Special votes: National loses two seats, NZ First crucial to form government

Welcome to The Spinoff’s live updates for Friday, November 3. It’s a big day so buckle in. I’m Stewart Sowman-Lund, reach me on

The agenda

  • National has lost two seats when compared to the preliminary results on election night. It means New Zealand First will be crucial to form the next government.
  • Four seats have flipped since October 14: Nelson, Te Atatū, Tāmaki Makaurau and Te Tai Tokerau.
  • Labour’s majority in Mount Albert has reduced from more than 21,000 to just 20 in three years.

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If, like Martin, you love what we do and want to support us, please consider becoming a member today. Already a member? Thank you, your support means the world to us. 


Special votes: National loses two seats, NZ First crucial to form government

Welcome to The Spinoff’s live updates for Friday, November 3. It’s a big day so buckle in. I’m Stewart Sowman-Lund, reach me on

The agenda

  • National has lost two seats when compared to the preliminary results on election night. It means New Zealand First will be crucial to form the next government.
  • Four seats have flipped since October 14: Nelson, Te Atatū, Tāmaki Makaurau and Te Tai Tokerau.
  • Labour’s majority in Mount Albert has reduced from more than 21,000 to just 20 in three years.

Join The Spinoff Members

“Love your work. It’s made engaging with the news a much more rewarding experience.” Martin, Spinoff member since 2022

If, like Martin, you love what we do and want to support us, please consider becoming a member today. Already a member? Thank you, your support means the world to us. 

Nov 3 2023

Peters was on the blower to Luxon at 2.02pm

Peters on The Platform

Christopher Luxon wouldn’t disclose much about his phone calls with David Seymour and Winston Peters today – but that confidentially hasn’t quite extended to Peters. He told Sean Plunket that he was speaking to the incoming prime minister at “two minutes past two” this afternoon.

That’s just two minutes after the special votes were released, and unless Seymour had an incredibly short conversation with Luxon, suggests Peters was first in line.

“The most important thing is to have a conversation with all three [parties],” said Peters, decked out in a stunning turtleneck and blazer combo. “At the end of the day that’s how things will be conducted. Let’s sort out what we agree on for a start and there’s a lot of things that we do agree on.”

Peters suggested that his chief of staff should be in close contact with Luxon’s team to expedite the election process. “I said [to Luxon] that if your main man speaks to my main person… so that every hour things are happening, we can expedite this.”

Peters on The Platform

Greens win the party vote in Rongotai after special votes

The Green Party has won the party vote in the Wellington electorate of Rongotai after special votes were counted, with a final result of 31.9% over Labour’s 31.2%.

That makes the Greens the top-polling party in both of the capital’s central city electorates, Wellington Central and Rongotai. The Greens had never won the party vote in any electorate before this year.

The Greens widened their already considerable party vote margin in Wellington Central, finishing with 37.7% well ahead of Labour on 24.9%.

The Green electorate candidates were already the presumptive winners in both seats. In Wellington Central, Tamatha Paul finished with a 6,066 vote margin over Labour’s Ibrahim Omer, while Julie Anne Genter confirmed her win on Rongotai with a 2,717 vote majority.

Green Party co-leaders James Shaw and Marama Davidson said they were celebrating the party’s biggest election result ever.

“With a larger share of the vote and more MPs than we’ve had before, Green Party will lead the ongoing fight to eliminate poverty, honour Te Tiriti, protect nature, and build a climate-resilient future for our mokopuna,”  Davidson said.


National increases its margin in New Lynn

Garcia has been an MP before. (Photo: National Party website)

The official results flipped several seats from the preliminary count: Nelson, Te Atatū, Tāmaki Makaurau and Te Tai Tokerau.

But while National’s New Lynn candidate Paulo Garcia held a tiny margin based on preliminary results, he has actually pulled ahead by about 600 votes on the official count. He’s now more than 1,000 votes ahead of Labour’s Deborah Russell. He was a list MP from 2019-2020, and was born in the Philippines before moving to Aotearoa and becoming an immigration lawyer.

a filipino man with a tree in the background with a blue up arrow
Garcia has been an MP before. (Photo: National Party website)

Formation of government ‘will take as long as it takes’ – Luxon

Christopher Luxon at parliament (Photo: Joel MacManus)

Christopher Luxon still isn’t putting a timeframe on the formation of the next government, but says all three political parties want to move as quickly as possible.

“There is goodwill and good faith from all three political party leaders to move through the process constructively,” the incoming prime minister told reporters at parliament.

