National’s Mt Albert candidate Melissa Lee, who trails Labour’s Helen White by just 20 votes, says she supports a recount being undertaken after today’s special votes result in the general election.
“I think it’s only fair for the people in the Mt Albert electorate and the people who voted for me to double-confirm the vote.”
She acknowledged the result was “extremely close” and “pretty awesome”, given she lost to former PM Jacinda Ardern by more than 21,000 votes in 2020.
While she was back in Parliament on the list regardless of the electorate result, Lee said she would like to become the local MP and become more involved in the community.
Meanwhile, Labour’s deputy leader could be about to retire after Te Pāti Māori claimed a record six Māori electorates, beating two senior Labour Māori MPs after the counting of special votes.
Labour has taken back two seats National held slim leads in after preliminary results: Nelson and Te Atatū.
Labour’s Peeni Henare has lost Tāmaki Makaurau by just four votes to Te Pāti Māori’s Takutai Moana Natasha Kemp, while Labour deputy leader Kelvin Davis has lost Te Tai Tokerau to Te Pāti Māori’s Mariameno Kapa-Kingi by 517 votes.
It throws Davis’ future in doubt given he suggested before the election he would retire if he didn’t win his seat.
The final results mean Te Pāti Māori takes six of the seven Māori electorates - more than the party has ever held.
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The only Māori seat won by Labour was Ikaroa-Rāwhiti, which was secured by Cushla Tangaere-Manuel, who beat former Labour MP and Te Pāti Māori’s Meka Whaitiri.
It also will cause a two-seat overhang in Parliament, which means there will be 122 seats in the House, two more than the normal 120. The House will eventually grow to 123 seats after the Port Waikato byelection.
In other seats, Labour’s Rachel Boyack secured Nelson by just 29 votes after trailing National’s Blair Cameron by 54 votes after the initial count.
Labour’s Phil Twyford, who trailed National’s Angee Nicholas in Te Atatū by just 30 votes, has come out ahead by 131.
All other seats have remained with the candidates who won them on October 14.
Vanessa Weenink is confirmed as Banks Peninsula’s MP after leading Labour’s Tracey McLellan by 83 votes on election night.
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