Whakatau 2023 | Tāmaki Makaurau

Peeni Henare looks to keep Tāmaki Makaurau though votes pending

The final result may not be confirmed for two weeks.

Peeni Henare (Labour) and Takutai Tarsh Kemp (Te Pāti Māori) are running a close race In Tāmaki Makaurau, with a few hundred votes separating them.

Henare has 7226 and Kemp has 6788 at 96.1% counted as at 12.49am on Sunday.

Henare has held the seat for three terms.

Darleen Tana from the Greens looks to have ended up in third place with 1987 votes.

First-time politician Takutai Tarsh Kemp was in the lead from the start of the count.

But two hours after votes had started being counted it began to swing between both Henare and Kemp.

The last time a Te Pāti Māori candidate was this close in a Tāmaki Makaurau electorate win was when now president (Te Pāti Māori) John Tamihere stood.

Henare holds the 14th position on Labour’s list, ensuring his place in government irrespective of the percentage of Labour votes and his electoral victory.

He looks to be one of nine out of 14 Māori who may occupy chairs in the Beehive under Labour despite the National landslide win.

Hinurewa Te Tau from National was also vying for that spot.

It has been 20 years since the National Party put in a Māori candidate for Māori electorates.

She was ecstatic, and said although she wasn’t going to have a win it was a wonderful campaign.

She said he had had a great time going door-to-door in places like Manurewa, where people warmly greeted her with “Kia ora” and smiles.

In an interview with Peata Melbourne in the live coverage on Whakatau 2023 with her family, she told her that many people she encountered in her campaign did not support National .

But they were kind in greeting her and wished her well on her journey, she said.

Te Tau looks to be second to last on the electorate table just above Tamaki Hannah of Vision New Zealand.

After some technical difficulties on air with Te Ao News reporter Mare Riki, the wahine hotly contesting Henare’s seat finally managed to get on screen.

In a one-on-one interview surrounded by what looked to be many rangatahi Takutai Tash Kemp said she was grateful for the support.

“I never had a dream to be a politician but I’m here because rangatahi asked me to stand, our whanau asked me to stand so it’s always emotional when the movement is here.

“They believe in you, our whanau and that’s what this campaign has all been about, believing in our whanau and being proud to be Māori.”

Her supporters were based at Auckland’s Botanical Gardens with Sāmoan and Tongan flags flying alongside tino rangatiratanga flags, symbolic of the diverse ethnicities in Tāmaki Makaurau.

The exact result will be collated once special votes are counted.

And the result could be much closer than Māori roll voters think.

Te Pāti Māori, for instance , has already received the largest number of votes in this electorate that it has ever achieved.