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Thursday, 23 May 2019 08:52 am

NewsWire’s coverage of the General Election 2011 and Referendum

Nov 26th, 2011 | By | Category: Featured Article, Front Page Layout, News

1.00am: The final result – National wins 60 seats and with the one seat of United Future’s Peter Dunne and Act’s John Banks has the 62 needed to rule a Parliament of 121 seats.
12:44am: The Green Party’s changing image suits 11% of voters, reports Newswire’s Tessa Johnstone, in this feature article.

12:43am: Charles Chauvel is gearing up for a 2014 campaign, reports NewsWire’s Angie Mills. Article here.

12:41am: Chris Finlayson says Parliament is not going to be nice with Peters, reports NewsWire’s Joshua Hyde. Article here.

12:37am: Peter Dunne gives credit to Winston Peters, reports NewsWire’s Sara Greig. Article here.

12:24am: David Mackenzie tweets “Favourite part of the evening? Dead head in Christchurch Central. I hear the lawyers warming up already.”

12:16am: Lillias Henderson tweets “Good election tonight. I’m pleased with the result and look forward to the next three years! I’ll be voting next election!!!”

12:11am: Ash Shields tweets “TVNZ ad after election coverage: ‘It’s anice peaceful country.’ Ffffff.”

12:10am: All the advance votes on the referendum have now been counted, with 53.74% voting to keep MMP.

12:07am: Christchurch Central electorate looks set to need a recount, with a tie occuring between Brendon Burns and Nicky Wagner at 10493 votes each.

12:06am: Callum Valentine tweets “I bet Phil Goff has just been internalising a really complicated coalition.”

12:00am: Louisa Tweets “I blame the f**** rugby world cup for the poor voter turn out. Yay we won the cup.. Now vote b*****..Or maybe those 35% don’t care?”

12:00am: It’s business as usual for Hutt Valley Labour MPs, reports NewsWire’s Abby Brown and Kim McCombie. Article here.

11:57pm: Roger Baillie tweets “65% voter turn out, that’s 35% registered voters who have no right to complain when they find that China owns all their assets.” 

11:46pm: Maori Party secure two more Maori seats, taking their total to three electorates – Tariana Turia wins Te Tai Hauauru by 2760 and Te Ururoa Flavell wins Waiariki by 1820.

11:39pm: John Key has delivered his victory speech to much cheering, finishing by saying he was off to get something a bit stronger than a cup of tea.

11:34pm: S. Rochelle Furneaux tweets “Just musing whether the blue vote would have been so high if the All Blacks lost. The thought made me shiver involuntarily”.

11:32pm: One commenter on facebook asks: It’s not a bloody competion, but if it were did we just get the record amount of w****** to be seated in the parliament hall at once? 

11:31pm: John Key says he is proud to be Prime Minister.


11:30pm: Maori Party’s Pita Sharples has beat Labour’s Shane Jones in Tamaki Makaurau by 746 votes, securing the Maori Party their first Maori seat.

11:29pm: Kiwi1960 tweets “Wall Street and the Banks of the world have sent messages of congrats to John key… we are SO f*****”.

11:28pm: Major party vote trends, as per TVOne.

11:27pm: Hone Harawira is in with a grin in Te Tai Tokerau, narrowly beating Labour’s Kelvin Davis by 874 votes.

11:26pm: has a live graphical update of election data, available here.

11:25pm: Rongotai has picked Labour’s Annette King over National’s Chris Finlayson again – but will she stay?

11:25pm: Labour’s Kris Faafoi has pipped National’s Hekia Parata at the polls for the second time this year, taking Mana by 1857 votes.

11:20pm: Ken Perrott tweets “Brash lost National. Brash lost Act. Next election Brash will lose Legalise Cannibis.”

11:19pm: John Key on route to Sky City, reports TVNZ’s Jessica Mutch.

11:17pm: Mojo Mathers has missed out on being our first deaf MP, reports NewsWire’s Gareth Wallace. Article here.

11:16pm: Party vote updated, with 99% counted.


11:15pm: Finlayson’s camp predicts Rongotai by-election, reports NewsWire’s Joshua Hyde. Article here.

11:13pm: Labour’s Grant Robertson has won Wellington central by 5111 votes, reports Dom Post.

11:13pm: Labour supporters anticipate defeat at Basin, reports NewsWire’s Callum Valentine. Article here.

11:10pm: Gerry Brownlee isn’t going anywhere – the National MP has won Ilam for the sixth election in a row.

11:08pm: Herald reporting a dead heat in Christchurch central.

11:07pm: 99.4% of the vote counted.

11:05pm: Helen Clark’s former seat Mount Albert stays a Labour stronghold, with David Shearer beating National’s Melissa Lee by more than 9000 votes.

11:03pm: Tweet from Rachel Morton: Sharples; “Winston’s back… He wants to squash everything for Maori.. He won’t beat us”

11:02pm: Labour’s Lianne Dalziel is safe in Christchurch East for another term, beating National’s candidate for the fifth straight election.

11:01pm: Kiwi1960 tweets “Brash to resign tomorrow…. COWARD, he destroys then leaves.”

10:59pm: Chris Hipkins wins Rimutaka. Trevor Mallard wins Hutt South. Nathan Guy wins Otaki.

10:58pm: Christchurch Central will come down the special votes with Labour’s Brendon Burns and National’s Nicky Wagner both with 10,493 votes.

