Botany by-election, 2011

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Botany by-election, 2011
New Zealand
← 2008 general 5 March 2011 (2011-03-05) 2011 general →
Turnout 15,421 (36.20%)
  Jami-Lee Ross Portrait.jpg Michael Wood, 2006.jpg No image.png
Candidate Jami-Lee Ross Michael Wood Paul Young
Party National Labour New Citizen
Popular vote 8,352 4,380 1,626
Percentage 54.16% 28.40% 10.54%

Botany electorate 2008.png

MP before election

Pansy Wong

Elected MP

Jami-Lee Ross

A by-election was held in the New Zealand electorate of Botany on 5 March 2011. The seat was vacated by former National Ethnic Affairs Minister Pansy Wong, who announced her resignation from the New Zealand Parliament on 14 December 2010 following allegations her husband Sammy has misused taxpayer money in relation to overseas travel.[1]

The seat was won by Jami-Lee Ross, retaining the seat for the New Zealand National Party but with a 27% reduction in majority.

Demographics and election history[edit]

The Botany electorate was created shortly before the 2008 election and is considered a safe National seat. A third of the population is born overseas and it has a large Chinese population.[2]

Wong won the seat with 17382 (56.22%) votes in the 2008 general election. Labour candidate Koro Tawa was runner-up with 6510 (21.06%) and ACT's Kenneth Wang on 4717 (15.26%). Party votes were National 19355 (61.25%), Labour 7958 (25.18%) and Act 1528 (4.84%).


Nominations opened on 2 February and closed at noon on 8 February.[3]

National Party[edit]

The National Party selected Jami-Lee Ross, a member of the Auckland Council representing Howick, as their candidate.[4][5] He was selected from a shortlist of five candidates,[4] the other four being former Auckland City councillor Aaron Bhatnagar,[6] media presenter Maggie Barry,[7] Elim Christian College teacher Darron Gedge,[8][9] and health research scientist Edward Saafi.[4]

A total of twelve people had initially put their names forward for the nomination.[10] The list was not released, but was reported to include Denise Krum (a National Party official and former president of United Future),[5] Ram Rai (a National Party official),[9] Ken Yee (a former Manukau City councillor and unsuccessful candidate for Manukau East),[9][11] Youngshin Watkins,[9] and Daniel Newman.[9] Other names that had speculated included current list MP Melissa Lee (who had unsuccessfully contested the Mount Albert by-election earlier in the parliamentary term), party official Kit Parkinson,[12] and Howick Local Board chairman Michael Williams.[11]


ACT selected MIT lecturer and Counties Manukau DHB member Lyn Murphy.

Labour Party[edit]

The Labour Party selected Michael Wood, Puketapapa Local Board member, as their candidate.[4] The other two people that contested the nomination were Roy Bootle and David Collings.[4] Collings withdrew before the selection process was completed.[13] Koro Tawa, who contested the seat in the previous general election had already been selected to contest it in the next one,[14] was originally reported to be seeking the nomination for the by-election as well,[11] but did not in the end.[15]


The Green Party selected Richard Leckinger, a former ministerial advisor and researcher at Parliament. However, he was stuck in traffic and could not submit the nomination form in time.[16]

The Pirate Party selected Hussain Al-Saady, a recent university graduate.

The recently founded New Citizen Party selected businessman Paul Young.

Independents included veteran campaigner Penny Bright,[citation needed] translator and former candidate for Puketapapa Local Board Robert Goh,[17] and former candidate for mayor Wayne Young.[18]


Wood started the campaign by admitting to the local paper in Puketapapa he has no chance of winning,[19] a week later, he told the local paper in Botany he hasn't given up yet.[20] NZPA reported that even that the new New Citizen Party has put up more billboards than him.[21] Wood claims Ross is "too scared" to have a TV debate with him on the "big issues",[20] while making a pledge "to drive penis lollies out of the community".[22]

Meanwhile, National warned against being complacent and taking the election for granted.[23]

Paul Young wants 10% GST, "traditional values in the education system" and "respect for elders".[24]

Bright again campaigned on her theme of open, transparent and democratically accountable governments.[25] She condemned the planned partial privatisation of state assets, saying "partial privatisation is like partial pregnancy – there is no such thing".[26]

Wayne Young, made homeless by the leaky homes crisis, wants building standards to be strengthened.[27]

The Pirate Party left its campaign to the last minute, handing out fliers at 6pm on the day before the election.[28]


Official results as declared on Wednesday 16 March 2011 after special votes were counted.[29] Ross resigned his seat on the Auckland Council on the Monday after the election.

Botany by-election, 2011

Notes: Blue background denotes the winner of the by-election.
Pink background denotes a candidate elected from their party list prior to the by-election.
Yellow background denotes the winner of the by-election, who was a list MP prior to the by-election.
A Green tickY or Red XN denotes status of any incumbent, win or lose respectively.

