Labour’s Meka Whaitiri has comfortably won the Ikaroa-Rawhiti by-election with a majority of 1,761 on 4,368 votes and a very low turnout.
Mana’s Te Hāmua Nikora was second with 2,607 the Maori Party’s Na Rongowhakaata Raihania 2,104 votes only enough for third place.
Mana and the Maori Party swapped positions from the general election, a sign the Maori Party is suffering due to its association with National and the ongoing leadership squabbles within the party.
The Green’s Marama Davidson came in fourth with 1,188 votes.
Turn-out in the Maori seats is traditionally low as is the turn-out in by-elections , but this by-election grabbed the imagination of enrolled voters even less than usual with around a 35 percent turn-out.
The vacancy was created by the death of Labour MP Parekura Horomia who held the seat through five elections.
Those campaigning against Labour argued it was not Labour’s seat but Horomia’s. All parties felt they ran strong candidates and campaigns. They all had many similar policies as well.
In 2011 Parekura Horomia held
the seat with 10,558 votes, a majority of 6,541 over the
Maori Party’s Na Raihania with 4,017 votes. Mana’s
Tawhai McClutchie came third with