All three of Hawke's Bay's National MPs wanted to raise the alcohol purchase age, while the Ikaroa Rawhiti electorate MP - Labour's Parekura Horomia - opted for the status quo in the Alcohol Reform Bill last week.
MPs were given three options in the initial vote. They could pick from keeping the purchase age at 18, split it for 18 at bars and 20 at off license outlets, or raise it to 20 for both off license and bars.
After the first vote ruled out the split option due to lack of support, a second vote was held for the remaining two options where the status quo was retained 68 votes to 53.
Mr Horomia believed it should remain at 18.
"I voted to maintain 18," he said. "I was of the opinion they're grown up and working."
He added there were some "torrid" drinkers aged in their 30s and 40s, and it was not just an age issue.
"I think it's a mature enough age. I'm more than aware of the teenage binge drinking but it's not that age group. I think we've just got to learn to treat them like adults."
Wairarapa MP John Hayes voted to lift it to 20, but now says he hadn't thought it through properly.
"Age of sale of alcohol is not the problem," he said.
"What I've been wondering about, is whether we should be thinking about dealing with the problem which is behaviour.
"Maybe we need to think about it in those terms. We have a problem and I acknowledge that putting the age up isn't going to solve it."
Craig Foss and Chris Tremain both wanted to lift it to 20, although Napier's MP Mr Tremain voted for the 18/20 split initially as he believed it had a better chance of passing.
"I think addressing the concerns of the community around alcohol - there is not a silver bullet [fix] to this," Mr Tremain said. "I saw this as one initiative that could add to the solution."
He said bars were a controlled environment for 18-year olds to drink in.
"The cost of buying a beer is reasonably expensive so that kind of environment for a young person doesn't encourage binge drinking per se.
"I am concerned about our drinking habits as a society and I think we did need to send a message as a society."
Tukituki MP Craig Foss said raising the age of purchase to 20 had always been his preferred option.
"At 18, groups below that are at risk - 18-year olds have younger friends of course. That can put 15, 16, 17 year olds at risk. That is why I've always agreed to go to 20."