10:57pm: From the lighter side, 3 News reporter Rachel Morton tweets “Pita Sharples just said ‘nek minnit I’m not kidding”

10:56pm: Labour man Clayton Cosgrove has lost his 12-year dream run in Waimakariri, National’s Kate Wilkinson winning the seat by just 395 votes.

10:55pm: Kim Choe tweets “Small crowd but massive haka for Pita Sharples”

10:54pm: National’s Nikki Kaye has won Auckland Central – just. Labour’s Jacinda Ardern missed out by 535 votes.

10:53pm: Labour’s Megan Wood has replaced long-time MP Jim Anderton in Wigram, her closest rival National’s Sam Collins.

10:51pm: Labour’s Phil Twyford has defeated National’s Tau Henare in Te Atatu by nearly 5000 votes. Mr Henare has held the seat since 2005.

10:48: Phil Goff makes concession speech (below), labour wins back Te Tai Tonga.

10:45pm: 98% of the vote counted

10:44pm: From NewsWire – It’s time to party for the Greens

10:43pm: Tweet from Gareth Hughes: “Woohoo Greens crack 10%! 13 MPs. Fantastic result. Thanks to everyone who made this possible.”

10:40pm: National’s Jo Goodhew has taken out the Rangitata seat.

10:38pm: National’s Phil Heatley has won the Whangarei seat.

10:37pm: National’s Tim Macindoe has won Hamilton West for a second term with
4025 more votes than Labour’s Sue Moroney.

10:35pm: Conservative Party leader Colin Craig’s first bid for Parliament has
failed, with National’s Mark Mitchell winning Rodney with an 11,000-vote margin. It means Conservative Party’s 2.8% party vote goes to waste.

10:29pm: National’s Scott Simpson has won the Coromandel seat.

10:28pm: John Key has continued to be an unstopable force this election, winning Helensville with a margin of over 19,000.

10:27pm: Parekura Horomia gave Labour some good news in winning Ikaroa-Rawhiti with a margin 5,924.

10:27pm: Mangere has chosen Labour’s Sua Sio to represent them again, 13,356 ahead of National’s Claudette Hauiti.

10:26pm: National’s Murray McMully has won the East Coast Bays seat with a comfortable margin over 13,000.

10:25pm: Jami-Lee Ross has won Botany for National with a margin of 10,054 and Paul Hutchinson has won Hunua for National with a margin of 15,514.

10:24pm: National MP John Hayes has taken Wairarapa for the third election running, beating Labour’s Michael Bott by 6695 votes.

10:24pm: National’s Anne Tolley will have a second term in the East Coast, beating off Labour’s Moana Mackey by nearly 4500 votes.

10:23pm: Dunedin stays a Labour camp with newcomer David Clark winning Dunedin North and Clare Curran winning Dunedin South. Both had comfortable margins of more than 3000.

10:22pm: Labour’s Ross Robertson has won the Manakau East seat with a margin over 13,000.

10:22pm: Christchurch central is such a  tight race.  A margin of 4 votes between Labour’s Brendon Burns and National’s Nick Wagner.

10:20pm: Facebook update from Rino Tirikatene, who is set to win Te Tai Tonga with 1,420 margin and 98% of the vote counted. “A moment as the whanau sings a waiata of celebration.”

10:18pm: “Act celebrating losing four seats! Just saying,” tweets’s Henry Cooke.

10:18pm: Party vote updated as at 94.1% counted:

10:18pm: John Banks wins the Epsom seat by over 2500 votes. In his speech he thanks the people who live across the street, who live over the hills, basically everyone in Epsom for supporting a “John Key centre right” party. He jokes that “the cup of tea was worthwhile wasn’t it”.

10:17pm: From RadioNZ: John Banks is at the Act party headquarters addressing supporters and praising their committment to the campaign.

Singling out Act on Campus students he said “I told you it’s about your future. It’s about my kids, it’s about our grandkids and the future.”

“I want to place on record once and for all – the cup of tea was worthwhile wasn’t it!”

10:13pm: Joshua Arbury tweets “If Banks is the only ACT MP I wonder whether he will quit and rejoin National.”

10:16pm: John Banks looks safe in Epsom – a margin of 2,537 votes with 89% counted.

10:15pm: Jonathan Coleman has won Northcote for the third election in a row with a safe margin of more than 8500.

10:14pm: New Plymouth seat – an electorate that was said to be ‘close’ – has been taken out by National’s Jonathan Young, with a margin over 4,000 votes.

10:14pm: Russell Norman thanks Green supporters and says this is a historic night for the Green party in Aotearoa as this is the first time in history they have received over 10 percent of the vote.

10:13pm: Adrian tweets “John Banks hasn’t had a smile on his face like that since he first drove the Ferrari off the lot.”

10:13pm: Maggie Barry has secured North Shore for National with a huge margin of 13,739.

10:12pm: From TVNZ: Greens: Russel Norman delighted at 10% vote.

10:12pm: There are 12 electorates now fully counted.  National has won them all.

10:11pm: From RadioNZ: The Conservative party is making a good showing for a first election. Currently polling at around 3% of the party vote, the party appears to have taken away some of Act’s votes.

Act party president Chris Simmons told Kathryn Rich earlier this evening that Act is in good health, despite internal divisions and an acrimonious change in leadership.

