New Zealand general election, 2011

New Zealand general election, 2011
New Zealand
26 November 2011 (2011-11-26)[1]

All 120 seats (plus one overhang seat) in the New Zealand House of Representatives
61 seats are needed for a majority
Opinion polls
Turnout 2,278,989 (74.21%) Decrease5.25%
  First party Second party Third party
Leader John Key Phil Goff Russel Norman
Metiria Turei
Party National Labour Green
Leader since 2006 2008 2006 / 2009
Leader's seat Helensville Mount Roskill List
Last election 58 seats, 44.93% 43 seats, 33.99% 9 seats, 6.72%
Seats before 58 42 9
Seats won 59 34 14
Seat change Increase1 Decrease8 Increase5
Popular vote 1,058,638 614,936 247,370
Percentage 47.31% 27.48% 11.06%
Swing Increase2.38% Decrease6.51% Increase4.34%

  Fourth party Fifth party Sixth party
Leader Winston Peters Tariana Turia /
Pita Sharples
Hone Harawira
Party NZ First Māori Mana
Leader since 1993
(party foundation)
(party foundation)
(party foundation)
Leader's seat List Te Tai Hauāuru /
Tāmaki Makaurau
Te Tai Tokerau
Last election 0 seats, 4.07% 5 seats, 2.39% (not yet founded)
Seats before 0 4 1
Seats won 8 3 1
Seat change Increase8 Decrease1 Steady0
Popular vote 147,544 31,982 24,168
Percentage 6.59% 1.43% 1.08%
Swing Increase2.52% Decrease0.96% Increase1.08%

  Seventh party Eighth party
Leader Don Brash Peter Dunne
Party ACT United Future
Leader since 2011 2002
(party foundation)
Leader's seat (outside Parliament) Ōhariu
Last election 5 seats, 3.65% 1 seat, 0.87%
Seats before 5 1
Seats won 1 1
Seat change Decrease4 Steady0
Popular vote 23,889 13,443
Percentage 1.07% 0.60%
Swing Decrease2.58% Decrease0.27%

Prime Minister before election

John Key

Subsequent Prime Minister

John Key

The 2011 New Zealand general election on Saturday 26 November 2011[1] determined the membership of the 50th New Zealand Parliament.

One hundred and twenty-one MPs were elected to the New Zealand House of Representatives, 70 from single-member electorates, including one overhang seat, and 50 from party lists. New Zealand since 1996 has used the Mixed Member Proportional (MMP) voting system, giving voters two votes: one for a political party and the other for their local electorate MP. A referendum on the voting system was held at the same time as the election,[2] with voters voting by majority to keep the MMP system.[3]

A total of 3,070,847 people were registered to vote in the election, with over 2.2 million votes cast and a turnout of 74.21%[4] – the lowest turnout since 1887.[5] The incumbent National Party, led by John Key, gained the plurality with 47.3% of the party vote and 59 seats, two seats short of holding a majority. The opposing Labour Party, led by Phil Goff, lost ground winning 27.5% of the vote and 34 seats, while the Green Party won 11.1% of the vote and 14 seats – the biggest share of the party vote for a minor party since 1996. New Zealand First, having won no seats in 2008 due to its failure to either reach the 5% threshold or win an electorate, made a comeback with 6.6% of the vote entitling them to eight seats.

National's confidence and supply partners in the 49th Parliament meanwhile suffered losses. ACT New Zealand won less than a third of the party vote it received in 2008, reducing from five seats to one. The Māori Party was reduced from five seats to three, as the party vote split between the Māori Party and former Māori Party MP Hone Harawira's Mana Party. United Future lost party votes, but retained their one seat in Parliament.

Following the election, National reentered into confidence and supply agreements with ACT and United Future on 5 December 2011,[6][7] and with the Māori Party on 11 December 2011,[8] to form a minority government with a seven-seat majority (64 seats to 57) and give the Fifth National Government a second term in office.


Election date and other key dates

The election date was set as Saturday 26 November 2011, as predicted by the media.[9] Breaking with tradition, Prime Minister John Key announced the election date in February. Traditionally, the election date is a closely guarded secret, announced as late as possible. The date follows the tradition of holding the general election on the last Saturday of November unless the schedule is interrupted by a snap election or to circumvent holding a by-election.

The Governor General must issue writs for an election within seven days of the expiration or dissolution of Parliament.[10] Under section 17 of the Constitution Act 1986, Parliament expires three years "from the day fixed for the return of the writs issued for the last preceding general election of members of the House of Representatives, and no longer." The writs for the previous general election were returnable on 27 November 2008.[11] As a result, the 49th Parliament would have expired, if not dissolved earlier, on 27 November 2011. As that day was a Sunday, the last available working day was 25 November 2011. Consequently, the last day for issuance of writs of election was 2 December 2011. Except in some circumstances (such a recount or the death/incapacitation of an electorate candidate), the writs must be returned within 50 days of their issuance with the last possible working day being 20 January 2012.[12] Because polling day must be a Saturday,[12] the last possible polling date for the election was 7 January 2012, allowing time for the counting of special votes.[13] The Christmas/New Year holiday period made the last realistic date for the election Saturday 10 December 2011. The Rugby World Cup 2011 was hosted by New Zealand between 9 September and 23 October 2011, and ruled out all the possible election dates in this period. This left two possible windows for the general election: on or before 2 September and 29 October to 10 December.

