The last few weeks have been difficult for the Maori Party. Hone Harawira has been the Maori Party MP for Te Tai Tokerau in the Far North of the North Island since the elections in 2005. However, he has not always agreed with the Maori Party and finally he left the party in February this year. At the end of April, he joined with some others to start a new party called the Mana Party.
Today he resigned from Parliament as an MP which means there will be a by-election. The general elections will be held November 26th but he did not want to wait until that date. A by-election is just for that one seat, Te Tai Tokerau. It will cost about half a million dollars.
There will be at least three candidates in this by-election: Hone, a Labour Party candidate – Kelvin Davis – and a Maori Party candidate who has not yet been chosen. In the last general elections, Hone won the seat of Te Tai Tokerau with 12,019 votes. Kelvin Davis won 5,711 votes but the Labour Party won the party vote. Under MMP, there are two votes – one for the person and one for the party. Hone believes he is popular in his electorate and can win again. This will be an interesting by-election.
To find out more about by-elections, enter “by-election” in the search box.
Why do you think did Hone Harawira want a by-election instead of waiting until November for the general elections?