Labour Party’s Rino Tirikatene is currently well ahead of his competitors with preliminary votes showing him sitting at 4200 with a total of 33.2 % of booths counted.
Tirikatene was the most favourable candidate in the Election Aotearoa polls by a significant margin so it is no surprise that according to the current count, Tirikatene is in the lead ahead of Green Party candidate Metiria Turei and Mei Reedy-Taare of the Māori Party.
Tirikatene is essentially fighting two battles. One against Taare-Reedy who will be challenging him for the candidate vote, and another against Turei who, although she is also standing in this electorate, is vying for the party vote.
At present, the current count shows that Labour candidates are in the lead in all of the Māori electorates.
Te Tai Tonga is the largest electorate in the country. It covers from Lower Hutt, across to Makara in the North Island, down to the capital city and the entire South Island, including Stewart Island and the Chatham Islands.