7 Oct 2014

Tai Tokerau vote recount to start

5:11 pm on 7 October 2014

Electoral Commission officials will begin a recount of almost 23,000 votes in the Tai Tokerau electorate tomorrow.

Hone Harawira with supporters in Awanui.

Hone Harawira with supporters on election night. Photo: RNZ / Mani Dunlop

Internet Mana leader Hone Harawira has applied for a recount, after losing the Maori seat to Labour's Kelvin Davis by 739 votes.

Mana Movement party president Lisa McNab said hundreds of votes in the seat were discarded, supposedly because voters were not enrolled.

Mana had asked that those votes specifically be re-examined.

"We want to ensure that if Maori voters across the country have enrolled and have voted, that those votes are counted."

Many of Mana's members were worried that their votes did not count, Ms McNab said.

Mr Harawira said he had applied for the judicial recount in an effort to "restore credibility to the electoral process in the north".

"Irrespective of whether the recount changes the result of the election in Te Tai Tokerau, these issues need to be independently examined and substantial improvements made ahead of the next election to ensure our people's basic rights are respected and their participation in the democratic process is encouraged and affirmed," he said.

The recount is expected to take three to five days.