“I’m very confident having spoken to both leaders… they want to deliver certainty to the New Zealand people and they will deliver strong and stable government.”

Luxon said he called both David Seymour and Winston Peters once the special vote results were revealed at 2pm, but wouldn’t disclose whom he called first. “I’m not telling you,” he said with a laugh.

On the working arrangements between the three parties, Luxon said there would be “tensions between lots of parties” in parliament but was committed to work through issues constructively. “We all have slightly different takes on a range of issues,” he said.

Christopher Luxon at parliament (Photo: Joel MacManus)

There would probably be two recounts ordered by National, said Luxon. These would be in Mount Albert and Nelson where Labour candidates won by slim two-figure margins.

“We’ve been working really hard in those battleground seats. We did take thousands of party votes out of those big red seats.”

Luxon said he wouldn’t be waiting for the outcome of the recounts before progressing coalition talks. “The reality is we can move forward on this basis… the relative weighting of constituent vs list seats may shift but we can move forward,” he said.

“We’ve made tremendous progress in a preliminary environment… we will now crack on as quickly as we possibly can. We understand the desire for certainty… but we are working as hard as we possibly can.”

Vanessa Weenink extends lead in Banks Peninsula, Tracey McLellan out of parliament

The National candidate for Banks Peninsula has extended her (narrow) lead over the incumbent Tracey McLellan, winning the seat with a 396-vote majority after leading by just 77 votes on election night. The electorate has been held by Labour since 1999, mostly by Ruth Dyson who was the local MP for seven elections, including when it was abolished and replaced by Port Hills between 2008 and 2020. Tracey McLellan then won a comfortable majority in 2020 and is now out of parliament entirely.

McLellan was in on Labour’s list despite trailling in her electorate after preliminary results, but due to other seat flips around the country for Labour, she now joins the long list of Labour MPs out of a job.

Weenink will be a new MP, having worked as a GP and deputy chair of the medical association. She served in the New Zealand Army for more than 20 years with operational service in Afghanistan and East Timor. She was formerly a member of the Labour Party.

Vanessa Weenink and hoarding (Photo: Supplied)

Seymour says he’s had no response from NZ First

David Seymour and Winston Peters. (Image: Tina Tiller)

Act’s David Seymour said the next government could be formed “within a week”.

On the finalised election results, National and Act will need New Zealand First to form a government. National lost two seats when compared with the election night results.

Speaking to reporters, Seymour confirmed he had reached out to New Zealand First but had not received a response.

“We’ve reached out to New Zealand First in the past three weeks and we hope that we’re going to be able to have a rapid and productive discussion about how the three parties can work together to deliver better government for New Zealand,” he said.

“The voters are king and queen in an election. They’ve asked us to work together and that is what we will do.”

Labour ‘sent a message’ with election result – Hipkins

Chris Hipkins on election night, 2023 (Photo: Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images)

The outgoing prime minister has paid tribute to those MPs that will be leaving parliament as a result of today’s finalised election results, and congratulated those who gained additional support.

The results show Labour maintained the 34 seats it picked up on election night, while the Greens and Te Pāti Māori gained additional MPs. National lost two seats when compared with election night.

Speaking to reporters at parliament, Chris Hipkins said the results confirmed the overall allocation of seats and meant Christopher Luxon could “get on” with the job of forming a new government.

“The new Labour team will be a formidable opposition, who will proudly stand on the government’s record over the past six years and hold the expected three-party governing arrangement to account,” Hipkins said.

“We’ve got great talent and experience in our team, including a number of former Ministers, and we plan to work hard to win back the confidence of more New Zealanders over the next three years.”

But, he said: “I don’t think anyone is going to feel good about an election outcome like the Labour party has had. We’ve lost a lot of support.”

Chris Hipkins speaks at parliament (Photo: Joel MacManus)

Labour had “been sent a message” with the election result, said Hipkins, and would be working hard to rebuild support over the next three years.

Hipkins said he was pleased to have Cushla Tangaere‑Manuel enter his caucus, but said there appeared to have been vote-splitting in some of the Māori seats, with strong support for Labour in the party vote counts which did not translate into electorate support.

“I’ve had a brief conversation with Peeni Henare, and I indicated if he wants to call for a recount he’ll have my full support,” said Hipkins. Henare lost his seat by just four votes.

Asked whether Kelvin Davis, who also lost his seat, would quit, Hipkins said: “He’s not indicated to me that is his intention at this point.”

