Fletcher Tabuteau is "feeling good" after rising through the ranks to become New Zealand First's new deputy leader.
The Rotorua-based list MP was elected to the position at a caucus meeting today.
"After careful consideration, the caucus today supported Fletcher Tabuteau to take over the role, and I congratulate him on this appointment," leader Winston Peters said.
Tabuteau said this had been a goal of his over the years.
"When the opportunity came up I raised my hand, and I am really stoked that I had the support of my caucus colleagues, it's humbling."
He was quick to dismiss the idea he may take leadership of the party before the next election in 2020.
"This isn't a guaranteed stepping stone into that position, it's a role that's about making sure New Zealand First is running a smooth operation.
"Winston is still the best party leader in the house, right up there with Jacinda Ardern, so I am just concentrating on each day and the next few years."
He said he hadn't really thought about how things might change just yet.
"The work just keeps coming so I guess I just keep working.
"Rotorua is my home town, I am proud to be a member based in Rotorua and I'd really like to be the member for Rotorua one day.
"I am hoping my commitments to Rotorua and Te Puke can maintain a priority."
Tabuteau said his most important message was for Rotorua.
"Tell everyone, thank you for their support."
Rotorua MP Todd McClay congratulated Tabuteau on his new role but said NZ First now faced a difficult job convincing the Bay of Plenty the party's decision to side with Labour was a good one.
"The reason why the party vote dropped was because Bay of Plenty people were not happy with the party siding with Labour," he said. "But I congratulate him [Tabuteau] and wish him well."
Rotorua mayor Steve Chadwick said the announcement was "marvellous" for the city.
"We will now have that advocacy at an even higher level, especially with his portfolios of tourism and as undersecretary for regional development," Chadwick said.
She said she met with Tabuteau every six weeks and he knew the area's issues.
"He knows we're going to need funding for Te Ngae Rd and we're looking for funding for the museum restoration."
Rotorua Lakes Council Te Tatau o Te Arawa chairman Te Taru White said Tabuteau was the "obvious choice" for the deputy leader position.
"He is one of our home boys, he has Ngati Whakaue affiliations and that comes with obligations ... no pressure," he joked.
"There's always going to be a loyalty to home, it was expected by Todd and Te Ururoa [Flavell], but it's probably going to be demanded by [Tabuteau]."
White said it was interesting to see how Maori were positioned in Parliament.
"We'd like to see [Tabuteau] focus on our local and regional economy.
"It will be interesting to see the ideas he brings to the table in that space."
Rotorua Chamber of Commerce chief executive Allison Lawton said the most exciting political news of the day was the appointment of Tabuteau.
"Fletch is from Rotorua, has worked in our city and with his economics degree will have a focus on economic growth."
Rotorua Principals' Association president Briar Stewart said she had followed the NZ First decision with interest.
"I think what happened to the Maori Party in the election has thrown into light how fragile it can be for the minor parties. I think it was recognised that to ensure the party survived, it needed new, young politicians like Fletcher to keep the party going."
Tabuteau grew up in Rotorua and worked in the tourism industry for many years, running his own consulting business specialising in marketing and business communications.
Before entering Parliament as a list MP in 2014, he was a secondary teacher in maths and social studies, a lecturer in economics and business and head of the business school at Waiariki Institute of Technology.
He is the Parliamentary Under-Secretary to Foreign Minister Peters and Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones.