Ashburton (New Zealand Electorate)
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Ashburton New Zealand Electorate

Ashburton was a New Zealand electorate, first created in 1881 and centred on the South Island town of Ashburton.

Population centres

The previous electoral redistribution was undertaken in 1875 for the 1875-76 election. In the six years since, New Zealand's European population had increased by 65%. In the 1881 electoral redistribution, the House of Representatives increased the number of European representatives to 91 (up from 84 since the 1875-76 election). The number of M?ori electorates was held at four. The House further decided that electorates should not have more than one representative, which led to 35 new electorates being formed, including Ashburton, and two electorates that had previously been abolished to be recreated. This necessitated a major disruption to existing boundaries.[1][2]

The town of Ashburton itself was on the very edge of the electorate, which stretched northwest up the Ashburton River. It included Methven, Mount Somers, and Lake Heron. However, the boundaries of Ashburton electorate were highly variable, with the town of Ashburton being the only constant. In the 1887 election, the most of the electorate's southern half was taken away to join the new Rangitata seat, but in the 1890 election, most of this territory was regained, with a similar amount of territory in the north, around Methven, being taken instead. Methven was incorporated into the Ellesmere seat. Ashburton also gained territory on the coast at this point. In the 1893 election, the situation reverted to its previous state, with the south being lost and Methven regained, but this itself was reversed in the 1896 election. The electorate then remained relatively stable until the 1911 election, when completely new boundaries were established — the electorate was now centred on Geraldine, with Ashburton itself in a spur at the northeastern extremity. The 1919 election saw a complete revocation of this, with the electorate going back to focus on its original southern territories, and gaining Lake Coleridge. It lost Lake Coleridge again in the 1922 election. In the 1928 election, the seat was abolished, with its northern half merging with Ellesmere to form Mid-Canterbury and its southern half being absorbed into Temuka.

The 1941 New Zealand census had been postponed due to World War II, so the 1946 electoral redistribution had to take ten years of population growth and movements into account. The North Island gained a further two electorates from the South Island due to faster population growth. The abolition of the country quota through the Electoral Amendment Act, 1945 reduced the number and increased the size of rural electorates. None of the existing electorates remained unchanged, 27 electorates were abolished, 19 electorates were created for the first time, and eight former electorates were re-established, including Ashburton.[3][2] The recreated Ashburton electorate took territory from both Mid-Canterbury and Temuka. In the 1957 election, it gained Geraldine from Waimate, but lost Methven to Selwyn. In the 1963 election, it gained a large amount of inland territory, including Lake Tekapo and Twizel. In 1969 election, the electorate was abolished — most of its territory was merged with Waitaki to form South Canterbury, while Ashburton itself was incorporated into Selwyn.

Through an amendment in the Electoral Act in 1965, the number of electorates in the South Island was fixed at 25, an increase of one since the 1962 electoral redistribution.[4] It was accepted that through the more rapid population growth in the North Island, the number of its electorates would continue to increase, and to keep proportionality, three new electorates were allowed for in the 1967 electoral redistribution for the next election.[5] In the North Island, five electorates were newly created and one electorate was reconstituted while three electorates were abolished.[6] In the South Island, three electorates were newly created and one electorate was reconstituted while three electorates were abolished (including Ashburton).[7] The overall effect of the required changes was highly disruptive to existing electorates, with all but three electorates having their boundaries altered.[8] These changes came into effect with the 1969 election.[5]

A third electorate named Ashburton was created for the 1978 election.[2] It was formed from the southern portion of Rakaia (the successor to Selwyn) and the northern portion of South Canterbury, and included Methven, Geraldine, and Fairlie. In the 1984 election, Fairlie was absorbed into Timaru, and in the 1987 election, the electorate absorbed the town of Rakaia. In the 1990 election, the seat was abolished again, with the seat of Rakaia being established to replace it.

History

Although the electorate has always included the town of Ashburton, and often a number of smaller towns, the bulk of its territory has always been rural. As such, the electorate has tended to be rather conservative in its political outlook. The Liberal Party held the seat for a time during its period of dominance, but the seat later became the stronghold of William Nosworthy, a senior figure in the conservative Reform Party.[9]

Edward George Wright was the first representative of Ashburton; he had since 1879 represented the Coleridge electorate.[9] In the 1881 election, Wright was returned unopposed.[10]

By the time of the second Ashburton electorate, rural New Zealand was largely united behind the National Party, which held Ashburton for the whole of its second and third incarnations. Its last MP was Jenny Shipley, who went on to become Prime Minister.

