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Election 2023: All the results as they roll in

  • As the votes are counted, we’ll be updating you on all the juiciest electorate battles – plus the all-important party vote – right here.
  • You can keep an eye on the tracker on our homepage for a live feed of the party vote.
  • For highlights from our reporters hanging out at the parties’ parties, check out our live blog.
  • Wondering when we’ll find out the results? We’ve got everything you need to know about that right here.

Election 2023: All the results as they roll in

  • As the votes are counted, we’ll be updating you on all the juiciest electorate battles – plus the all-important party vote – right here.
  • You can keep an eye on the tracker on our homepage for a live feed of the party vote.
  • For highlights from our reporters hanging out at the parties’ parties, check out our live blog.
  • Wondering when we’ll find out the results? We’ve got everything you need to know about that right here.
Oct 14 2023

Listen: The Gone By Lunchtime Election 2023 debrief


After months of living and breathing this year’s election campaign Gone By Lunchtime’s Toby Manhire, The Spinoff editor Madeleine Chapman and The Bulletin editor Anna Rawhiti-Connell are getting together to discuss the events of election day. Toby is fresh from a whirlwind tour of various party events while Mad and Anna are emerging from a day spent devouring election coverage.Join them as they react to the atmosphere of the day, the surprise wins and the all important snack offerings at the parties’ parties.

Follow Gone By Lunchtime on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or wherever you listen to podcasts.

NZ ‘voted for change’ says PM-elect Christopher Luxon


National Party leader and presumptive prime minister Christopher Luxon has addressed party faithful at Auckland’s Shed 10, telling them New Zealand “voted for change”.

Luxon pledged that his government will deliver for “every New Zealand”, rattling off examples include healthcare, education and the justice system.

Acknowledging the result for Labour, Luxon said it was a “tough night” for them but thanked Chris Hipkins for calling to concede. Luxon said he had also spoken to Act’s David Seymour and New Zealand First leader Winston Peters. “He is willing to help where needed,” Luxon said of Peters.

“New Zealand listened to National but more importantly National listened to New Zealanders,” said Luxon. “You have given us the mandate to take New Zealand forward.”

It would be a “big job” to turn around the country, he said, but he was ready to deliver for everyone. “We all share an interest of living in a safe, stable country that celebrates fairness and wants the best for every New Zealander,” Luxon said. “It’s what unites us that matters to me… Wherever they are, whoever they are.. regardless of ethnicity.”

Luxon thanked his deputy, Nicola Willis, campaign chair, Chris Bishop, and all of his caucus. “You have given it your all and we have splashed blue all throughout the country,” he said.

Acknowledging the long hours put in by all involved with the campaign, he said: “Tonight it has all been worth it.”

Before paying tribute to his family, Luxon said that New Zealand would tomorrow wake up “to not only a new day but a new government and the promise of a new future”.

“I cannot wait to get stuck in,” he said.

The gap is closing in Te Atatū

Earlier I said it wasn’t looking good for Phil Twyford. It’s still not looking great for Phil Twyford, but don’t count him out just yet because while National’s Angee Nicholas is still ahead, there are now just 186 votes in it, with 89.5% of the vote counted.

Phil Twyford (Photo by Hannah Peters/Getty Images)

With 100% counted, Nelson is too close to call


All the ordinary votes have now been counted in Nelson and National’s Blair Cameron is ahead of the incumbent, Labour’s Rachel Boyack, by just 54 votes. The result will now come down to special votes, which won’t be revealed until November 3.

Would you like to know more about the Nelson electorate? Allow me to direct you towards Tommy de Silva’s Hot Seat profile.



Helen White takes the lead in Mt Albert

Helen White and Camilla Belich.

No one will be feeling more relieved than Helen White right now. After taking over one of the safest Labour seats in the country in Mt Albert, White trailed Melissa Lee all night until moments ago. She now leads by 102 votes with 88.9% counted.

The race is far from over but White has a much bigger chance now and could avoid the regrettable reputation of losing multiple “safe” electorates (she was upset by Swarbrick in Auckland Central in the last election).

Chris Hipkins delivers concession speech at Labour HQ


Chris Hipkins has conceded the race to Christopher Luxon.

Hipkins has emerged on stage at Labour HQ to a resounding chant of “Chippy, Chippy, Chippy”.

He praised the volunteers in the crowd for their role supporting  biggest ground game the Labour Party has ever run, before congratulating Christopher Luxon on National’s almost-certain victory.

“Earlier this evening I called Christopher Luxon to congratulate him on the National Party’ results,” he says.

While it is MMP and the exact numbers are still unknown, Hipkins conceded: “Labour is not in a position to form a government”.

Looking ahead, Hipkins said the the government would act in a caretaker capacity, and prepare for a new role in opposition.

