The National Party has swept to victory again, and is set to have 61 seats in a 121 seat Parliament - a one seat majority, on election night numbers. Political Reporter Liz Banas watched events unfold - go downpage to find Election Night LIVE : As it happened.
John Key's National Party has secured enough support to govern alone, but will try and shore up an 4 extra votes so it has a comfortable majority in Parliament.
But an ebullient John Key - whose party hoovered up 48 percent support in the party votes - said he will be talking to the partners that have supported National in its last two terms.
United Future's Peter Dunne retained Ohariu, ACT's candidate David Seymour won Epsom and the Maori Party's Te Ururoa Flavell kept his Waiariki seat.
Mr Key said National could govern with 61 seats but that it has been a better government for having "component" parts supporting them.
Mr Key put National's victory down to the economy holding up and voters having had six years of seeing what National does.
He said Winston Peters - whose New Zealand First Party secured 8.8 percent of the vote and 11 MPs - probably will want a phone call from him. But he would not rule out working with him.
The Labour Party suffered a crushing defeat, not even breaking 25 percent (24.6 percent) and has 32 MPs all up.
But its leader, David Cunliffe vowed to stay on, saying that he still believed there was a mood for change, and that he intended to lead the Labour Party in making it happen.
The Green Party got 10 percent of the vote (13 MPs) - well off its target of 15 percent party vote and below the average of 12.5 percent in Radio New Zealand's poll of polls.
The Conservative Party failed to break the 5 percent threshold to get into Parliament with 4.1 percent.
The Maori Party also suffered the loss of two seats - losing to Labour, Te Tai Hauauru and Tamaki Makaurau, where its retiring Maori Party MPs Tariana Turei and Pita Sharples had stepped aside. However it picked up 1.29 percent of the party vote and Mr Flavell will bring in one extra MP, Marama Fox.
But the biggest "upset" has probably been the Mana Movement leader, Hone Harawira's loss of the Te Tai Tokerau seat to Labour's Kelvin Davis.
It was the winning of that seat that Kim Dotcom's Internet Party was pinning its hopes on to coat-tail it into Parliament - hence the strategic Internet Mana Alliance.
But with just one percent of the party vote, Mr Dotcom said this evening that his brand was "poison" for the Internet Mana alliance.
Election Night LIVE - The Results as they happened:
The Labour Party has suffered a crushing defeat of just under 25 percent of the party vote, with 99.9 percent of votes being counted.
The Greens are on 10 percent, New Zealand First is on 8.85 percent, and no other party made it into Parliament.
The Prime Minister-elect John Key says he'll be talking to the MPs for United Future(1 MP), ACT (1 MP) and the Maori Party (2 MPs), which would give National a comfortable majority in Parliament.
100 percent of vote counted National 48%, Labour 24.6%, Greens 10%, NZ First 8.8— RNZ Liz Banas (@rnzgalleryliz) September 20, 2014
We're the finest little country in the world says Key as he promises to lead a Govt for all NZers— RNZ Liz Banas (@rnzgalleryliz) September 20, 2014
Thanks to the one person who made it possible...the best minister of finance in the developed world, Bill English
Thanking voters and those of his electorate of Helensville
We stand ready to work with like-minded parties to provide strong and stable government that is working for NZ
A vote for National was for a brighter future for all New Zealanders
A victory for those who refused to be distracted.
Three more years, says Key
Ladies and gentlemen...this is a victory for those who kept the faith.
John Key says he'll be talking to ACT, UF and Maori Party ( so 3 extra votes maybe 4 if Maori Party gets an extra MP )— RNZ Liz Banas (@rnzgalleryliz) September 20, 2014
John Key address to supporters in Auckland - LIVE:
The co-leader of the Green Party, Metiria Turei, says the result is disappointing, but she's pleased the party has held its level of support from the last election.
Ms Turei says the election has been mad and chaotic, and the Green Party has run an excellent, clean campaign.
