Hurunui was a parliamentary electorate in the Canterbury region of New Zealand, from 1902 (when it replaced Ashley) to 1963.
The Representation Act 1900 had increased the membership of the House of Representatives from general electorates 70 to 76, and this was implemented through the 1902 electoral redistribution. In 1902, changes to the country quota affected the three-member electorates in the four main centres. The tolerance between electorates was increased to ±1,250 so that the Representation Commissions (since 1896, there had been separate commissions for the North and South Islands) could take greater account of communities of interest. These changes proved very disruptive to existing boundaries, and six electorates were established for the first time, including Hurunui, and two electorates that previously existed were re-established.
The Hurunui electorate was rural. In the 1902 election, there were 34 polling stations, ranging from Amberley (the principal station), Kaikoura, Ashley, Sefton, Waikari, and Mackenzie.In 1905, election meetings were held in Hawarden and Balcairn.
The Hurunui electorate was first formed for the 1902 election, when it replaced the Ashley electorate. The first election in the new electorate was contested by five candidates: Richard Meredith of the Liberal Party, who was the incumbent from the Ashley electorate, Andrew Rutherford who also stood as a Liberal, George Forbes who stood as an Independent Liberal, as he did not gain the Liberal Party's nomination, Henry Reece, and George Thomas Pulley. Rutherford was successful, gaining almost twice the number of votes than the second-placed candidate, Reece.
Three candidates contested the 1905 election. Rutherford was returned with more than twice the votes of Obed Frederick Clothier, and George Thomas Pulley came a distant third.
Rutherford retired in 1908,and George Forbes and Obed Frederick Clothier contested the 1908 election. Forbes was successful, and started his long parliamentary career that would see him hold the electorate for the next 35 years to 1943. Forbes was Prime Minister from 1930 to 1935.
William Gillespie succeeded Forbes in 1943 and held the electorate until his death in 1961.
The last member was Herbert Pickering of the National Party from the 1961 by-election to 1963. Pickering transferred to the new Rangiora electorate in 1963.
In 1954, Norman Kirk stood in Hurunui as the Labour candidate, his first venture into national (parliamentary) politics. He increased Labour's share of the vote considerably, but did not win.
The electorate was represented by four Members of Parliament.
Liberal United National
|1902 election||Andrew Rutherford|
|1908 election||George Forbes|
|1943 election||William Gillespie|
|1961 by-election||Herbert Pickering|
|(Electorate abolished in 1963; see Rangiora)|
|Labour||Arthur Alexander Adcock||4,760||37.91|
|Social Credit||J Clark||1,153||9.18|
|Labour||Arthur Alexander Adcock||5,576||37.0||-3.3|
|Social Credit||J Clark||1,180||7.8||+0.5|
|Social Credit||Laurie Cate||1,057||7.3||-7.5|
|Social Credit||Laurie Cate||1,829||14.8|
|Labour||W E Cassidy||5,165||39.0||-1.5|
|Labour||Arthur J. Smith||5,417||40.5||-3.9|
There were four candidates in 1943, with the election won by William Gillespie over James William Morgan.
|Labour||Harold Ernest Denton||5,144||47.31|
|Labour||Donald Cyrus Davies||3,694||37.11|
|Labour||R J Logan||2,198||26.33|
|Reform||Leslie Robert Cathcart Macfarlane||3,505||36.76|
|Reform||J G Armstrong||3,178||43.93|
|Reform||J G Armstrong||2,341||40.55|
|Independent||G G Gardner||373||6.46|
|Ind. Labour League||G D Greenwood||509||11.93|
|Independent Liberal||George Pulley||309||7.24|
|Conservative||Henry Fear Reece||880||24.69|
|Independent Liberal||George Pulley||68||1.90|
The New Zealand general election of 1902 was held on Tuesday, 25 November, in the general electorates, and on Monday, 22 December in the Māori electorates to elect a total of 80 MPs to the 15th session of the New Zealand Parliament. A total number of 415,789 (76.7%) voters turned out to vote.
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