Māori Party candidate for Te Tai Hauāuru, Howie Tamati, spoke to reporter Tamati Tiananga over the noise of chanting and rejoicing from whānau and friends.
Being a father of seven and koro of five mokopuna, it comes as no surprise that his base is a hive of activity , with his daughters right behind him holding signs of support.
Tamati is new to the race for the Te Tai Hauāuru seat against Labour’s incumbent MP Adrian Rurawhe and Greens candidate Jack Tautokai McDonald, however he has already gained a lot of supporters in his short campaign.
Preliminary vote counts show Howie Tamati trailing incumbent Adrian Rurawhe who is currently on 4227 votes with 36.3% of booths counted so far.
Howie Tamati is sitting on 3663 votes at the moment.
The current count shows Tamati is in second place, despite Tamati having a significant lead in the Election Aotearoa polls. The polls showed Tamati was leading at 52%, leaving Rurawhe second at 39%, however the count shows Rurawhe is in the lead at present.
Te Tai Hauāuru electorate covers an area from Maungatautari in the north to Grenada North to Tawa in the Wellington region. From Atiamuri to the most Western tip of the North Island, it includes the Taranaki, Whanganui and Manawatū regions.