Members of Parliament

Key

 Independent    Conservative    Liberal    Reform    National  

Election results

1925 election

1925 general election: Ashburton[11]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Reform William Nosworthy 3,982 53.30 +1.20
Labour John Nicholson Harle 1,864 24.96 +8.29
Independent Liberal R. Galbraith 1,134 15.18
Liberal Henry Manwell Jones 417 5.58 -25.65
Majority 2,117 28.43 +7.56
Turnout 7,466 92.08 +2.41
Registered electors 8,108

1922 election

1922 general election: Ashburton[12]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Reform William Nosworthy 3,700 52.10 -6.61
Liberal Henry Manwell Jones 2,218 31.23 +27.03
Labour Frederick Cooke 1,184 16.67
Majority 1,482 20.87 -0.74
Turnout 7,102 89.67 +4.06
Registered electors 7,920

1919 election

1919 general election: Ashburton[13][14]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Reform William Nosworthy 4,056 58.71
Liberal William Dickie 2,563 37.10
Independent Liberal Henry Manwell Jones 290 4.20
Majority 1,493 21.61
Informal votes 42 0.60
Turnout 6,951 85.61
Registered electors 8,119

1911 election

1911 general election: Ashburton, first ballot[15]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Reform William Nosworthy 2,864 47.98 +24.18
Liberal John Kennedy 1,534 25.70
Reform William Maslin 1,153 19.32 14.44
Independent John McLachlan 418 7.00
Majority 1,330 22.28 +5.11
Informal votes 64 1.06
Turnout 6,033 85.16 +3.98
Registered electors 7,084
1911 general election: Ashburton, second ballot[15]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Reform William Nosworthy 3,232 58.22
Liberal John Kennedy 2,319 41.78
Majority 913 16.45
Informal votes 8 0.14
Turnout 5,559 78.47
Registered electors 7,084

1908 election

1908 general election: Ashburton, first ballot[16]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Liberal Frederick Flatman 2,293 40.97
Conservative William Nosworthy 1,332 23.80
Conservative David Jones 1,302 23.26
Ind. Labour League John Doran Gobbe 397 7.09
Conservative William Maslin 273 4.88
Majority 961 17.17 +12.47
Turnout 5,597 81.19 -3.40
Registered electors 6,894
1908 general election: Ashburton, second ballot[17]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative William Nosworthy 3,014 57.07
Liberal Frederick Flatman 2,267 42.93
Majority 747 14.15 +9.45
Turnout 5,281 76.60 -7.98
Registered electors 6,894

1905 election

1905 general election: Ashburton[18]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Liberal John McLachlan 2,518 48.48 +2.81
Conservative John Studholme 2,274 43.78 +7.51
Liberal Joseph Sealy 402 7.74
Majority 244 4.70 -4.71
Informal votes 45 0.86
Turnout 5,239 84.58 +5.14
Registered electors 6,194

1902 election

1902 general election: Ashburton[19]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Liberal John McLachlan 2,132 45.67 -2.59
Conservative John Studholme 1,693 36.27
Liberal William Brock 783 16.77
Liberal Albert Ager 60 1.29
Majority 439 9.40 -9.69
Turnout 4,668 79.44 -0.89
Registered electors 5,876

1899 election

1899 general election: Ashburton[20][21]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Liberal John McLachlan 2,027 48.26 +18.37
Conservative Charles John Harper 1,225 29.17
Independent William Maslin 727 17.31
Liberal John McKeague 221 5.26
Majority 802 19.10 +12.38
Turnout 4,200 80.34 +6.05
Registered electors 5,228

1896 election

1896 general election: Ashburton[22]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative Edward George Wright 1,320 36.61
Liberal John McLachlan 1,078 29.89 -2.33
Independent Rev. James Wright Sawle[23] 981 27.20
Independent Joseph Ivess 227 6.30
Majority 242 6.71
Turnout 3,606 74.29
Registered electors 4,854[24]