Party Candidate Votes % ±%
National Jami-Lee Ross 8,352 54.25 -1.97
Labour Michael Wood 4,380 28.45 +7.39
New Citizen Paul Young 1,626 10.56
ACT Lyn Murphy 687 4.46 -10.80
Independent Penny Bright 128 0.83
Legalise Cannabis Leo Biggs 61 0.40
Independent Wayne Young 54 0.35
Join Australia Robin Caithness 45 0.29
Pirate Hussain Al-saady 32 0.21
Independent Robert Goh 31 0.20
Informal votes 25 0.16
Total Valid votes 15,396 35.84
National hold Majority 3,972 25.76 -9.40

Alleged illegal campaigning[edit]

New Zealand law prohibits campaigning on election day. It is alleged that the United Chinese Press newspaper published a front page article on election day endorsing Paul Young. It is further alleged the paper ran an ad in the same edition for the New Citizen Party.[30] The editor of the United Chinese Press insists the newspaper in question was printed on the day before, and therefore legal.[31]


  1. ^ Cheng, Derek (14 December 2010). "Pansy Wong resigns as MP". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 21 September 2011. 
  2. ^ "MP Pansy Wong quits Parliament". 14 December 2010. 
  3. ^ "Botany by-election key dates". Elections New Zealand. 14 December 2010. Archived from the original on 24 December 2010. 
  4. ^ a b c d e "Main parties pick candidates for Botany by-election". Radio New Zealand. 27 January 2011. 
  5. ^ a b "Contenders for Botany by-election". TVNZ. 15 December 2010. 
  6. ^ "Botany by-election candidates line up". 14 December 2010. 
  7. ^ "Maggie Barry to seek National Botany nomination". 11 January 2011. 
  8. ^ "Departure leaves another safe seat free". New Zealand Herald. 16 December 2010. 
  9. ^ a b c d e "Former Labour man eyes Nat race in Botany". Sunday Star Times. 9 January 2011. 
  10. ^ "12 in ring for Botany by-election". NewsTalk ZB. 12 January 2011. [permanent dead link]
  11. ^ a b c "Names in ring to be next MP". Howick and Pakurunga Times. 16 December 2010. 
  12. ^ "Attention turns to fight for Botany seat". TVNZ. 14 December 2010. Archived from the original on 16 December 2010. 
  13. ^ Kelly, Marianne. "Ross sets sights on seat in Parliament". Howick and Pakuranga Times. Archived from the original on 24 July 2011. 
  14. ^ "Labour confirms third round nominations". 8 September 2010. 
  15. ^ "Labour's Botany shortlist released". Newstalk ZB. 21 January 2011. [permanent dead link]
  16. ^ "Candidate narrowly misses registration". New Zealand Herald. 9 February 2011. 
  17. ^ "2010 local election candidates: Robert Goh". Elections New Zealand. 
  18. ^ "2010 local election candidates: Wayne Young". Elections New Zealand. 
  19. ^ "Mt Roskill a priority, Wood". The New Zealand Herald. 4 February 2011. Archived from the original on 8 February 2011. 
  20. ^ a b "Labour candidate will fight for Botany". Archived from the original on 11 February 2011. Retrieved 21 January 2017. 
  21. ^ "Key Urges National Supporters to Vote in Safe Seat". Archived from the original on 11 February 2011. Retrieved 21 January 2017. 
  22. ^ "Twitter". Archived from the original on 12 February 2011. Retrieved 21 January 2017. 
  23. ^ "National Denies Complacent By-Election". Archived from the original on 11 February 2011. Retrieved 21 January 2017. 
  24. ^ "Citizens Work for Votes". Archived from the original on 8 February 2011. Retrieved 21 January 2017. 
  25. ^ "Botany By-El;ection : Publics Watchdog Says Bright". Archived from the original on 11 February 2011. Retrieved 21 January 2017. 
  26. ^ "Hopefuls Do Battle at Debate". Archived from the original on 18 February 2011. Retrieved 21 January 2017. 
  27. ^ "Down But Not Out". Archived from the original on 11 February 2011. Retrieved 21 January 2017. 
  28. ^ "Welcome to Google Docs". Retrieved 11 December 2011. 
  29. ^ "Official Count Results – Botany". Electoral Commission. 16 March 2011. Retrieved 8 September 2014. 
  30. ^ Tan, Lincoln (7 March 2011). "Paper faces complaint over bid to sway voters". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 21 September 2011. 
  31. ^ Tan, Lincoln (8 March 2011). "Editor insists election day endorsement legal". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 21 September 2011. 

External links[edit]