Extremely close result in Te Hiku by-election

17 Feb 2015, 2:27 PM

Kaitaia’s Monty Knight is the winner of a Northland Regional Council by-election for its most northerly constituency Te Hiku – with a razor-thin majority of just five votes.

Electoral Officer Dale Ofsoske says Mr Knight had secured 936 votes, just five more than closest rival Mike Finlayson, also of Kaitaia, when the official voting period ended at noon today.

Mr Ofsoske says given the narrow margin, officials had already counted all the votes twice today to confirm what was officially now the 'final' result.

However, Mr Ofsoske says should any of the seven candidates wish, they are able to request a judicial recount. The legal process that would need to be followed meant they would have to have lodged an application to do so with the district court by 5pm on Tuesday.

Mr Ofsoske says 31 percent (3780) of the 12,000-plus eligible voters had returned their voting papers, which he describes as a 'fairly typical' turnout for a Northland by-election.

However, while unusual, very thin margins were not unheard of and in his 30 years of managing local authority elections, he had even encountered a number of elections where candidates had polled exactly the same result.

Candidates' results (in alphabetical order) are:

  • BAINBRIDGE, Sheryl; Kaeo (283 votes)
  • BASSETT, John Edward (independent); Herekino (123 votes)
  • FINLAYSON, Mike (independent); Kaitaia (931 votes)
  • KING, Fiona; Awanui (792 votes)
  • KING, Mike ; Coopers Beach ( 204 votes)
  • KNIGHT, Monty (independent); Kaitaia (936 votes)
  • TAHANA, JT (independent); Awanui (490 votes).