Upston wins Taupo¯ seat comfortably
Louise Upston has retained her Taupo¯ electorate seat, with a comfortable 12,994 lead on Labour candidate Ala’ Al-bustanji.
Upston said she was really pleased with the election result, in which National received 46 per cent of party votes.
‘‘It basically says nearly one in two New Zealanders thinks we’re doing the right thing and are confident in our plan for the country.’’
The National Party MP, who lives in Cambridge, watched the election results unfold at Suncourt Hotel in Taupo¯ with about 45 friends, family and supporters.
Upston received 63 per cent of electorate votes, with 21,757 votes.
She said the Taupo¯ electorate campaign had been respectful, with no personal attacks.
‘‘It meant the campaign could be on the issues,’’ she said.
‘‘I only had two or three hoardings damaged.
Upston said Ma¯ ori Party’s Te Ururoa Flavell, who lost his Waiariki electorate seat to Labour’s Tamati Coffey, would be missed.
‘‘I really enjoyed working with Te Ururoa and I think he was a great MP.’’
Al-bustanji watched the election unfold at his Taupo¯ home with 25 friends and supporters.
The Jordan-born convenience store-owner received 8763 votes, to Upston’s 21,757 votes.
‘‘This has been a safe seat for National for three terms,’’ Albustanji said.
He said he was happy to have reduced the margin between Upston and a Labour candidate, having received 25 per cent of electorate votes.
In 2014, Labour’s Taupo¯ electorate candidate Jamie Strange received 21 per cent.
In 2011, Frances Campbell, standing for Labour, received 20 per cent of electorate votes.
Al-bustanji said he’d learnt a lot on the campaign trail.
‘‘There have been a lot of people encouraging me.
‘‘Even those who are not going to give me their vote are saying, ‘We’re proud of you for standing and raising those issues’.’’
Both Upston and Al-bustanji said housing was a major issue raised by voters.
‘‘People were wanting more houses to be built, so there’s more affordable housing in the market,’’ Upston said.
Al-bustanji said expensive rents in Tokoroa, Taupo¯ and Turangi were a big problem, too.