“We stand as the stewards of principals that have remained strong,” he said.

10:11pm: National’s Jacqui Dean has won Waitaki for a second time, with Labour’s Barry Monks a very distant second.

10:10pm: Paula Bennett holds a margin of 96 votes in Waitakere – 79% counted.

10:10pm: National’s Jonathan Coleman has taken out the Northcote seat.

10:09pm: Advance referendum votes opt to keep MMP, reports NewsWire’s Russell Palmer. Article here.

10:08pm: Tukituki will be represented by National’s Craig Foss for another three years, the third time he’s won the seat.

10:08pm: National’s Nick Smith has won the Nelson seat.

10:07pm: National’s Maurice Williamson has taken Pakuranga, with his nearest rival Sunny Kaushal (Labour) nearly 13,000 votes away.

10:07pm: National’s Nikki Kaye is holding her Auckland Central seat by 600 seats over Labour’s Jacinda Ardern.

10:07pm: National’s Tony Ryall has won the Bay of Plenty’s seat with a margin of nearly 17,000 votes.

10:06pm: “Kiwis seem to have forgotten about the bit where Winston thinks Asians are ruining our country,” tweets Rebekah White (@RebekahWh).

10:05pm: Winston Peters looks very triumphant at the moment:

10:05pm: Simon Bridges has won the Tauranga seat with a margin of over 15,000 votes.

10:04pm: Advance votes for the referendum have 98.2% votes counted, with MMP support sitting at 53.8%.

10:03pm: 90% of the total vote now counted.  National – 48%, Labour – 27%, Greens – 11% and NZ First – 7%.

10:02pm: Labour’s Kris Faafoi may keep Mana with an 1809-vote lead over National’s Hekia Parata with over 70% of the vote counted.

10:01pm: NZ First candidate Andrew Williams who is likely to get into Parliament says on Newstalk ZB that NZ First has done so well because “the average Kiwi” voted for them. He says NZ First will oppose any policies that don’t benefit New Zealand, when probed about whether they will have the power as they will be in opposition he did not back down.

10:01pm: Bill English has taken out the Clutha-Southland seat with a margin of over 14,000 votes.

9:59pm: Paula Bennett trails in Waitakere to Carmel Sepuloni by 468 votes at 76% of the vote counted.

9:58pm: Seat counts updated:

9:58pm: National’s Eric Roy has won the Invercargill seat with a margin over Labour’s Lesley Soper of 5,766 votes.

9:58pm: “West Auckland’s talking, Paula Bennett’s walking”

9:57pm: From 3 News editor James Murray: “National look like getting 61 seats in a 120 seat Parliament at present.”

9:55 pm: Janika ter Ellen tweets “Peter Dunne speaking now… He’s very pleased with 9980 votes to Charles Chauvel’s 8841 with 76% of the vote counted in Ohariu.”

9:55pm: From RadioNZ: Commentator Pete Hobson says he wouldn’t count on Peter Dunnes’ lead lasting the night. “I wouldn’t call this one yet, we still have some of the Johnsonville votes to come.”

Kate Gudsell is at United Future headquarters. Peter Dunne has just arrived and the mood is cheerier than it was earlier, but there’s still some tension among his supporters.

Commenting on the level of support for National’s Katrina Shanks, who was asking Ohariu voters for party votes, she says “A few National supporters weren’t voting at tactically as the party had hoped they would.”

9:54pm: Oliver Cooper tweets “The Conservative Party wasted $1m of Colin Craig’s money and wasted 2.8% right-wing votes. Bravo.”

9:53pm: Labour’s Waitakere candidate Carmel Sepuloni is winning by a small number of seats. Being interviewed by Mike Hosking on Newstalk ZB she says she is disappointed Labour is currently on 26 percent because there’s so much at stake at this election such as the asset sales.

9:53pm: John Key currently holds the biggest margin in his electorate – 17,704 votes in Helensville.

9:52pm: Official count at with 84.9% polling places reporting: National 48.7%, Labour 26.6, Green 10.5, NZ First 6.8.

9:52pm: NewsWire’s Sara Greig at United Future HQ reports Peter Dunne has now arrived. He thanked everyone present, lastly his family.

9:50pm: Felix Marwick tweets “Goff delaying arrival at party hq. Campaign team says bec[ause] result unclear more clarity needed.”

9:50pm: From TVNZ: Banks is stretching his Epsom lead – up to 1137 now, 51% counted. Still just the 1 MP for Act, so no Brash.

9:49pm: The first electorate vote is completed.  National’s Chris Tremain wins Napier with a margin of 3382.

9:45pm: From 3 News reporter Rachel Morton: “Sharples lead is increasing over Jones. Looks like the Maori Party will get 3 seats.”

9:44pm: Winston Peters appears concurrently on television and radio thanking supporters and addressing the dire economic situation in New Zealand, he says NZ First is all about sharing in the pain and sharing in the gain.

9:43pm: “The only leader really happy tonight will be Winston Peters,” tweets Emett Kay (@whistlenews).

9:43pm: Vote count updated at 72.3:

9:39pm: The Conservative party is running in at 5th place with over 40,000 party votes – 2.8 percent of the total.

9:39pm: On Newstalk ZB Hone Harawira of the Mana party says he is confident he will win his Te Tai Tokerau seat.