“The Labour party will take some time to reflect and refresh. We have a new and important role in opposition to hold gov tot account and fight for those who stand to lose from their proposed cuts. I can promise we will keep fighting for working people because that is our history, and our future.”

“When the tide comes in big, it goes out big. But the Labour Party is still here, we’re not going away, and we will get up again like we have many times before.”

Luxon will be feeling ‘sheer excitement and relief’, says John Key

John Key surrounded by media (Photo: Stewart Sowman-Lund)

Former prime minister John Key has arrived at Shed 10, joined by members of his family.

After being mobbed by media as he attempted to enter the room, Key briefly answered questions as the election results appear to show a strong result for National.

Asked what Christopher Luxon would be thinking now, Key said “a combination of sheer excitement and relief”.

John Key surrounded by media (Photo: Stewart Sowman-Lund)

On the prospect of Winston Peters not being needed for a formal coalition, Key said it was worth remembering that special votes and a byelection still had to be taken into account.

Asked about the apparent victory for National in some safe Labour seats, Key called it “incredible”.

“Those seats I never thought we would win,” he said, referencing Mount Albert and Mount Roskill, which remain too close to call but show National with slim leads. “To be fair, we lost some in 2020 I never thought we’d lose,” Key continued.

“I think the Greens actually haven’t polled as well as what the polls showed, it’s always like that. It’s trendy to tell a pollster you’re voting Green, but on the party night their party vote’s not quite the same.” He labelled the result for Te Pāti Māori “incredible”.

Key said he believed Luxon would be a “tremendous prime minister”.

After moving away from the media, Key pushed through a crowd of fans asking for selfies.

John Key takes a selfie (photo: SSL)

David Seymour says 20% better is good enough

(Image- Shanti Mathias)

David Seymour entered to rapturous applause at the Act Party central at the Maritime Room in Auckland and thanked “all the people who put their trust in us” including “my neighbours in Epsom” and “their neighbours in Tāmaki.”

He emphasised that his party stood for all New Zealanders from all backgrounds “rich and poor, from north to south… we are each alike in dignity.”

“Yes David!” a supporter yelled out after one of these lines.

In a media stand-up afterwards, Seymour was asked if he was disappointed with his result, which was below some pools. He pointed out that it was “20%” better than in 2020 and “20% over three years is pretty good.” He didn’t share any details on how or whether a referendum about Te Tiriti would feature in Act’s coalition negotiations.

(Image- Shanti Mathias)

Nanaia Mahuta bows out after 27 years in parliament

Minister of Foreign Affairs Nanaia Mahuta talks to media during a press conference at Parliament on April 22, 2021 in Wellington, (Photo: Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images)

The longest continuously-serving female MP has bowed out tonight, after a surprise defeat to 21-year-old Hana-Rawhiti Maipi-Clarke in Hauraki-Waikato. The Labour stalwart was the slim favourite, and wasn’t taking the seat for granted. But Maipi-Clarke has surged ahead, one of a handful of Te Pāti Māori candidates making strong showings in the Māori seats tonight.

When asked how she felt about the result, Mahuta was pragmatic, and acknowledged that while her seat was gone, more party votes still needed to be counted. “It’s going to be a challenge but it’s not over yet,” she said. She then went on to speak about her illustrious time in parliament and the importance of women, particularly Māori women, in the house, but was interrupted as the news channels cut to her leader Chris Hipkins giving his concession speech in Lower Hutt.

How accurate were the polls?

With the caveat that only 72.3% of the votes have been counted, it’s fair to say that the closing gap between left and right predicted by the last few opinion polls hasn’t really materialised. The average across the final seven major polls had National on 35% – they’re currently tracking significantly higher, at 40.2%.

Labour, meanwhile, is closer to its poll average of 27.8% – it’s currently on 26.3%.

The Greens are lower than the polls predicted – 10.5% versus a poll average of 13% – and Te Pāti Māori is pretty close, at 2.5% versus a poll average of 2.7%.

What about Act and NZ First? As of right now, Act is bang on its poll average of 9.2% and NZ First is slightly lower, at 6.2% versus a poll average of 7%.


Marama Davidson ‘stoked’ as Greens poised to take two if not three electorate seats


Marama Davidson and James Shaw arrived at the Green party election night HQ as tallies in Auckland Central and Wellington Central show Green candidates posied to win.

Chlöe Swarbrick is 1,342 votes ahead of National’s Mahesh Muralidhar with over 50% of the vote counted, while Tamatha Paul is 2,686 ahead of Labour’s Ibrahim Omer.

Davidson addressed an enthusiastic crowd of Green supporters and said she was “stoked” with the results.

“The people have spoken. It’s been incredible,” she said.

It’s still looking very close in Rongotai but is now less of a threeway race with Julie Anne Genter 284 votes ahead of Labour’s Fleur Fitzsimon, while National’s Karunā Muthu is over 1000 votes behind both of them.