Hipkins said it had been an “absolute privilege” to serve as prime minister and offered his thanks to “everyone who supported me, and our government over the past six years”.

Chris Hipkins at the podium on election night
Chris Hipkins on election night (Photo by Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images)

Te Pāti Māori caucus grows by another two

Left: Kemp. Right: Kapa-Kingi. (Photos: Facebook)

With special votes counted, we know the latest outcome of the two Māori seats which were too close to call on election night – Tāmaki Makaurau and Te Tai Tokerau. The results are bad news for Labour as both seats have flipped to Te Pāti Māori (though the majority in Tāmaki Makaurau is only four seats, so Labour will likely call a recount).

Preliminary results showed Labour retaining three out of seven Māori seats – down from six in 2020. On election night, Cushla Tangaere-Manuel cruised to victory in Ikaroa Rāwhiti over former Labour MP turned Te Pāti Māori candidate Meka Whaitiri. Davis (Te Tai Tokerau) and Henare (Tāmaki Makaurau) were also holding onto their electorates by slim margins – roughly 400 and 500 votes, respectively. Te Pāti Māori candidates Mariameno Kapa-Kīngi (Te Tai Tokerau) and Takutai Tarsh Kemp (Tāmaki Makaurau) have since overcome Labour’s slim leads, claiming the seats by 517 and four votes respectively. 

Both Davis and Henare will return to parliament on the party list. As deputy leader of Labour, Davis is number two on the list, while Henare is number 14. Both tāne have held their electorates since 2014 when Davis won Te Tai Tokerau – an electorate notorious for strategic voting – off Hone Harawira, who was then the leader of the Mana Party. That same year, Henare ousted Te Pāti Māori co-leader Pita Sharples.

Kapa-Kīngi is a former chief executive of Te Rūnanga Nui o Te Aupōuri. As Liam Ratana reported on The Spinoff, she “has decades of experience in iwi social services and governance, and recently led the development of a 16-house papakāinga in Te Kao”. Kemp is the tūmuaki of the Manurewa marae, and she has worked for two decades in the health sector. She is currently serving on a Whānau Ora Commissioning Agency board. She also has experience in Māori community and youth development and was formerly an executive in the hip-hop dance industry. 

Left: Kemp. Right: Kapa-Kīngi. (Photos: Facebook)

They join party leaders Debbie Ngarewa-Packer and Rawiri Waititi, plus up-and-comers Hana-Rāwhiti Maipi-Clarke and Tākuta Ferris in parliament. 

Today’s results is Te Pāti Māori’s best, and makes it the most successful party in the Māori electorates (Labour aside) since New Zealand First swept them in 1996. The 2023 result for Te Pāti Māori is better even than their 2005 result following the 2004 foreshore and seabed furore.

Newly minted Te Tai Tokerau MP Kapa-Kīngi told 1News, “It’s a result we are all entitled to celebrate.” She put the strong result for Te Pāti Māori down to “giving our whānau something to vote for that looks, sounds and feels like them. We are taking our place… our motuhake place.”

Labour’s Mount Albert majority drops from 21,000 to 20

Labour’s Helen White (Image: FB, design: Archi Banal)

Labour’s Helen White has held onto the party stronghold of Mount Albert – but there are just 20 votes in it.

That’s 86 fewer than the already slim lead White had on election night and is about 21,000 below the lead Jacinda Ardern had over National’s Melissa Lee in 2020.

It’s the second slimmest electorate win after Te Pāti Māori’s Takutai Tarsh Kemp who won Tāmaki Makaurau by just four votes over Labour’s Peeni Henare. Both seats could easily result in a recount.

Helen White maintains she is ‘really, really proud’ of her result. (Image: Joel MacManus, Design Archi Banal)

Who is Kahurangi Carter, the new Green MP?

Kahurangi Carter speaks at her campaign launch. (Image: Shanti Mathias)

The Greens have picked up a new MP, Kahurangi Carter, who was 14th on the party list. She ran for in the Christchurch Central electorate, which was won by Labour’s Duncan Webb.

Carter, who comes from Waikato, was part of a Māori zero-waste non-profit before becoming a policy advisor at the ministry for the environment. She’s also trained as an actor, and has two teenage children. 

The Spinoff attended Carter’s campaign launch in September, where there were heaps of bikes parked outside and teenagers selling her “Loyal to the Soil” campaign sweatshirts. Fashion ranged from Kowtow cardigans to Moana Fresh hoodies, and several of Carter’s friends spoke about her love of swimming and dancing, as well as her passion for justice and the environment.