9:37pm: TVOne’s seats count updated:

9:37pm: 70% of the vote counted.  National has 49% but 61 seats – MEANING THEY COULD RULE ALONE.

9:36pm: Newstalk ZB report that John Banks leads Epsom by around 700.

9:35pm: Waikato Times tweets “In the Coromandel electorate National candidate Scott Simpson has a big lead.”

9:35pm: From the Herald: Gerry Brownlee leads the race for Ilam, having earned 7816 votes with 27.9% counted.

9:34pm: Newstalk ZB’s news bulletin says NZ First are is set to return to Parliament, they are currently sitting on 6.8 percent and that would give them 9 MPs.

9:33pm: Charlotte tweets “If Winston gets back into parliament I may lose faith in the mental capacity of some voters.”

9:33pm: Speaking from Manuwera Marae Pita Sharple has expressed suprise thathis lead in Tamaki Makaurau is so narrow at this stage. “I’m hoping the votes from South Auckland are still to come.”

He acknowledges that the Maori party has lost votes to Mana throughout the Maori seats.

He has confirmed the Maori party will speak to the National party first following the election, partly because they’ve had a good working relationship so far. “We both acted with integrity and we came out ok on it.”

When asked how the Maori party will manage their position if they National needs them to create a balance of power, Mr Sharples said that wasn’t something he could discuss right now but it would be something for the party to talk about post-election.

“If we’re in the position of being part of the decision making processes, we may be able to make some change that is transformative, as opposed to tacked on to the end.”

9:32pm: With a lead of 994 votes at the halfway mark of counting, the mood at Peter Dunne’s Ohariu electorate headquarters in the Ngauranga Gorge is gaining confidence, in fact campaign manager Robin Gunston is  not nervous at all.

9:33pm: Parekua Horomia looks set to win the electorate with a huge margin of 76.8%.

In Ikaroa Rawhiti it looks like Horomia is set to remain seated. With over 70 percent of the votes counted he is winning with a margin over 4000 votes.

9:32pm: Dunne winning in Ohariu by over 1000 votes with 44 percent counted, reports Newstalk ZB’s political reporter Katie Bradford.

9:30pm: From 3 News reporter Rachel Morton’s twitter: “43% of the Tamaki Makaurau vote counted & Sharples leads Shane jones by fewer than 300 votes”

9:30pm: Maggie Barry has opened up the biggest gap of the election so far in the North Shore, blossoming out to a margin of over 10,000 with three quarteres of the vote counted.

9:29pm: Party vote updated, at 55.5% counted:

9:28pm: The mood is jovial at the Taita RSA with supporters gathering with Trevor Mallard (Hutt South, Labour) Chris Hipkins (Rimutaka, Labour) and Rino Tirikatene (Te Tai Tonga, Labour).  There is loads of people having a great time and something to drink and eat.

There has been an impromptu haka from some Taranaki supporters.

9:27pm: From Dom Post web & social media editor Janine Bennetts on twitter: “A pact has just been made that if NZ First make it to 10% we’re all leaving the country.”

9:27pm: It’s really tight in Epsom.  John Banks is on top of Paul Goldsmith with a marginf 146.  27% of the electorate counted.

9:26pm: The man with the longest name in New Zealand politics, Hone Pani Tamati Waka Nene Harawira is leading the Te Tai Tokerau electorate with a margin of 632 votes. So far over 50 percent of votes have been counted in the electorate.

9:24pm: From The Herald: The Electoral Commission is looking into a community radio broadcaster which allegedly ran political content for much of this afternoon.

Access Manawatu has today been broadcasting interviews with party leaders, which were full of opinion and Chief Electoral Officer Robert Peden told Newstalk ZB the Electoral Commission was aware of the situation.

When Access Manawatu was contacted they declined to comment. They said they would address the matter on Monday.

9:22pm: From TVNZ political reporter Michael Parkin on twitter: “David Parker says tonight’s not the night to talk about leadership changes. Want to show ‘Phil the respect he deserves'”.

9:21pm: From Facebook: Green MP Gareth Hughes arrives at Greens’ Wellington celebrations: “Packed house at Greens Wellington party. Great vibes.”

9:20pm: Maori Party co-leader Pita Sharples tells Newstalk ZB that his winning margin of 189 seats is “pretty slim alright” but is confident of holding his Maori electorate seat of Tamaki Makaurau.

9:20pm: Epsom result crucical for Act’s re-entry, reports NewsWire’s Robbie Parkes. Article here.

9:19pm: Via TVNZ twitter: Epsom update – Banks’ lead narrowing to 170 votes with 17% counted .

9:18pm: From Electoral Commission: 53% of the vote counted:

National 49%
Labour 26%
Greens 11%
NZ First 7%

9:17pm: Party vote updated, with 48.2% counted:

9:17pm: Official count at With 50.6% of polling booths reporting, National at 49.3%, Labour at 26, Green at 10.5, NZ First at 6.8.

9:17pm: With 23.3% of the vote counted Trevor Mallard leads by 1,249  in the Hutt South Electorate ahead of Paul Quinn (National).

9:16pm: Epsom vote as at 9:11pm:

9:15pm: MoAssadi tweets “Signs of the apocalypse: Banksy and Winston back in parliament”

9:15pm: With 11.5% of the vote counted in Ohariu Peter Dunne leads by 206 votes ahead of Charles Chauvel.

