Labour’s deputy leader Kelvin Davis has had a change of heart and says he continue his career in politics as a list MP, despite earlier suggesting he would retire if he lost his seat.
Davis has conceded to Te Pāti Māori’s Mariameno Kapa-Kingi in Te Tai Tokerau.
He had held the seat since 2014, but his 487-vote lead on election night was flipped in the final count, with Kapa-Kingi getting a 517-vote majority.
”I have called Mariameno to congratulate her on the win and wish her all the best in the role,” Davis said in a statement.
”It has been a privilege to serve and advocate for the people of Te Tai Tokerau and I will continue to do that as a list MP.
”My focus now will be on making sure the Labour Party is built into a strong opposition party so that we can hold the incoming government to account.”
Te Pāti Māori has claimed a record six Māori electorates, beating two senior Labour Māori MPs following the counting of special votes.
Meanwhile, Labour has taken back two seats that 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.
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It throws Davis’ future in doubt given he suggested before the election that he’d 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.
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 following 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.
Labour’s Helen White, who only led Mt Albert - a party stronghold - by 106 votes, has cemented her win over National’s Melissa Lee.
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