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New Zealand general election, 1993

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New Zealand general election, 1993

New Zealand general election, 1993

6 November 1993 (1993-11-06)

All 99 seats in the New Zealand House of Representatives
50 seats were needed for a majority
  First party Second party
Leader Jim Bolger Mike Moore
Party National Labour
Leader since 1986 1990
Leader's seat King Country Christchurch North
Last election 67 seats, 47.82% 29 seats, 35.14%
Seats before 66 29
Seats won 50 45
Seat change 16 16
Popular vote 673,892 666,759
Percentage 35.05% 34.68%
Swing 12.77% 0.46%

  Third party Fourth party
Leader Jim Anderton Winston Peters
Party Alliance NZ First
Leader since 1991 1993
Leader's seat Sydenham Tauranga
Last election 1 seat, 14.28%[1] Not yet founded
Seats before 1 1
Seats won 2 2
Seat change 1[1] 1
Popular vote 350,063 161,481
Percentage 18.21% 8.40%
Swing 3.93%[1] 8.40%

Prime Minister before election

Jim Bolger

Elected Prime Minister

Jim Bolger

The 1993 New Zealand general election was held on 6 November 1993 to determine the composition of the 44th New Zealand Parliament. It saw the governing National Party, led by Jim Bolger, win a second term in office, despite a major swing back towards the Labour Party. The new Alliance and New Zealand First parties gained significant shares of the vote, but won few seats. The election was New Zealand's last to date under the non-proportional first past the post electoral system.


  • Background 1
  • The election 2
  • Summary of results 3
  • Detailed results 4
    • Party totals 4.1
    • Votes summary 4.2
    • Electorate results 4.3
    • Summary of changes 4.4
  • Notes 5
  • References 6


Before the election, the National Party governed with 64 seats, while the opposition Labour Party held only 29. The 1990 election had been a major victory for the National Party, with the unpopular Fourth Labour Government being decisively defeated. The Labour Party had become unpopular for its ongoing economic reforms, which were based around liberalisation, privatisation, and the removal of tariffs and subsidies. The National Party was somewhat divided as to the merits of the reforms, with conservatives generally opposed and neoliberals generally in favour. The party had fought the 1990 election saying that the Labour government's program was too radical, and was being carried out without any thought of the social consequences - Jim Bolger spoke about "the Decent Society", promising a return to a more moderate and balanced platform. Once in government, however, the key Minister of Finance role was taken not by a moderate but by Ruth Richardson, who wished to expand, not end, the economic reforms. Many of the voters who had felt betrayed by Labour's reforms now felt betrayed by the National Party as well, a fact which contributed to the rise of minor parties.

The Alliance, the largest "third party", was a broad coalition of five smaller groups - the NewLabour Party (a Labour splinter), the Democrats (a social credit party), the Greens (an environmentalist party), Mana Motuhake (a Māori party), and the Liberal Party (a National splinter). The Alliance held three seats in Parliament - one belonged to Jim Anderton, who had been re-elected under a NewLabour banner in the seat he had formerly held for Labour, while the other two belonged to the National MPs who formed the Liberal Party. In its first electoral test, the 1992 by-election in Tamaki, the Alliance had performed well, taking second place. Another smaller group was New Zealand First, a party established by former National MP Winston Peters. Peters had broken with his party after a number of policy disputes with its leadership, and resigned from parliament to contest his seat as an independent. After being overwhelmingly re-elected, Peters established the New Zealand First party to promote his views. Peters was the party's sole MP.

Another consequence of dissatisfaction with both major parties was the referendum conducted alongside the 1993 election. The culmination of the larger decade-long New Zealand electoral reform process, the referendum was held following the September 1992 indicative referendum, which saw 85% of voters voting for change from the existing First Past The Post (FPP) system, and 70% choosing the Mixed Member Proportional (MMP) as its preferred replacement: a proportional system which would make it easier for smaller parties to win seats. It asked voters to choose whether to keep the existing FPP system or change to MMP, with 53.9% of voters opting to change to MMP.

While National and Labour usually stood candidates in every seat, National was one candidate short as their Southern Maori candidate apparently did not apply in time.

The election

The election was held on 6 November. 2,321,664 people were registered to vote, and 85.2% turned out. This turnout was almost exactly the same as for the previous election, although slightly less than what would be seen for the following one.

Summary of results

Preliminary results based on election night counts saw the country facing its first hung parliament since 1931, with no party gaining the 50 seats required for a majority. The National Party won 49 seats, a drop of 15 from before the election. and Labour had won 46 seats, with the balance of power held with the Alliance and New Zealand First, which won two seats each.[2][3] This led to Jim Bolger saying on public television, "bugger the pollsters" as he had been led to expect a comfortable national victory by the polls showing that National would win easily.

