26 Jun 2011

Harawira wins Te Tai Tokerau by-election

12:08 pm on 26 June 2011

Mana Party leader Hone Harawira has won the Te Tai Tokerau by-election.

The former Maori Party MP forced the by-election when he left Parliament to form his new party.


Preliminary results put Mr Harawira on 5611 votes, a lead of 867 over Labour's Kelvin Davis, who polled 4744 votes.

Maori Party candidate Solomon Tipene was a distant third with 1026 votes.

Though Mr Harawira's majority has been reduced from 6308 at the election in 2008, Radio New Zealand's political reporter says he has secured Mana Party a place in the political landscape.

Mr Davis says he is disappointed that he didn't win but pleased that he managed to reduce Mr Harawira's majority.

Harawira claims victory

Mr Harawira claimed victory in front of around 200 friends and family at Mahimaru marae outside Kaitaia.

He told the crowd it was the backing of the young and the poor people of Te Tai Tokerau that helped him win.

Mr Harawira said one of the first things he will do is ring Maori Party leaders Pita Sharples and Tariana Turia and ask them for a meeting.

He says when they retire he plans to make a Mana Maori Party.

Mr Harawira criticised Labour and claimed the party spent $100,000 on their campaign when he had only two cents to spend.

Mr Harawira received a call from Labour candidate Kelvin Davis. He says he thanked him for the call and said he hopes to work with him in the future.

Maori Party candidate disappointed

Maori Party candidate Solomon Tipene says he is disappointed by his third placing with 1026 votes.

About 70 Maori Party faithful watched the results of the by-election at Hoani Waititi marae in West Auckland.

Mr Tipene told a media conference shortly after the results came through that he expected more votes and he will now take the time to analyse where he went wrong.

Two other candidates stood in the seat: Maki Herbert of the Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party, who gained 126 votes and Kelvyn Alp of the OURNZ Party, who polled 63 votes.

The Electoral Commmission said the preliminary results were based on the 11,606 ordinary votes counted on election night. Special declaration votes still to be counted are estimated to be 1,934, or 14.3% of total votes.

Voter turnout is estimated to be 41.36% of the 32,738 enrolled. Official results are expected on 6 July.