Whakatau 2023 | Whakatau 2023

Davis concedes, Henare mulling recount after losing seat by four votes


In the final washup of last month’s election, Te Pāti Māori has picked up two extra seats, with Mariameno Kapa-Kingi ousting Kelvin Davis in Te Tai Tokerau and Takutai Moana Kemp overturning an election night defeat to take Tāmaki Makaurau off the hands of Peeni Henare.

The Tāmaki Makaurau result came down to the barest of margins, Kemp edging ahead to win by just four votes. Kapa-Kingi, who had trailed Davis by more than 500 votes on October 14 saw a 1000 swing after the counting of special votes to win Te Tai Tokerau by 517 votes.

In a video posted to Facebook, Peeni Henare said he hasn’t made a decision yet on ordering a recount.

“Right now, me and my team are going to digest the result, we are going to reflect and then we will have a discussion on what that means. I can say I have spoken to the party leadership and we will leave that there.”

Speaking to media after the final official election results were revealed, Labour leader Chris Hipkins said he has had a brief conversation with Henare.

“I indicated to him if he wants to call for a recount, he will have my full support to do that,” Hipkins said.

Despite losing their seats, Davis and Henare will return to Parliament via the Labour list. However that also will see Shannan Halbert miss out. Halbert had been expected to replace the retiring Andrew Little.

Prior to the election, he told Te Ao News he could retire if he didn’t win Te Tai Tokerau. Hipkins though said that Davis has not indicated to him this is his intention as yet. However, in a statement this afternoon, Davis confirmed he will remain in parliament.

“I have called Mariameno to congratulate her on the win and wish her all the best in the role.

“It has been a privilege to serve and advocate for the people of Te Tai Tokerau and I will continue to do that as a list MP. My focus now will be on making sure the Labour Party is built into a strong opposition party so that we can hold the incoming government to account.”

Largest Te Pāti Māori caucus ever

The two seats mean Te Pāti Māori will have its largest caucus in Parliament since its inception in 2004 with six MPs. Co-leaders Debbie Ngarewa-Packer (Te Tai Hauāuru) and Rāwiri Waititi (Waiariki) and newcomers Tākuta Ferris (Te Tai Tonga) and Hana Rāwhiti Maipi-Clarke (Hauraki-Waikato) comfortably won their seats on election night.

“We have tripled the size of our caucus and are now set to grow our movement even more. We mihi to the courage of te iwi Maori for believing in themselves. Our Aotearoa Hou is rising,” said Te Pāti Māori co-leader Rawiri Waititi.

“We are proud that Te Tai Tokerau and Tāmaki Makaurau have given us their support. To win six of the seven Māori electorates is a huge endorsement from Tangata Whenua for our unapologetic and liberated voice.”

The addition of Kapa-Kingi and Kemp, and the Greens gaining an extra seat, also increases the number of Māori MPs to 33 from 27 on Election Night.

The extra seats also mean Parliament’s overhang increases, with the 54th New Zealand Parliament now to have at least 122 MPs. The Port Waikato by-election later this month, due to the death of ACT candidate Neil Christensen before the election will see that increase to 123.

Forming of new government

National leader and Prime Minister-elect Christopher Luxon has been in talks with both ACT and NZ First about coalition agreements, and this result is likely to mean he will have to work with both parties.

National has 48 seats, two fewer than on Election night. ACT and New Zealand First haven’t changed numbers from the preliminary results, meaning Luxon’s preferred option of a National-ACT coalition can only muster 59 seats, two short of the required 51% of the House needed. That puts New Zealand First, and leader Winston Peters, in a strong position. He ultimately holds the balance of power, as he has on a number of occasions, most recently in 2017 when he ultimately agreed terms with Labour and brought Jacinda Ardern into power.

Meanwhile, Luxon said his party is looking at a recount in Mt Albert where its candidate Melissa Lee trails Labours Helen White by 20 votes and Nelson.

Labour’s numbers remain unchanged from the preliminary results, with 24 MPs. The Greens increased their party vote, gaining an extra MP meaning Kahurangi Carter at 13 on their list joins the Greens caucus.

Aside from Te Tai Tokerau and Tāmaki Makaurau flipping after the final count, Labour’s Phil Twyford has held on to Te Atatū with a majority of 131 votes, having trailed National’s Angee Nicholas on election day and Rachel Boyack has also held onto Nelson by 29 votes over election day winner Blair Cameron of National.

A total of 2,883,412 votes were cast this year, 78% of eligible voters.

Some 603,257 of those were special votes - 20.9 per cent of the total an increase on both 2020 and 2017.

Public Interest Journalism