2013 Ikaroa-Rāwhiti by-election

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2013 Ikaroa-Rāwhiti by-election

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  Meka Whaitiri crop.jpg No image.png
Candidate Meka Whaitiri Te Hamua Nikora
Party Labour Mana
Popular vote 4,590 2,931
Percentage 40.90 26.12

  No image.png Marama Davidson.jpg
Candidate Na Raihania Marama Davidson
Party Māori Green
Popular vote 2,229 1,251
Percentage 19.86 11.15

Ikaroa-rawhiti electorate 2008.png

MP before election

Parekura Horomia

Elected MP

Meka Whaitiri

A by-election was held in the New Zealand electorate of Ikaroa-Rāwhiti on 29 June 2013. The seat was vacated by the death of incumbent member of parliament Parekura Horomia two months earlier, who had represented the electorate for the Labour Party since its inception for the 1999 election. The election was won by Labour's Meka Whaitiri.


Horomia died on 29 April 2013.[1] Once the Registrar of Birth and Deaths receives the registration of death for a sitting MP, they must inform the Speaker of the House within 12 hours,[2] and then the Speaker must publish, without delay, the notice of vacancy of the seat in the New Zealand Gazette.[3] The notice was published in the Gazette on 8 May 2013.[4]

The Governor-General must issue the writ for a by-election to fill a vacant electorate seat within 21 days of the Gazette notice (i.e. 29 May 2013).[3] The writ must be returned with the successful candidate within 50 days of its issue,[5] which means the writ must be returned, and therefore the election must have taken place, by 18 July 2013. As polling day must be a Saturday,[5] and two weeks are generally required for the counting of special votes, the last possible polling day is therefore Saturday 29 June 2013.

After the notice of vacancy was published, Prime Minister John Key announced the by-election date has been set as Saturday 29 June 2013.[6]


Seven candidates were contesting the by-election.[7] It was won by Meka Whaitiri of the Labour Party.[8]

The following candidates contested the election:

  • The Labour Party selected Meka Whaitiri, CEO of Ngāti Kahungunu. Other candidates who had sought nomination were Ngāti Kahungunu board member Hayden Hape, health specialist Molly Keelen-Para, Hastings district councillor Henare O'Keefe, development advisor Tāmati Olsen, and broadcaster Shane Taurima.[7][9][10][11][12][13]
  • The Māori Party selected Na Raihania, who contested the same seat for them in the last general election.[7][14][15] Two other candidates, Te Rangihau Gilbert and Mark Kopua, had also sought the nomination.[14]
  • The Mana Party selected Te Hamua Nikora, a television presenter, as its candidate for the by-election.[7][16] The other person who had been considered for nomination was kōhanga reo manager Leon Hawea.[17]
  • The Green Party selected environmentalist and human rights advocate Marama Davidson.[7][18][19]
  • The Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party selected lawyer and cannabis law reform advocate Michael Appleby.[7][20][21]
  • Two independents contested the by-election: Adam Holland and Maurice Wairau.[7]


Political editor Patrick Gower reported two days before the election that, according to sources within the Labour caucus, Labour leader David Shearer has been put on notice and given two months to achieve better poll results, or else face a leadership challenge.[22] This followed recent polls for the next general election that showed Labour in the low 30 percent, (e.g. the Herald-DigiPoll from mid-June that showed Labour at 30.9%, with a margin of error of 3.6%.[23]), although the party was well up on its 2011 general election result of 27.48 percent. Earlier in the week, Shearer had downplayed Labour's hopes for winning the by-election, despite the party having held the electorate since its inception for the 1999 election and expected by mainstream media to again win the by-election.[24]

Matt McCarten of the Mana Party claimed that sources within the Māori Party had told him that if Mana came ahead of their party, they would make amends, and commentators agreed that a strong result for Mana away from their Northland base would spell the end to the Māori Party's claim to be independent political voice for tangata whenua.[24]

Right-wing political blogger David Farrar called the poll result "a good victory for Labour", and commented that Whaitiri "could be one of the better Labour MPs".[25]


The following table shows the final results of the by-election:[26]

2013 Ikaroa-Rāwhiti by-election

Notes: Blue background denotes the winner of the by-election.
Pink background denotes a candidate elected from their party list prior to the by-election.
Yellow background denotes the winner of the by-election, who was a list MP prior to the by-election.
A Green tickY or Red XN denotes status of any incumbent, win or lose respectively.

Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour Meka Whaitiri 4,590 40.90 -19.81
Mana Te Hamua Nikora 2,931 26.12 +11.84
Māori Na Raihania 2,229 19.86 -3.24
Green Marama Davidson 1,251 11.15 +11.15
Legalise Cannabis Michael Appleby 176 1.57 +1.57
Independent Maurice Wairau 30 0.27 -1.64
Independent Adam Holland 15 0.13 +0.13
Total Valid votes 11,222
Informal votes 46 0.41 -4.93
Turnout 11,268 33.13 -22.46
Registered electors 34,008
Labour hold Majority 1,659 14.78 -22.83


  1. ^ "Labour MP Parekura Horomia dies". The New Zealand Herald. 29 April 2013.
  2. ^ "Section 58: Registrar of Births and Deaths to notify Speaker of death of member – Electoral Act 1993 No 87 (as of 1 July 2012) – New Zealand Legislation". Parliamentary Counsel Office. Retrieved 9 May 2013.
  3. ^ a b "Section 129: By-elections for members representing electoral districts – Electoral Act 1993 No 87 (as of 1 July 2012) – New Zealand Legislation". Parliamentary Counsel Office. Retrieved 9 May 2013.
  4. ^ Carter, David (8 May 2013). "Notice of Vacancy in Seat in House of Representatives". New Zealand Gazette. New Zealand Government. 2013 (51): 1517.
  5. ^ a b "Electoral Act 1993, Sec. 139". Legislation.co.nz. 17 August 2011. Archived from the original on 14 January 2012. Retrieved 5 December 2011.
  6. ^ Chapman, Kate (8 May 2013). "June by-election for Horomia's seat". Stuff/FairfaxNZ. Retrieved 10 May 2013.
  7. ^ a b c d e f g "Ikaroa-Rāwhiti By-election Candidates Announced". Elections New Zealand. Retrieved 5 June 2013.
  8. ^ "Ikaroa-Rawhiti goes to the vote". stuff.co.nz. 29 June 2013. Retrieved 29 June 2013.
  9. ^ Burr, Lloyd. "Labour's potential Horomia replacements". 3 News. Retrieved 24 May 2013.
  10. ^ "Duo vie for Labour position". Hawke's Bay Today. 15 May 2013. Retrieved 19 May 2013.
  11. ^ Trevett, Claire (15 May 2013). "Broadcaster eyes vacancy". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 19 May 2013.
  12. ^ "Shane Taurima joins race for Ikaroa-Rawhiti by-election". TVNZ. Retrieved 20 May 2013.
  13. ^ Grocott, Mathew (3 May 2013). "Hape noncommittal". Manawatu Standard. Retrieved 19 May 2013.
  14. ^ a b "Māori Party announces Na Rongowhakaata Raihania as Candidate for Ikaroa Rāwhiti by-election (press release)". Maori Party. 18 May 2013. Archived from the original on 4 July 2013. Retrieved 19 May 2013.
  15. ^ Stanford, Jacqui. "Union man for Maori Party in Ikaroa-Rawhiti". Newstalk ZB. Retrieved 19 May 2013.
  16. ^ "Mana announces Ikaroa-Rawhiti candidate". Radio New Zealand. Retrieved 23 May 2013.
  17. ^ "Mana chooses potential candidates for Ikaroa/Rawhiti". Radio New Zealand. 17 May 2013. Retrieved 19 May 2013.
  18. ^ Bennett, Adam (26 May 2013). "Greens select child abuse campaigner for Ikaroa-Rawhiti". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 26 May 2013.
  19. ^ "Marama Davidson selected as Green Party candidate for Ikaroa-Rāwhiti (press release)". Green Party. Archived from the original on 4 September 2013. Retrieved 26 May 2013.
  20. ^ "Vote Michael Appleby in the Ikaroa Rawhiti By-election". Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party. Archived from the original on 28 June 2013. Retrieved 5 June 2013.
  21. ^ "Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party launch By-Election campaign (press release)". Scoop.co.nz. Retrieved 5 June 2013.
  22. ^ Gower, Patrick (27 June 2013). "Shearer put on notice by Labour MPs". TV3 News. Retrieved 27 June 2013.
  23. ^ Young, Audrey (26 June 2013). "Poll shock: Labour, Shearer take dive as Nats roll on". The New Zealand Herald. p. A5. Retrieved 26 June 2013.
  24. ^ a b Rutherford, Hamish (28 June 2013). "Poll win seen as crucial for David Shearer". The Press. Retrieved 27 June 2013.
  25. ^ Farrar, David (30 June 2013). "Ikaroa-Rawhiti byelection: a good victory for Labour". National Business Review. Retrieved 30 June 2013.
  26. ^ "Results of the Ikaroa-Rāwhiti by-election". Electoral Commission. Retrieved 3 September 2014.