Penny Simmonds left this morning for Wellington, but it could still be three weeks before the new National candidate can officially celebrate her win.
Labour’s Dr Liz Craig will also have to wait and see if she will retain a list MP seat, which depended on results around the country.
Simmonds said, when contacted on Sunday night about her 685 votes majority over Craig, that she was waiting to see how special votes would go, “but in the meantime I am away to Wellington…”
On her Facebook post she said, “What a night! – it wasn’t our night but in saying that I could not be more grateful for the many people who voted for me.
Your support has been amazing as well as humbling, so thank you.”
“To the incredible volunteers that have been there for me, your support and loyalty to myself and the National Party is what keeps us going.
“My family has been with me every step of the way during the past few months with lots of advice, flyer dropping and hoarding placements, I couldn’t have done this without you,” she said.
Dr Craig said it was a close result locally and wonderful to see such strong support for Labour.
“While the results are not yet final, I’m looking forward to another term with Jacinda Ardern our Prime Minister and the opportunity to re-build a stronger, more inclusive and sustainable New Zealand,” she said on Facebook.
Special votes were made for a host of different reasons, including if a voter had not registered to vote before election day, or there had been a change of address after the cut-off date for enrolments.
National has held the Invercargill seat since the 2005 election.