As the country waited with bated breath on Saturday evening while the early votes were being counted, there was a palpable buzz of excitement at the Botany Electorate night celebration, held at The Brook.
The celebratory evening was hosted by Christopher Luxon who made the much-anticipated transition from a rookie, unemployed politician to being National Party MP for Botany – beating his opponent Labour Party candidate Naisi Chen by more than 4000 votes.
An air of high expectation gripped everyone at The Brook as the former Air New Zealand CEO, labelled as the man who will be Prime Minister someday, addressed a diverse gathering of small business owners, National Party delegates, supporters, volunteers and party champions.
Giving due credit to his supporters, Luxon said, “You have done it! Because of the hard work of our volunteers we have returned the great electorate of Botany to the National Party. This victory isn’t mine, it belongs to the volunteers who’ve fought the good fight for us in Botany.
“I’ve had support from thousands of people in Botany, maybe not as much as we wanted it to be but it’s a pretty awesome result given in the context of what is happening this evening.”
While Luxon was a tad disappointed with the numbers that indicated Labour’s landslide victory, he said it also provided a great opportunity to change things. I thank Botany voters for putting their faith in me.
“I thank Botany voters for putting their faith in me. I’m pretty fired up and ready to go despite this result. A lot more work needs to be done than we had imagined we had to do….but I’m up to the challenge.
“I’m proud of our result in Botany because we’ve gone against the grain. But the next three years will be about rebuilding as a party. The road ahead will be challenging for us as a country but regardless of who you voted for, we will get through this as a proud country of New Zealanders.”
Luxon’s wife Amanda said that she always knew that politics was on his radar. It was just a matter of time.
“Just a year ago, I stood on this stage and said thank you and goodbye to my Air New Zealand family but tonight I want to say thank you to all of you. We are really excited about taking this journey with you.”
Referring to Luxon winning National’s nomination for the seat in 2019, Amanda told the Times that she was glad Chris had got in early to do the groundwork.
“He’s so committed to working day and night, meeting people in the community and getting to know them. I am glad he had the time to put in the hard work. I know he is very sincere. There is a lot of integrity.”
Amanda also shared their daughter Olivia’s video message from Melbourne. Olivia, who couldn’t return to Auckland to partake in her dad’s victory said, “The people of Botany are in good hands. Dad, thank you for constantly inspiring me, and always being there for me. It’s exciting that this is just the beginning and there are so many more adventures to come.”