Vot­ers’ two ticks de­ter­mine tight race

North Shore Times - - OUT & ABOUT - KASHKA TUNSTALL

North Shore vot­ers on the Maori roll will cast their bal­lots in one of the most in­ter­est­ing elec­torate races in this year’s elec­tion.

Can­di­dates in the Te Tai Tok­erau elec­torate - which spans from Cape Reinga down to the North Shore - in­clude Kelvin Davis, the in­cum­bent MP and new Labour deputy leader, and Hone Harawira, the leader and only stand­ing mem­ber of the Mana party.

God­frey Ru­dolf, the Green Party’s first can­di­date to stand in the elec­torate, rounds out the pool of con­tes­tants.

Harawira marginally lost the 2014 elec­tion to Davis, ousted from the seat he had held since 2005.

But with Davis now as­sured a spot in Par­lia­ment, af­ter his as­cen­sion to Labour deputy leader made him sec­ond on the party’s list, the race for the elec­torate seat is open­ing up as vot­ers con­tem­plate their can­di­date and party vote ticks.

A ma­jor fac­tor in the out­come is the ab­sence of a Maori Party can­di­date.

The party has stood for the seat in ev­ery elec­tion since its in­cep­tion in 2004, with Harawira stand­ing and win­ning as a Maori Party can­di­date in 2005 and 2008 before form­ing his own party.

Te Hira Paenga stood for the Maori Party in the last elec­tion, tak­ing 2579 can­di­date votes, but with the party not of­fer­ing a can­di­date in the cur­rent elec­toral race, the way those votes will split will ef­fec­tively de­ter­mine the seat’s win­ner.

In 2014, Davis cap­tured 9712 of the valid votes for about 44.7 per cent over­all. He won by a mar­gin of 743 votes, with Harawira tak­ing 8969 for a 41.3 per cent share.

In party votes, Labour had a clear man­date in 2014, with 8034 bal­lots worth of sup­port.

Sec­ond in favour was the In­ter­net Mana party - Harawira’s short­lived col­lab­o­ra­tion with Kim Dot­com - with 4246 votes over­all.

The Maori Party ended third in the race, with 2300 votes.

North Shore vot­ers were re­spon­si­ble for a quar­ter of the votes cast in the elec­torate in 2014.

Out of the 23,901 bal­lot pa­pers sub­mit­ted, 6004 of those came from the four North Shore elec­torates.

As of 31 July, about 34,000 peo­ple were en­rolled in the Te Tai Tok­erau elec­torate.

That in­cluded the 603 peo­ple on the Maori roll in the East Coast Bays area, 924 in the North Shore elec­torate, 1850 in the North­cote elec­torate and 2345 in the Up­per Har­bour area.

HAGEN HOP­KINS

With Kelvin

Davis’ as­cen­sion to Labour deputy leader, will Hone Harawira make a come­back?

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