Key dates of the election were:[14]

2 February 2011 Prime Minister John Key announces election to be held on 26 November
6 October 2011 Last sitting day for the 49th Parliament
20 October 2011 Governor General Jerry Mateparae dissolves the 49th Parliament
26 October 2011 Writ Day - Governor General issues formal direction to the Electoral Commission to hold the election.
Electoral roll closes for printing (all people enrolling after this date must cast special declaration votes).
2 November 2011 Details of candidates for election and polling places released.
9 November 2011 Advance and overseas voting begins.
25 November 2011 Advance voting ends. Overseas voting ends 4:00pm local time.
26 November 2011 Election Day - polling places open 9:00am to 7:00pm. Preliminary results released progressively after 7:00pm.
10 December 2011 Official results released
15 December 2011 Writ for election returned; official declaration of elected members

However, as the recount of the Waitakere was not completed in time for the writ to be returned on 15 December, the return of the writ was delayed to 17 December 2011.

49th Parliament, 2008–2011

Following the 2008 general election, National Party leader and Prime Minister John Key announced a confidence and supply agreement with ACT, the Māori Party and United Future to form the Fifth National Government. These arrangements gave the National-led government a majority of 16 seats, with 69 on confidence-and-supply in the 122-seat Parliament.

Labour, Greens and the Progressives are all in opposition, although only the Labour and Progressive parties formally constitute the formal Opposition; the Greens have a minor agreement with the government but are not committed to confidence and supply support.

At the 2008 election, the National Party had 58 seats, the Labour Party 43 seats, Green Party 9 seats, ACT and Māori Party five each, and Progressive and United Future one each. During the Parliament session, two members defected from their parties – Chris Carter was expelled from Labour in August 2010, and Hone Harawira left the Māori Party in February 2011. Carter continued as an independent, while Harawira resigned from parliament to recontest his Te Tai Tokerau electorate in a by-election under his newly formed Mana Party. Two MPs resigned from Parliament before the end of the session, John Carter of National and Chris Carter, but as they resigned within 6 months of an election, their seats remained vacant.

At the dissolution of the 49th parliament on 20 October 2011, National held 57 seats, Labour 42 seats, Green 9 seats, ACT 5 seats, Māori 4 seats, and Progressive, United Future and Mana one each.

Marginal seats in 2008

At the 2008 election, the following seats were won by a majority of less than 1000 votes:

Electorate Member of Parliament Incumbent party Majority Second place Second party
New Plymouth Young, JonathanJonathan Young National 105 Duynhoven, HarryHarry Duynhoven Labour
Waimakariri Cosgrove, ClaytonClayton Cosgrove Labour 390 Wilkinson, KateKate Wilkinson National
Waitakere Bennett, PaulaPaula Bennett National 632 Pillay, LynneLynne Pillay Labour
Rimutaka Hipkins, ChrisChris Hipkins Labour 753 Whiteside, RichardRichard Whiteside National
Hauraki-Waikato Mahuta, NanaiaNanaia Mahuta Labour 888 Greensill, AngelineAngeline Greensill Māori
Christchurch Central Burns, BrendonBrendon Burns Labour 935 Wagner, NickyNicky Wagner National
West Coast-Tasman Auchinvole, ChrisChris Auchinvole National 971 O'Connor, DamienDamien O'Connor Labour

MPs retiring in 2011

Nineteen MPs, including all five ACT MPs and the sole Progressive MP, intended to retire at the end of the 49th Parliament. One of the ACT MPs, John Boscawen, contested Tāmaki, but did not expect to win and was not on the party list. National MP Allan Peachey died three weeks before the election.

Party Name Electorate
ACT Roger Douglas (List) [15]
Rodney Hide Epsom [16][17]
Heather Roy(List)[18]
Hilary Calvert(List)[19]
John Boscawen(List)[20]
Green Sue Kedgley (List) [21][22]
Keith Locke (List) [23]
Progressive Jim Anderton Wigram [24]
Labour Ashraf Choudhary (List) [25]
George Hawkins Manurewa [26]
Pete Hodgson Dunedin North [27]
Lynne Pillay (List) [28]
Mita Ririnui (List) [29]
National John Carter Northland [30]
Sandra Goudie Coromandel [31]
Wayne Mapp North Shore [32]
Simon Power Rangitīkei [33]
Allan Peachey Tāmaki [34]
Georgina te Heuheu (List) [35]

Electorate boundaries

Advance voting in campervans in Christchurch. Campervans were used as many of the polling stations used at previous elections are unavailable due to the 2010 and 2011 earthquakes.

Electorates in the election were the same as at the 2008 election.

Electorates and their boundaries in New Zealand are reviewed every five years after the Census of Population and Dwellings. The last review took place in 2007, following the 2006 census. The next review is not due until 2014, following the 2013 census (the 2011 census was cancelled due to the 22 February 2011 Christchurch earthquake).