Green Party co-leaders Marama Davidson and James Shaw (Image: Tina Tiller)

Poised to unseat Michael Wood in Mt Roskill, Carlos Cheung arrives to cheers

Carlos Cheung is in there some way.

Here’s something I never expected to witness tonight: a crowd of about 20 walking into Shed 10 chanting “Carlos! Carlos! Carlos!” In their midst was Carlos Cheung, who stands on the brink, incredibly, of turning Mt Roskill blue. In 2020, Michael Wood won the electorate for Labour with a majority of almost 14,000. Today, with almost 60% of the vote counted, Cheung leads Wood, who resigned from cabinet earlier this year over undeclared share ownership in Auckland Airport, by 1,900 votes.

He told the Spinoff he was not taking anything for granted, “but we’re confident at this stage. Our team put in a lot of hard work and it paid off.” It had to feel good, though, to walk into the election-night party as people cheered your name. “It feels good, to be honest with you,” he said, with a fleeting grin. “But it’s still early.”

Across the room, Chris Penk, who is on track to retain Kaipara ki Mahurangi with a majority that could reach as high as 20,000, said that National finishing with 40-something per cent represented an important milestone. “Forty is credibility. It is a major party with a coalition partner, rather than something with a tail wagging a dog,” he told the Spinoff. “But we’ll see precisely how the cards fall after the specials. We don’t take anything for granted.”

Carlos Cheung is in there some way.

Checking in with the new 21-year-old MP


Nanaia Mahuta’s long reign in Hauraki-Waikato is over, meaning she’s out of parliament altogether. The Labour Party stalwart has held a seat in the rohe since before Hana-Rawhiti Maipi-Clarke – the Te Pāti Māori challenger – was born.

With over half of the Hauraki-Waikato ballots counted, Maipi-Clarke has the lead. Her majority has slowly grown over the course of the night, from barely 200 votes to nearly 1,000 votes now. Although the night is far from over, Maipi-Clarke’s friends, whānau and volunteers are hyped about the results so far; the vibe here is more like a 21st (Maipi-Clarke herself is only 21) than an election event.

Maipi-Clarke praised the mahi Mahuta had put it in within the electorate over the years, and said it laid the groundwork for local rangatahi like herself to succeed. “I’ve been inspired my whaea Nanaia my whole life in terms of her political leadership,” she said. Not only is Maipi-Clarke looking like she might pull off the upset win in Hauraki-Waikato, but she will also make history if she gets into parliament by becoming the the second youngest MP ever.

When she was asked how she felt about her potentially historic entrance into parliament, Maipi-Clarke explained that her potential win isn’t solely hers, but is a win for mokopuna to come. “It’s about our babies, it’s about kohanga reo, it’s about our whare Kura… it’s so much bigger than just myself,” she said. Maipi Clarke was also quick to spread the praise for what is looking like a Te Pāti Māori victory in Hauraki-Waikato, saying the result comes down to “the love and support from my whānau”.

Simeon Brown says early results a ‘rejection of Labour’

Senior National MP Simeon Brown says it’s been a “great night” for his party and has called the early results “much better than expected”.

Speaking to The Spinoff, Brown, who is safely on track to retain his Pakuranga seat, said the results for National had been “particularly great” across Auckland.

“I think it’s a rejection of Labour and its priorities and policies in Auckland,” he said. “There’s still more votes to be counted but at this stage a very strong result.”

Asked whether it was the result of a strong campaign by National or simply a mood for change, Brown said that the country had “had enough of Labour”.

“The campaign plays a part but there has been three years of this government,” he said.

Brown is one of the most senior MPs we’ve seen here so far at Shed 10, though it’s anticipated that party leader Christopher Luxon, the presumptive prime minister, will arrive here shortly to address party faithful.

It’s not looking good for Tāmati Coffey, Michael Wood or Phil Twyford

Tāmati Coffey (Image: Tina Tiller)

A couple of days ago we asked if Tāmati Coffey could make an East Coast comeback. With over half of the votes counted, the answer would appear to be no – National’s Dana Kirkpatrick is leading by 2,946 votes. Coffey was planning to retire from politics at this election, but Kiri Allan’s departure prompted him to take her place as Labour’s East Coast candidate. He chose to stay off the list, meaning the electorate was his one shot at parliament.

Other high-profile Labour MPs who could be out of jobs tomorrow include Michael Wood, who is behind Carlos Cheung in Mt Roskill by 1,821 votes, with 60% counted. Over in Te Atatū, Phil Twyford is behind National’s Angee Nicholas but only by 518, with almost 60% counted. Neither Wood nor Twyford have list placings that could see them back in parliament via that route.