She says she and Russell Norman are committed to the party and will contest the next election.
Ms Turei says their co-leadership has proven stable and strong.
11.28pm - National Party leader John Key is about to address his supporters in Auckland.
PM @johnkeypm says National's had a good 6 year track record as he goes into HQ— RNZ Liz Banas (@rnzgalleryliz) September 20, 2014
Internet Party Leader Laila Harre tells RNZ: "I'm particularly disappointed that Hone Harawira is no longer a Member of Parliament."
She said her party's Mana association "provided right with reason to aggressively attack Hone Harawira."
11.14pm - Labour has taken the Napier seat from National, with Stuart Nash votes 3733 ahead of Labour's Wayne Walford.
Labour also looks set to take all but one of the seven Maori seats.
In Te Tai Tokerau, Kelvin Davis is now leading the Mana Movement leader Hone Harawira by 1147.
Labour is also set to take the seats off the Maori Party, that are being vacated by Tariana Turia and Pita Sharples.
The Maori Party leader Te Ururoa Flavell will retain his Waiariki seat, and may be joined by a list MP.
In Ohariu, the United Future leader Peter Dunne is 900 votes ahead of Labour's Virginia Anderson with 95 percent of votes counted.
And in a seat that Labour looked like it could lose to National with its candidate being the local Mayor, Labour's Iain Lees-Galloway has retained it, with a 1900 majority.
11. 12pm -
The freshly mandated Prime Minister is on his way to party headquarters for victory speech— RNZ Liz Banas (@rnzgalleryliz) September 20, 2014
Kim Dotcom has taken responsibility for the poor showing of Internet Mana.
David Cunliffe indicates he wants to stay on as leader of the Labour Party. "We have had just one year rushing into an election."
11. 01pm - Labour leader David Cunliffe has conceded he has lost he election and is addressing the party faifthful in Auckland.
He said he would will talk to party officials about the next steps and renewal, saying they must build on their experience and progress.
11pm - Counting has all but finished in the election, with the National party a clear winner.
With 62 seats, it could govern without the help of supporting parties
The Labour Party has 25 per cent of the party vote, enough for 31 seats.
National's potential coalition partner, Act, has made it into parliament as a result of David Seymour's win in the Epsom electorate, and other potential partners, United Future and the Maori party have three seats between them.
The Greens have won just over ten per cent of the party vote , translating into 13 seats, and New Zealand First, with just under nine percent, will have 11 seats, three more than it had in the last parliament.
The Conservatives polled fifth highest in the party vote, but fell just short of the five per cent needed to get into parliament.
Internet Mana has won just over one per cent of the party vote, but is unlikely to enter parliament because the Mana leader, Hone Harawira, is trailing well behind Labour's Kelvin Davis in his Te Tai Tokerau electorate.
That campaign and rebuild starts now, says @DavidCunliffeMP. He still believes there's a growing mood for change
Must recognise opponents have built formidable well funded machine..one leader to our three leaders..tomorrow begin a three year campaign
Party vote has returned National Govt and we'll need to reflect on why says @DavidCunliffeMP
"and we need to make sure we deliver" on promises to Pasifika because they've delivered to us, says @DavidCunliffeMP— RNZ Liz Banas (@rnzgalleryliz) September 20, 2014
Cunliffe talks about holding Palmerston North and getting Napier back
Cunliffe congratulates the winners of three new Maori seats
Cunliffe says the campaign was beset by dirty tricks and side shows
Cunliffe says time to put aside differences and work together for good of country
Cunliffe concedes he will not form the next government. He says he has congratulated John Key
Cunliffe says incredible privilge to lead Labour and hugely proud.. as most realise not able to form a govt— RNZ Liz Banas (@rnzgalleryliz) September 20, 2014
10. 52pm -
Cunliffe giving thanks to party faithful, volunteers, President, campaign team and staff, wife Karen and family and all who have supported— RNZ Liz Banas (@rnzgalleryliz) September 20, 2014
Cunliffe says Labour tells members to be very proud, that they worked so hard for what is right and good and decent in this country— RNZ Liz Banas (@rnzgalleryliz) September 20, 2014
David Cunliffe arriving at Labour HQ. Making his way to the stage to address supporters.— RNZ News (@rnz_news) September 20, 2014
10. 44pm -
10. 41pm -
Deputy Prime Minister Bill English said National is in a "pretty good position." He said Prime Minister John Key has done a great job focusing on issues that matter to New Zealand.