Carter joined in with the MP induction processes over the last three weeks in case she became an MP, which clearly paid off.

a room with a tall Māori woman wearing green and lots of party vote green signs, onlookers smiling as she speaks
Kahurangi Carter speaks at her campaign launch. (Image: Shanti Mathias)

Greens, Te Pāti Māori celebrate historic results

Te Pāti Māori co-leader Rawiri Waititi  (Photo by Lynn Grieveson/Getty Images)

Te Pāti Māori and the Greens are both celebrating their most successful election results. Today’s final results reveal an additional two MPs will make it into parliament for Te Pāti Māori – though one by the slimmest of slim margins – while the Greens have picked up one more.

“We have tripled the size of our caucus and are now set to grow our movement even more,” said Te Pāti Māori co-leader Rawiri Waititi. “We mihi to the courage of te iwi Maori for believing in themselves. Our Aotearoa Hou is rising”

One of these results could still be up in the air should a recount be ordered. Takutai Tarsh Kemp has won Tāmaki Makaurau by just four votes over Labour’s Peeni Henare

“We are proud that Te Tai Tokerau and Tāmaki Makaurau have given us their support. To win six of the seven Māori electorates is a huge endorsement from Tangata Whenua for our unapologetic and liberated voice,” said Waititi.

The Greens’ Marama Davidson said their enlarged caucus will lead “the ongoing fight to eliminate poverty, honour Te Tiriti, protect nature, and build a climate-resilient future for our mokopuna”.

She continued: “Central to this will be the biggest Māori and Pasifika caucus we have ever had. Half our Caucus is now Maori and Pasifika, which is a huge step forward for us. We are also proud to be joined by the first Member of Parliament in Aotearoa who is Vietnamese.”

The seat flips: Twyford back, two more for Te Pāti Māori

Phil Twyford is staying in parliament (Photo: Getty Images)

There were four seats that flipped when compared with the provisional results on election night.

  • Nelson: Labour’s Rachel Boyack has overtaken National’s Blair Cameron to retain the seat with a 29 vote majority. On election night, Boyack was tailing by a slim 54 votes. Cameron will not make it in on the list.
  • Te Atatū: Labour’s Phil Twyford has kept hold of his seat by 131 votes over National’s Angee Nicholas. She has not made it into parliament on the list.
  • Tāmaki Makaurau: It’s almost a record for the slimmest majority in history and will almost certainly result in a recount. Te Pāti Māori’s Takutai Tarsh Kemp has one Tāmaki Makaurau by just four votes over Labour’s Peeni Henare. He will remain in parliament, however, as a list MP.
  • Te Tai Tokerau: Te Pāti Māori’s Mariameno Kapa-Kingi has won Te Tai Takerau with a 517 vote majority over Labour’s Kelvin Davis, who will reenter parliament as a list MP.

As a result of the additional Te Pāti Māori MPs, parliament will increase from 120 to 122 seats. After the Port Waikato byelection, it will expand again to 123 seats.

We’re expecting more detail on the margins in the seats that didn’t flip – I’m looking at you Mount Albert – and we’ll bring those to you shortly.

Phil Twyford is staying in parliament (Photo: Getty Images)

T-minus five minutes: where to find the election results


We’re five minutes out from the special votes being revealed and the overall outcome of Election 2023 being known.

For all the substantive details and breakdowns, can I direct you to the Electoral Commission website.

Here on The Spinoff, we’ll have a bumpier piece from our Wellington correspondent Joel MacManus. He’ll summarise the overall results – in short, what the next parliament will look like and what that might mean for the incoming government. And he’ll also take a closer look at the key battlegrounds and what – if any – seats have flipped when compared with the preliminary results.

A little later, we’ll bring you more granular detail on the most interesting electorate races and keep an eye on any party responses from leaders across the spectrum. It’s all go!

Check back on The Spinoff at 2pm for all of that and more.

Rec Room: A new report into a NZ music scene in a state of flux

This is an extract from The Spinoff’s Rec Room newsletter, edited by Duncan Greive. Subscribe below.

NZ on Air has just released a review of its music strategy, which it toplined at a showcase at the Tuning Fork on Wednesday. The crowd was full of people I’ve known since I started going to showcases twenty years ago, but there were a couple of faces less familiar from gigs: National MPs Melissa Lee and Paul Goldsmith, each of whom could be close to culture funding very soon. I chatted with both separately and don’t think it will be any shock to suggest that the pleas for more investment from the stage are unlikely to be met. A more productive industry drum might beat for structural reform of the sometimes chaotic tangle of different bodies representing and funding screen and sound in this country.

