It’s now officially confirmed Wairarapa has two MPs in Parliament, with a third local candidate narrowly missing out in the final election count.
National candidate Mike Butterick’s electorate win has been affirmed, while former Wairarapa MP Kieran McAnulty is in on the Labour list.
The Green Party’s local candidate, former Wellington mayor Celia Wade-Brown, narrowly missed a list spot, after moving from 15th to 16th when Tamatha Paul won Wellington central [the Greens will take 15 MPs into the next Parliament].
National lost two electorate seats in the final election count, meaning it will need the support of both ACT and NZ First to form the next Government.
Meanwhile, Te Pati Māori increased its share of seats from four to six.
The final results for the top four Wairarapa candidates were 20,313 votes for Butterick, 17,497 for McAnulty, 1907 for ACT’s Simon Casey, and 1832 for Wade-Brown.
National led the party vote with 17,397, Labour was next with 12,223, ACT third with 4752, and the Greens fourth with 3676.
Butterick has pledged to cooperate on behalf of the region.
“It’s very humbling to have had the support from voters confirmed,” he said.
“I’m mindful Celia is very close. Whether it’s two or three Wairarapa electorate-based MPs, the goal is to work together for the whole electorate as closely as possible, whenever possible.”
McAnulty said being in Parliament is a privilege and he will continue to advocate for the region there.
“I was pretty confident I would remain an MP, but you never know until you know for sure,” he said.
“It gives me an opportunity to advocate for my region, which is why I got into politics in the first place.”
Commenting on the overall outcome, McAnulty noted “It is confirmed National and ACT will require New Zealand First, which will be interesting”.
“A lot of promises have been made during the campaign, and now it’s on them to deliver,” he said.
Congratulating Butterick on his local victory, McAnulty confirmed he “will always work with him if there is something good for the region. At the same time, I will be holding the government to account for issues affecting Wairarapa.”
Wade-Brown is pleased with the overall result for the Green Party, which won more than 11 per cent of the party vote nationally and more than eight per cent of the party vote in Wairarapa.
“It’s the highest party vote for the Greens ever,” she said.
“We can work very hard in opposition to hold the government to account and be in a position to support good legislation even if not in government.
“I would have loved to have got in, but there are plenty of other things to do in life. I’m very pleased with the 15 MPs.”
Wade-Brown said no Green MP has ever retired early in a parliamentary term, and she is not expecting to be called to Parliament, calling the prospect “unlikely”.
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