1993 New Zealand general election

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1993 New Zealand general election
Flag of New Zealand.svg
  1990 6 November 1993 (1993-11-06) 1996  

All 99 seats in the New Zealand House of Representatives
50 seats were needed for a majority
Turnout1,922,796 (82.82%)
 First partySecond party
Jim Bolger at press conference retouched.jpg
Mike Moore.jpg
Leader Jim Bolger Mike Moore
Party National Labour
Leader since 26 March 1986 4 September 1990
Leader's seat King Country Christchurch North
Last election67 seats, 47.82%29 seats, 35.14%
Seats before6329
Seats won5045
Seat changeDecrease2.svg 13Increase2.svg 16
Popular vote673,892666,759
SwingDecrease2.svg 12.77%Decrease2.svg 0.46%

 Third partyFourth party
Jim Anderton, 2010.jpg
Winston Peters cropped.PNG
Leader Jim Anderton Winston Peters
Party Alliance NZ First
Leader since1 December 199118 July 1993
Leader's seat Sydenham Tauranga
Last election1 seat, 14.28% [1] Not yet founded
Seats before22
Seats won22
Seat changeSteady2.svg 0Steady2.svg 0
Popular vote350,063161,481
SwingIncrease2.svg 3.93% [1] Increase2.svg 8.40%

Prime Minister before election

Jim Bolger

Subsequent 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. Voters elected 99 members to the House of Representatives, up from 97 members at the 1990 election. The election was the last general election to use the first-past-the-post electoral system, with all members elected from single-member electorates.


The election saw the governing National Party, led by Jim Bolger, win a second term in office, despite a major swing away from National in both seats and votes. The opposition Labour Party, despite a slight drop in their support, managed to make gains in terms of seats. The new Alliance and New Zealand First parties gained significant shares of the vote, but won few seats.


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 New Zealand First 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. [4] Labour leader Mike Moore delivered a speech later described by political scientist Jack Vowles as "damaging" and "more appropriate for a decisive Labour win than a narrow defeat." [5]

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. [6] 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

e    d  Summary of the 6 November 1993 New Zealand House of Representatives election results [7] [8]
partyvotes% of votesseats
National 673,89235.05-12.7850-17
Labour 666,75934.68-0.4645+16
Alliance 350,06418.21+3.93a2+1b
NZ First 161,4818.40+8.42+2
Christian Heritage 38,7492.02+1.490
McGillicuddy Serious 11,7060.61+0.060
Natural Law 6,0560.31+0.310
Mana Māori 3,3420.17+0.170
minor parties and independents10,7470.56+0.340
total votes1,922,796100.0099+2
total registered electors2,321,664

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 Heritage
Parliament seats
NZ First

Electorate results


The table below shows the results of the 1993 general election by electorate: [9]


