A surprisingly high number of votes for the Māori Party from a National-supporting South Island town were the result of a data entry error, it's been discovered.
The Electoral Commission's preliminary results for Linkwater, near the Marlborough Sounds, showed more than half of the town's 213 votes were for the Māori Party, compared to just 32 for National and 30 for Labour.
The commission said there was a "data entry error" and the Māori Party votes actually belonged to National.
Linkwater Country Inn owner Sandy Templeman said it was a surprise to hear of the high number of Māori Party votes in a true-blue area.
"We were just amazed ... We were all looking round as if to say, we don't even have a great Māori population.
"We've been here for 38 years and in those years it's always been a true-blue sort of area."
Finding out the count was an error was "a bit of a sigh of relief", Ms Templeman said.
"I suppose things happen."
The official election results including special votes will be declared on Saturday.