Election reflection: Waiariki [UPDATE: booth analysis]
The first time I had any doubt that Annette may not be able to take Waiariki was as a scrutineer watching the initial check through for "informal" votes - Te Ururoa had a lot and Te Kani (the Labour candidate) also had a substantial amount. Worrying.
The Mana team had saturated this town for the last month and got positive local press, the other candidates were not nearly so visible - to have it so tight was alarming. And then the actual count on the booth was Flavell 90, Sykes 88, Te Kani 83. Mr Bradbury texted me the advance voting which had Te Ururoa well ahead. I knew we were in trouble at that point and left immediately for the office. There I heard the town's other booth had gone a similar way. If we can't get enough here I can't imagine we can get enough in all the other places where we weren't as organised and hadn't been going as long. It looked bad. Even worse when the party vote nationally was tracking just below 1%. Mana needed about 1.5% to get Annette in off the list, but this wasn't looking possible unless a massive surge from the big South Auckland booths could pull it up. It didn't happen. I know that not a lot can be expected from a party that is only about half a year old and has no money, but I find it very disappointing all the same - my expectations were higher.
Election night figures:
FLAVELL, Te Ururoa James MAOR 6,878
SYKES, Annette Te Imaima MANA 5,058
TE KANI, Louis LAB 3,896
1,820 majority Flavell
Less than 2,000 means the seat is now a marginal. His majority in 2008 was 6,812 - so it is fair to say that Annette managed to slash it substantially. She should seriously consider running again at the next election.
The Party vote in Waiariki was also a disappointment:
Maori Party 3,493
NZ First 1,855
Maori Party had more votes - inexplicable, but I put it down to the inertia of incumbency. I saw quite a few split votes too - Sykes for electorate and either Greens or Labour for the party. I only saw one split vote that was Te Ururoa and Mana (and only a very few going Sykes, Maori Party) indicating a very strong division between Mana and Maori Party voters - reflecting the split that gave rise to the Mana movement.
Looking at the breakdown by booths Flavell won every booth in Tauranga and the Mount - this was Sykes' major weak spot. He also took Murapara - the home of the Maori Party President, Pem Bird. Sykes won a number of smaller booths where the movement had a presence and hoardings were up, like the Coast, Minginui and Kaingaroa.
Waiariki main booths (Sykes win in bold)
Bethlehem (2 booths): TU Flavell 57, A Sykes 21, L Te Kani 20
Edgecumbe (2): TU 64, AS 41, TK 39
Kaingaroa (1): TU 20, AS 42, TK 37
Kawerau (2): TU 219, AS 233, TK 75
Matapihi (1): TU 73, AS 19, TK 78
Matata (1): TU 29, AS 45, TK 23
Maungatapu (2): TU 78, AS 55, TK 87
Murupara (1): TU 132, AS 98, TK 50
Opotiki (2): TU 167, AS 157, TK 147
Taneatua (1): TU 53, AS 67, TK 25
Te Puke (2): TU 125, AS 64, TK 86
Te Teko (1): TU 93, AS 87, TK 39
Turangi (3): TU 166, AS 73, TK 67
Whakatane (6) TU 393, AS 401, TK 267
Waimana (2): TU 33, AS 62, TK 19
Urewera (Minginui+Ruatahuna): TU 34, AS 72, TK 30
Papamoa (5): TU 158, AS 84, TK 124
Mt Maunganui (8): TU 208, AS 90, TK 150
Welcome Bay (3): TU 119, AS 62, TK 96
Tauranga (16): TU 463, AS 229, TK 323
Te Puna (2): TU 74, AS 22, TK 39
Lynmore (2): TU 88, AS 30, TK 29
Ngapuna (1): TU 59, AS 89, TK 22
Ngongotaha (1): TU 218, AS 85, TK 61
Okere Falls (1): TU 50, AS 46, TK 13
Owhata (2): TU 165, AS 125, TK 83
Rotoiti (1): TU 49, AS 53, TK 9
Rotorua (22): TU: 1391, AS 1093, TK 791
Rotokawa (1): TU 45, AS 47, TK 23
Wairakei Village (1): TU 24, AS 9, TK 11
Taupo (21): TU 350, AS 204, TK 123
(Torere+Omaio+Omarumutu): TU 57, AS 90, TK 27
Raukokore (1): TU 15, AS 28, TK 11
Te Kaha (1): TU 50, AS 54, TK 27
Whakatane was a surprise, Mana was late in organising anything there, but ended up winning those booths on the day. Annette represented the so-called "terrorists" in the Crown's Urewera show trial that never was so she picked up a lot of support in Ruatoki and Waimana where it happened and took those booths convincingly. Same with the Coast, the anti-drilling protests were concentrated against the Maori Party and she picked up those booths. She won a few in Rotorua, but not nearly enough to offset those going the other way in big numbers. Same too with Taupo and Turangi where Mana organisation was thin on the ground, Te Ururoa was able to hang on to those ones with a wide margin.
As for the overall result, I'm glad Hone got back in Te Tai Tokerau, but he must carry the banner alone and it will be difficult as one in a House of 121. Better luck next time.