Laila Harre from the Internet Mana party is refusing to answer questions from reporters until she has addressed her supporters.
National's Steven Joyce told TV3 National doesn't expect to govern alone but they are in the happy position to be able to make some choices.
He says that the team will sit down and make some decisions tomorrow.
10. 39pm - ACT's David Seymour is the MP for Epson. Tells Kathryn Ryan one of aims is rebuild ACT party. Hopes to advance partnership schools policy.
10.36pm - All over bar the shouting
The National Party is the clear winner of the election with 48.3 percent of the vote and 96 percent of votes counted.
Labour is on 24.4 percent of the vote, with the Greens on 10 percent and New Zealand First on 8.87 percent.
No other party has made it into Parliament based on the party vote, with the Conservatives on 4.1 percent.
The Maori Party has lost two seats to Labour, but its Wairakei MP Te Ururoa Flavell has retained his seat and with 1.28 % of party votes may bring another MP into Parliament.
On my way into the Cloud. Innovation and risk can not be separated.— Laila Harré (@lailaharre) September 20, 2014
Our election panelist @charles_finny says National could government alone. “My inclination if PM would be to tie in ACT and UF”.— RNZ News (@rnz_news) September 20, 2014
10.33pm - A Labour Party stalwart, Clayton Cosgrove is set to lose his Waimakariri seat to National's Matt Doocey who is more than two thousand votes ahead.
Mr Cosgrove will make it back into Parliament with Labour securing only four list seats with 24 percent of the vote.
Mr Cosgrove told RNZ that Labour needs to listen to the public about what they want.
Other incumbent MPs in Christchurch, look likely to retain their seats, with National's Christchurch Central, National's Nicky Wagner is 1800 votes ahead of Labour's Tony Milne.
National's Gerry Brownlee told TV3 National had a strong campaign and despite having a number of issues in Christchurch, Mr Brownlee said people are quite discerning about how they place their vote.
10.31pm - Counting has almost finished in the 2014 election, with the National party a clear winner.
With 62 seats, it could govern alone, but would still have plenty of support from some of the minor parties.
Its potential coalition partner, Act, has made it into parliament as a result of David Seymour's win in the Epsom electorate, and other potential partners, United Future and the Maori party have three seats between them.
Labour has not managed to get more than 25 percent of the party vote, ending up with 31 seats in parliament.
Meanwhile, the Greens have won just over ten per cent, translating into 13 seats, and New Zealand First, with just under nine percent, would have 11 seats, three more than it had in the last parliament.
The Conservatives polled fifth highest in the party vote, but fell just short of the five percent needed to get into parliament.
Internet Mana has won just over one per cent of the party vote, and the Mana leader, Hone Harawira, is well behind Labour's Kelvin Davis in his Te Tai Tokerau electorate.
10. 21pm - RNZ election night team discuss possibility that the high National Party vote may be a backlash against the Dirty Politics book.
10.20pm - The Conservative Party leader, Colin Craig, has conceded defeat, with a vote so far of 4.1 percent.
Mr Craig says it will be disappointing for some of his supporters, but the party has improved compared to the last election and says he intends for the party to contest the next election.
He's putting the shortfall in getting to the five percent threshold to National doing so well
Kathryn Ryan says the real story tonight is the overwhelming result for National, at the moment not needing any other party to form a govt.— RNZ News (@rnz_news) September 20, 2014
10.12pm - The Labour Party looks set to dominate the Maori seats and is killing off Internet Mana's hopes of having three MPs in Parliament by taking Te Tai Tokerau. Labour's Kelvin Davis is nearly a thousand votes (948) ahead of Mr Harawira.
