Thank you to everyone who supported me and National in this campaign. Despite a hugely disappointing result across the country I remain a List MP in the National caucus.
I can keep serving you as an MP because of the thousands of men and women across the country who gave your Party Vote to National. I am grateful to every single one. I will work hard every day to repay your faith in our Party.
There is much work for National to do to rebuild and I am determined we will do much better at the next election. I intend to give this work my all.
My congratulations to Labour on an emphatic victory and to Grant Robertson who has won the Wellington Central seat for a fifth time. I know that Grant shares many of the aspirations I have for this city - improving our transport infrastructure, increasing housing supply, sorting out our water woes, and where I can work alongside him to advance these objectives I will. I will keep being a strong voice for this city and I will keep holding the Government to account when it falls short. I remain committed to a growing, vibrant Wellington and to advancing policies that make that possible.
I take my hat off to our Leader Judith Collins for her resilience and strength throughout this campaign. I am immensely grateful also to every National member, supporter and family member who gave so much to this campaign despite the challenging conditions. I am particularly sad to see so many of my colleagues lose their place in Parliament and to see talented hard-working candidates lose their electorate races. Know that your efforts were not wasted: our caucus will work doubly hard in this next three years to advance the aspirations and beliefs you fought so hard for.
National has ahead of us a period of reflection. Voters have sent us a message and we need to listen hard to what they are saying to us. Judith Collins has announced a review will take place, I support this and am open to the changes that may be required.
I am confident that just as the tide has gone out this time it will come in again so long as National stays true to its principles. Our values of believing in reward for hard work and achievement, of backing entrepreneurship, of empowering individuals to shape their own lives by giving them choices, freedom and responsibility, of valuing strong families and communities ahead of ever-expanding Government. These are values that remain vital to the success of our country and that every National MP has a duty to advance.
Let me say thank you to the special people who contributed to our campaign here in Wellington Central, who handed out flyers, scrutineered, made phone calls, door-knocked, waved signs, erected hoardings, attended events and gave me so much advice and heart. In particular I thank my campaign manager Brigitte Morten and Deputy Campaign Manager Josh Smith along with the Young Nats who were the heart and soul of our campaign. I am grateful to you all. Finally I say thank you to my family. They are a huge source of strength and support to me, I thank them for their many sacrifices and I promise to live-up to their expectations.
Tomorrow the hard work starts again.
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