The five Māori MPs soon became known as the "Tight Five," after the five rugby forwards who do most of the pushing in a scrum. Largely because of their huge electoral upset, they gained a very high profile in both New Zealand First and nationwide. However, they along with many other New Zealand First MPs attracted some controversy for their behavior. Morgan, in particular, faced criticism for reportedly misappropriating funds from a television network where he worked before entering Parliament.
In December 1997, National's Jim Bolger was ousted as Prime Minister in a party room coup by Jenny Shipley. Tensions rapidly developed between the coalition partners and within New Zealand First itself. In 1998, Henare tried to stage a party room coup of his own against Peters, but failed. Soon after that, Shipley sacked Peters from Cabinet. Peters immediately pulled New Zealand First out of the coalition, but eight New Zealand First MPs left the party instead and continued to support National as independents. Among these MPs were all of the Tight Five except Wyllie.
In the 1999 elections, all of the Tight Five were defeated, with only Delamere managing to even finish second. Henare is the only one who has remained in politics; he later joined the National Party and returned to Parliament as a list MP from 2005 to 2014. Waitai and Delamere have also rejoined the National Party since leaving Parliament, and Waitai was elected to the Wanganui District Council in 2007.