National | Elections

Waititi in Māori Party nail-biter in Waiariki

Waiariki candidate Rawiri Waititi.  Photo / File.

The Māori Party is a breath away from winning its way back into parliament after Rawiri Waititi's challenge of a lifetime in Waiariki.  The party has also mounted strong contests in two of the other seven Māori seats.

With 100% of the votes counted, Waititi has provisionally beaten Labour incumbent Tamati Coffey by more than 400 votes. All of this on Waititi's birthday, a special occasion which musician Rob Ruha helped him celebrate.

Rob Ruha sings Happy Birthday to Rawiri Waititi

#WATCHNOW Rob Ruha sings Happy Birthday to Māori Party candidate Rariwi Waititi during the election night party in Te Kaha.

Posted by Te Ao Māori News on Saturday, October 17, 2020

In Te Tai Hauāuru, where 100% of the votes have been tallied, Māori Party co-leader Debbie Ngarewa-Packer has come within 1,121 votes of Adrian Rurawhe, who has won the seat for Labour in three consecutive elections now.

Tāmaki Makaurau candidate and fellow co-leader John Tamihere put a strong challenge in against Labour MP Peeni Henare, almost 900 votes behind, with 100% counted.

Labour finished in commanding positions in Te Tai Tokerau, Hauraki-Waikato, Ikaroa-Rāwhiti and Te Tai Tonga.

Results from election night are provisional, with special votes still to be counted. Final results will be announced on November 6.