28 Nov 2011

Tirikatene takes Te Tai Tonga from Maori Party

6:34 am on 28 November 2011

Labour's Rino Tirikatene has taken the title of Te Tai Tonga MP from the Maori Party's Rahui Katene.

Geographically, the electorate is the largest of the seven Maori seats.

Saturday night's count showed Mr Tirikatene led the race with 1445 votes ahead of Ms Katene.

In 2008, Ms Katene won the seat by a majority of 1049 votes.

Mr Tirikatene told Te Manu Korihi on Saturday night he was thrilled with the result, but he wished Ms Katene all the best for the future.

He said she put on a tough campaign and she had worked hard for the electorate in the past three years.