Election 2023 live updates: Incoming PM Christopher Luxon speaks with media in Auckland

National leader and incoming Prime Minister Christopher Luxon is in Auckland on Thursday.

It comes as New Zealand remains in a state of limbo about what the future Government may look like. While National and ACT have a one-seat majority currently, that could be whittled away when the special votes are released on November 3.   

These live updates have now finished.

2:25pm - Luxon wouldn't say if he has spoken to Winston Peters yet. He said discussions with parties would be mature and professional. 

The NZ First leader arrived in Wellington on Wednesday, but wouldn't speak to media.

He confirmed he wouldn't be attending the Rugby World Cup in France, wanting to focus on forming a Government and work here in New Zealand.

Christopher Luxon.
Christopher Luxon. Photo credit: Newshub.

2:20pm - Speaking to media, Luxon said it was special to go back to his old school. He got a "love of learning" at the school.

The incoming Prime Minister said he wanted to be back in Auckland on Thursday to reconnect with his electorate and thank people who put him back in Parliament. He acknowledged he had been around the country a lot over the election campaign, and may not have spent as much time in his electorate as he wanted.

He said he is spending the time until the special votes are revealed to progress relationships with other parties.

He wouldn't comment extensively on light rail plans other than reiterating that National still wants to stop it. 

2pm - Luxon will be speaking with media shortly. You will be able to watch that above. App users should click here

1:45pm - Christopher Luxon is at Cockle Bay School in Auckland this afternoon. It is his old primary school. He said he was dumped into a bath of water by his MP Simeon Brown on a previous visit.

Luxon on Thursday afternoon.
Luxon on Thursday afternoon. Photo credit: Newshub.
Election 2023 live updates: Incoming PM Christopher Luxon speaks with media in Auckland
Photo credit: Newshub.
Election 2023 live updates: Incoming PM Christopher Luxon speaks with media in Auckland
Photo credit: Newshub.
Election 2023 live updates: Incoming PM Christopher Luxon speaks with media in Auckland
Photo credit: Newshub.

12:35pm - The Port Waikato by-election is expected to cost just under $2 million. It has been triggered by the death of a candidate ahead of the general election.

According to a Cabinet paper from the Minister of Justice, the by-election is estimated to cost the Electoral Commission about $1.968 million. The two most recent by-elections cost $1.337 million (Hamilton West) and $1.256 million (Tauranga).

"In delivering these, the Electoral Commission was able to absorb some personnel costs and information technology infrastructure costs through reprioritisation of internal resources," the paper said.

"Due to the proximity of the Port Waikato by-election to delivery of the General Election, the Commission is unable to reallocate resource to absorb these costs in the delivery of the Port Waikato by-election. As such, additional personnel – including additional IT vendor support to stand up the necessary systems – is required. As well as the need for additional staff, wage increases have contributed to higher anticipated personnel costs."

It said the higher cost of the Port Waikato by-election was due to "higher personnel and IT costs, inflationary pressures, increased security needs, a greater number of voting places, higher lease and operational costs due to the rural nature of Port Waikato".

There would also need to be "increased public information costs to educate the public on the facts and integrity of the by-election process".

The Electoral Commission could absorb up to $378,000 of the costs from its baseline funding, meaning $1.59 million was sought in additional funding.

"If additional funding is not provided and the costs of a by-election are required to be met from within electoral baselines, it is uncertain whether the Electoral Commission will have sufficient reserves to cover this, which will place the Electoral Commission in a position of significant financial risk."

The minister said the Electoral Commission should be enabled to proceed with its plans with certainty of funding.

"However, to manage the inherent uncertainty of the costings, I propose that the additional funding be provided on the understanding that the Electoral Commission reviews actual costs incurred after the by-election, and any unused additional funding be returned to the Crown."

"I propose that the recovery of any underspend be arranged by the Electoral Commission returning the excess funding, or through utilising the provisions of section 165 of the Crown Entities Act 2004. Section 165 requires consultation between a Crown entity, its responsible Minister, and the Minister of Finance before a request to return a net surplus is made to a Crown entity. Regardless of which recovery route is used, I will seek assurance and monitoring from the Ministry of Justice over the disbursement of any additional funding to the Electoral Commission, to enable the return of any net surplus funding, if required."