The report advocates for changes that are more incremental than radical, with a payment to artists the first to go through. Others, like a desire for an export focus, are clearly a long way outside of NZ on Air’s current remit. The night was highlighted by great performances from Hina, Park Rd, Mim Jensen and Lost Tribe – but there remains a challenge at the core of NZ music: how to stand out when 120,000 songs are released each day. Boiler Room’s Chris Schulz and I discuss this on an upcoming episode of The Fold, and I’ll write more substantially on the report and current challenges to local music in the coming weeks.

Subscribe to Rec Room for the very best recommendations in entertainment, delivered to your inbox every Friday.

The electorates to watch at 2pm


We’re two hours away from the special votes being released and the overall election outcome being made public.

Find our full explainer on what we can expect at 2pm here – or read on for the seats sitting on a knife edge.

Te Atatū

It’s been one of the safest Labour seats in the country for more than 20 years, but this West Auckland seat is currently the closest race out of any electorate. Long-serving MP Phil Twyford has had his 11,000 vote majority destroyed and, on election night, lost the seat by just 30 votes.

Twyford has held the seat since 2011 but given his low list ranking would be turfed out of parliament if he doesn’t sneak back in this afternoon. He’s up against newcomer Angee Nicholas from National, who is also too far down the list to make it into parliament without the win.


Nelson was always expected to be close, but was it expected to be 54 votes close? Probably not. This was seen by some as National territory, the former seat of the town’s current mayor Nick Smith. In that regard, and given the closeness of the races in many seats Labour was expected to triumph in, the fact that Rachel Boyack trails National’s Blair Cameron by such a slim margin is a fairly remarkable showing.

Banks Peninsula

Just 83 votes separate National newcomer Vanessa Weenink and sitting Labour MP Tracey McLellan in what was one of the tightest races of election night. This is a relatively new electorate. While it was formed initially in the 1990s, it was replaced by the seat of Port Hills between 2008 and 2020. Labour’s Ruth Dyson held both between 1999 and 2020 (when McLellan won). If the special votes favour Labour, this seat could easily flip back to McLellan.

Mount Albert 

The former seat of prime ministers Helen Clark and Jacinda Ardern, along with Labour leader David Shearer, Mount Albert is the strongest of Labour strongholds. At least it was until October 14 when first-term MP Helen White spent much of the night trailing National’s Melissa Lee. At the final hurdle, she jumped ahead by just 106 votes – well within the margin of error.

If White doesn’t hold on, that could be the end of her short-lived political career. With a loss so unexpected, it would be hard to see her making a comeback at the next election.

New Lynn

On the preliminary count, Labour’s Deborah Russell is out of her electorate (she’s in on the provisional list) and National newcomer Paulo Garcia is in. The margin is roughly 400 votes, which might be just too much for Russell to claw back unless the specials err heavily towards Labour. This was another surprising result – New Lynn has been a safe haven for Labour since the 1960s (though, when it was briefly folded into Titirangi in the 1990s, it went to National just once).

Te Tai Tokerau

Te Pāti Māori exceeded expectations on election night, picking up four of the seven Māori seats including shock wins in Hauraki-Waikato (where Nanaia Mahuta lost) and Te Tai Tonga. In Te Tai Tokerau, the party will be gunning to pick up a fifth seat.

On the preliminary count, high-profile Labour MP – and the party’s deputy – Kelvin Davis is leading by roughly 400 votes over Mariameno Kapa-Kingi. Unlike the previous electorates on this list, which are all National v Labour battles, this is a competition between two parties heading into opposition. But what makes it interesting is the overhang aspect discussed earlier and the fact that if Te Pāti Māori wins, it will pick up an additional seat and could increase the overall total in the House once again.

Tāmaki Makaurau

It’s a similar situation in the sweeping Auckland seat of Tāmaki Makaurau, where Labour’s Peeni Henare holds a 500-ish vote lead over Takutai Tarsh Kemp. This hasn’t been the safest of seats for Labour (Henare beat John Tamihere in 2020 by just over 1,000 votes), but the closeness of the race was still a surprise. Henare’s profile has increased over the past term and there has been talk of him becoming a future party leader. This is one to watch.

Could the specials bring bad news for Labour?