But Mr Harawira says he's not worried saying he's just not ready to declare victory yet.
Meanwhile Labour is set to pick up Te Tai Hauauru and Tamakai Makaurau, currently held by the Maori Party's retiring MPs Tariana Turia and Pita Sharples.
Labour also appears on track to keep Ikaroa-Rawhiti and Te Tai Tonga.
The Maori Party's Te Ururoa Flavell is well ahead of his closest rival with a majority 2,496 votes.
10.06pm - With 85 percent of the vote in the election now counted, the National Party looks as though it may be able to govern alone.
National has 48 percent of the party vote, and at 24 percent Labour has failed to capture a significant proportion of that vote.
Radio New Zealand's Poll of Polls had National on 46.4 percent, with Labour on 25.7 percent.
Hone Harawira appears set to lose his seat in Te Tai Tokerau, as he trails Labour's Kelvin Davis by over 1000 votes. If he loses that, it would make it impossible for Internet Mana to enter parliament.
The Conservatives have 4 per cent of the party vote - under the MMP voting system parties have to get 5 per cent to get an MP into parliament if they don't win an electorate seat.
ACT has less than 1 per cent of the vote, but David Seymour has a strong lead in the Epsom seat.
10.01pm - RNZ Political reporter Demelza Lesley is at the NZ First HQ. She said Winston Peters not there yet but will be conscious he may not be needed to form a Government.
Conservative leader Colin Craig concedes to @GuyonEspiner his party will not make it into Parliament. “We will end up in the fours."— RNZ News (@rnz_news) September 20, 2014
NZ First supporters glued to the screen hoping for a little more movement in the party vote pic.twitter.com/dq0QsXN1WS— Demelza Leslie (@rnzdemelza) September 20, 2014
Hone looking content with constituents despite Kelvin Davis up 542 pic.twitter.com/7d4PA5bCEy— Māni Dunlop (@manipitoitoi) September 20, 2014
Ex Mana Motuhake leader Sandra Lee tells Kathryn Ryan Hone Harawira will be missed by Maori in Parl. “But I am pretty sure he’s gone.”— RNZ News (@rnz_news) September 20, 2014
9.42pm - Internet Mana's dream to get at least three MPs into Parliament looks to be over, based on the votes counted so far - with Mana's Hone Harawira set to lose his seat to the Labour Party's Kelvin Davis. Mr Davis is 467 votes ahead of Mr Harawira and Internet Mana is on 1.24 percent.
9.41pm - Political scientist Bryce Edwards observes it is not looking good for the left .
There will be mass depression and despondency on the left tonight.— Bryce Edwards (@bryce_edwards) September 20, 2014
9.36pm - Labour's David Parker tells Guyon Espiner the party vote is not as good as hoped. He said it has been a "very unusual election" and it was hard to stay on policy in the midst of the Dirty Politics scandal. Mr Parker said Labour had taken back Napier but the "party vote is not where we would want it".
9.33pm - The National Party could be on track to govern alone based on two thirds of the vote being counted.
With nearly 48.76 percent of the party vote and 41 electorate seats according to the count so far, National would have 62 seats in a 121-seat Parliament.
Labour is on 23.9 percent and has 27 electorate seats while one of its potential partners, the Green Party is on 10 percent.
Labour's deputy leader, David Parker, tells RNZ it's been a very unusual election been very hard to tell the public about their policies, said campaign was dominated by side shows.
RNZ's Craig McCulloch says the Greens appear quite surprised by their result so far, after thinking they had been heading for 15 percent.
New Zealand First is on 8.91 percent.
9.30pm - At Labour election HQ, Radio New Zealand News political reporter Chris Bramwell said Labour is talking up successes in the Maori seats but they are not wanting to address the issue of low party vote.
