Labour takes back party vote in New Lynn and Te Atatū

Green MP Golriz Ghahraman is west Auckland's newest representative.
Chris Skelton

Green MP Golriz Ghahraman is west Auckland's newest representative.

Two west Auckland suburbs turned from blue to red after the special votes were counted.

National initially won the party vote in the traditionally left-leaning suburbs of New Lynn and Te Atatū.

However, Labour overtook National in the final election result released on October 7.

National MP Alfred Ngaro and Labour Party MP Phil Twyford ran for Te Atatū.
TORIKA TOKALAU/STUFF

National MP Alfred Ngaro and Labour Party MP Phil Twyford ran for Te Atatū.

Labour had already won both seats in each of the electorates.

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National won the party vote in both Te Atatū and New Lynn in 2014, by 2011 and 1051 votes respectively.

New MPs Deborah Russell, front, and Anahila Kanongata'a-Suisuiki arrive at Parliament.
MAARTEN HOLL/STUFF

New MPs Deborah Russell, front, and Anahila Kanongata'a-Suisuiki arrive at Parliament.

Labour MP Phil Twyford said he was humbled to win the Te Atatū seat for a third time.

"It is great to see Labour convincingly win the party vote in the Te Atatū electorate, and right across west Auckland, in line with a big swing to the centre-left right across the country.

"I was happy to see a good increase in my local majority."

His opponent, Alfred Ngaro, entered Parliament as a National list MP.

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Although he lost the party vote and seat in Te Atatū, it didn't stop Ngaro from erecting signs in the suburb thanking his supporters.

Ngaro said his presence in the electorate wouldn't change, despite his loss to Twyford.

"I was raised, educated and trained in Te Atatū. It's my home and it is an honour to serve this community," Ngaro said.

In the preliminary result, National won the seat with a 389-vote majority.

The final result flipped that to a 892-vote lead for Labour.

In New Lynn, National won the party vote by 702, but that switched to a 307-seat lead to Labour after the special votes were counted.

Labour MP Deborah Russell entered Parliament for the first time after winning New Lynn.

"I am absolutely delighted. The west has gone red again," Russell said.

Labour and Greens gained two seats in the final election results while National lost two.

The result allowed another Te Atatū candidate into Parliament.

New Green Party MP Golriz Ghahraman became the first refugee as an MP after the Greens won another seat in the final election result.

Ghahraman was 9 years old when she escaped to New Zealand with her parents from war-torn Iran.

The 36-year-old human rights lawyer joined the Green Party in 2008.

She said she chose to run for Te Atatū because she identified herself as a west Aucklander – despite now living in Freemans Bay. 

Ghahraman grew up in a two-bedroom brick unit on Archibald Rd in Kelston, a community where "it didn't matter that we had thick accents". 

"We didn't have anything, we didn't bring any of our things and we didn't have money and that was OK here – that was the community in Kelston."​

 - Stuff

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