27 Nov 2011

New Zealand First returns to Parliament

2:51 am on 27 November 2011

New Zealand First is back from the political wilderness with almost 7% of the vote, which will see eight of the party's MPs in Parliament.

Leader Winston Peters on Saturday thanked voters who brought the party back to Parliament after a three year absence.


Speaking to his supporters in Takapuna on Auckland's North Shore, Mr Peters attributed the "return home" to the work done by the party and candidates.

He told them the result shows New Zealand First supporters never stopped believing in the party.

He would not elaborate on his party's position in Parliament, other than to repeat it would not go into a coalition.

No. 2 on the party list, Tracey Martin, says she believes New Zealand First's opposition to state asset sales played a big part in its return.

The New Zealand First leader lost the seat of Tauranga in 2008, and his party did not reach the 5% party vote threshold in that election, meaning it did not get into Parliament.

Polls before the 2011 election indicated the party would make it over the threshold but New Zealand First has done better than was predicted.