Faafoi gains advantage in Porirua
Kris Faafoi has voters in Waitangirua largely to thank for returning him to Parliament.
Voting statistics from booths from Linden to Raumati Beach show that the diverse Mana electorate voted on traditional lines, with the more affluent northern suburbs being won over by National candidate Hekia Parata, while Mr Faafoi dominated the south and especially the east of Porirua.
He received 14,744 votes overall.
Of the 12,887 votes Ms Parata earned, 2550 came from the four booths in Whitby, where incumbent Mr Faafoi collected 1068.
Likewise, blue voters were out in force at Summerset retirement village in Aotea (606 votes), Mana Esplanade (630), Paremata School (597) and Raumati Beach (968).
Labour’s stronghold of eastern Porirua swept Mr Faafoi home – at Cannons Creek School, 810 voters ticked his name, compared with 60 for Ms Parata. At Porirua East School, it was 698 to 193, while in the three Waitangirua booths he blitzed his National rival 1015 to 121.
The most votes were cast at Raumati Beach ( 1983), nearly 1000 more than at the next highest – St Barnabas’ Church hall on Mana Esplanade.
Mr Faafoi got triple figures in almost all the Porirua booths, earning consistency across the electorate, whereas Ms Parata struggled in a number of areas. He clearly won Titahi Bay and Pukerua Bay.
Of the other candidates, the Greens’ Jan Logie earned 485 of her 2316 votes in the Pukerua Bay and Raumati booths.
The party voting followed similar trends, with Labour cleaning up in eastern Porirua, while National carried the north. However, this electorate swung to the blue corner for the first time (40.1 per cent, against 37 per cent for Labour), and that will be due to the Greens and NZ First taking votes.
In Raumati Beach, for example, 305 votes were cast for the Greens, 534 for Labour and 962 for National.
Whitby again proved invaluable to National, with 2471 people plumping for the party there. Only at Cannons Creek School (752) and Porirua East School (609) did Labour get more than 500 party votes in one booth.
There are still special votes to be counted – which traditionally favour the Greens – so the exact numbers and percentage of eligible people who voted will not be known until this Saturday. At this stage, 30,756 people voted in Mana.
In terms of informal votes that did not count, 699 were cast in Mana.
Of these, voters at Cannons Creek School were the most at fault, with 26 informals for the party vote and 39 for the candidates.
Mr Faafoi says he has not had a chance to compare the booth statistics with those from the 2008 election.
‘‘ To a degree, it’s ingrained [which way people vote], but if people get to know their MP and see the hard work they’re putting in, you can win back those numbers. I will prove my commitment to this community and hopefully, in those strong National areas, I will get the payoff.
‘‘You get two votes under MMP, and as time goes by I think people will vote for the best candidate, regardless of your party lines.’’