3 Oct 2023

General election 2023: Nanaia Mahuta facing serious challenge in Hauraki-Waikato, poll shows

8:00 pm on 3 October 2023
Nanaia Mahuta and Hana-Rawhiti Maipi-Clarke

Nanaia Mahuta and Hana-Rawhiti Maipi-Clarke Photo: RNZ / Supplied / Erica Sinclair

Incumbent MP Nanaia Mahuta is just four points ahead of one of the youngest candidates in this year's general election, a poll conducted for Whakaata Māori (Māori TV) is revealing.

The poll, conducted by Curia Market Research, has Mahuta leading on 36 percent while Te Pāti Māori newcomer, Hana-Rawhiti Maipi-Clarke is on 32 percent. Fourteen percent of those polled remain undecided.

If elected, 20-year-old Maipi-Clarke could become New Zealand's youngest MP in 170 years. She is number four on her party's list.

Mahuta who is 53 is the country's longest serving female MP (she was first elected when she was just 26), has held multiple portfolios and isn't standing on Labour's list.

The poll showed she enjoyed strong support among voters aged 60-plus in the Hauraki-Waikato electorate, picking up 43 percent compared to Maipi-Clarke on 12 percent.

However, 43 percent of those under 40 backed Maipi-Clarke while Mahuta picked up 30 percent support.

In the preferred party stakes, Labour and Te Pāti Māori are neck and neck, both polling at 26 percent followed by National on 14 percent, Greens on 8, New Zealand First, 6, and ACT on 5 percent. Seven percent were undecided and 2 percent refused to say.

When the latter two groups are removed, Labour has 29 percent of the party vote (a drop of 36 percent on the 2020 election). Te Pāti Māori has 28 percent (up 16 percent), National 15 percent (11 percent higher), Greens 9 percent (up 3), NZ First 6 (up 2) and ACT 5 percent (4 percent higher).

The cost of living has been the most important issue across the polling of four Māori electorates to date and it was no different in the Hauraki-Waikato poll with 30 percent nominating it.

It was followed by the economy (10 percent), jobs (9 percent), housing (6 percent) and health 5 percent.

Chris Hipkins was the most preferred prime minister on 33 percent, followed by Christopher Luxon on 12 percent, Winston Peters on 9 percent and Rawiri Waititi, on 8.

Polling was completed on 27 September. A total of 500 registered voters in Hauraki-Waikato were polled by landline, mobile and online with a margin of error of plus or minus 4.4 per cent at the 95 percent confidence level.

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