Tāmati Coffey (Image: Tina Tiller)

Te Tai Tokerau on knife’s edge

Kelvin Davis, the incumbent (Photo: Getty Images)

Labour’s Kelvin Davis is just a sliver of a whisker ahead in Te Tai Tokerau with 48% of the vote counted.

Te Pāti Māori’s Mariameno Kapa-Kingi is trailing him by just 25 votes.  Davis has recently hinted he may step away from politics if he doesn’t win his electorate seat. According to a Whakaata Maori poll on October 5, Davis was well ahead of Kapa-Kingi.

Speaking at the time, Davis said “If I don’t win the Tai Tokerau seat, that’s Te Tai Tokerau saying ‘Kelvin, thanks, but you’ve done your time,’ and I’ll move on and look at other things and allow whoever is successful to have free rein but my preference is to still be there and still have the mandate of the people.”

Kelvin Davis, the incumbent (Photo: Getty Images)

West Auckland looking less red by the minute

Phil Twyford (Photo by Hannah Peters/Getty Images)

West Auckland is traditionally Labour’s working class heartland, but in Te Atatū and New Lynn, the National candidates are currently leading.

With 40.7% of the vote counted in New Lynn, National’s Paulo Garcia is ahead of Labour’s Deborah Russell by 512 votes.

This is how red New Lynn has been until now:

Over in Te Atatū, with 54.7% of the vote counted, National’s Angee Nicholas is ahead of Phil Twyford by 519 votes. Former minister Twyford has a lowly list placing of 49, so if things don’t turn around pretty soon, he’ll be out of parliament.

Kelston is the only West Auckland seat remaining red at this stage, with Carmel Sepuloni leading by more than 1,600 votes over her National rival.

Brooke van Velden thanks supporters for Tāmaki win


The cheers were enormous as Brooke van Velden, wearing a gorgeously tailored, tie-dyed pink dress, entered the Act celebration along the pink carpet. She briefly spoke to supporters. “This was our campaign,” she said, talking about the 130 street corner meetings she went to and thanking volunteers, some of whom she’d embraced on the way in. “I can’t wait to get to Wellington and get to work to share the values of the people of Tāmaki.”

In remarks to media directly afterwards, she said that she had run in Tāmaki because supporters had been asking the party to do so for years. van Velden kept repeating her line about the Tāmaki community’s values, saying that it was time for the electorate to have a “hard-working MP”.

She said that her lead over rival, National’s Simon O’Connor was significant enough that she was comfortable declaring her win in the seat. However, it was “too early” to comment on why the overall percentage of Act votes has only increased marginally so far, or to suggest which ministerial portfolios she might like in coalition negotiations. van Velden seemed composed,  almost on autopilot – like she was still slightly shocked that she had won at all.

van Velden said that she hadn’t yet spoken to O’Connor.

The Spinoff really wanted to ask questions about the dress (exquisite waist darts! incredible fabric!) but didn’t want to bring the tone down with fashion journalist sensibilities, and was worried that it wouldn’t recognise any designer names anyway. The Spinoff tried to ask a question about policy van Velden was excited about but it turned out 1News was a louder talker.

Winston Peters speaks to supporters

Winston Peters may change what policies are in or out (Image: Gabi Lardies)

The NZ First leader has given his speech to party loyal at the Duke of Marlborough hotel in Russell. In an election night where many thought Peters would be the man of the hour, he and his party have barely featured thanks to a National dominance and the chance of NZ First not being needed in coalition.

Peters thanked his candidates and supporters and celebrated a likely return to parliament (they’re currently sitting at 6.1%), but was certainly not suggesting he expects to be called for coalition talks with Christopher Luxon. At this rate, he’ll end up back with Labour after all, in opposition on the other side of the house.

Maipi-Clarke ahead in Hauraki-Waikato with just over 35% of vote counted

Hana-Rawhiti Maipi-Clarke

Labour’s Nanaia Mahuta, the country’s longest-serving female MP, has held Hauraki-Waikato since 2008. Mahuta isn’t running on Labour’s list so needs to win the seat to stay in parliament.

Hana-Rawhiti Maipi-Clarke, the 20-year-old candidate for Te Pāti Māori is ahead of Mahuta by 892 votes with 35% of the vote counted.

Maipi-Clarke was likely to head to parliament anyway as she’s number four on the party’s list, but it looks like she will not only be the youngest MP in parliament in 170 years, but the wahine Māori that unseated Mahuta.

Hana-Rawhiti Maipi-Clarke. Photo: Supplied

Greg O’Connor is ahead in Ōhāriu but ‘absolutely not’ feeling confident

Labour’ Greg O’Connor is holding onto a 277 vote lead over National’s Nicola Willis in Ōhariu, but is he feeling confident? “Absolutely not,” he says.