9:14pm: National’s Jonathan Young holds a margin of 2735 votes in New Plymouth after 56.5% of the vote count.

9:13pm: “Vote out National” facebook page has 19,000 fans and an election night drinking games has been shared 144 times, reports NewsWire’s Abby Brown. Article here.

9:12pm: John Banks leads Epsom with a margin of 327 votes after 14.9% counted.

9:11pm: From @CateOwen on twitter: “I’m sad to live in a country where National use a Feelers song in their campaign ads and still poll at 50%”

9:10pm: Party vote updated:

9:08pm: From New Zealand Herald: Labour’s Damien O’Connor leads the race for West Coast-Tasman with 23.8% of votes counted.

9:07pm: Left wing commentator, Chris Trotter, says on TV3 “this is way worse than Labour would have ever thought”. Labour lags with 26 percent.

9:07pm: Just over 40% of the votes have now been counted:

National – 50%
Labour – 26%
Greens – 11%
NZ First – 7%

9:06pm: NewsWire’s Kim McCombie is at Taita RSA with Labour’s Chris Hipkins and Trevor Mallard. It’s been a party atmosphere with a karaoke machine keeping people entertained and Kim has been invited to join in the festivities.

There’s a range of supporters there, from families to teenagers and senior citizens. Everyone is jovial and expectations are high based on results so far.

Close attention is being paid to Waitakere where Labour’s Carmel Sepuloni is giving the sitting MP, National’s Paula Bennet, a run for her money.

9:02pm: Maori seats as per TVOne:

9:02pm: Peter Dunne continues to keep his head above water holding a margin of 76 votes with 21.2% counted.

8:59pm: Maori co-leader, Tariana Turia, is striding ahead in the Te Tai Hauauru electorate with a margin of 743 votes between second place (labour) candidate Soraya Peke-Mason. So far over 36% of the votes have been counted.

8:59pm: David Farrar wrote on the Kiwiblog website that Winston Peter’s candidacy for New Zealand First was illegal under the Incorporated Societies Act.
But Peters said Farrar was “spreading confusion about New Zealand First on the last day of the election campaign at the behest of politicians who should know better”.
Farrar’s blog had claimed New Zealand first was an incorporated society, when in fact it was a registered political party, Peters said.
An incorporated society simply held and protected the name “New Zealand First”, which had been the case since 1993.

Peters did not get selected as an electorate candidate, so his nomination as a list candidate was illegal under the rules of the NZ First Party, as governed by the Incorporated Societies Act, Farrar said.
NZ First had said it changed the rules in July to allow the leader to be a list candidate, without being an electorate candidate.

8:58pm: From the Dom Post: Mana electorate nail-biter: Kris Faafoi is back in the lead after 26.4% of the vote. Full article here.

8:57pm: Green Party on after busy day getting voters out, reports NewsWire’s Grant Ellen.

8:56pm: Young Greens candidate ready to celebrate, reports NewsWire’s Katie McAlister.

8:53pm: From Hilary Barry’s twitter: “There are a lot of young people at the ACT party HQ. 75% of everyone here in their 20’s I reckon.”

8:52pm: 26% of votes now counted and parties seem to be holding steady as the count continues.

National – 50%
Labour – 26%
Greens – 10%
NZ First – 7%

TVOne’s version:


8:51pm: Via Radio Live twitter: In the West Coast-Tasman Labour’s Damien O’Connor leads National’s Chris Auchinvole by over 300 votes.

8:50pm: Newstalk ZB ‘s panel of political commentators agree that Labour is very tolerant to leaders if they do not win an election and believe Phil Goff will survive the leadership if he is to lose.

8:49pm: Rachel Morton, a reporter for TV3 tweeted “The food is very healthy at Manurewa Marae with Pita Sharples, carrot sticks & fruit.”

8:49pm: From  TVNZ via twitter: Update with 20% counted – Nat 50% (project 62 seats), Lab 25% (32 seats), Green 10% (13), NZF 7% (8), Act and UF 1 seat each.

8:48pm: Via @GayNZ on twitter: Two Green glbti MPs likely, MMP favoured. Full article on their website, here.

8:47pm: From RadioNZ: Heather Brooke is at the Mana party headquarters in Kaitaia, where the mood is jubilant.

Hone Harawira is 360 votes ahead of Labours’ Kelvin Davis at this
stage. Hone’s supporters are confident he’ll retain the seat and can
bring some other MPs into Parliament with him on party vote.

Hone has been welcomed with a powhiri and has already made a speech thanking supporters for all their hard work.

8:46pm: Al Jazeera English reporting on the NZ election: “Ruling party set to gain as New Zealand votes” Click here for details.

8:45pm: Electoral Commission says 20% of the votes are now counted.

National – 50%
Labour – 26%
Greens – 10%
NZ First – 7%

8:44pm: “NZ first nipping at Greens heals! Goes to show there’s just as many old folks as there are dope smoking hippies” tweets Nick Allison.

8:43pm: Leader of the Conservative party Colin Craig being interviewed on Newstalk ZB says he admits it is “less than likely” he’ll get in. He also says they are not a Christian party and he believes National get more Christian votes.

