Public Interest Journalism funded through NZ On Air
It looks like there won’t be a Pasifika MP in any National-led government in the coming term.
This comes after young Cook Islander Angee Nicholas failed to hold onto the Te Atatu seat for National, after being ahead of her nearest rival by just 30 votes on election night.
That was nearly three weeks ago, October 14, but with the announcement of the special and final votes on Friday, Nicholas has since lost the seat to Labour’s Phil Twyford by 131 votes.
Nicholas was the last hope for a Pacific person being in Parliament for National, after List-only MP Agnes Loheni failed to make the cut, as did two other Pacific electoral candidates in, largely, Labour seats. Both candidates were fairly low down the Party list.
What’s interesting is how close Nicholas came to winning the seat for National and reflects the general move away from Labour in what have traditionally been party strongholds like New Lynn and Mt Roskill. Like the others, Nicholas was a fair way down the party list for National.
Meantime the National Party itself has lost two seats since election night, while Te Pati Maori has gained two with the Green Party gaining an extra seat. On these final results, National has 48 seats, Te Pati Maori has six seats and the Greens have 15 seats. Labour remains the same at 34 seats with ACT on 11 and NZ First with 8 seats.
The numbers mean, two extra seats have been added to Parliament – creating an overhang – bringing the total number of MPs to 122 and making 62 the majority, even after an extra seat is added to the house after the Port Waikato by-election.
This puts Winston Peters and NZ First in a stronger “kingmaker” position as a National-led government will need NZ First if it is to rule.