Hipkins happy with party vote
Satisfied to be elected for a fourth consecutive term in Rimutaka, Chris Hipkins is also celebrating an improved party vote for Labour in the northern Wellington electorate.
‘‘I’m heartened by the result,’’ the 39-year-old said. ‘‘Both for the electorate, of course, and also very much for our growing the party vote.’’
On the provisional results Hipkins, an MP since 2008, increased his Rimutaka margin when beating Carolyn O’Fallon, a first-time National candidate.
With 18,508 votes, Hipkins is 6838 ahead of O’Fallon, up on the 6664 margin he earned three years earlier when Lewis Holden challenged for the seat.
‘‘To be honest my goal was to grow the party vote,’’ Hipkins said.
He succeeded with a 9.8 per cent increase in Labour’s party vote, to more than 41.9 per cent and well up on National’s 40.3 per cent. ‘‘We delivered really well on that.’’
Hipkins thanked his team of volunteers who worked ‘‘long hours’’, especially on the phones and used social media more analytically than in earlier campaigns. ‘‘I always go to an election on the basis that it is like the first time and we got out there and did everything we could and worked hard for it.’’
The campaigning produced no real surprises in what Rimutaka voters identified as the main issues.
‘‘It’s transport and it’s housing. With housing a lot of people reported the very high rentals they face and obviously related to that is the lack of housing options that are available to them.
‘‘I heard about that more than in the past and that’s a real issue.’’
On the country’s overall election result Hipkins said it was important to recognise ‘‘that more people voted for change than the status quo’’.
A happy Chris Hipkins at the Labour Party’s election night party at Te Wharewaka.