Mana by-election, 2010

Mana by-election, 2010
New Zealand
2008 general ←
20 November 2010 (2010-11-20)
→ 2011 general

Turnout 23,314 (54.72%)
Candidate Kris Faafoi Hekia Parata Jan Logie
Party Labour National Green
Popular vote 10,397 9,317 1,543

Mana electorate 2008.png

MP before election

Winnie Laban

Elected MP

Kris Faafoi

Winnie Laban, whose resignation from Parliament triggered the by-election

A by-election was held in the New Zealand electorate of Mana on 20 November 2010.[1][2] The seat was vacated by former Labour Pacific Island Affairs Minister Winnie Laban, who announced her resignation from the New Zealand Parliament on 10 August 2010 following her appointment as Assistant Vice Chancellor Pasifika at Victoria University.[3] According to provisional results, the by-election was won by Kris Faafoi, also of the Labour Party.[4]


Demographics and election history

The Mana electorate has large Pasifika and Māori populations,[5] with 21% and 18% for each ethnicity, respectively.[6] It includes the suburbs of Cannons Creek and Porirua East, which are some of the poorest in New Zealand.[7] The median personal income for residents of Mana is $NZ26,000.[8]

The New Zealand Labour Party has held the electorate since its creation for the 1999 general election. Chris Finlayson and Hekia Parata, who contested Mana for the New Zealand National Party in 2005 and 2008, are current list MPs.


Eight candidates contested the by-election:[9]

Name Party Notes Source
Kelly Buchanan Alliance Attempted unsuccessfully to have her name removed from the ballot papers following Matt McCarten's announcement of his candidacy. [9]
Julian Crawford Legalise Cannabis [9]
Colin Du Plessis ACT [9]
Kris Faafoi Labour Party Formerly Press secretary to the Parliamentary Leader of the Labour Party [10]
Sean Fitzpatrick Libertarianz Deputy leader of party [11]
Jan Logie Green Party Former YWCA Director [12]
Matt McCarten Independent Former President of Alliance and current Unite Union general secretary [13]
Hekia Parata National Party Current List MP/ Deputy Chair of social services Select Committee [14]

Kris Faafoi (Labour)

Labour leader Phil Goff said that "Labour will be looking to find a strong candidate and will campaign on both local issues and issues that matter to all Kiwis".[15]

President of the Labour Party, Andrew Little indicated he would not put himself forward for his party's nomination, preferring a Pacific Islander or Māori candidate.[16] Porirua Deputy Mayor, Litea Ah Hoi, chief press secretary to Phil Goff and former Television New Zealand reporter, Kris Faafoi,[17] Porirua City Councillor, Taima Fagaloa, and former Progressive Party candidate for Ōtaki, Josie Pagani, were possible Labour Party contestants for the by-election.[16][18] Kris Faafoi was chosen on 18 September.[10]

Matt McCarten (Independent)

On October 27 Matt McCarten announced that he would stand as an independent candidate for Parliament in the Mana by-election[19] The trade-union leader has received considerable media attention for his surprise nomination. Political analysts[citation needed] quote him as being able to "strike a chord in Mana" in the by-election given his political and popular appeal with the high number of poor and unemployed in the electorate.[20]

McCarten expects to win the by-election given his political focus on the many low-income families of Mana, and given current frustrations with Labour policies – despite Mana's reputation as a Labour safe-seat. McCarten suggests that "voters are more likely to take a risk on an outside chance in by-elections than general elections".[21]

Hekia Parata (National)

The National Party confirmed that they would contest the by-election[5] and selected Hekia Parata, the National candidate for Mana in 2008, as the party's candidate.[14]

Other parties

United Future opted not to contest the by-election, citing strain on the party's resources.[22] The Alliance Party attempted to withdraw their candidate Kelly Buchanan, after the announcement of Candidacy by Matt McCarten, an ex-Party Leader and Founding President. They were unsuccessful and announced instead that electors should not vote for Ms Buchanan and instead vote for McCarten.


Mana by-election, 2010

Notes: Green 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 Kris Faafoi 10,980 47.17 -5.89
National Hekia Parata 9,574 41.13 +6.14
Green Jan Logie 1,543 6.62 -0.09
Independent Matt McCarten 849 3.65 -
ACT Colin du Plessis 136 0.58 -1.26
Legalise Cannabis Julian Crawford 112 0.48 -
Libertarianz Sean Fitzpatrick 46 0.20 +0.01
Alliance Kelly Buchanan 37 0.16 -
Informal votes 37
Total Valid votes 23,277
Labour hold Majority 1,406 6.04 -12.03


This by-election was considered a good result by the National Party [2] as Labour's majority had been cut down to 1080 from just over 6,000 at the last election.