“This has always been a neck-and-neck race, so no surprised. But one thing I will say is I’d rather be 200 votes ahead than 200 votes behind.”

With 40% of the vote counted it is looking like it will be a close finish in Peter Dunne’s old heartland.

“One thing I’d hope is that there will a result tonight, because if we are within 200-300 votes it will have to come down to the special votes”.

O’Connor was the first Labour MP to arrive at the election night event at Lower Hutt Town Hall, and he’s acting stoic about the nationwide party vote results.

“Any serious political watchers won’t be too surprised at this,” he says. “People are always going to be optimistic. If the polls aren’t going your way you say you don’t believe the polls, and if they going your way you believe them.”

As Ted Lasso once said: It’s the hope that kills you. Labour was convinced it had a momentum shift in its favour in the final week, and O’Connor admits he thought so too.

“To be honest, I felt it. I knocked thousands of doors and I felt there was a change, but obviously it hasn’t been picked up by the only poll that matters.”

Aside from his own electorate, he’s mostly keeping his eyes on Wairarapa and Kieran McAulty.

“He’ll be a loss if he doesn’t get across the line. Not only to the party, but to New Zealand,” he says.

What are the closest races in the electorates?


Nelson is looking very tight, with just six votes in it and 51.1% of the votes counted. The Labour incumbent Rachel Boyack has just overtaken National’s Blair Cameron.

Over in West Coast-Tasman, National’s Maureen Pugh is ahead of the Labour incumbent by 233 votes, with 31.9% of votes counted.

Hopping over Cook Strait to Wellington, In Ōhāriu, the Labour incumbent Greg O’Connor has taken the lead over National’s deputy leader Nicola Willis. With 42.3% of the vote counted, there are 307 votes in it. (Rongotai’s also looking close – see our 8.47pm update.)

Up in Auckland, Mt Albert is looking very interesting, with National’s Melissa Lee 484 votes ahead of Labour’s Helen White in what was once a red stronghold. 37% of votes have been counted.

In the Māori electorates, Labour’s Peeni Henare has just overtaken Te Pāti Māori’s Takutai Kemp with 33.1% of votes counted – but there are just 16 votes in it. In Te Tai Tokerau, TPM’s Mariameno Kapa-Kingi is ldeading Labour deputy leader Kelvin Davis by 86 votes, with 28% of votes counted.

Tight threeway race in Rongotai


As Joel MacManus wrote in his hot seat profile of this electorate “for the first time ever, Rongotai is interesting”. That interest has largely been focused on the possibility of the Greens’ Julie Anne Genter adding to the party’s electorate seat tally by winning the seat.

Labour has held Rongotai since 1996 and is running former city councillor Fleur Fitzsimons in this once very safe Labour seat. Karuna Muthu is standing for National and was considered a bit of a long shot to win.

With 15.7% of the vote counted, it’s a close race. Genter is currently ahead of Fitzsimons by 249 votes with 1,803 votes. Fitzsimons has 1,555 and Muthu is just behind on 1,440.

Julie Anne Genter. Photo by Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images


Mood pensive at The Duke as NZ First’s numbers stubbornly low

Shane Jones on election night

The atmosphere at the Duke is notably more tense as NZ First looks in danger of losing its kingmaker role. I spoke to Shane Jones after he finished up a half hour block of broadcast interviews. He had yet to hear any early word on his Northland electorate campaign, but appeared notably more subdued than his earlier convivial vibe. When asked whether he enjoys these events, he said his chief concern was staying in the right condition to front the media (there’s still no sign of Winston Peters). “These events can be challenging,” he admitted. “Not because I don’t like interacting with the people. But because sometimes you have too much rosé and you end up leading the news.”

Shocking: Labour is leading in only 13 of 71 electorates

Grant Roberston, Chris Hipkins and Megan Woods address media.

In a development that few would have predicted – even with the way polling was trending – Labour is currently leading in only 13 of 71 electorates. It would be 72 but Port Waikato is going to a byelection and National is already expected to win that too.

Considering Labour won a huge 46 seats in 2020, this will be a shocking wake up call for the party in their debriefing. Labour strongholds like Mt Albert and Mt Roskill are currently being led by National, and even seats that brought in huge margins last election are looking likely to flip blue.

Meanwhile, Te Pāti Māori, with two current MPs, is holding leads (albeit a couple of very slim ones) in six seats.

Chris Bishop ahead in Hutt South


National’s campaign chair and candidate in Hutt South, Chris Bishop, has a 556 vote lead on his Labour rival, Ginny Andersen with 35.5% of the vote counted.

Bishop and Andersen have both held the seat with Bishop winning it in 2017 and Andersen taking it during the “red wave” in 2020.

Ginny Andersen and Chris Bishop.