Election procedures

On 17 September 2010, Justice Minister Simon Power announced the government was introducing legislation making this the first election where voters would be able to re-enrol completely on-line. Enrolments on-line beforehand still required the election form to be printed, signed, and sent by post.[36]

Voters in the Christchurch region were encouraged to cast their votes before election day if they had doubt about being able to get to a polling booth on election day or to avoid long queues, as many traditional polling booths are unavailable due to the earthquakes. Nineteen advance voting stations were made available, with three of them campervans, which are usually only used in rural areas of New Zealand. The Christchurch Central electorate, for example, has 33 polling stations in 2011 compared to 45 in 2008.[37]

Contesting parties and candidates

At the close of nominations, 544 individuals had been nominated to contest the election, down from 682 at the 2008 election. Of those, 91 were list-only, 73 were electorate-only (43 from registered parties, 17 independents, and 13 from non-registered parties), and 380 contested both list and electorate.[38]

Political parties registered with the Electoral Commission on Writ Day can contest the general election as a party, allowing it to submit a party list to contend the party vote, and have a party election expenses limit in addition to individual candidate limits. At Writ Day, sixteen political parties were registered to contend the general election.[39] At the close of nominations, thirteen registered parties had put forward a party list to the Commission to contest the party vote, down from nineteen in 2008.[38][40]

Party Leader(s) Party vote %
(2008 election)
(October 2011)
Party list
Parties with seats in the 49th Parliament
ACT Don Brash 3.65 5 50 55
Green Russel Norman / Metiria Turei 6.72 9 59 61
Labour Phil Goff 33.99 42 70 65
Mana Hone Harawira [a] 1 21 20
Māori Pita Sharples / Tariana Turia 2.39 4 11 17
National John Key 44.93 57 63 65
United Future Peter Dunne 0.87 1 19 15
Other parties
Alliance Andrew McKenzie / Kay Murray 0.08 5 14
Conservative Colin Craig [a] 52 30
Democrats Stephnie de Ruyter 0.05 14 24
Legalise Cannabis Michael Appleby 0.41 18 28
Libertarianz Richard McGrath 0.05 9 27
NZ First Winston Peters 4.07 31 33
^[a] Party was founded after the 2008 election

The Kiwi Party, the New Citizen Party and the Progressive Party were registered, but did not contend the election under their own banners. The Kiwi Party and the New Citizen Party stood candidates for the Conservative Party.[41]

In addition to the registered parties and their candidates, thirteen candidates from nine non-registered parties contested electorates. The Human Rights Party contested Auckland Central, the Communist League Manukau East and Mount Roskill, the Nga Iwi Morehu Movement contested Hauraki-Waikato and Te Tai Hauauru, the Pirate Party contested Hamilton East and Wellington Central, the Sovereignty Party contested Clutha-Southland and Te Tai Hauauru, Economic Euthenics contested Wigram, New Economics contested Wellington Central, Restore All Things In Christ contested Dunedin South, and the Youth Party contested West Coast-Tasman.

Seventeen independent candidates also contested the electorates in thirteen electorates: Christchurch Central, Coromandel, Epsom (two), Hamilton West (two), New Plymouth, Ōtaki, Rangitikei (two), Rongotai, Tāmaki (two), Tauranga, Waitaki, Wellington Central, and Ikaroa-Rawhiti


Epsom and the Tea Tape scandal

Main article: Tea Tape scandal

On 11 November, National Party leader John Key met with John Banks, the ACT candidate for Epsom, over a cup of tea at a cafe in Newmarket to send a signal to Epsom voters about voting tactically.[42] The National Party passively campaigned for Epsom voters to give their electorate vote to ACT while giving their party vote to National. This would allow ACT to bypass the 5% party vote threshold and enter Parliament by winning an electorate seat, thereby providing a coalition partner for National. However, in October and November 2011, polls of the Epsom electorate vote taken by various companies showed that the National candidate for Epsom, Paul Goldsmith,[43] was leading in the polls and likely to win the seat. During the meeting, the two politicians' discussion was recorded by a device left on the table in a black pouch. The recording tapes were leaked to The Herald on Sunday newspaper, and subsequently created a media frenzy over the content of the unreleased tapes.[44]


TVNZ held three party leaders' debates: two between the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition, and one between the leaders of the smaller parties.[45] TV3 hosted a single debate between the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition.[46]

Date Host Leaders Presenter / Moderator
30 October TVNZ Don Brash, Metiria Turei, Hone Harawira, Pita Sharples, Peter Dunne Paul Holmes
Highlights – The debate included a variety of topics, ranging from the age of superannuation eligibility to youth unemployment to asset sales. Peter Dunne won the debate, with Metiria Turei coming second.[47]
31 October TVNZ John Key, Phil Goff Mark Sainsbury / Guyon Espiner
Highlights – The economy, asset sales, the cost of living, education, welfare, environment and mining, crisis management and recovery, leadership and New Zealand's involvement in Afghanistan. A text poll conducted alongside gave the debate to John Key with 61%.[48]
16 November TVNZ Don Brash, Russel Norman, Hone Harawira, Tariana Turia, Winston Peters, Peter Dunne Mark Sainsbury / Guyon Espiner
Highlights – The debate included the economy, the age of superannuation eligibility, Māori affairs, the environment, the Emissions Trading Scheme, the Tea Tape scandal, the voting system referendum, and potential partners after the election. A text poll conducted alongside gave the debate to Winston Peters with 36%, with Hone Harawira coming second with 27%.[49][50]
21 November TV3 John Key, Phil Goff John Campbell
Highlights – A studio audience of undecided voters gave positive or negative reactions to the leaders, which showed up on a reactor worm. Aside from claims that the studio audience was biased, Phil Goff won the debate.[51]
23 November TVNZ John Key, Phil Goff Mark Sainsbury / Guyon Espiner
Highlightsto be completed

Pre-election coalition preferences

The National Party ruled out working with New Zealand First's Winston Peters after the election.[52] ACT confirmed it would work with National after the elections.

