Kris Faafoi wins Mana by-election

TRACY WATKINS
Last updated 22:25 20/11/2010
Kris Faafoi
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INSTANT MANA: Victorious Labour candidate in the Mana by-election Kris Faafoi with wife Gina Faafoi-Rogers and 20-month-old son George.

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Kris Faafoi has won Mana in a tight race that saw Labour's majority trimmed significantly.

Faafoi is due to address a crowd of several hundred people soon after arriving at his Porirua campaign headquarters about an hour ago with his wife and young son for a nervous wait while the votes were counted.

Faafoi won with a majority of 1000 votes, after facing a determined campaign from National's Hekia Parata, who was standing for the seat a second time.

Labour leader Phil Goff also arrived a short time ago.

The result came in just after 8.30pm but there are still 1352 special votes to be counted meaning it could be 10 days before Faafoi is assured of a seat in Parliament.

Speaking after addressing his supporters, Faafoi said it was "good to have it all over and have a victory",.

"We're happy with the result; we won ... at the beginning we always said it was going to be a tough race."

He acknowledged his Tokelaun parents who had sacrified a lot for their children.

"And now their son is a Member of Parliament."

Mr Goff had earlier told supporters: "The people in Mana came home."

But there was a pause in the celebrations as Faafoi's supporters were asked to remember the men trapped down a coal mine on the West Coast. Mr Goff later confirmed he would be travelling to the West Coast tomorrow.

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