On election night result with the two major parties tied, the Governor-General Dame Catherine Tizard asked Sir David Beattie to form a committee, along with three retired appeal court judges, to decide whom to appoint as Prime Minister. [4] However National won one more seat and was returned to power when the official count saw the seat of Waitaki swing from Labour to National, giving National 50 seats and Labour 45 seats. Labour's Sir Peter Tapsell agreed to become Speaker of the New Zealand House of Representatives (so that National would not lose a vote in the house). Hence National had a majority of one seat.[3]

The 1993-1996 parliamentary term would see a number of defections from both major parties, meaning that National would eventually be forced to make alliances to retain power.

Detailed results

Party totals

  Summary of the 6 November 1993 New Zealand House of Representatives election results[5][6]
party votes % of votes seats
% change total change
National 673,892 35.05 -12.78 50 -17
Labour 666,759 34.68 -0.46 45 +16
Alliance 350,064 18.21 +3.93a 2 +1b
NZ First 161,481 8.40 +8.4 2 +2
Christian Heritage 38,749 2.02 +1.49 0
McGillicuddy Serious 11,706 0.61 +0.06 0
Natural Law 6,056 0.31 +0.31 0
Mana Māori 3,342 0.17 +0.17 0
minor parties and independents 10,747 0.56 +0.34 0
total votes 1,922,796 100.00 99 +2
total registered electors 2,321,664
turnout 82.82%

a Increase over Alliance's constituent member parties' (Greens, NewLabour, Democrats and Mana Motuhake) combined vote share in 1990.
b Increase of one over Alliance's constituent party, NewLabour's result in 1990.

Votes summary

Popular Vote
NZ First
Christian Coalition
Parliament seats
NZ First

Electorate results

The table below shows the results of the 1993 general election by electorate:[7]