The Labour Party leader Phil Goff ruled out a coalition agreement with Hone Harawira's new Mana Party, but left open the possibility of reaching an agreement with New Zealand First.[53]

In the 16 November minor parties debate, leaders from the minor parties stated their preferences:[48]

Media bias

A Massey University study released in November 2012 suggested newspaper coverage was favourable towards National and John Key. In the month leading up to the election, the big four newspapers in New Zealand – The New Zealand Herald, The Herald on Sunday, The Dominion Post and The Sunday Star-Times – printed 72 percent more photos of Key than his opponent, Phil Goff, and devoted twice as many column inches of text coverage.[54]

Opinion polling

Graphical representation of poll results

The nature of the Mixed Member Proportional voting system, whereby the share of seats in Parliament a party gets is determined by its share of the nationwide party vote, means aside from normal polling bias and error, opinion polling in New Zealand is fairly accurate in predicting the outcome of an election compared with other countries.

Opinion polls were undertaken periodically since the 2008 election by MediaWorks New Zealand (3 News Reid Research), The New Zealand Herald (Herald Digipoll), Roy Morgan Research, and Television New Zealand (One News Colmar Brunton), with polls having also being conducted by Fairfax Media (Fairfax Media Research International) since July 2011. The graph on the right shows the collated results of all five polls for parties that have polled above the 5% electoral threshold.

After the 2008 election, National gained in popularity, and since 2009 has regularly polled in the 50-55% range, peaking at 55% in August 2009 and October 2011, before falling to 51% in the week before the election. Labour and Green meanwhile kept steady after the election at 31-34% and 7-8% respectively until July 2011, when Labour started to lose support, falling to just 26% before the election. The majority of Labour's loss was the Green's gain, rising to 13% in the same period. No other party peaked on average above 5% in the period.


Parliamentary parties

Party vote percentage

  National (47.31%)
  Labour (27.48%)
  Green (11.06%)
  NZ First (6.59%)
  Conservative (2.65%)
  Māori (1.43%)
  Mana (1.08%)
  ACT (1.07%)
  United Future (0.60%)
  Other (0.73%)
Seating diagram, after 2011 election
  Summary of the 26 November 2011 election result for the New Zealand House of Representatives[55]
Party Votes % of Votes Seats
% Change Electorate List Total Change
National 1,058,636 47.31 +2.38 42 17 59 +1
Labour 614,937 27.48 -6.50 22 12 34 -9
Green 247,372 11.06 +4.33 0 14 14 +5
NZ First 147,544 6.59 +2.53 0 8 8 +8
Māori 31,982 1.43 -0.96 3 0 3 -2
Mana 24,168 1.08 +1.08 1 0 1 +1
ACT 23,889 1.07 -2.58 1 0 1 -4
United Future 13,443 0.60 -0.27 1 0 1 ±0
other parties 75,493 3.37 -3.17 0 0 0 -1a
total 2,237,464[56] 100.00 70 51 121 -1b
party informal votes 19,872 [56]
disallowed special votes 21,263 [56]
disallowed ordinary votes 390 [56]
total votes cast 2,278,989 [56]
turnout 74.21% [56]
total electorate 3,070,847[56]

a The loss of one MP is due to the Progressive Party not contesting the election.
b The loss of one seat is due to the reduction of the overhang, with the Maori Party only getting one electorate seat surplus to its party vote this election.

Non-parliamentary parties

  Summary of party vote for minor
unrepresented registered parties.
Party Votes % Change
Conservative 59,237 2.65 +2.65
Legalise Cannabis 11,738 0.52 +0.12
Democrats 1,714 0.08 +0.03
Libertarianz 1,595 0.07 +0.02
Alliance 1,209 0.05 -0.03
Minor parties, total 75,493 3.37 -3.17

Votes summary

Popular Vote
NZ First
United Future
Parliament seats
NZ First
United Future

Electorate results

Party affiliation of winning electorate candidates.

Prior to the election, the National Party held the majority of the electorate seats with 41. Labour held 20 seats, Māori held four seats, and ACT, Mana, Progressive, United Future and an ex-Labour independent held one seat each.

After the election, National gained one seat to hold 42 seats, Labour gained three seats to hold 23 electorates, Māori lost one seat to hold three, and ACT, Mana, and United Future held steady with one seat each.[57] A National or Labour candidate took second place in all the general electorates except Rodney, where it was Conservative Party leader Colin Craig.[58]

In eleven electorates, the incumbents did not seek re-election, and new MPs were elected. In Coromandel, North Shore, Northland, Rangitikei, Rodney and Tāmaki, the seats were passed from incumbent National MPs to new National MPs; in Epsom, the seat was passed from the incumbent ACT MP to the new ACT MP; and in Dunedin North and Manurewa, the seats were passed from incumbent Labour MPs to new Labour MPs. Labour also won Te Atatu from the retiring ex-Labour independent, and Wigram from the retiring Progressive MP.