8:41pm: TV3 reporter Kim Choe tweets “Pita Sharples says it’s been a hard year for Maori Party. They’re losing Te Tai Tonga-could be down to 3 MPs”

8:40pm: From the New Zealand Herald’s live blog: “National continue to flirt with the magic 50 per cent line. … Whether they will keep over the mark, which will likely mean they can govern alone, is anyone’s guess, but the party usually does start strongly as the votes come in, only to see it slip as the night progresses.”

8:39pm: Party vote updated with 8% counted:

8:38pm: “The glare off Rodney’s head is blinding me,” tweets the spoof @DrBrash. “Secretly, this is the reason I kicked him. It’s like sitting in traffic on a sunny day.”

8:37pm: “The fact that a party running on ‘we should be able to beat up our kids again’ is beating Act says alot about Act,” tweets tech blogger Henry Cooke.

8:36 pm: Tash Barneveld tweeted “Next election, we should have bigger circles to we can do more decisive ticks. I want to tick big.”

8:35pm: 95BFM has dedicated a song to Chris Carter, they are currently playing The Invisible Man by Queen.

8:34pm: National’s Hekia Parata is leading Kris Faafoi holding a margin of 24 votes in Mana, with 17% now counted.

8:33pm: Trevor Mallard is now with his supporters at the Taita RSA watching the election results come in.

8:32pm: Peter Dunne isn’t done, holding a margin of 225 seats in Ohariu with 7.7% counted.

8:31pm: “John Key just sent out his people with a bowl of strawberries for the media,” tweets Georgina Ball.

8:31pm: Party vote updated:


8:30pm: From Radio Live: National has 50% of the party vote overall; Labour has 26.1; the Greens are on 10.1 percent and New Zealand First is sitting on 6.8

8:30pm: Newstalk ZB’s Mike Hosking and political editor Barry Soper are discussing voters in Christchurch and the West Coast (around the former Pike River mine) and whether they care more about policy or personality.

8:27pm: “Alasdair Thompson is at the ACT Party party,” tweets Hilary Barry.

8:27pm: Just over 10% of votes have now been counted and National continues to prove poll predictions right, holding 50% of the vote.

8:26pm: “Get the hospitals ready – there’ll be hips popping everywhere when the NZFirst celebrations kick off,” tweets Bob Buckham (@bobsyauncle).

8:24pm: Janine Bennetts tweeted “is pizza the official food of election 2011? We’ve got it here at Dompost. Seen pizza updates from NZ Herald & John Key’s had a delivery”.

8:25pm: Labour candidate for Te Tai Tonga Rino Tirikatene breaks Labour’s Electoral Act inspired Facebook silence, saying it’s early days but he’s with Annette King and Grant Robertson campaign teams at the Basin Reserve. With 10% of the votes counted Mr Tirikatene is 151 votes ahead of Maori Party’s Rahui Katene.

8.20pm: With Peter Dunne around 200 votes ahead and less than 5% or votes counted in the Ohariu electorate, Mr Dunne’s electorate secretary admits to nerves: “We wouldn’t be taking it seriously if we weren’t”. Party headquarters in Ngauranga Gorge is quiet and there is no sign of Mr Dunne yet. NewsWire has been declined access to Charles Chauvel’s headquarters in Johnsonville.

8:24pm: From RadioNZ: National party president, Michele Boag, described the Epsom electorate
as a fascinating one to watch. She cited stories from residents about
strategic voting from supporters from all of the parties.

“You have a whole lot of Labour and Green voters voting for Nationals’
Paul Goldsmith in an attempt to keep John Banks out. I’ve also heard
anecdotes about National voters voting for John Banks to keep NZ First

8:23pm: Party vote updated:

8:22pm: Referendum advance votes have remained at 93.3 per cent counted for the past ten minutes, and 54.1 per cent are voting to keep the MMP system.

8:22pm: Via New Zealand Herald twitter: John Banks (2157, 9.8% counted) has taken a 400-vote lead in Epsom.

8:21pm: Green MP Keith Locke speaking on Newstalk ZB says the Greens’ biggest demographic is younger voters and they tend to either not vote or to vote later. He expects the Green vote to climb to over 10 percent but is not being optimistic enough to say they’ll reach 13 percent.

8:21pm: From the spoof Twitter account @DrBrash: “I bet the Greens and Labour have their killsquads out for anyone who voted for them in Epsom 😀 😀 :D”

8:20pm: “Due to awesome RWC2011 coverage, my telly choice tonight is Maori TV” Courtney Lambert tweeted.

8:19pm: 7.6% of the vote has been counted and Winston Peters’ New Zealand First has 7% of the vote.

8:18pm: From Radio Live: 7.4% of votes counted… National 48.8%, Labour 26.4%, Greens 10.1%, New Zealand First 6.8%

8:18pm: Electoral Commission says in the  Te Tai Tonga electorate Rino Tirakatene is leading over Rahui Katene (who has been incumbent since 2008) by 129 votes.

8:17pm: National party campaign chairman Stephen Joyce speaking on Newstalk ZB says the Greens are fairing worse than people expected but that could change. He believes voters unsatisfied with Labour have moved to Winston’s NZ First.

8:15pm: Sombre mood at Goff’s Labour party, reports “Just over 60 Labour Party supporters are at a sombre election night party in Phil Goff’s Mr Roskill electorate in Auckland.”

8:15pm: Electoral Commission says National is back up to 50% with 6.6% of all votes counted.