9.27pm - Colin Craig arrives at the Conservative party gathering
Colin arrives to applause pic.twitter.com/wvYLL7GyTc— Anusha Bradley (@AnushaBradley) September 20, 2014
9.26pm - At Labour Party head quarters deputy leader David Parker tell TV3 its party vote is not as high as they would have liked, says it will probably come up with the south Auckland votes to still come in.
Reporter Chris Bramwell tells RNZ the music's being turned up louder..maybe in effort to lift the mood?
9.24pm - At nearly half the votes counted or 1.1 million, National Party pollster David Farrar told Guyon Espiner the chance of a clear center right Government with just ACT/United is "looking pretty good." He does expect National's vote to drop back as votes continue to be counted.
9.18pm - Neck and neck in Maungakiekie:35.9% of vote counted so far, and not a vote between Labour's Carol Beaumont and National's Paseta Sam Lotu-Iiga
9.15pm - Labour's Phil Twyford's has lost a lot of support in the Te Atatu seat based on votes counted so far. He's only 807 votes ahead of National's Alfred Ngaro. Mr Twyford had a near 5 and a half thousand majority in 2011.
The Conservative Party is on 4.31 percent with 45.6 percent of the vote counted.
Its leader, Colin Craig told TV3 he kept building his vote got better and better through the campaign.
He believes he has spent over a million in the campaign.
9.02pm - Hone Harawira is only one vote ahead of his Labour party rival Kelvin Davis.
9.01pm - The Maori Party could lose Tamaki Makaurau (previously held by the Pita Sharples who has retired). Its candidate Rangi Maclean is 534 votes behind the Labour Party's Peeni Henare with 27.2% of the vote counted
9pm - Internet Mana's Hone Harawira tells Radio New Zealand National the tight race in Te Tai Tokerau is "life." He says the result is "difficult to tell. Polls are going up and down."
8.55pm - Tight in Te Tai Tokerau - Hone Harawira is ahead of Labour's Kelvin Davis by only 150 votes, with 31.8 % of vote counted.
8.52pm - The National Party is trending toward a convincing win as the party to form a new Government, reflecting polling of the last few weeks.
With nearly a third of the vote counted (30.8%) it's got nearly half the party votes ( 49%). Labour is on 24%, Greens 10 %, with New Zealand First on 9%.
Huge applause at NZ First HQ when party president refuses to say who the party will side with #soundsfamiliar— Demelza Leslie (@rnzdemelza) September 20, 2014
National HQ starting to fill up, air if cautious optimism in the room pic.twitter.com/uYRNXgoztP— Jane Patterson (@rnzgalleryjane) September 20, 2014
8.45pm - Early indication that turnout will be higher in Manukau East with advance votes equivalent to a third of total turnout in 2011.
Labour's Manukau East candidate Jenny Salesa says they've been doing a lot of door- knocking and enrolling people quite a lot had never voted before.
Ms Salesa is expected to win Manukau East comfortably. She replaces retired Labour MP Ross Robertson who held a majority of more than 15,000 in 2011. With 21.8% counted she is nearly 4 thousand votes ahead (3,908)
Labour fielded one of its biggest campaign teams in the electorate this time - more than 100 volunteers doorknocking and leafletting since July.
8.44pm - Australian ABC Election Analyst Antony Green took a moment to pause on the progress of the Civilian Party.
Civilian Party coming last with 187 votes. Their policy to give a llama to all children in poverty clearly was not popular #NZVotes2014— Antony Green (@AntonyGreenABC) September 20, 2014
8.43pm - Political commentator Matthew Hooton tells Kathryn Ryan the Te Tai Tokerau lead for Hone Harawira is very slim and dropping at about 287 votes. He said that electorate, crucial to Internet mana's chances of entering Parliament, could come down to special votes.
8.40pm - Peter Dunne says he has been laid low with the flu since Sunday.... says he has a reasonable lead with about quarter of the votes counted.
And in other news..