Kris Faafoi was "happy with the result; we won ... at the beginning we always said it was going to be a tough race." [3]

John Key said "I never thought coming second in politics would feel so good....Sometimes losing is winning and this is one of them where we have had a tremendous result here. In all probability, the swing should have gone against National because that's what happens when you are the Government campaigning in a very safe Labour seat and he has been thrashed. When this campaign began, Phil Goff said this by-election would be referendum on the Government's policies. Well he was right!" [4]

Phil Goff said that the result reflects well on Faafoi's hard work and is "one step on the way to getting back to a Labour government".[24]

Many other Labour MPs did not think that they had lost the by election. Su'a William Sio said that “The truth is that it is always difficult for most low income families to get involved in a by-election like this and to think about improving the future when they are more concerned about the everyday reality of with putting food on the table and worrying about their kids doing well at school,” [5]

Audrey Young, a New Zealand herald writer, criticised what she called labour's "spin tactics" "Some in Labour who should know better are creatively suggesting that Labour actually did better in the by-election than the last general election, despite having its majority slashed from 6155 to 1080. From three senior figures has come the suggestions that Kris Faafoi winning 47 per cent of the candidate vote on Saturday was a better result than the 43.9 per cent party vote that the party got in 2008, when Winnie Laban stood. That is like comparing raisins and sheep droppings."[25]

However, Grant Robertson, a Labour MP, praised Parata by saying "I also think Hekia deserves some credit. She is an articulate person who campaigned hard. Most importantly in terms of the result she has been campaigning/working in the electorate non-stop for about four years, compared to Kris’ few months. That makes a difference. She had a profile and that worked to her advantage. She did not win, but no doubt she feels she put in a good result."[26]


  1. ^ Phil Goff (2010-08-10). "Luamanuvao Winnie Laban to stand down" (Press release). New Zealand Labour Party. Archived from the original on 2010-08-10. Retrieved 2010-08-10. 
  2. ^ Andrea Vance (2010-10-04). "Mana byelection set for Nov 20". Retrieved 2010-10-04. 
  3. ^ Watkins, Tracy (2010-08-10). "By-election as Labour's Winnie Laban leaves Parliament". Archived from the original on 2010-08-10. Retrieved 2010-08-10. 
  4. ^ Electoral Commission results page
  5. ^ a b Small, Vernon (2010-08-11). "By-election buildup as Laban walks". The Dominion Post (Fairfax New Zealand). Archived from the original on 2010-08-11. Retrieved 2010-08-11. 
  6. ^ "Mana: People". New Zealand Parliament. 2009-08-26. Retrieved 2010-08-13. 
  7. ^ Armstrong, John (2010-08-11). "Byelection creates a nuisance and an opportunity for Labour". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 2010-08-13. 
  8. ^ "Mana: Work". New Zealand Parliament. 2009-08-26. Retrieved 2010-08-13. 
  9. ^ a b c d "Eight candidates stand in Mana by-election". Elections New Zealand. 27 October 2010. Retrieved 27 October 2010. 
  10. ^ a b Candidate is Kris Faafoi
  11. ^ "Libertarianz deputy leader to stand in Mana". Television New Zealand. 2010-10-18. Retrieved 2010-10-27. 
  12. ^ "McCarten to run in Mana by-election". Dominion Post. 2010-10-09. Retrieved 2010-10-27. 
  13. ^ "The battle for Mana". Dominion Post. 2010-10-27. Retrieved 2010-10-27. 
  14. ^ a b Andrea Vance (2010-09-08). "Hekia Parata to contest Mana byelection". Retrieved 2010-09-08. 
  15. ^ "Labour MP Winnie Laban steps down". The New Zealand Herald. 2010-08-10. Retrieved 2010-08-10. 
  16. ^ a b Small, Vernon; Trevett, Claire (2010-08-12). "Two hopefuls already in line for Mana by-election". Archived from the original on 2010-08-13. Retrieved 2010-08-13. 
  17. ^ New Zealand Press Association (2010-08-25). "Labour press secretary to stand in Mana". Television New Zealand. Retrieved 2010-08-25. [dead link]
  18. ^ Cheng, Derek (2010-08-12). "Former TVNZ reporter hints at Labour byelection bid". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 2010-08-12. 
  19. ^ "Matt McCarten to stand in Mana". The New Zealand Herald. 27 October 2010. Retrieved 19 October 2011. 
  20. ^ "Q+A: Panel discusses Mana By-Election debate". Television New Zealand. 31 October 2010. Retrieved 19 October 2011. 
  21. ^ Trevett, Claire (28 October 2010). "McCarten throws hat in ring for Mana". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 19 October 2011. 
  22. ^ "United Future opts out of Mana by-election". Radio New Zealand. 2010-10-19. Retrieved 2010-10-27. 
  23. ^ "Official Count Results -- Mana". New Zealand Electoral Commission. Retrieved 2011-11-17. 
  24. ^ "Faafoi wins Mana by-election". One News. 20 November 2010. Retrieved 19 October 2011. 
  25. ^ Young, Audrey (22 November 2010). "Little glory for Goff in tight win". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 19 October 2011. 
  26. ^ [1]

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