26 Jun 2011

Mana Party supporters celebrate by-election win

2:13 pm on 26 June 2011

Mana Party supporters have gathered in Whangarei to celebrate Hone Harawira's win in the Te Tai Tokerau by-election and to plan their next move.

Mr Harawira, the leader of the new Mana Party, won with a majority of 867 votes over Labour's Kelvin Davis.

Three busloads of supporters arrived in Whangarei from Auckland and the Far North on Sunday morning, ready to welcome Mr Harawira to the meeting.

Those at the meeting include the party chairman, Matt McCarten, activist, Annette Sykes, former Green Party MP Sue Bradford and Mr Harawira's mother, Titiwhai Harawira.

Buoyed by the by-election results, they are turning their minds to the general election in November.

They will discuss candidate selection, and whether the Mana Party should stand against the Maori Party in the Maori seats, though it's unlikely any decisions will be made on Sunday.

Preliminary results put Mr Harawira on 5611 votes and Labour's Kelvin Davis on 4744. Maori Party candidate Solomon Tipene was a distant third with 1026 votes.

At the 2008 election Mr Harawira, standing for the Maori Party, had won the seat by 6308 votes.

An estimated 1934 special declaration votes are still to be counted, the Electoral Commission says, and official results should be released by 6 July. Turnout was about 41%.