Of the 59 seats where the incumbent sought re-election, four changed hands. In West Coast-Tasman, Labour's Damien O'Connor regained the seat from National's Chris Auchinvole, who defeated him for the seat in 2008. In Waimakariri, National's Kate Wilkinson defeated Labour MP Clayton Cosgrove, and in Te Tai Tonga, Labour's Rino Tirikatene defeated Maori Party MP Rahui Katene. Christchurch Central on election night ended with incumbent Labour MP Brendon Burns and National's Nicky Wagner tied on 10,493 votes each, and on official counts, swung to Nicky Wagner with a 45-vote majority, increasing to 47 votes on a judicial recount.[59][60] Despite losing their electorate seats, Chris Auchinvole and Clayton Cosgrove were re-elected into parliament via the party list.

On election night, Waitakere was won by incumbent National MP Paula Bennett with a 349-vote majority over Labour's Carmel Sepuloni. On official counts, it swung to Sepuloni with a majority of 11 votes, and Bennett subsequently requested a judicial recount, and on the recount, the seat swung back to Bennett with a majority of nine votes.[61] Bennett was declared elected, and Sepuloni was not returned via the party list due to her list ranking, being replaced in the Labour caucus with Raymond Huo.

Five electorates returned with the winner having a majority of less than one thousand – Waitakere (9), Christchurch Central (47), Waimakariri (642), Auckland Central (717) and Tāmaki Makaurau (936).[57]

Electorate results for the New Zealand general election, 2011[57]
Electorate Incumbent Winner Majority Runner up Third place
Auckland Central Nikki Kaye 717 Jacinda Ardern Denise Roche
Bay of Plenty Tony Ryall 17,760 Carol Devoy-Heena Ray Dolman
Botany Jami-Lee Ross 10,741 Chao-Fu Wu Paul Young
Christchurch Central Brendon Burns Nicky Wagner 47 Brendon Burns David Moorhouse
Christchurch East Lianne Dalziel 5,334 Aaron Gilmore Mojo Mathers
Clutha-Southland Bill English 16,168 Tat Loo Rachael Goldsmith
Coromandel Sandra Goudie Scott Simpson 12,470 Hugh Kininmonth Catherine Delahunty
Dunedin North Pete Hodgson David Clark 3,489 Michael Woodhouse Metiria Turei
Dunedin South Clare Curran 4,175 Joanne Hayes Shane Gallagher
East Coast Anne Tolley 4,774 Moana Mackey Darryl Monteith
East Coast Bays Murray McCully 14,641 Vivienne Goldsmith Brett Stansfield
Epsom Rodney Hide John Banks 2,261 Paul Goldsmith David Parker
Hamilton East David Bennett 8,275 Sehai Orgad Nick Marryatt
Hamilton West Tim Macindoe 4,418 Sue Moroney Bill Gudgeon
Helensville John Key 21,066 Jeremy Greenbrook-Held Jeanette Elley
Hunua Paul Hutchison 16,797 Richard Hills Charmaine Watts
Hutt South Trevor Mallard 4,825 Paul Quinn Holly Walker
Ilam Gerry Brownlee 13,312 John Parsons Kennedy Graham
Invercargill Eric Roy 6,263 Lesley Soper David Kennedy
Kaikoura Colin King 11,445 Liz Collyns Steffan Browning
Mana Kris Faafoi 2,230 Hekia Parata Jan Logie
Mangere William Sio 15,159 Claudette Hauiti Todd Ross
Manukau East Ross Robertson 15,858 Kanwal Singh Bakshi Asenati Taylor
Manurewa George Hawkins Louisa Wall 8,610 Cam Calder John Hall
Maungakiekie Sam Lotu-Iiga 3,021 Carol Beaumont Tom Land
Mount Albert David Shearer 10,021 Melissa Lee David Clendon
Mount Roskill Phil Goff 7,271 Jackie Blue Julie Anne Genter
Napier Chris Tremain 3,701 Stuart Nash Paul Edward Bailey
Nelson Nick Smith 7,088 Maryan Street Aaryn Barlow
New Lynn David Cunliffe 5,190 Tim Groser Saffron Toms
New Plymouth Jonathan Young 4,270 Andrew Little Geoff Steedman
North Shore Wayne Mapp Maggie Barry 15,228 Ben Clark Pieter Watson
Northcote Jonathan Coleman 9,379 Paula Gillon Vernon Tava
Northland John Carter Mike Sabin 11,362 Lynnette Stewart Pauline Evans
Ōhariu Peter Dunne 1,392 Charles Chauvel Katrina Shanks
Ōtaki Nathan Guy 5,231 Peter Foster Michael Gilchrist
Pakuranga Maurice Williamson 13,846 Sunny Kaushal Lance Gedge
Palmerston North Iain Lees-Galloway 3,285 Leonie Hapeta Corrina Tucker
Papakura Judith Collins 9,890 Jerome Mika Brent Catchpole
Port Hills Ruth Dyson 3,097 David Carter Joseph Burston
Rangitata Jo Goodhew 6,537 Julian Blanchard Gerrie Ligtenberg
Rangitikei Simon Power Ian McKelvie 9,382 Josie Pagani Maree Brannigan
Rimutaka Chris Hipkins 3,286 Jonathan Fletcher Tane Woodley
Rodney Lockwood Smith Mark Mitchell 12,222 Colin Craig (Cons) Christine Rose
Rongotai Annette King 9,047 Chris Finlayson Russel Norman
Rotorua Todd McClay 7,357 Steve Chadwick Fletcher Tabuteau
Selwyn Amy Adams 19,451 Jo Mclean Eugenie Sage
Tamaki Allan Peachey Simon O'Connor 17,786 Nick Iusitini Bakulich Richard Leckinger
Taranaki-King Country Shane Ardern 15,089 Rick Barker Robert Moore
Taupō Louise Upston 14,115 Frances Campbell Zane McCarthy
Tauranga Simon Bridges 17,264 Deborah Mahuta-Coyle Brendan Horan
Te Atatū Chris Carter Phil Twyford 5,416 Tau Henare Gary Stewart
Tukituki Craig Foss 9,660 Julia Haydon-Carr Jim MacDonald
Waikato Lindsay Tisch 14,198 Kate Sutton Cameron Harper
Waimakariri Clayton Cosgrove Kate Wilkinson 642 Clayton Cosgrove John Kelcher
Wairarapa John Hayes 7,135 Michael Bott Sea Rotmann
Waitakere Paula Bennett 9 Carmel Sepuloni Stephen Tollestrup
Waitaki Jacqui Dean 14,143 Barry Monks Sue Coutts
Wellington Central Grant Robertson 6,376 Paul Foster-Bell James Shaw
West Coast-Tasman Chris Auchinvole Damien O'Connor 2,539 Chris Auchinvole Kevin Hague
Whanganui Chester Borrows 5,046 Hamish McDouall John Milnes
Whangarei Phil Heatley 12,447 Pat Newman Rick Bazeley
Wigram Jim Anderton Megan Woods 1,500 Sam Collins Richard Wesley
Māori electorate results for the New Zealand general election, 2011[57]
Electorate Incumbent Winner Majority Runner up Third place
Hauraki-Waikato Nanaia Mahuta 5,935 Angeline Greensill Tau Bruce Mataki
Ikaroa-Rāwhiti Parekura Horomia 6,541 Na Raihania Tawhai McClutchie
Tāmaki Makaurau Pita Sharples 936 Shane Jones Kereama Pene
Te Tai Hauāuru Tariana Turia 3,221 Soraya Peke-Mason Jack Tautokai McDonald
Te Tai Tokerau Hone Harawira 1,165 Kelvin Davis Waihoroi Shortland
Te Tai Tonga Rahui Katene Rino Tirikatene 1,475 Rahui Katene Dora Roimata Langsbury
Waiariki Te Ururoa Flavell 1,883 Annette Sykes Louis Te Kani

