Bennett wins Waitakere on recount

  • 16/12/2011

By Daniel Satherley

Paula Bennett has been declared the winner of the Waitakere electorate seat, after a judicial recount put her 9 votes ahead of Labour's Carmel Sepuloni.

Ms Bennett led on election night by over 300 votes, but after the special votes were counted, Ms Sepuloni was ahead by 11.

Now it appears Ms Bennett has won, by an even slimmer margin.

Earlier this week, Ms Sepuloni was celebrating her "win" with an attack on Ms Bennett.

''I don't think Paula Bennett has been good for Waitakere,'' she said.

''At the end of the day, the voters have spoken. And despite the fact it is close, it just goes to show that there are 11 more people that think she wasn't [good].

''West Auckland has quite a high number of sole-parent households ... one of the highest in the country in terms of electorate… And I know a lot of sole-parents in west Auckland have not been happy with things like the cuts to the training incentive allowance and the constant beneficiary bashing that has come from the National government, including the Minister of Social Development."

Ms Sepuloni said she was not concerned about the recount.

As a result, Labour's next list candidate, Raymond Huo will replace Ms Sepuloni.

Ms Bennett was back in Parliament either way, because of her high ranking on the National Party list.

The outcome does not affect the make up of Parliament.

Kiwiblog's David Farrar says an electoral petition is an option, but could cost "$200,000 or so, and off memory National has never lost an electoral petition, well for the last 40 years or so anyway".

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