Greens gain seat in final vote count

12.00pm

The Green Party has gained another MP and Peter Dunne's United Future party has lost a seat after election night results were rechecked and special declaration votes tallied to produce the official election results announced today.

The Greens now have nine MPs and United Future has eight.

Chief Electoral Officer David Henry said the position of the other parties remained unchanged from election night results.

The new Green Party MP is Mike Ward of Nelson. The United Future candidate who loses his seat is Aucklander Paul Adams.

Mr Adams sparked outrage this week for reiterating an earlier statement that Aids sufferers and people with other contagious diseases should be publicly identified. He had said in a submission to the Human Rights Bill 1993 that they should also be quarantined.

His loss means the Labour-Progressive Coalition minority Government has lost one of its crucial supporting votes. United Future signed up on Thursday to support the coalition, which has a combined 54 votes in the 120-member Parliament.

With the support of United Future, the coalition can now count on 62 votes on matters of confidence and supply.

National list MP Katherine Rich, who seemed to be the most in danger of being tipped out of Parliament on special votes, has retained her position.

Mrs Rich said in a statement today that, after two weeks of uncertainty, she was delighted to have been returned to Parliament for a second term.

Green co-leader Rod Donald told NZPA today the party was "absolutely over the moon" about today's announcement.

He said Mr Ward had already begun duties today by opening a composting toilet at an eco-fest at Nelson's Trafalgar Centre.

The former Values Party co-leader and Nelson city councillor is the only person to have contested all 20 Coast to Coast multisport events.

- NZPA

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