Eastern Maori was one of New Zealand's four original parliamentary Māori electorates established in 1868, along with Northern Maori, Western Maori and Southern Maori. In 1996, with the introduction of MMP, the Maori electorates were updated, and Eastern Maori was replaced with the Te Tai Rawhiti and Te Puku O Te Whenua electorates.
The electorate included the population centres of Kawerau, Opotiki, Rotorua and Whakatane.
The electorate included the tribal areas of Ngāti Awa, Te Arawa, Ngāi Tai, Te Whakatōhea and Ngāti Porou.
Eastern Maori included Rotorua and the Bay of Plenty, and the Poverty Bay area down to Gisborne. Originally the electorate extended down the East Coast and included the Wairarapa, but in 1954 the boundaries of the Southern Maori electorate were extended to include much of the East Coast of the North Island up to Napier and Wairoa in Hawke's Bay.
The first Member of Parliament for Eastern Maori was Tareha Te Moananui, elected in 1868; he was the first Māori MP to speak in Parliament, and he retired in 1870.
James Carroll represented the electorate from 1887 to 1893, but in 1893 he changed to the Waiapu electorate and was replaced by Wi Pere who Carroll had defeated in 1887.
In the 1949 election, the incumbent, Tiaki Omana of the Labour Party, was unsuccessfully challenged by National's Turi Carroll.
In the 1963 election, Puti Tipene Watene was elected. He was a Mormon and was the first non-Ratana to win a Maori seat since 1938.
With MMP Eastern Maori was replaced by the Te Tai Rawhiti electorate in 1996. Peter Tapsell, who had represented Eastern Maori since 1981 was defeated when he stood in the new electorate.
The Eastern Maori electorate was represented by ten Members of Parliament:
Liberal United National LabourIndependent
|1868 Māori election||Tareha Te Moananui|
|1871 election||Karaitiana Takamoana|
|1879 by-election||Henare Tomoana|
|1884 election||Wi Pere|
|1887 election||James Carroll|
|1893 election||Wi Pere (2nd period)|
|1905 election||Āpirana Ngata|
|1943 election||Tiaki Omana|
|1963 election||Puti Tipene Watene|
|1967 by-election||Paraone Reweti|
|1981 election||Peter Tapsell|
Note that the affiliation of many early candidates is not known.
|Mana Māori Movement||Tame Iti||1,388||9.46|
|Christian Heritage||Mere Wirepa||404||2.75|
|Natural Law||Molly Para||246||1.67|
|Mana Motuhake||Wi Kuki Kaa||2,241||17.49|
|National||Jim Ngatai Connelly||1,484||11.58|
|Mana Motuhake||Amster Reedy||1,957||13.61|
|Democrats||G M Ngakaru||442||3.07|
|Mana Motuhake||B K T McLean||575||3.94|
|NZ Party||Rawinia Heremaia||400||2.74|
|Social Credit||T K Te Aweawe||277||1.89|
|Mana Motuhake||Albert Tahana||1,990||15.43|
|Social Credit||R T Tibble||1,172||9.09|
|Social Credit||T Te Hira||1,195||9.83|
|Values||H Te M Kaa||182||1.49|
|Social Credit||Manu Te Pere||548||4.77|
|Social Credit||R Rangi||505||4.15|
|New Democratic||T T Clarke||177||1.45|
|Social Credit||Cletus Maanu Paul||679||5.81||-7.72|
|Social Credit||Cletus Maanu Paul||1,219||13.53||+3.11|
|Independent Maori||Donald Mairangi Bennett||671||7.45|
|Independent||Te Okanga Kahutapere Huata||246||2.73|
|Labour||Puti Tipene Watene||6,537||58.83||+3.83|
|Social Credit||Cletus Maanu Paul||1,158||10.42|
|Labour||Puti Tipene Watene||6,775||55.00|
|Social Credit||R W Smith||741||6.01|
|Independent||B A Raukopa||230||1.86|
|Independent||P H Baker||157||1.27|
|Ind. Social Credit||M W Sadler||92||0.74|
|Social Credit||Arnold Reedy||2,784||24.68||+6.25|
|National||Henry Reiwhati Vercoe||2,496||22.12|
|National||Wiremu Hoete Maxwell||2,372||21.63|
|Social Credit||Arnold Reedy||2,021||18.43|
|Social Credit||Wilson Paku||614||5.31|
The number of electors on Maori rolls was often inaccurate hence the impossible turnout figures.
|Labour||Robert Panapa Tutaki||254||3.60|
|Mohi Te Atahikoia||1,387||24.50|
|Independent||Henare Te Pukuatua||59||3.42|
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