Cabinet agreed to the additional funding.

The National Party was consulted given Labour's caretaker Government status.

12:15pm - According to a statement from the British Government, New Zealand has joined with 50 other countries in making a joint statement on human rights violations in Xinjiang, China.

It calls out China for not taking any action to address issues in the region. 

"Members of Uyghur and other predominantly Muslim minorities in Xinjiang continue to suffer serious violations of their human rights by the authorities of the People’s Republic of China," it said.

"The UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) relied extensively on China’s own records when it published its Assessment of human rights concerns in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region. 

"This independent and authoritative assessment found evidence of large-scale arbitrary detention and systematic use of invasive surveillance on the basis of religion and ethnicity; severe and undue restrictions to legitimate cultural and religious practices, identity and expression, including reports of destruction of religious sites; torture, ill-treatment and sexual and gender-based violence, including forced abortion and sterilisation; enforced disappearances and family separations; and forced labour."

Read more here.

11:10am - For an election ostensibly fought over a "cost-of-living crisis", there was a strong unspoken consensus between the two major parties: most people's living standards needed to reduce to thwart inflation. Regardless of the election result, a form of austerity was always going to win. 

Read more here.

10:45am - The Green Party could surpass Labour at the next election if it does not get its act together, former Green MP Sue Bradford says.

Bradford told Morning Report Labour has been taking more of a middle-ground approach to its policies.

"At this point, if Labour goes on like it is, I think that there's every chance that Greens can even potentially overtake them in terms of percentages and numbers in the House, unless Labour does get its act together and become a lot clearer about who they stand for..."

Read more here.

10:25am - It's quiet outside of the NZ First team's headquarters on The Terrace.

Election 2023 live updates: Incoming PM Christopher Luxon speaks with media in Auckland
Photo credit: Newshub.

9:45am - More than 80 percent of Restaurant Association members have reported feeling satisfied or somewhat satisfied with the election result, according to a survey.    

The results show 52 percent of respondents conveyed satisfaction, while 30 percent were somewhat satisfied. The association said this showed optimism among members about the restaurant industry's future.   

 "The survey also revealed a strong sense of optimism among members regarding the economic outlook: 56 percent of respondents expressed being more optimistic, while 30 percent indicated they were slightly more optimistic," a statement said.   

 "This upsurge in optimism is an encouraging sign for the industry's recovery and growth, reflecting the belief of a majority of our members that a change of Government will result in better outcomes for the industry.    

 "The business confidence sentiments are in contrast with earlier feedback in the year, in which 20 percent of members anticipated an improvement over the next 12 months, with factors like the recession, upcoming election, and impending legislative changes causing unease."   

 The results show 50 percent of respondents believe the election will have a positive effect on consumer confidence and spending, with 27 percent believing it will significantly boost confidence.   

 "We are pleased to see our members express such significant levels of satisfaction and optimism following the election," said Marisa Bidois, CEO at the Restaurant Association.    

 "The change of government has clearly increased the outlook for the restaurant industry. We look forward to working with the incoming government to ensure our members' priorities are addressed."   

The top priorities for the incoming Government according to members included repealing fair pay legislation, implementing tax cuts, and re-introducing 90 day trials. 

9:30am – Kia ora, good morning and welcome to Newshub's live updates for Thursday.   

It's expected to be a relatively quiet day at Parliament, with National leader and Prime Minister-elect Christopher Luxon in Auckland. He is going to be speaking with reporters later in the day.   

Wednesday saw the return of New Zealand First leader Winston Peters. His team have been stationed in an office by Treasury in Wellington. Peters has so far refused to speak to media, but he did issue a statement on Wednesday night where he thanked Kiwis for electing New Zealand First to Parliament.    

"New Zealand faces many critical challenges needing urgent attention. Our people are feeling the pressure of the cost-of-living crisis, falling victim to out-of-control criminals, and not getting the health care that many so desperately need. Currently we are all waiting for the final vote count of over 570,000 voters. Without this information we must avoid speculation."