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New Zealand Labour Party Keeps Ikaroa-Rawhiti After By-Election

New Zealand’s main opposition Labour Party retained the electorate of Ikaroa-Rawhiti after a by-election yesterday, according to the Electoral Commission.

Meka Whaitiri won the seat with a provisional 4,368 votes, the commission said in an e-mailed statement. Labour’s Parekura Horomia held the seat for 14 years before his sudden death in April, and had a 6,541 majority at the 2011 general election.

The result leaves the balance of power in the 120-seat parliament unchanged. Labour has 34 seats and leads an opposition bloc of the Green, New Zealand First and Mana parties. The National Party has 59 seats and governs with support from the Maori Party, ACT New Zealand and independent Peter Dunne.

Ikaroa-Rawhiti is one of seven seats restricted to registered native Maori voters, and extends down the east coast of the nation’s North Island.

The Mana Party’s Te Hamua Nikora got 2,607 votes, Maori Party candidate Na Raihania got 2,104 and Green party candidate Marama Davidson got 1,188. The National Party didn’t stand a candidate.

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