at this stage because he had "benefited from about 450 special votes" in the previous election and due to the margin being "so close" - he wanted to wait for that, he said.
"It's not over just yet."
He said the next few weeks would be filled with a bit of anxiety but he had to be proud of the "definitive Labour" government that the country had voted in.
He would still be a Member of Parliament on the Labour list at this stage, he said.
On Sunday, he held a barbecue for his volunteers as a way to celebrate their hard work and also say thank you for their time and loyalty.