Te Pāti Māori is dominating the Māori seats

Debbie Ngarewa-Packer, Rawiri Waititi and Hana-Rawhiti Maipi-Clarke

Te Pāti Māori is currently dominating in the Māori seats, currently leading in six out of seven.

The biggest potential upset is in Te Tai Tonga, where Te Pāti Māori’s Tākuta Ferris was not expected to give Labour incumbent Rino Tirikatene much trouble. But with over 20% of the vote counted, Ferris is ahead of Tirikatene by 690 votes.

In Hauraki-Waikato, TPM up-and-comer Hana-Rawhiti Maipi-Clarke is ahead of Nanaia Mahuta, a long-serving Labour minister who’s not running on the list this election. With 16.5% of the vote counted, Maipi-Clarke is leading by 525 votes.

In Te Tai Hauāuru, Debbie Ngarewa-Packer holds a comfortable lead over Labour’s Soraya Peke-Mason, and Ngarewa-Packer’s TPM co-leader Rawiri Waititi, as predicted, is dominating in Waiariki.

In Te Tai Tokerau, TPM’s Mariameno Kapa-Kingi holds the narrowest of leads over Labour deputy leader Kelvin Davis, leading by 62 votes with 23.2% counted. And in Tāmaki Makaurau, with 28.2% of the vote counted, Takutai Kemp of Te Pāti Māori is ahead of Peeni Henare by just 12 votes.

Debbie Ngarewa-Packer, Rawiri Waititi and Hana-Rawhiti Maipi-Clarke

Cushla Tangaere-Manuel holding a lead for Labour in Ikaroa-Rāwhiti

Ikaroa-Rāwhiti (Image: Archi Banal)

Meka Whaitiri quit the Labour party and her ministerial role back in May to join Te Pāti Māori. Whaitiri was then named the party’s candidate for Ikaroa-Rāwhiti.

Labour’s candidate for the seat, Cushla Tangaere-Manuel, is currently out in front of Whaitiri by 1,260 votes with 18.4% of the vote counted.

As the vote count continues to roll in, there are a few very close races, with Te Pāti Māori candidates making a strong showing in several of the Māori seats.



Debbie Ngarewa-Packer holds comfortable lead in Te Tai Hauāuru


With 19.1% of the vote counted, Debbie Ngarewa-Packer leads Soraya Peke-Mason by 2,850 votes, a healthy margin. Ngarewa-Packer looks likely to secure an electorate seat after making it into parliament on the list in 2020.

Melissa Lee ‘not counting her chickens’ after early lead in Mount Albert


National’s Melissa Lee isn’t counting her chickens just yet after early results place her about 400 votes ahead in the Labour stronghold of Mount Albert.

Speaking to The Spinoff after arriving at National’s election night event, she said the early result was a result of a broader shift from the left to the right. “I think everyone is really not very happy with the Labour government and I think that might have an impact,” she said. “I think it’s a general shift to the right and I’m hopefully the beneficiary of it.”

Lee said she was up at 5am this morning and has been “very nervous”. She paid tribute to her volunteer team and noted a 13-year-old school student that had been out door knocking every day of his school holidays to support her campaign. “Hopefully it’s going to pay off,” she said of the results so far. “I work really hard.”

If National was to win Mount Albert, it would be the first time in the electorate’s history. The Labour Party candidate is Helen White, who lost Auckland Central in 2020.

Lee was the first MP to arrive at National’s election night event tonight – as she was in 2020. But that night brought very different early outcomes for her party.

Melissa Lee at National HQ (Photo: Stewart SL)

Will Whanganui flip back blue?


Labour’s Steph Lewis entered parliament in 2020 with a 3,000 vote majority. The electorate had been held by National for 15 years prior.

With 25% of the vote counted, Whanganui is looking like it will flip back blue tonight.

National’s Carl Bates has 9,312 votes, while Lewis is on 6,836. If Lewis doesn’t win reelection, she won’t make it back to parliament on the party’s list.

Will National flip the Labour strongholds of Mt Roskill and Mt Albert?

With 23.6% of the votes counted, National’s Carlos Cheung is leading Labour’s Michael Wood by a healthy 1,200 votes in Mt Roskill.

National’s Melissa Lee is also leading in Mount Albert, another Labour stronghold, by 420 votes, with 30.9% of the vote counted.

As Stewart Sowman-Lund reports in our live blog, if Mt Roskill flips, it almost certainly will signify a lot more seats flipping blue around the country.

Melissa Lee in 2020 (Photo by Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images)

Act’s Brooke van Velden takes the lead in Tāmaki

Act deputy leader Brooke van Velden has taken the lead in Tāmaki. With 12.2% of the vote counted, she’s ahead of National incumbent Simon O’Connor by 452 votes.