8:15pm: Party vote updated at 6% counted:

8:12pm: Harrison Christian tweeted about National party at Skycity saying “Early days here at skycity. Journalists are milling about. Country music is playing.”

8:11pm: Newstalk ZB reports that Christchurch central is traditionally a Labour electorate but with 12 percent of the vote counted National lead by around 300 votes. Barry Soper says this could be because a lot of people have left Christchurch, and mayor Bob Parker is conservative.

8:11pm: RadioNZ are reporting someone has died of a heart attack at a Miramar polling booth.

8:10pm: Act’s John Banks has a margin of 401 over Paul Goldsmith in Epsom with 6.4% of the electorates votes counted.

8:09pm: RadioNZ reports that early results are showing a tight race in some of the marginal seats.

Leading the race in Epsom at 8pm is Act’s John Banks, with National’s Paul Goldsmith not far behind.

In Ohariu, United Futures’ Peter Dunne is ahead of Labour contender Charles Chauvel.

8:08pm: “Outside John Key’s house in Parnell, his pizza just arrived..smiley Key in bare feet answered the door,” tweets radio reporter Georgina Ball (@georginaballnz).

8:07pm: “Greens supporters in a good mood, heading for a strong result,” tweets Radio NZ political reporter Chris Bramwell.

8:05pm:  “Hey John, Winston’s voters didn’t die, or, if they did, they voted before they died, bet u r sorry u wrote off the Greens” published on Twitter by Kiwi1960

8:07pm: With over four percent of the votes counted in the Tamaki Makaurau electorate Pita Sharples ‘is winning with a margin of 84 votes over Shane Jones.

8:06PM: Via New Zealand Herald twitter: “It’s close in Waitakere. Sepuloni (1218) leads Bennett (1179) with 6.3% of votes counted.”

8:05pm: 5.2% of the vote has now been counted and prelininary results are as follows:

National – 49%
Labour – 27%
Greens – 10%
NZ First – 7%

8:05pm: With the current vote count National could govern alone with 62 seats. Political Editor Barry Soper speaking on Newstalk ZB says National would probably still form confidence and supply agreements, much like the one formed with the Maori party in 2008 as an “insurance policy”.

8:00pm: Via Listener Live twitter: “At this rate, Winston Peters is returning to parliament as one of eight NZ First MPs.”

7:59pm: The electoral commission reports that 303 polling booths have now been counted out of a total of 6310.

7:57pm: Via Dom Post twitter: Wellington Central incumbent Grant Robertson leads by just 35 votes over National’s Paul Foster-Bell.

7:56pm: Ace Shattock tweeted “The Slow Walking Party, led by Hone Hariwira, makes their way to their seats, sluggishly.”

7:54pm: From RadioNZ: Jane Paterson is onsite at Skycity for the National party gathering. Supporters are starting to trickle in and the mood is cautiously confident.  They are raising a few eyebrows on hearing that Winston Peters is polling well in the advance vote,  but are not too concerned at this early stage.

Julian Robbins is at the Labour headquarters in Mt Roskill. “There is a mood of grim realism, no one’s expecting a great night for Labour,” he says.
“They feel they ran a strong campaign but the electorate isn’t ready to listen to them, it’s only three years since they were voted out.”

7:53pm: GasHeadNZ tweeted “Knew National were going to get in – media have almost ensured that with their ‘polls’, but still feel sick watching tv”

7:52pm: Trade me has a listing for “Vote for National” advertising a house sale. Click here.

7.50pm: MMP’s early lead is a good sign according to Otago University’s Dr Bryce Edwards and Professor Andrew Geddis, who are webcasting live with their own brand of political punditry through the NZ Herald website.

7:51pm: National has dropped below 50% to 49.7% with 4.2% of votes counted.

7:47pm: Liam, a Maori Party supporter tweeted “Tariana Turia has the most genuine, honest and warm smile of any politician.”

7:48pm: 95BFM have posted an update on their parliamentary cocktail experiment.

The first cocktail of the evening has been made.  This is made up from the percentages that governed the 49th parliament of New Zealand.

The following beverages were allocated to the various parties:
National was allocated the drink Blue Curacao so 48% was used in this cocktail.
Labour was allocated johnny walker red and 34% Greens = 7% melon liquor.
ACT was allocated  Lemon Juice because it is yellow.
Maori Party was allocated Coke because “most of the members are black”.
United Future was Ribena.
Progressive Party is a cherry garnish on the top.
Mana Party is Kahula.

The panel voted average of 4 for this drink and reported it was drinkable.  The 49th parliament of New Zealand was drinkable – will the 50th Parliament be drinkable?

7:46pm:’s homepage altered to relate to our election.

7:45pm: Jane Clifton from the Dominion Post speaking on Newstalk ZB says New Zealand First’s early advance of 6.7 percent is likely to be the votes made before election day from older people who vote in advance.

 7:43pm: “Oh my god Paul Henry, do your shirt up! Who undoes two buttons!? Gross,” tweets film critic/blogger Hugh Lilly (@insequential).

7:43pm: Brian Sergeant tweets “Oh dear. National is leading in Epsom. That wasn’t in the plan!”

7:42pm: Joshua Arbury tweeted “At what point will it be admitted the referendum was a waste of time & money.”

7:40pm: Party vote updated with 4% of the vote counted:

7:40pm From twitter Via Dom Post: Trevor Mallard leads Hutt South. Grant Robertson leads Wellington Central. Chris Hipkins leads Rimutaka.