 National    Labour    Alliance    NZ First  

Electorate results for the New Zealand general election, 1993
Electorate Incumbent Winner Majority Runner up
General electorates
Albany Don McKinnon 3,651 Jill Jeffs
Auckland Central Richard Prebble Sandra Lee-Vercoe 1,291 Richard Prebble
Avon Larry Sutherland 5,643 Marie Venning
Awarua Jeff Grant Eric Roy 2,236 O Scaletti-Longley
Birkenhead Ian Revell 104 Ann Hartley
Christchurch Central Lianne Dalziel 6,189 A Rowe
Christchurch North Mike Moore 6,024 L Morgan
Clutha Robin Gray 4,117 J Buchanan
Dunedin North Pete Hodgson 3,794 Hugh Perkins
Dunedin West Clive Matthewson 4,477 O Turner
East Coast Bays Murray McCully 4,516 H A McConachy
Eastern Bay of Plenty (new electorate) Tony Ryall 806 D Collins
Eastern Hutt Paul Swain 4,718 P MacMillan
Eden Christine Fletcher 3,394 V Smith
Far North (new electorate) John Carter 3,425 M Baker
Fendalton Philip Burdon 4,982 T Day
Franklin (new electorate) Bill Birch 3,543 Judy Bischoff
Gisborne Wayne Kimber Janet Mackey 1,068 Wayne Kimber
Glenfield Peter Hilt 1,983 A Batten
Hamilton East Tony Steel Dianne Yates 80 Tony Steel
Hamilton West Grant Thomas Martin Gallagher 449 Grant Thomas
Hastings Jeff Whitaker Rick Barker 2,571 C Bowers
Hauraki (new electorate) Warren Kyd 1,870 Jeanette Fitzsimons
Hawkes Bay Michael Laws 3,143 Peter Reynolds
Henderson (new electorate) Jack Elder 2,130 D Jorgensen
Heretaunga Peter McCardle 832 Heather Simpson
Hobson Ross Meurant 2,697 Frank Grover
Horowhenua Hamish Hancock Judy Keall 2,347 Hamish Hancock
Howick (new electorate) Trevor Rogers 5,754 J Clarke
Invercargill Rob Munro Mark Peck 1,174 Rob Munro
Island Bay Elizabeth Tennet 5,422 C Shields
Kaimai Robert Anderson 372 Peter Brown
Kaipara Lockwood Smith 2,958 Rosalie Steward
Kapiti Roger Sowry 1,038 Rob Calder
King Country Jim Bolger 4,506 M Simpson
Lyttelton Gail McIntosh Ruth Dyson 677 David Carter
Manawatu Hamish MacIntyre[nb 1] Jill White 164 Gray Baldwin
Māngere David Lange 5,958 Len Richards
Manurewa George Hawkins 4,014 M Chalmers
Marlborough Doug Kidd 2,548 Ron Howard
Matakana (new electorate) Graeme Lee 893 J Jefferson
Matamata John Luxton 5,977 John Pemberton
Miramar Graeme Reeves Annette King 2,595 Graeme Reeves
Mount Albert Helen Clark 4,656 V Brown
Napier Geoff Braybrooke 4,926 C Pritchard
Nelson John Blincoe 2,007 Margaret Emerre
New Lynn Jonathan Hunt 1,598 Robinson
New Plymouth John Armstrong Harry Duynhoven 3,126 John Armstrong
North Shore Bruce Cliffe 4,723 Cayford
Onehunga Grahame Thorne Richard Northey 407 Grahame Thorne
Onslow (new electorate) Peter Dunne 1,065 Mathew
Otago Warren Cooper 3,220 Yiakmis
Otara Trevor Rogers Taito Phillip Field 5,981 Frith
Pahiatua John Falloon 5,178 Martindale
Pakuranga Maurice Williamson 5,460 MacKay
Palmerston North Steve Maharey 3,764 Stones
Panmure Judith Tizard 3,277 Bruce Jesson
Papakura John Robertson 484 Hawke
Papatoetoe Ross Robertson 5,977 Wild
Pencarrow Sonja Davies Trevor Mallard 2,641 Thomas
Porirua Graham Kelly 6,713 Sipeli
Raglan Simon Upton 4,540 Harris
Rakaia (new electorate) Jenny Shipley 4,540 Howie
Rangiora Jim Gerard 4,469 Little
Rangitīkei Denis Marshall 3,422 Peck
Remuera Doug Graham 8,619 Tierney
Roskill Gilbert Myles[nb 2] Phil Goff 2,205 Spence
Rotorua Paul East 429 Keith Ridings
Selwyn Ruth Richardson 888 Ron Mark
St Albans David Caygill 3,425 Dawson
St Kilda Michael Cullen 5,071 McBey
Sydenham Jim Anderton 7,476 Coyle
Tāmaki Robert Muldoon Clem Simich 7,951 Green
Taranaki Roger Maxwell 4,871 Stephen Wood
Tarawera Max Bradford 4,155 Gordon Dickson
Tasman Nick Smith 4,059 Geoff Rowling
Tauranga Winston Peters[nb 3] 7,924 John Cronin
Te Atatū Brian Neeson Chris Carter 1,388 Adams
Timaru Maurice McTigue Jim Sutton 2,940 Maurice McTigue
Titirangi Marie Hasler Suzanne Sinclair 340 Marie Hasler
Tongariro Ian Peters Mark Burton 1,951 Ian Peters
Waikaremoana Roger McClay 4,021 Sheehan
Waikato Rob Storey 2,286 Moore
Waipa Katherine O'Regan 3,730 Kilbride
Wairarapa Wyatt Creech 2,229 Peter Teahan
Waitakere (new electorate) Brian Neeson 3,180 Hutchinson
Waitaki Alec Neill 53 Albiston[nb 4]
Waitotara Peter Gresham 4,545 Lehmstedt
Wallace Bill English 5,578 Lesley Soper
Wanganui Cam Campion Jill Pettis 3,371 Donoghue
Wellington-Karori (new electorate) Pauline Gardiner 480 Chris Laidlaw
West Coast Margaret Moir Damien O'Connor 2,920 Margaret Moir
Western Hutt Joy Quigley 1,542 Walsh
Whangarei John Banks 1,587 Furey
Yaldhurst Margaret Austin 2,997 Watson
Māori electorates
Eastern Maori Peter Tapsell 6,666 Alamein Kopu
Northern Maori Bruce Gregory Tau Henare 416 Bruce Gregory
Southern Maori Whetu Tirikatene-Sullivan 6,340 Parkinson
Western Maori Koro Wētere 3,777 Taiaroa

Table footnotes:

  1. ^ Hamish MacIntyre left National in 1992, joining the Liberal Party which became part of the Alliance
  2. ^ Gilbert Myles left National in 1991, becoming Independent, then joining the Liberal Party, which became part of the Alliance, finally New Zealand First in 1992–93
  3. ^ Winston Peters had been an Independent since the 1993 by-election.
  4. ^ Albiston was first on election night for Waitaki, but lost when special votes were included

Summary of changes

Based on the 1991 census, an electoral redistribution was carried out; the last one had been carried out in 1987 based on the previous census in 1986.[8] This resulted in the abolition of nine electorates, and the creation of eleven new electorates. Through an amendment in the Electoral Act in 1965, the number of electorates in the South Island was fixed at 25, so the new electorates increased the number of the North Island electorates by two.[9] In the South Island, one electorate was abolished (Ashburton), and one electorate was recreated (Rakaia). In the North Island, five electorates were newly created (Eastern Bay of Plenty, Far North, Howick, Matakana, and Wellington-Karori), five electorates were recreated (Franklin, Hauraki, Henderson, Onslow, and Waitakere), and eight electorates were abolished (Bay of Islands, Clevedon, Coromandel, East Cape, Maramarua, Ohariu, Wellington Central, and West Auckland).