  National     Labour     Alliance     NZ First     Independent   

Electorate results for the 1993 New Zealand general election
ElectorateIncumbentWinnerMajorityRunner up
General electorates
Albany Don McKinnon 3,651Jill Jeffs
Auckland Central Richard Prebble Sandra Lee 1,291 Richard Prebble
Avon Larry Sutherland 5,643Marie Venning
Awarua Jeff Grant Eric Roy 2,236Olivia Scaletti-Longley
Birkenhead Ian Revell 104 Ann Hartley
Christchurch Central Lianne Dalziel 6,189Andrew Rowe
Christchurch North Mike Moore 6,024Lee Morgan
Clutha Robin Gray 4,117Jeff Buchanan
Dunedin North Pete Hodgson 3,794Hugh Perkins
Dunedin West Clive Matthewson 4,477Ollie Turner
East Coast Bays Murray McCully 4,516Heather-Anne McConachy
Eastern Bay of Plenty New electorate Tony Ryall 806Diane Collins
Eastern Hutt Paul Swain 4,718Peter MacMillan
Eden Christine Fletcher 3,394Verna Smith
Far North New electorate John Carter 3,425Maryanne Baker
Fendalton Philip Burdon 4,982Tony Day
Franklin New electorate Bill Birch 3,543Judy Bischoff
Gisborne Wayne Kimber Janet Mackey 1,068 Wayne Kimber
Glenfield Peter Hilt 1,983 Ann Batten
Hamilton East Tony Steel Dianne Yates 80 Tony Steel
Hamilton West Grant Thomas Martin Gallagher 449 Grant Thomas
Hastings Jeff Whittaker Rick Barker 2,571Cynthia Bowers
Hauraki New electorate Warren Kyd 1,870 Jeanette Fitzsimons
Hawkes Bay Michael Laws 3,143Peter Reynolds
Henderson New electorate Jack Elder 2,130David Jorgensen
Heretaunga Peter McCardle 832Heather Simpson
Hobson Ross Meurant 2,697 Frank Grover
Horowhenua Hamish Hancock Judy Keall 2,347 Hamish Hancock
Howick New electorate Trevor Rogers 5,754James Clarke
Invercargill Rob Munro Mark Peck 1,174 Rob Munro
Island Bay Elizabeth Tennet 5,422Chris Shields
Kaimai Robert Anderson 372 Peter Brown
Kaipara Lockwood Smith 2,958Rosalie Steward
Kapiti Roger Sowry 1,038Rob Calder
King Country Jim Bolger 4,506Murray Simpson
Lyttelton Gail McIntosh Ruth Dyson 677 David Carter
Manawatu Hamish MacIntyre [nb 1] Jill White 164Gray Baldwin
Māngere David Lange 5,958Len Richards
Manurewa George Hawkins 4,014Mark Chalmers
Marlborough Doug Kidd 2,548Ron Howard
Matakana New electorate Graeme Lee 893John Neill
Matamata John Luxton 5,977John Pemberton
Miramar Graeme Reeves Annette King 2,595 Graeme Reeves
Mount Albert Helen Clark 4,656Vanessa Brown
Napier Geoff Braybrooke 4,926Colleen Pritchard
Nelson John Blincoe 2,007Margaret Emerre
New Lynn Jonathan Hunt 1,598Cliff Robinson
New Plymouth John Armstrong Harry Duynhoven 3,126 John Armstrong
North Shore Bruce Cliffe 4,723Joel Cayford
Onehunga Grahame Thorne Richard Northey 407 Grahame Thorne
Onslow New electorate Peter Dunne 1,065George Mathew
Otago Warren Cooper 3,220Janet Yiakmis
Otara Trevor Rogers Taito Phillip Field 5,981 Shane Frith
Pahiatua John Falloon 5,178Margo Martindale
Pakuranga Maurice Williamson 5,460Heather MacKay
Palmerston North Steve Maharey 3,764Barbara Stones
Panmure Judith Tizard 3,277 Bruce Jesson
Papakura John Robertson 484Nancy Hawks
Papatoetoe Ross Robertson 5,977Jim Wild
Pencarrow Sonja Davies Trevor Mallard 2,641Rosemarie Thomas
Porirua Graham Kelly 6,713Lagi Sipeli
Raglan Simon Upton 4,540Bill Harris
Rakaia New electorate Jenny Shipley 4,540John Howie
Rangiora Jim Gerard 4,469Maureen Little
Rangitīkei Denis Marshall 3,422Bob Peck
Remuera Doug Graham 8,619Mary Tierney
Roskill Gilbert Myles [nb 2] Phil Goff 2,205Allan Spence
Rotorua Paul East 429Keith Ridings
Selwyn Ruth Richardson 888 Ron Mark
St Albans David Caygill 3,425Raewyn Dawson
St Kilda Michael Cullen 5,071Leah McBey
Sydenham Jim Anderton 7,476Greg Coyle
Tāmaki Clem Simich 7,951Richard Green
Taranaki Roger Maxwell 4,871Stephen Wood
Tarawera Max Bradford 4,155Gordon Dickson
Tasman Nick Smith 4,059Geoff Rowling
Tauranga Winston Peters [nb 3] Winston Peters 7,924 John Cronin
Te Atatū Brian Neeson Chris Carter 1,388 Laila Harré
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 4,021Gregg Sheehan
Waikato Rob Storey 2,286Susan Moore
Waipa Katherine O'Regan 3,730John Kilbride
Wairarapa Wyatt Creech 2,229Peter Teahan
Waitakere New electorate Brian Neeson 3,180Barbara Hutchinson
Waitaki Alec Neill 53Bruce Albiston [nb 4]
Waitotara Peter Gresham 4,545K F Lehmstedt
Wallace Bill English 5,578 Lesley Soper
Wanganui Cam Campion [nb 5] Jill Pettis 3,371Gael 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 1,542Vern Walsh
Whangarei John Banks 1,587Mark Furey
Yaldhurst Margaret Austin 2,997David 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 6,340Jules Parkinson
Western Maori Koro Wētere 3,777Ricky 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
  5. Campion became an Independent on 3 March 1993

Summary of changes

Based on the 1991 New Zealand census, an electoral redistribution was carried out; the last one had been carried out in 1987 based on the previous census in 1986. [10] 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. [11] 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 ElectorateMP relocatedNew Electorate
Ashburton Flecha tesela.svg Jenny Shipley Flecha tesela.svg Rakaia
Bay of Islands Flecha tesela.svg John Carter Flecha tesela.svg Far North
Clevedon Flecha tesela.svg Warren Kyd Flecha tesela.svg Hauraki
Coromandel Flecha tesela.svg Graeme Lee Flecha tesela.svg Matakana
East Cape Flecha tesela.svg Tony Ryall Flecha tesela.svg Eastern Bay of Plenty
Maramarua Flecha tesela.svg Bill Birch Flecha tesela.svg Franklin
Ohariu Flecha tesela.svg Peter Dunne Flecha tesela.svg Onslow
West Auckland Flecha tesela.svg Jack Elder Flecha tesela.svg Henderson
One MP from an abolished electorate failed to win a new electorate
Wellington Central Pauline Gardiner Green check.svg Wellington-Karori
Chris Laidlaw Red x.svg
Due to boundary changes, two MPs moved to safer new electorates
Marginal ElectorateMP relocatedNew Electorate
Te Atatu Flecha tesela.svg Brian Neeson Flecha tesela.svg Waitakere
Otara Flecha tesela.svg Trevor Rogers Flecha tesela.svg Howick

New electorates.

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.


  1. 1 2 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. 1 2 "History of the National Party". New Zealand National Party. Archived from the original on 16 April 2014. Retrieved 25 October 2011.
  4. McCulloch, Craig (2 April 2017). "Pollsters, prophets and politics: On the ball or off the mark?". Radio New Zealand.
  5. Vowles, Jack (2013). Voters' Victory?: New Zealand's First Election under Proportional Representation. Auckland University Press. ISBN   9781869407131.
  6. McLean, Gavin (2006). The Governors: New Zealand's Governors and Governors-General. Otago University Press. ISBN   1-877372-25-0.
  7. "Elections to the New Zealand House of Representatives". Election Resources on the Internet. Retrieved 17 December 2011.
  8. "New Zealand Elections 1972-1993". New Zealand Election Study. Retrieved 17 December 2011.
  9. "New Zealand Elections 1972-1993". New Zealand Election Study. Retrieved 17 December 2011.
  10. McRobie 1989, p. 127.
  11. McRobie 1989, p. 111.

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