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"I have set out to put myself and my party's policies in front of as many face to face as I could do."
The new Waitaki electorate contained small communities and, in order to gain their confidence, she needed to met as many people as she could - "so I did", she said.
Mrs Dean said Labour candidate David Parker had telephoned to concede and was "very gracious" in defeat.
The former Playschool presenter and Waitaki district councillor was looking forward to a second term as an MP.
She was "chuffed" with the landslide victory over Parker, saying she seemed to have managed to get the confidence of people in such a large electorate.
The challenge for her now was to live up to that. "Tonight is the benchmark for me," she said.
She felt really strongly that one of the biggest roles she could have in Wellington, when legislation was being discussed, was to bring a provincial perspective to it.
There was a buoyant mood at the National Party's Waitaki election night party held in the Kingsgate Hotel Brydone - even some of the drinks being served were blue.