^† These people subsequently entered Parliament at the election as list MPs

List results

Highest polling party in each electorate.

The election was notable for the entry in Parliament of New Zealand's first ever profoundly deaf MP, Mojo Mathers, number 14 on the Green Party's list.[62][63]

National Labour Green NZ First
Lockwood Smith (03)
Chris Finlayson (09)
David Carter (10)
Tim Groser (12)
Steven Joyce (13)
Hekia Parata (18)
Michael Woodhouse (31)
Melissa Lee (34)
Kanwal Singh Bakshi (35)
Jian Yang (36)
Alfred Ngaro (37)
Katrina Shanks (38)
Paul Goldsmith (39)
Tau Henare (40)
Chris Auchinvole (43)
Jackie Blue (46)
Cam Calder (50)
David Parker (04)
Maryan Street (07)
Clayton Cosgrove (08)
Sue Moroney (10)
Charles Chauvel (11)
Jacinda Ardern (13)
Andrew Little (15)
Shane Jones (16)
Darien Fenton (18)
Moana Mackey (19)
Rajen Prasad (20)
Raymond Huo (21)
Metiria Turei (01)
Russel Norman (02)
Kevin Hague (03)
Catherine Delahunty (04)
Kennedy Graham (05)
Eugenie Sage (06)
Gareth Hughes (07)
David Clendon (08)
Jan Logie (09)
Steffan Browning (10)
Denise Roche (11)
Holly Walker (12)
Julie Anne Genter (13)
Mojo Mathers (14)
Winston Peters (01)
Tracey Martin (02)
Andrew Williams (03)
Richard Prosser (04)
Barbara Stewart (05)
Brendan Horan (06)
Denis O'Rourke (07)
Asenati Taylor (08)