Act's Brooke van Velden in Mission Bay
Act’s Brooke van Velden is campaigning hard in Tāmaki (Image: Tina Tiller)

National ahead in Wairarapa, Hutt South, Nelson


A number of the battleground electorates are leaning towards National at the moment.

In Wairarapa, Mike Butterick is leading Labour’s Kieran McAnulty by 732 votes with 5.7% counted.

In Hutt South, with 17.1% of votes counted, Chris Bishop is leading incumbent Ginny Andersen by 773 votes.

In Nelson, 44.7% votes have been counted and National’s Cameron Blair is ahead of the Labour incumbent Rachel Boyack – but by just 28 votes.

Te Pāti Māori early electorate performance raises prospect of overhang

Te Pāti Māori co-leaders Debbie Ngarewa-Packer and Rawiri Waititi (Getty Images)

It remains very early in the count, but Te Pāti Māori is performing very well in electorates, and less so in the party vote. If that were to play out, and TPM wins more electorate seats than their party vote entitlement, it would create an overhang, bringing extra seats into parliament.

At this point, Te Pāti Māori is leading comfortably in Waiariki, Te Tai Hauāuru and Ikaroa-Rāwhiti and by a whisker in what would be an extraordinary boilover in Te Tai Tonga. In the other Māori seats, Labour has leads of double figures. If TPM were to take four electorates with 2.3% of the party vote as it stands with 12% counted, there would be an overhang of one seat, creating a 121-seat parliament. Depending on how the numbers fall, it could prove crucial in whether a National-led government would require NZ First as well as Act.

It would become 122 after the byelection in Port Waikato next month.

Tamatha Paul well out in front in Wellington Central


With 17.9% of the vote counted in Wellington Central, the Green party’s Tamatha Paul is well out in front of  Labour’s Ibrahim Omer.

Paul currently has 5,133, while Ibrahim has 2,554.

It’s looking pretty close in Auckland Central where Chlöe Swarbrick is battling to hold onto her seat, but if Paul wins Wellington Central and Swarbrick wins Auckland Central, it would establish the Greens as the leading representatives of the young, urban centres.

Willis leading in Ōhāriu


With 19.7% of votes counted, National deputy leader Nicola Willis is ahead of the Labour incumbent, Greg O’Connor. She’s leading by 238 votes.

Will Melissa Lee upset Helen White in Mt Albert?

Melissa Lee in 2020 (Photo by Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images)

With 16% of the vote counted, National’s Melissa Lee is leading Helen White in Mt Albert by a tiny 35 points. If Lee were to win, it would be one of the biggest updates from the whole night, given Labour has steamrolled the electorate for decades thanks to Helen Clark and Jacinda Ardern both taking the lion’s share of the vote as prime ministers. In 2020, Ardern took more than 71% of the vote, one of the biggest margins in the country.

White, who stood in Auckland Central in 2020 and was upset by Chlöe Swarbrick, shifted to the seemingly safe Mt Albert seat when Ardern resigned.

The seat is far from safe now, but the night is young.

Hot seats update: Swarbrick leads in Auckland Central


In Auckland Central, Green incumbent Chlöe Swarbrick has a narrow lead over National’s Mahesh Muralidhar, leading by just 42 seats with 7.7% of votes counted. 


National’s cracked 40 and party faithful are losing it


A massive round of applause and a loud whoop here at Shed 10 as Jack Tame announced early results place National on 40.9%, 15 points ahead of Labour. That would give the current opposition more than 50 seats in parliament and, coupled with 12 from Act, a slim majority – no need for Winston Peters.

It’s also higher than the results from most polls in recent weeks, with just one televised poll showing that National had crept into the early 40s. By contrast, the results for some of the minor parties are lower than anticipated – but it’s early days.

There’s been a trickle of supporters into Shed 10 since doors opened at 7pm and that number will continue to grow rapidly as the results come in. It’s understood party leader Christopher Luxon won’t arrive to greet party faithful until 10pm at the earliest, though he may change his mind if the results remain where they are now.

While it’s been a bit quiet here so far, there’s a sense of excitement in the room now that the first results are known. A few minutes later, as the results were read out by Jack Tame once again, one lone whooper was heard. Everyone else was busy with their canapes.

The first votes are in and National is in the lead


The first results are in and with 3.8% of the votes counted, National is on 41.07%, with Labour trailing on 25.73%.

Were these numbers to play out, this would give National 51 seats to Labour’s 32.

The Greens are on 11.55%, giving them 14 seats, with Act on 9.3%, which would translate to 12 seats. On these numbers the right bloc could comfortably form a government. NZ First is on 6.4%.

As Toby Manhire pointed out, while these early numbers are worth approaching with some caution, in the past two elections, they’ve been very close to the final result.


Te Pāti Māori labels Electoral Commission’s handling of election ‘shambolic’

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

Te Pāti Māori have said that if they return to parliament, its first action would be to establish a Māori electoral commission.

