A blown fuse, a destroyed mobile phone, and a late-night Parliamentary tour were all part of a whirlwind first 48 hours in Wellington for new Hamilton West MP Dr Gaurav Sharma.
After securing a stunning Labour win against National MP Tim Macindoe on Saturday night, Sharma was on a plane to Wellington the next day, however drama soon unfolded when his phone short-circuited while charging in his hotel room.
"Mid-Sunday morning in Hamilton I received a call from Parliamentary Services that I had to be on the flight to Wellington from Auckland within a few hours. I had just two hours to do my laundry and pack my bags and then drive up to Auckland where I got to see my mother for a brief 15 minutes after two months," Sharma said.
"I got to Wellington Sunday night and as soon as I checked into the hotel my phone charger short-circuited and caught fire. My phone was completely damaged and I blew the fuse, leading to a room change.
"Thankfully I was able to get hold of my amazing campaign manager, who was able to get hold of Parliamentary Services who advised me to show up at the main door of Parliament at 11pm."
"So here I was in the rain standing by myself outside the Parliament at night when security cameras picked me up lurking around and someone on the PA system asked what I was doing outside.
"I just said this is a bit of an unusual story but I am the new Member of Parliament and my phone just blew up. I was told to come here for a replacement."
Sharma was then given what could possibly be one of the first night-time tours of Parliament for a new MP as staff searched for a new phone, to no avail.
The following day he was able to receive a new phone, but unfortunately lost all his campaign photos and contacts, but despite the whirlwind start, Sharma said he has enjoyed his first days in Wellington, while also paying tribute to outgoing Hamilton West MP Tim Macindoe.
"Tim has been incredibly helpful in making me feel comfortable around Parliament and he was very gracious in his defeat. I can only wish him the very best for what the future entails for him."
His fellow Hamilton MP Jamie Strange said it was great to now have two MPs in Hamilton that could advocate for the region.
"We are both very keen to continue to get Government investment for the Waikato region, but I'd also like to acknowledge the work that Tim Macindoe did for the city and it is a loss for Hamilton. I wish both Tim and his wife Anne and their family the very best for the future."
Macindoe knew early on election night that he had lost to Sharma, and visited Gower Park where both Strange and Sharma and supporters were gathered to congratulate them on their win.
He said his first job was to pack up his office, before deciding on his next venture.
"When one door closes another will open and I just thank those in the Hamilton West electorate that have supported me since 2008. I felt it was an incredible privilege to serve the city, I knew there was a chance that it could end this way, you never hope it ends but nothing lasts forever," Macindoe said.
"I still hope that in the future I can serve the city in some capacity."
Despite being defeated in Hamilton East, David Bennett will be part of National's opposition after he was re-elected on the list, and is likely to remain the party's spokesman for agriculture.
He said that while Labour was successful in turning the majority of urban centres red, the farming electorates like the Waikato, Taranaki-King Country, and Taupō all remained blue for National.
"When you look at the electorates Labour won, it shows the regions that have an urban centre were the ones that turned red; however, the seats that we won were all rural and so the farmers are still voting for us, we just lost the urban provincial result."
Bennett said he will continue advocating for the Waikato, while he also took an early shot at Labour - saying they will fail to deliver for the region.
"They have no money left in the tank, they are not going to deliver anything and the Waikato is going to lose again with this Government. They will give us the odd little handouts but we will be the biggest loser as a region."
The Waikato also has a new list MP, with Act's James McDowall of Hamilton being elected thanks to his party's strong performance on election night.
McDowall is a 32-year-old with a PhD in strategic foresight and co-owns a number of small businesses. One is an immigration law firm with his lawyer wife. He runs the non-legal side of the firm.
He also helps to run a strategic foresight consultancy firm but for his day job, he works for a large NGO in the mental health and homelessness sector, where he runs the digital marketing team.
McDowall previously told the Waikato News voters were tired of the same old ideas.
"More Act MPs sends a message to Wellington that we need better economic management and a better health response to Covid – not slogans and sound bites. Act is the only party that has a plan for a stronger New Zealand that gets us through the economic and health challenges that we are facing," McDowall said.
In the Waikato, Tim van de Molen was reelected as the Waikato MP for National, while Barbara Kuriger held onto the Taranaki-King Country for National. Nanaia Mahuta also secured a dominant win in the Hauraki-Waikato electorate for Labour.
In Taupō, Louise Upston will serve a fifth term as an MP for the electorate for National, while National's Scott Simpson secured a dominant win in the Coromandel.