Labour MP Paul Eagle broke down in tears during his maiden speech as he told Parliament what his birth mother said to him when they met after 20 years.
"My birth mother told me of her sadness, how she missed me," he said.
"At shopping malls she would look at each little Maori boy and wonder if it were me."
Mr Eagle had to stop several times during his speech, and at one point was comforted by fellow MP Willie Jackson.
"But over 45 years later it's still nice to know that she wanted me," he said.
Mr Eagle was applauded as he said it was a privilege to be standing there as the Member for Rongotai and the first Maori male to win a general electorate seat for the Labour Party.