7:40pm: If the advance votes are anything to go by, the country will be keeping the MMP system. Over 84% have been counted and 53.87% don’t want a new system.

7:40pm: Empty seats fill the scene at National function, via NewstalkZB political reporter Katie Bradford:

7:38pm: John Banks has taken the lead in Epsom with 6.4% of votes counted.

7:37pm: Official count from, currently with 3.9% of polling places reporting:

7:34pm: New Zealand First are refusing to fade, holding 7% of the vote after 3.8% counted – a result that would see them win 8 seats.

7:34pm: Auckland radio station 95BFM have allocated an alcoholic beverage to each political party and later on in the evening a cocktail will be made based on the the proportion of seats won.

7:33pm: “Looks like we are keeping MMP,” tweets tech blogger Henry Cooke (@henrycooke).

7:32pm: Radio New Zealand gave their half-hourly update at 7.30pm, National sitting on 50% party vote, Labour on 27%, Green on 10%, NZ First at 7%.

7:31pm: Hone Harawira has overtaken Kelvin Davis in the Te Tai Tokerau electorate with 2.8% of votes counted.

7:31pm: A US-based Kiwi in Washington says he was unable to vote today as the NZ Embassy was closed for Thanksgiving, reports 3 News editor James Murray.

7:30pm: Commentator Mike King on Maori TV is “surprised Pita Sharples is only 100 votes ahead of Labour’s Shane Jones” with two percent of the vote counted in the Tamaki Makarau electorate.

7:29pm: Referendum results updated:

7:22pm: Stuff reports that one Wellington punter has put a $15,000 bet on a John Key National Party win in the election.  If John Key wins then the Centerbet, an Australian company will pay out at $1.08

7:21pm: Kelvin Davis is 10 votes ahead of Hone Harawira in the Te Tai Tokerau electorate with two percent of votes counted.

7:21pm: 3% of tthe votes have been counted and National is still well ahead on 51%.

Labour trails on 26% with the Greens on 10% and New Zealand First 7%.

7:21pm: “Down at the Act Party party. Bar’s open. Same number of supporters as media right now,” tweets Hilary Barry. Twitpic attached here.

7:19pm Over 60 per cent of advance votes for the referendum have now been counted with a 53% voting to keep MMP, and that percentage is remaining stable.

7:18pm: Radio New Zealand say that early results from the advance votes show Peter Winston is polling above the required 5% to re-enter Parliament.

Commentator Stephen Frank says they are at 6.6%, as opposed to this time last election when he was holding at 4.1%

7:17pm: More graphical results on party vote from TVONE.

7:15pm: Referendum results so far: 51,166 votes have been counted and 51.1% say keep MMP, says the Dominion Post on twitter.

7:14pm: National is holding strong with 52% of the vote with 2.2% of the total now counted.

If the current results stood New Zealand First would have 8 seats.

7:12pm: One News has graphical results of the referendum.


7:11pm: With just 28.9% of advance votes counted for the referendum, 54.4% of voters are saying they want MMP to stay.

7:10pm: More live results coming in at the New Zealand Herald’s website,, including a map to track results.

7:08pm: Kerfufflepants tweeted “i’m pissed off. I didn’t get a ‘I Voted’ sticker”

7:07pm: Initial results from Electoral Commission: National currently holds 54% of the vote with 0.7% of the total votes counted.

Labour has 25%, the Greens 10% and New Zealand First is sneaking in with 5%.

7:05pm: Live blogs now up and running at Listener Live (here) and TVNZ (here).

7:02pm: “I wonder if the electoral commission will prosecute the people I heard driving around pumping The Feelers,” tweets @_jjw_.

6:58pm: Leah Evans who is trying to vote from overseas tweeted “Well if neither the Hilton or the Westin could get my voting papers to fax thru to NZ, at least I know it’s not me. I give up. Sorry.”

6:50pm: It looks like TV coverage of the election will be live-streamed online without geoblocks so people overseas can watch, tweets journalist/blogger Russell Brown (@publicaddress).

6:48pm: Stella Blake-Kelly tweeted “If only the referendum had the option of free speech suppressing dictatorship”

6:46pm: Jedd Bartlett tweeted that he will be avoiding the TV3 election coverage tonight with Paul Henry.

6:44pm: As news orgs prepare to begin election coverage, Listener Live has posted a handy drinking game for people keeping score at home, e.g. “Empty an egg cup if you see or hear Paul Henry being annoying.” Click Here.

6:15pm: People on twitter are refraining from breaking electoral act laws. The law is that on Election Day no one is allowed to publish material that promotes a
political party or candidate between midnight and 7pm.

“It is a criminal offence to distribute or broadcast any statement that is likely to influence a voter as to the candidate/party/referendum option the voter should or shouldn’t vote for, or which influences people to abstain from voting,” says the Electoral Act.

Matthew Hutchinson tweeted “I kind of miss tweets from politicians filling up my timeline. Going to be a big rush at 7pm I think”

5:15pm: Green Mp Catherine Delahunty accidently  tweeted a text message meant for her sister.
“Dr tells me I have torn ligaments and might have to have knee surgery – happy voting x”

She later tweeted,  “Apologies last tweet was text to my daughter pressed wrong button.”

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  1. By far and away the best election coverage site – well done NewsWire team!

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