No petition from Labour in Waitakere

National's Paula Bennett regained her Waitakere seat on a recount. Photo / Sarah Ivey
National's Paula Bennett regained her Waitakere seat on a recount. Photo / Sarah Ivey

Labour has decided not to continue battling for the tightly-contested Waitakere and Christchurch Central seats.

National's Paula Bennett led the race for the Waitakere seat by 349 votes on election night, but lost it to Carmel Sepuloni after special votes gave the Labour candidate an 11-vote advantage.

Ms Bennett reclaimed the seat after she requested a judicial recount, which gave her a margin of nine votes.

In the Christchurch Central electorate, National's Nicky Wagner and Labour's Brendan Burns were tied for votes on election night, but Ms Wagner came out on top when the special vote count gave her lead of 45. She extended her lead by two votes in a recount.

Labour general secretary Chris Flatt said the party had accepted the results and would not be seeking an electoral petition.

"We looked at all the factors, we went through previous cases, and we talked to the people involved in the recounts, and didn't believe it was an appropriate way to go,'' he told APNZ.

Previous petitions had ranged in cost from $50,000 to $120,000, and Mr Flatt said cost was a key factor.

Both Ms Sepuloni and Mr Burns were both ``incredibly disappointed'' to have missed out on a place in Parliament, but were happy with the decision not to press forward with a petition, Mr Flatt said.

- APNZ

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