Emotions overwhelm Te Ururoa Flavell and Marama Fox in wake of loss

After 12 years representing Māori in Parliament, Te Ururoa Flavell has found himself unable to speak in the wake of his defeat in the Māori electorate of Waiariki, which he's held since 2005.

On Three's The Nation on Sunday, Mr Flavell announced was stepping down from the party. Shortly afterward, Newhub's Patrick Gower spoke to the co-leaders in what Gower described as a "difficult interview" because of the respect he has for both leaders.

Gower told Mr Flavell he has given Pākehā new respect for Māori.

Mr Flavell was overcome with emotion and removed himself from the interview. 

"I'll tell you. I'll tell you what goes through his mind," Ms Fox said. 

"He's given everything, and he's sacrificed his family, and he's being compared to a young man who's come along and deserved to win the seat?"

"I had to sit this morning and listen to people compare [Mr Flavell] to the work of Tamati Coffey in the last three years to the work that this guy does. Are you kidding me?"

The Māori Party gained just 1.1 percent of the party vote, and all seven of the party's Māori electorate candidates were beaten by Labour. 

Ms Fox said Mr Favell has ushered in recognition of the New Zealand wars, pardoned Rua Kenana and signed Aotearoa up to the United Nation's Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

"We'll be back, because this is not a political movement, this is a Māori movement," she said.

"This is about a movement of our people towards our future"

Prior to the emotional interview, Mr Flavell spoke on The Nation, saying he was disappointed but proud of his achievements. 

"I think we've changed the political landscape. Obviously not enough to the satisfaction of our people at this point in time, but I'm really proud of what we've done." 

"That's what the people have delivered, and we'll just have to live with it." 

"We promoted ourselves as a strong independent voice and maybe, just maybe - which would be disappointing - our people don't believe that's where they want to be and they still want to be tagged onto a mainstream party. That's where the disappointment is."

"It's been nine years. In the end had we not been in that position [a coalition with National Party] we would have got nothing, that is the fact of the matter. In opposition you get nothing... When we've been sitting next to the government we've been able to secure policy gains." 

"While they might have the seats for the Labour Party at the moment, if they happen to sit in opposition they will get little to nothing."