Unsuccessful list candidates

National Aaron Gilmore*, Paul Quinn, Paul Foster-Bell*, Claudette Hauiti*, Joanne Hayes*, Leonie Hapeta, Sam Collins, Jonathan Fletcher, Heather Tanner, Denise Krum, Carolyn O'Fallon, Viv Gurrey, Karen Rolleston, Brett Hudson, Linda Cooper, Karl Varley
Labour Carol Beaumont*, Kelvin Davis*, Carmel Sepuloni, Rick Barker, Deborah Mahuta-Coyle, Stuart Nash, Brendon Burns, Michael Wood, Steve Chadwick, Kate Sutton, Jerome Mika, Josie Pagani, Lynette Stewart, Jordan Carter, Christine Rose, Glenda Alexander, Susan Zhu, Sehai Orgad, Mea'ole Keil, Richard Hills, Anahila Suisuiki, Hamish McDouall, Louis Te Kani, Tat Loo, Soraya Peke-Mason, Julian Blanchard, Peter Foster, Pat Newman, Julia Haydon-Carr, Michael Bott, Vivienne Goldsmith, Nick Bakulich, Chris Yoo, Barry Monks, Hugh Kininmonth, Jo Kim, Paula Gillon, Carol Devoy-Heena, Ben Clark, Chao-Fu Wu
Green James Shaw, David Hay, Richard Leckinger, Aaryn Barlow, Jeanette Elley, Sea Rotmann, Michael Gilchrist, Dora Langsbury, David Kennedy, Tane Woodley, Joseph Burston, Mikaere Curtis, Shane Gallagher, Saffron Toms, Stephen Tollestrup, Zachary Dorner, Paul Bailey, Rick Bazeley, Maree Brannigan, Caroline Conroy, Sue Coutts, Pauline Evans, Rachael Goldsmith, Cameron Harper, John Kelcher, Alex Kruize, Tom Land, Gerrie Ligtenberg, Jim MacDonald, Nick Marryatt, Zane McCarthy, Jack McDonald, Ian McLean, John Milnes, Darryl Monteith, Robert Moore, Teresa Moore, David Moorhouse, Todd Ross, Brett Stansfield, Geoff Steedman, Gary Stewart, Vernon Tava, Corrina Tucker, Pieter Watson, Charmaine Watts, Richard Wesley
NZ First Helen Mulford, Hugh Barr, Fletcher Tabuteau, Pita Paraone, Brent Catchpole, Ben Craven, Jerry Ho, Bill Gudgeon, Kevin Gardener, Ray Dolman, David Scott, Randall Ratana, Mahesh Bindra, Edwin Perry, Dion Jelley, John Hall, Kevin Stone, Doug Nabbs, Brett Pierson, Olivia Ilalio, Gordon Stewart, Tamati Reid, Ian Brougham, Bill Woods, Allen Davies
Conservative Colin Craig, Kathy Sheldrake, Larry Baldock, Fa'avae Gagamoe, Brian Dobbs, Roy Brown, Simonne Dyer, Simon Kan, Litia Simpson, Kevin Campbell, Paul Young, Leighton Baker, Feleti Key, Claire Holley, Frank John Naea, Frank Poching, Jesse Misa, Bob Daw, Lance Gedge, Robyn Jackson, Pat Gregory, Timothy de Vries, Melanie Taylor, Cynthia Liu, Craig Jensen, Oliver Vitali, Danny Mountain, Ivan Bailey, Brent Reid, Michael Cooke
Māori Waihoroi Shortland, Kaapua Smith, Wheturangi Walsh-Tapiata, Tina Porou, Awanui Black, Davina Murray, Josie Peita, Paora Te Hurihanganui, Fallyn Flavell, Daryl Christie, Tom Phillips, Tim Morrison, Tamai Nicholson, Aroha Rickus
ACT Don Brash, Catherine Isaac, Don Nicolson, David Seymour, Chris Simmons, Stephen Whittington, Kath McCabe, Robyn Stent, John Thompson, John Ormond, Lyn Murphy, Kevin Moratti, Robin Grieve, Pratima Nand, Dominic Costello, Toni Severin, Richard Evans, Ian Cummings, Gareth Veale, Toby Hutton, Daniel Stratton, Robert Burnside, Hayden Fitzgerald, Alex Speirs, Peter McCaffrey, Shane Atkinson, Allan Birchfield, Robin Boom, Stephen Boyle, Barry Brill, Ian Carline, Tom Corbett, Casey Costello, Alwyn Courtenay, Alan Daniel Davidson, Kimberly Hannah, Beth Houlbrooke, Paul Hufflett, Rosanne Jollands, Nick Kearney, Tim Kronfeld, Joel Latimer, Jonathan Macfarlane, Garry Mallett, Guy McCallum, Colin Nicholls, John Norvill, David Peterson, James Read, Geoff Russell, Andrew Sharrock, Barbara Steinijans, Michael Warren, Vince Ashworth
United Future Doug Stevens, Rob Eaddy, Sultan Eusoff, Alan Simmons, Bryan Mockridge, Vanessa Roberts, Pete George, Ram Prakash, Martin Gibson, Clyde Graf, Damian Light, Andrew McMillan, Diane Brown, Brian Carter, Johnny Miller, Ian Gaskin
Mana Annette Sykes, John Minto, Sue Bradford, Misty Harrison, James Papali’i, Tawhai McClutchie, Angeline Greensill, Jayson Gardiner, Richard Shortland Cooper, Peter Cleave, Val Irwin, Sharon Stevens, Keriana Reedy, Pat O'Dea, Rod Paul, Grant Rogers, Te Nguha Huirama-Patuwai, Barry Tumai, Ngawai Herewini
Legalise Cannabis Michael Appleby, Michael Britnell, Maki Herbert, Julian Crawford, Jeff Lye, Jasmin Hewlett, Emma-Jane Mihaere-Kingi, Steven Wilkinson, Richard Goode, Fred MacDonald, Leo Biggs, Jay Fitton, Romana Manning, Geoff McTague, Jamie Dombroski, Christine Mitchell, Dwayne Sherwood, Abe Gray, Sean Norris, Adrian McDermott, Philip Pophristoff, Neville Yates, Mark Bradford, Blair Anderson, Kevin O'Connell, Paula Lambert, Irinka Britnell, Paul McMullan
Democrats Stephnie de Ruyter, John Pemberton, Warren Voight, Katherine Ransom, Carolyn McKenzie, Hessel van Wieren, Heather Smith, Jeremy Noble, Barry Pulford, John McCaskey, Huia Mitchell, Ken Goodhue, Les Port, Robert Mills, Harry Alchin-Smith, Errol Baird, Peter Adcock-White, John Ring, Kelly Balsom, David Espin, Ross Hayward, Gary Gribben, Ron England, David Tranter
Libertarianz Richard McGrath, Sean Fitzpatrick, Peter Cresswell, Reagan Cutting, Peter Osborne, Michael Murphy, Shane Pleasance, Robert Palmer, Bernard Darnton, Helen Hughes, Colin Cross, Nik Haden, Luke Howison, Phil Howison, Andrew Couper, Mike Webber, Bruce Whitehead, Donald Rowberry, Ken Riddle, Peter Linton, Allan Munro, Ian Hayes, Shirley Riddle, Callum McPetrie, Elahrairah Zamora, Euan McPetrie, Mitch Lees
Alliance Kay Murray, Andrew McKenzie, Kevin Campbell, Jim Flynn, Paul Piesse, Victor Billot, Mary O'Neill, Kelly Buchanan, Robert van Ruyssevelt, Jen Olsen, Tom Dowie, Thomas O'Neill, Eunice Billot, Norman MacRitchie
  1. These party list members would eventually enter parliament in the term as other list MPs elected resigned from parliament.
  2. These party list members have since resigned.

