Labour newcomer set to be new Ikaroa-Rāwhiti MP
Whaitiri, who sensationally defected from Labour to join Te Pāti Māori, was losing by 2,500 votes with 90.9 percent of the vote counted.
Newcomer and Ngati Porou stalwart Cushla Tangaere- Manuel ran a strong campaign traversing the vast electorate four times. She received a call of congratulations from Whaitiri tonight.
Coming a distant third in the race was Vision NZ candidate, Ata Tuhakaraina, a BNZ community support worker from Wellington.
LEADING CANDIDATE: TANGAERE-MANUEL, Cushla 10,002
2nd CANDIDATE: WHAITIRI, Meka 7,502
CURRENT MARGIN: 2,500
PARTY VOTE LEAD: Labour Party 55.16%
2nd PARTY: Te Pāti Māori 24.26%