Te Pāti Māori co-leader Rawiri Waititi has labelled the Electoral Commission’s handling of the election “shambolic” saying, “This has to be the worst general election the commission has ever facilitated.”

Today voters around the country were being told to bear with following reports of lengthy queues at polling stations. The Electoral Commission confirmed earlier that a technical issue with the electronic version of the electoral roll had been causing some additional delays.

Waititi says, “For the amount of millions the commission gets to run an election, you’d think they’d get it right. It’s another reminder that when these Pākehā organisations get money to run kaupapa, they fail te iwi Māori
time and time again.”

Waititi claims “whānau travelled from Tokoroa to Rotorua to cast their vote because booths were closed” and “whānau in Te Teko be turned away because the booth ran out of voting ballots. And worse, whānau just turned away for the sake of it. It is an absolute mickey-mouse,” he said.

“We’re already up against a system that hasn’t been favourable to our people. And yet, on the day when our vote is of equal power to non-Māori, they find a way to suppress our voice,” he said.

The seats to watch


While the party vote is what determines who’ll be running the country, any election watcher worth their salt knows it’s the electorates that often provide the tightest races, biggest upsets and best grab-the-popcorn moments as the results roll in on election night.

This year is no exception, with a number of nail-biters on the cards. Here are some of the seats we’ll be keeping a particularly close eye on:

Auckland Central: It provided one of the biggest upsets of 2020, and polling suggests Auckland Central is likely to be just as spicy tonight – Green incumbent Chlöe Swarbrick is ahead of National’s candidate Mahesh Muralidhar by “a statistically insignificant whisker”, as Toby Manhire put it.

Tāmaki: It’s a similar story here, with Act’s Brooke van Velden nipping at the heels of National incumbent Simon O’Connor.

Te Tai Hauāuru: A poll put Labour’s Soraya Peke-Mason just ahead of Te Pāti Māori co-leader Debbie Ngarewa-Packer, but it’s bound to be a close one.

Ikaroa-Rāwhiti: Meka Whaitiri is the incumbent, but she’s switched allegiances from Labour to Te Pāti Māori. Polling puts Labour newcomer Cushla Tangaere-Manuel ahead, but anything could happen.

Whanganui: Steph Lewis has a battle on her hands to keep Whanganui for Labour, with Carl Bates aiming to nab it for National.

Wairarapa: Kieran McAnulty flipped the seat for Labour in 2020, but there’s no red wave this time around. If National’s Mike Butterick does take Wairarapa, there’s a fair chance McAnulty won’t make it back into parliament at all.

Hutt South: Labour’s Ginny Andersen wrestled Hutt South off National’s Chris Bishop in 2020, and Bishop has a decent shot of taking the seat back tonight. Like McAnulty, should she lose the electorate, Andersen could be out of parliament.

Rongotai: Julie Anne Genter has spiced things up in the traditional Labour stronghold – can she give the Greens their third-ever electorate win?

Wellington Central: Another seat the Greens are gunning for, and polling suggests Tamatha Paul and her competitors Ibrahim Omer (Labour) and Scott Sheeran (National) are neck and neck.

Ōhāriu: National’s popular deputy leader Nicola Willis is bound to give Labour incumbent Greg O’Connor a run for his money.

Nelson: In 2020, Labour’s Rachel Boyack ousted Nick Smith after eight terms. This year, National newbie Blair Cameron could well flip Nelson back to blue.

West Coast Tasman: Damien O’Connor has held the seat for Labour for years, but National’s Maureen Pugh is thought to have a decent chance of defeating him.

To delve deeper into the interesting electorate battles, check out our Hot Seats series

Click here for Toby Manhire’s predictions of who’s in and who’s out, based on the latest polls

Final advance count close to 1.4 million


A total of 1,376,366 people had voted by the end of yesterday, according to figures issued by the Electoral Commission this afternoon.

That’s well short of the last election, when almost two million people, or two thirds of the total turnout, cast advance votes in a Covid-impacted election, but up on 2017 by about 135,000 votes.

All the election results, right here

Kia ora and welcome to this cosy little corner of The Spinoff’s election coverage. Tonight, this is where we’re cutting through the bulldust (as Winston Peters would say) to bring you only the good stuff: the results.

The live feed on our homepage is tracking the party vote as it’s updated – with more than a million advanced votes cast, we’ll have a pretty good idea of how things are looking very soon – and here, we’ll be drilling down into the juiciest electorate battles as the votes roll in over the coming hours.

For everything else – the highs, the lows, the vibes, the kai, the lols, the tears – from our reporters in the field, keep an eye on our live blog. (That’s the plan for the division of coverage, anyway, but things are likely to get a little messy, so I dunno, maybe keep two tabs open?)