New Zealand

Coalition leaders all in Wellington as Peters speaks on negotiations

The recently elected MPs for Tāmaki Makaurau, Mt Albert and Nelson have another nervous wait ahead of them with formal recounts ordered.

It’s not surprise: these were the three electorates with the three slimmest margins in the country after last Friday’s confirmation of the overall election outcome.

In Tāmaki Makaurau, Labour’s Peeni Henare lost by just four votes – though he will remain in parliament as a list MP regardless of the outcome. Te Pāti Māori’s Takutai Tarsh Kemp’s political future hangs on whether her razor-thin lead holds on.

In Mount Albert, Labour’s Helen White shredded the 21,000 majority that Jacinda Ardern wielded after the 2020 election. After the special votes, she had held onto the Labour stronghold by just 20 votes, which is well within the margin of error.

White has remained defensive of her performance in the seat. “I’m proud of winning the seat and I’m going to give it everything I’ve got,” White told reporters earlier in the week. “I’ll work really hard there. I come from there I’ll work hard there, I’ll give it my best.”

Last night, an email was leaked to Newshub’s Amelia Wade by a Mount Albert Labour volunteer frustrated that the poor showing in the seat was being blamed on outgoing PM Chris Hipkins. The email showed Hipkins on the “chuck” list.

And in Nelson, Labour’s Rachel Boyack overtook her National competitor Blair Cameron who had won the seat on election night. But she has just a 29 vote majority – again, a lead that could feasibly switch back after a recount.

None of this will change the overall outcome of the election due to our MMP system, however if Te Pāti Māori fails to hold onto Tāmakai Makaurau that would reduce the seat overhang by one.

According to reporting by the Herald, recounts typically take about three or four days but the Electoral Commission has warned the bigger electorates could take up to eight days.

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