NZ First raffle to pay for the election party venue has all SOLD out! $5 a ticket with the main prize a signed picture of Winston Peters in front of the Winston Express. Hunua Candidate Jon Reeves says it would look good hung in your kitchen or bedroom...
Meat eaters will be disappointed with fare at Green Party party HQ - mostly vegan menu: bread with pumpkin hummus and tomato kasundi; Vietnamese spring rolls; potato, coconut and spinach samosas; dhal with papadums; and a taco truck parked out back.
8.37pm - Labour's Trevor Mallard who was expected to face more of a challenge with boundary changes is ahead of his National Party rival Chris Bishop by 522 votes (with 18 point 6 percent of the vote counted).
8.35pm - Conservative's Christine Rankin on 423 votes for her in Epsom so far. "I never went there to win. I knew that was going to be impossible."
8.28pm - RNZ journalist Benedict Collins at United Future headquarters and says leader Peter Dunne has just arrived and is keeping a close eye on the results on his iPad, with supporters thinking the Ohariu seat may go down to the wire.
8.26pm - The National Party is close to the 50 percent mark with nearly a quarter of the votes counted. National is on 49%, Labour 24%, Greens 10 %, New Zealand First on 9 %
The Labour Party has an early lead in the two seats where the former Maori Party co-leaders, Tariana Turia and Pita Sharples, have retired, Tamaki Makarau and Te Tai Hauauru.
But the Mana Movement leader Hone Harawira is 316 votes ahead of Labour's Kelvin Davis in Te Tai Tokerau.
Labour may take Napier back off National with Labour's Stuart Nash is 1300 votes ahead of National's Wayne Walford, with 24 percent of the vote counted.
The United Future leader Peter Dunne is 485 votes ahead of Labour's Virginia Anderson in Ohariu, and Act's David Seymour is 1500 votes ahead of National's Paul Goldsmith in Epsom, with 23 percent of votes counted in both seats.
8.21pm - Te Ururoa Flavell tells Kathryn Ryan early results indicate he will retain Waiariki seat for Maori Party "but still early days." After 18 percent of votes counted, he is 1100 ahead of Internet Mana's Annette Sykes.
8.17pm - The Maori Party's Te Ururoa Flavell tells RNZ he's comfortable he's going to retain Waiariki seat; told he's more than 1100 votes ahead of his nearest rival - says "is that all?' and laughs.
8.16pm - National's campaign chairman Steven Joyce, tells RNZ counted shows they will be largest party, but expecting it to come back a bit from 48 % (with 94.8 % of advance votes counted and nearly 16.9 % of other votes counted).
8.05pm - The National party has taken an early lead as the first votes in the General election are counted.
With 17.2 per cent of the votes counted so far, National has won 48 per cent of the party vote.
Labour has 24 per cent.
The Greens and New Zealand First are leading the minor parties, the Greens with 10 per cent and New Zealand First on 9 per cent
The Conservatives are just under the 5 per cent party vote threshold , on 4 point 4 per cent.
8.03pm - Green Party's Kevin Hague tells RNZ he's expecting its vote to pick up.. currently on 10 percent of Advance Vote count .. awaiting the final vote especially the Special Votes which are ususally good for Greens.
Former Labour president Mike Williams tells RNZ Labour's Stuart Nash takes Napier off National. Right vote "split by Garth McVicar."
7.58pm - Former Labour Party president Mike Wlliams tells RNZ 27 percent would be a good result for Labour
Te Tai Tokerau the key seat needed to get Internet Mana into Parliament - Mana Movement leader Hone Harawira ahead of Labour's Kelvin Davis by 337 votes in front, with 15.5 percent of vote counted.
The president of the ACT Party Jon Thompson has told supporters gathered in Parnell, that their Epsom candidate David Seymour is "romping home". Mr Seymour at that point had a 1,500 vote lead over National's Paul Goldsmith with 18.9% of the vote counted.