In many cases an MP from an abolished seat stood for, and was elected to a new one that broadly covered their previous electorate.

Abolished Electorate MP relocated New Electorate
Ashburton Jenny Shipley Rakaia
Bay of Islands John Carter Far North
Clevedon Warren Kyd Hauraki
Coromandel Graeme Lee Matakana
East Cape Tony Ryall Eastern Bay of Plenty
Maramarua Bill Birch Franklin
Ohariu Peter Dunne Onslow
West Auckland Jack Elder Henderson
One MP from an abolished electorate failed to win a new electorate
Wellington Central Pauline Gardiner Y Wellington-Karori
Chris Laidlaw N
Due to boundary changes, two MPs moved to safer new electorates
Marginal Electorate MP relocated New Electorate
Te Atatu Brian Neeson Waitakere
Otara Trevor Rogers Howick

New electorates.

  • Eastern Bay of Plenty - most of the abolished East Cape seat, plus part of Tarawera. Won by former East Cape MP Tony Ryall.
  • Far North - most of the abolished Bay of Islands seat. Won by former Bay of Islands MP John Carter.
  • Franklin - part of the abolished Maramarua seat and part of Papakura. Won by former Maramarua MP Bill Birch.
  • Hauraki - parts of the abolished Clevedon, Maramarua, and Coromandel seats. Won by former Clevedon MP Warren Kyd.
  • Henderson - parts taken from the West Auckland, Te Atatu, and Titirangi electorates. Won by former West Auckland MP Jack Elder (Labour).
  • Howick - the eastern part of the Otara seat. Won by former Otara MP Trevor Rogers (National).
  • Matakana - part of the abolished Coromandel seat. Won by former Coromandel MP Graeme Lee.
  • Onslow - the core of the abolished Ohariu seat. Won by former Ohariu MP Peter Dunne (Labour).
  • Rakaia - the abolished Ashburton seat, plus part of the Selwyn seat. Won by former Ashburton MP Jenny Shipley (National).
  • Waitakere - chiefly, the abolished seat of West Auckland. Won by former Te Atatu MP Brian Neeson (National).
  • Wellington-Karori - the abolished Wellington Central seat, plus part of the abolished Ohariu seat. Won by new National MP Pauline Gardiner.

The seats of Gisborne, Hamilton East, Hamilton West, Hastings, Horowhenua, Invercargill, Lyttelton, Manawatu, Miramar, New Plymouth, Onehunga, Otara, Roskill, Te Atatu, Timaru, Titirangi, Tongariro, Wanganui and West Coast were won from the National Party by Labour challengers. Six of these seats (Gisborne, Hastings, Lyttelton, Miramar, New Plymouth & the West Coast) had been won by National in 1990, so were one-term National seats.

  • The seat of Auckland Central was won from the Labour Party by an Alliance challenger. The challenger was Sandra Lee-Vercoe and the defeated incumbent was Richard Prebble.
  • The seat of Northern Maori was won from the Labour Party by a New Zealand First challenger. The challenger was Tau Henare and the defeated incumbent was Bruce Gregory.
  • The seat of Awarua passed from an incumbent National MP to a new National MP.
  • The seat of Pencarrow passed from an incumbent Labour MP to a new Labour MP.


  1. ^ a b c Alliance results compared with 1990 totals of NewLabour Party, Democratic Party, Mana Motuhake and Green Party.
  2. ^ "A Hung Parliament Seems Likely For New Zealand". Orlando Sentinel. 8 November 1993. Retrieved 25 October 2011. 
  3. ^ a b "History of the National Party".  
  4. ^ McLean, Gavin (2006). The Governors: New Zealand's Governors and Governors-General. Otago University Press.  
  5. ^ "Elections to the New Zealand House of Representatives". Election Resources on the Internet. Retrieved 17 December 2011. 
  6. ^ "New Zealand Elections 1972-1993". New Zealand Election Study. Retrieved 17 December 2011. 
  7. ^ "New Zealand Elections 1972-1993". New Zealand Election Study. Retrieved 17 December 2011. 
  8. ^ McRobie 1989, p. 127.
  9. ^ McRobie 1989, p. 111.


  • McRobie, Alan (1989). Electoral Atlas of New Zealand. Wellington: GP Books.  
  • Temple, Philip. Temple’s Guide to the 44th New Zealand Parliament. Dunedin: McIndoe Publishers.  
  • Part 1: Votes recorded at each polling place (Technical report).  
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