1893 election

1893 general election: Ashburton[25]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Liberal John McLachlan 1,117 32.23
Conservative Cathcart Wason 1,091 31.48
Liberal George Chester Waby 714 20.60
Conservative Charles Purnell[26] 544 15.70
Majority 26 0.75 -0.23
Turnout 3,466 66.06 +13.69
Registered electors 5,247

1890 election

1890 general election: Ashburton[27]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative Edward George Wright 577 35.44
Liberal Rev. James Wright Sawle[23] 561 34.46
Liberal William Campbell Walker 334 20.52 -52.59
Independent James Brown[28] 156 9.58
Majority 16 0.98 -45.23
Turnout 1,628 52.36 +4.99
Registered electors 3,109

1887 election

1887 general election: Ashburton[29]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Independent William Campbell Walker 878 73.11 +23.49
Independent Charles Purnell 323 26.89
Majority 555 46.21 -5.30
Turnout 1,201 47.38 +44.33
Registered electors 2,535

1884 election

1884 general election: Ashburton[30]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Independent William Walker 449 49.61
Independent Cathcart Wason 432 47.73
Independent Samuel Charles Jolly[31] 23 2.54
Independent JRCC Graham[32] 1 0.11
Majority 17 1.88
Turnout 905 52.68
Registered electors 1,718

Notes

  1. ^ McRobie 1989, pp. 43-48.
  2. ^ a b c Wilson 1985, p. 258.
  3. ^ McRobie 1989, pp. 91-96.
  4. ^ McRobie 1989, pp. 108, 111, 112.
  5. ^ a b McRobie 1989, p. 111.
  6. ^ McRobie 1989, pp. 107, 111.
  7. ^ McRobie 1989, pp. 108, 112.
  8. ^ McRobie 1989, pp. 111f.
  9. ^ a b Wilson 1985, p. 223.
  10. ^ Cooper, G. S. (1882). Votes Recorded for Each Candidate. Government Printer. p. 3. Retrieved 2015.
  11. ^ "Official Counts". Retrieved 2014.
  12. ^ "Official Counts". The Evening Post. CIV (144). 15 December 1922. p. 8. Retrieved 2014.
  13. ^ The New Zealand Official Year-Book. Government Printer. 1920. Archived from the original on 1 September 2014. Retrieved 2013.
  14. ^ "Declaration of Result of Poll for the Electoral District of Ashburton". Ashburton Guardian. XI (9191). 30 December 1919. p. 1. Retrieved 2014.
  15. ^ a b "The General Election, 1911". National Library. 1912. p. 8. Retrieved 2013.
  16. ^ AtoJs 1908 election 1909, p. 33.
  17. ^ AtoJs 1908 election 1909, p. 19.
  18. ^ "The General Election, 1905". National Library. 1906. p. 4. Retrieved 2014.
  19. ^ "The General Election, 1902". National Library. 1903. p. 2. Retrieved 2014.
  20. ^ "The General Election, 1899". Wellington: Appendix to the Journals of the House of Representatives. 19 June 1900. p. 2. Retrieved 2012.
  21. ^ "Electoral District of Ashburton". Ashburton Guardian. XXI (4977). 28 November 1899. p. 3. Retrieved 2014.
  22. ^ "Public Notices". Ashburton Guardian. XVII (4061). 7 December 1896. p. 3. Retrieved 2014.
  23. ^ a b "Obituary". The Press. LVI (16961). 9 October 1920. p. 3. Retrieved 2013.
  24. ^ McRobie 1989, p. 64.
  25. ^ "The General Election, 1893". Government Printer. 1894. p. 2. Retrieved 2014.
  26. ^ Scholefield 1940, p. 190.
  27. ^ "The General Election, 1890". National Library. 1891. p. 2. Retrieved 2012.
  28. ^ "Electoral District of Ashburton". Ashburton Guardian. VII (2587). 1 December 1890. p. 3. Retrieved 2013.
  29. ^ "The General Election, 1887". National Library. 1887. p. 3. Retrieved 2012.
  30. ^ Cooper, G. S. (1884). The General Election, 1884. National Library. p. 2. Retrieved 2015.
  31. ^ "The Timaru Herald". The Timaru Herald. XL (3020). 29 May 1884. p. 2. Retrieved 2015.
  32. ^ "Nominations". The Press. XL (5877). 15 July 1884. p. 3. Retrieved 2015.

References


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