He never assumed he would be elected back into Parliament, Southland MP Joseph Mooney says.
Preliminary results show that Mr Mooney won 19,981 votes, 14,873 votes ahead of the next highest polling candidate, Simon McCallum, of the Labour Party.
Mr Mooney said even though the electorate was traditionally a National Party stronghold he did not bank on that to win his second term in Parliament.
‘‘My experience in life is never take anything for granted. ‘‘Always work hard for it.’’
If he had not won the seat again then he would not have deserved to be in Parliament, he said.
While not everyone voted for him, he was there to represent everyone in the electorate and he encouraged anyone who had issues to get in touch with his electoral offices.
He was fortunate to have the support of his family.
‘‘They’re very patient and they know it means I spend a lot of time away from home.’’
He almost tripled his majority from last time.
‘‘It’s great people have confidence in me to represent the region and I’ll be working hard to repay that privilege and honour, to make sure I strongly advocate for Southland people in Parliament.’’ It was exciting to achieve the change in government.
‘‘There’s a huge amount of work that needs to be done to quite literally get the country back on track.
‘‘The reason I am in this is I strongly believe centre right values deliver better results to everybody.’’
The over-regulation of the primary sector was one thing he would like the new government to address.
‘‘We need to streamline those regulations and make them outcome focused to reduce the cost of compliance,’’ he said.
He would also like to see the narrative around farming change to a more positive one.
New Zealand farmers were the ‘‘most carbon-efficient, effective farmers on the planet and they are the true environmentalists looking after the land and the water and their animals day in and day out’’.
Tourism which also brought economic benefits was another area that needed attention.
Health and the cost of living were other areas he wanted to see change.