Election 2014

9 Nov 2008

Maori Party gains extra MP

8:42 pm on 9 November 2008

The Maori Party will have one extra MP in the new Parliament, although National does not need the Maori Party to form a government.

On election night Rahui Katene, a lawyer and Treaty claims consultant, joined the party's four MPs from the 2005 election.

She won Te Tai Tonga, which includes Wellington and all of the South Island, with a majority of 684 over the sitting Labour MP, Mahara Okeroa.

The party also won 2.24% of the party vote, a slight increase on three years ago.

However, two electorates stayed with Labour. Nanaia Mahuta retained the Hauraki-Waikato seat, albeit with a much-reduced majority, while Labour's Parekura Horomia held Ikaroa-Rawhiti comfortably.

Mr Horomia says he's pleased with his majority, which was only slightly reduced from the 2005 result.

He defeated media commentator Derek Fox from the Maori Party, by just over 1,600 votes. Mr Horomia says it was a tough fight.

The other four Maori seats were held by their current Maori Party MPs: party co-leaders Tariana Turia and Pita Sharples, along with Hone Harawira and Te Ururoa Flavell.

Mrs Turia says voters were wrongly persuaded that a vote for her party would be wasted.

She says Maori were also convinced to vote for the Labour ministers Parekura Horomia and Nanaia Mahuta, who are now out of Cabinet.

The party campaigned for "two ticks", but Mrs Turia says the media repeatedly said a vote for the Maori Party was a wasted vote.