Preparations will begin soon for a by-election in the East Coast Maori electorate of Ikaroa-Rawhiti following the death Labour MP Parekura Horomia.
The seat will need to be declared vacant by the Speaker of the House before a by-election can be held within a couple of months.
Mr Horomia, 62, died on Monday at his home at Mangatuna near Tolaga Bay.
He had held the seat for Labour since entering Parliament in 1999 and was Maori Affairs Minister from 2000-08.
In the last election, his majority increased to 6541 votes. Three other candidates from the Maori and Mana parties and an independent stood against him.
Former Labour Party president Mike Williams says he believes the party will hold on to the Ikaroa-Rawhiti seat because Parekura Horomia did such a good job of keeping the electorate organisation running.