Mr Thompson says the hope now is for a stronger showing in the overall vote to bring home list MPs.
He's told the gathering the party has been working with a campaign fund only one third of the size it had three years ago.
7.46 - Political Scientist Bryce Edwards says early results are against the trend.
Normally first vote stats skewed right, but Advance Votes skewed left tonight (from low demographic booths)— Bryce Edwards (@bryce_edwards) September 20, 2014
7.44pm - With 83.2 percent of advance votes counted - Nat 48.4 %, Labour 23.5%,Greens 9.9%,NZ First 9.1%, Conservative 4.4%
7.40pm - Internet Party's Vikram Kumar says 1.5 percent of vote after 14 percent of votes counted "not as much as we would have hoped and expected" but hopes numbers will pick up as more votes counted.
7.34pm - With more than 14 percent of the votes counted, the National party has taken an early lead, on 49 percent. Labour is on 24 percent.
The polls closed at seven o'clock and preliminary results are expected to start coming out in about an hour.
The Electoral Commission says more than 700-thousand people have cast early votes, more than double the number of advance votes in 2011.
People are trickling in to NZ First election night HQ pic.twitter.com/eo8OKvFchx— Demelza Leslie (@rnzdemelza) September 20, 2014
7.33pm - ACT President John Thompson tells Kathryn Ryan "Chinese vote will come through" and deliver more than one MP.
7.25pm - After Dirty Politics, Edward Snowden where will the Party vote sit?
Will National's vote reflect the polls? Will the Conservative Party make it over the five percent threshold? What will the turnout be?
About thirty supporters have gathered at the ACT party's election night venue in Parnell, Auckland.
Party leaders expecting to arrive at "party" locations after 8pm; preliminary count expected about 8.30pm
7.23pm - National party pollster David Farrar tells RNZ good result for National will be 46 percent of vote, but National normally 1-1.5 percent below polling.
Public relations consultant Charles Finney said Conservatives probably won't get over 5 percent. Early results at 4.66 for Conservatives where he anticipates they'll "finish up".
7.20pm - Party headquarters kicking into life in Auckland
Mainly media doing their thing at Nats venue at the Viaduct event centre at the mo pic.twitter.com/k6f1CCZ1bt— Jane Patterson (@rnzgalleryjane) September 20, 2014
Media getting ready to roll at Labour Party HQ in New Lynn pic.twitter.com/TVHZwnQ21i— Chris Bramwell (@rnzgallerychris) September 20, 2014
7pm - Polling booths in the 2014 General Election have closed and vote counting has begun.
Tune in to 101FM to hear our Election 2014 special with Guyon Espiner and Kathryn Ryan with analysis from our political editor, Brent Edwards and special guests.
Follow us on Twitter @RNZ_News
Preliminary results due by 8.30 pm and final results by 11.30pm.
6.30pm - Voters have less than half-an-hour left to cast their ballots in the general election. The Electoral Commission says polling booths throughout the country have reported steady flows of people since 9am.
The Electoral Commission said more people have registered to vote in today's election than at the last one in 2011.
A final total is yet to be released but the latest figures show 3,096,240 people have registered for the country's 51st general election, at least 20,000 more than three years ago.
At one central Auckland polling station this morning, there was a queue of about 40 people waiting to cast their vote when the polls opened at 9am.
The commission said 717,579 people had cast advance votes - more than double the number of advance votes in 2011.
New Zealanders living abroad had until 5pm on Friday afternoon, their time, to get their votes in, and those will be counted as special votes, to be published on 4 October with the official election results.
There are more than 51,200 voters registered with an overseas postal address but that does not capture those who still have a New Zealand postal address.
The commission is aiming to have preliminary results from today's voting made public by 8.30pm tonight, with a full tally expected to be released by 11.30pm.
It said only a handful of complaints have been lodged, mostly about political signs still being up on election day.
Despite severe weather in parts of the country though, a spokesperson says it had not had reports of any immediate impact on the turnout.