Lots of voting questions and lots of answers! (Image: Archi Banal)

As I wrote this morning, political lore suggests that the special votes tend to favour parties on the left of politics. But there’s been some speculation that things could different in 2023, whether that be because overseas voters will wish to punish Labour for border closures or for some other reason.

Newsroom’s Jo Moir has a good tidbit in her scene setter for today’s special vote results. She writes: “Newsroom understands the messaging coming back from those party representatives is that Labour is not only unlikely to reclaim some of its safer seats, but will struggle to hold Mt Albert, and be lucky to pick up any additional seats through the specials.”

The context here is that each political party has “scrutineers” that help to oversee the counting of special votes. Of course, we won’t know until we know – but it’s the closest we’ve got to any sort of insight into the overall result.

Luxon arrives in Wellington: ‘Our team have worked incredibly hard’

Christopher Luxon delivers his state of the nation speech in Parnell, Auckland.

The incoming prime minister has landed in the capital ahead of the outcome of the election being formally revealed this afternoon.

At 2pm, the overall election results – which includes the roughly 567,000 special votes not included in the preliminary tally – will be released.

“Our team have worked incredibly hard,” Christopher Luxon told reporters stationed at Wellington Airport, as detailed by The Post. “So we’re all looking forward to getting clarity like the rest of the country and we have to wait and see till two o’clock.”

As he has done for the past three weeks, Luxon avoided talk of any coalition negotiations. He said he would spend the day in meetings. Luxon will front a 3pm press conference once the results have been made public, giving him an hour to digest the news.

All of this means we’re just a few hours away from the first stage of the speculation ending (whether NZ First will be needed in government) and the next round of punditry beginning (what the shape of the government will look like). For those in need of some last minute analysis, I enjoyed this week’s episode of the Tova podcast which included insights from three former senior members of National, Act and New Zealand First.

Listen: How leaders can learn from their mistakes

After leaving the CEO position at Z Energy, Mike Bennetts became an executive coach and has just published his own book: Being Extraordinary by Confronting Your Ordinary. In this week’s When the Facts Change, Bennetts talks to Bernard Hickey about how leadership is different from management, and how leaders can learn from their mistakes.

The Bulletin: Urban sprawl knocked back in Auckland and Canterbury

Auckland Council has voted to decrease the amount of city fringe land available for development, citing flood risks and potential infrastructure costs. The areas had been designated by the council as “Future Urban”, a signal that they were likely to be rezoned as residential, and much of the land had seen massive price increases ahead of the expected rezoning. Now “land speculators in rural Auckland could be left with hundreds of millions of dollars of property unable to be developed for decades”, Stuff’s Todd Niall reports.

The land is around Kumeū-Huapai and Riverhead in the northwest, Hatfields Beach in the north, and Takaanini and Drury-Ōpaheke in the south. “This protects farmland, supports growth within city limits where existing infrastructure is not fully utilised – Auckland is sprawling too far,” said mayor Wayne Brown. Meanwhile commissioners have rejected plans for an 850-home development in Ohaka, north of Christchurch, citing “the existing rural nature of Ohoka, and the lack of public transport and local jobs”, Liz McDonald reports for The Press (paywalled). Waimakariri District Council will decide whether to adopt the commissioners’ recommendations at a meeting on Tuesday.

Want to read The Bulletin in full? Click here to subscribe and join over 39,000 New Zealanders who start each weekday with the biggest stories in politics, business, media and culture. 

The special votes are nearly here


In news that will please all political diehards (Paddy Gower, I’m looking at you), the special votes will be released this afternoon when the final election count is completed.

We’ve published a comprehensive explainer of what this all means, including the electorates sitting on a knife edge ahead of the vote tally.

First, here’s the timeline for today:

  • At 2pm: The Electoral Commission will formally release the finalised results from Election 2023. Some media will have been briefed on this ahead of time so expect a number of articles summarising the overall outcome to be released bang on schedule (including here on The Spinoff).
  • At 3pm: The incoming prime minister Christopher Luxon will hold a press conference from parliament to respond to the election results. He told media yesterday he could not provide a timeline for the formation of a government until the results had been released and would be keeping a close eye on electorates that might switch back to Labour.

We may also hear from other parties involved in coalition negotiations – Act and New Zealand First – and the outgoing prime minister Chris Hipkins.

Act’s David Seymour told Newshub yesterday that he believed a government could be formed within a matter of days, but the fact that Luxon has made it clear he won’t be attending next week’s Pacific Islands Forum suggests it won’t be before Wednesday.