Changes in MPs

In total, 25 new MPs were elected to Parliament, and three former MPs returned.

New MPs: Scott Simpson, Maggie Barry, Mike Sabin, Ian McKelvie, Mark Mitchell, Simon O'Connor, Alfred Ngaro, Jian Yang, Paul Goldsmith, David Clark, Rino Tirikatene, Megan Woods, Andrew Little, Eugenie Sage, Jan Logie, Steffan Browning, Denise Roche, Holly Walker, Julie Anne Genter, Tracey Martin, Andrew Williams, Richard Prosser, Denis O'Rourke, Asenati Taylor, Brendan Horan

Returning MPs: John Banks, Winston Peters, Barbara Stewart

Defeated MPs: Paul Quinn, Steve Chadwick, Stuart Nash, Kelvin Davis, Carmel Sepuloni, Rick Barker, Rahui Katene

Defeated MPs who later returned during the 50th Parliament Aaron Gilmore, Carol Beaumont

Election expenses

The Electoral Commission released party electoral expense returns on 21 March 2012, stating how much each party spent on campaigning between 26 August and 25 November 2011. Candidate only expenses were excluded.[64]

Of note in the party expenses was the $1.88 million spent by the Conservative Party, spending more than but gaining less than one-tenth of the votes of the Labour Party. Translated into dollars spent per party vote gained, the Conservatives spent $31.71 per vote, compared to Labour's $2.91 and National's $2.19.

Party Campaign expenditure Party votes received Expenditure per party vote
National $2,321,216 1,058,636 $2.19
Conservative $1,878,486 59,237 $31.71
Labour $1,789,152 614,937 $2.91
Green $779,618 247,372 $3.15
ACT $617,035 23,889 $25.83
NZ First $155,903 147,544 $1.06
Māori $72,173 31,982 $2.26
Mana $60,082 24,168 $2.49
Democrats $34,676 1,714 $20.23
United Future $27,719 13,443 $2.06
Legalise Cannabis $4,003 11,738 $0.34
Libertarianz $2,760 1,595 $1.73
Alliance $2,407 1,209 $1.99
Total/Average $7,745,081 2,237,464 $3.46

Post-election events

Changes in party leadership

For the ACT party the mediocre election results on 26 November 2011 (1.1% of the party vote, with no list MPs, 1 electorate MP) resulted in Don Brash tendering his resignation as leader, stating that he took full responsibility for the party's poor performance.[65][66]

On 29 November the leader of the Labour party Phil Goff and the deputy leader Annette King tendered their resignations to a meeting of the caucus, effective on Tuesday 13 December 2011.[67] After a fortnight-long leadership campaign and election, David Shearer, with deputy Grant Robertson, won Labour caucus support over the ticket of David Cunliffe and Nanaia Mahuta.[68]


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Further reading

Wikimedia Commons has media related to 2011 New Zealand election.

Election broadcast

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