8 Nov 2023

District Court confirms judicial recounts for Nelson, Mt Albert, Tāmaki Makaurau

9:33 pm on 8 November 2023
Manurewa marae CEO Takutai Moana Natasha Kemp.

In Tāmaki Makaurau, Takutai Tarsh Kemp beat Labour's Peeni Henare by just four votes. Photo: RNZ / Simon Rogers

The District Court has formally received applications for judicial recounts in three knife-edge electorates.

Following the return of the special votes last week, National indicated it would ask for recounts in two seats, while Labour would seek a recount in one seat.

In the Māori electorate of Tāmaki Makaurau, Te Pāti Māori's Takutai Tarsh Kemp leads Labour's Peeni Henare by four votes.

Labour's Helen White is 20 votes ahead of National's Melissa Lee in Mt Albert.

In Nelson, Labour's Rachel Boyack, the electorate's incumbent, is leading National's newcomer Blair Cameron by 29 votes.

The District Court said applicants had three working days following the public declaration of the election to file for a judicial recount. That deadline was Wednesday.

The Nelson recount will begin at 11am Thursday morning, while the Mt Albert and Tāmaki Makaurau recounts will start at 9am on Monday.

Each candidate is entitled to a scrutineer to observe the recounts. No timeframe has been given for how long they will take.

If a judge finds the results from the public declaration were incorrect, they will order the Electoral Commission to give an amended declaration.

Despite their losses, National's Melissa Lee and Labour's Peeni Henare returned to Parliament as list MPs.

Last week, Lee told RNZ it was "incredible" she had cut Labour's majority from 21,000 to 20.

She said she enjoyed serving the area as a list MP, but becoming the electorate MP would allow her to better serve the community.

"With such a slim majority, it's only fair to the voters in Mount Albert that we actually go and double-check the result," she said.

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