Northland is a New Zealand parliamentary electorate, returning one Member of Parliament to the New Zealand House of Representatives. The electorate was established for the 1996 election. It was represented by National Party MP John Carter from 1996 to 2011, and then National's Mike Sabin until his resignation on 30 January 2015. The by-election in March 2015 was won by New Zealand First party leader Winston Peters. Peters was defeated by National's Matt King in the 2017 general election. King in turn was defeated by the Labour Party's Willow-Jean Prime in the 2020 general election, who became the first Labour MP elected for the area since the party won the predecessor electorate Bay of Islands in 1938.
Northland is the northernmost general electorate of New Zealand. The electorate encompasses the entire Far North District and Kaipara District, and a small rural section of Whangarei District. At the 2008 election, the town of Wellsford became part of Northland due to heavy population growth in the Rodney seat.No boundary adjustments were undertaken in the subsequent 2013/14 redistribution. At the 2019/20 review, the seat lost Wellsford to the new electorate of Kaipara ki Mahurangi, but gained Poroti and Maungakaramea from Whangārei.
The Northland electorate was created ahead of the introduction of mixed-member proportional voting in the 1996 election. It was formed from the whole of the Far North electorate (called Bay of Islands before 1993), and a large section of the Hobson seat.
Former Bay of Islands and then Far North MP John Carter of the National Party was elected MP for Northland in 1996, and was returned at every election until the 2008 election. Carter left Parliament in June 2011 to take up a post as New Zealand's High Commissioner to the Cook Islands. His departure did not result in a by-election, as the vacancy occurred within six months of the next general election.
In May 2011 Mike Sabin was selected as the National Party candidate in place of Carter.Sabin had a majority of 11,362 and 9,300 votes in 2011 and 2014, respectively. In December 2014 news media reported that he was under investigation by police over an assault complaint. The reports were not confirmed by the New Zealand Police, the Prime Minister or Sabin himself. Sabin resigned from parliament on 30 January 2015 with immediate effect "due to personal issues that were best dealt with outside Parliament." The resignation forced a by-election in the electorate.
The by-election in March 2015 was won by New Zealand First party leader Winston Peters. Peters was later defeated by National's Matt King in the 2017 general election.
The electorate is one where National traditionally performs well; Labour did not win a general electorate north of Wellsford in any election from 1943 to 2017 besides a one-off victory in Whangarei in 1972. However, in the 2020 election, Northland elected its first ever Labour MP and the first Labour MP for the area for 77 years.
The upper North Island is also a place where New Zealand First has one of its strongest voter bases; in 1996, Ian Peters and Frank Grover of the Alliance beat Labour's candidate into fourth place and nine percent of the vote. Third parties do well in Northland - at the 1960 and 1963 elections, Social Credit candidate Vernon Cracknell came runner up in Hobson, before taking the seat with 48 percent of the vote in 1966. The area had previously been receptive to social credit theory - Harold Rushworth of the credit-influenced Country Party had held Bay of Islands for three terms, from 1928 to 1938.
|1996 election||John Carter|
|2011 election||Mike Sabin|
|2015 by-election||Winston Peters|
|2017 election||Matt King|
|2020 election||Willow-Jean Prime|
Members of Parliament elected from party lists in elections where that person also unsuccessfully contested the Northland electorate. Unless otherwise stated, all MPs terms began and ended at general elections.
|1996 election||Frank Grover 1|
|1999 election||Sue Bradford|
|2002 election||Jim Peters|
|2005 election||Shane Jones|
|2014 election||David Clendon|
|2017 election||Winston Peters|
|2020 election||Mark Cameron|
1 Grover left the Alliance in 1999 and joined the Christian Heritage Party.
|2017 general election: Northland|
Blue background denotes the winner of the electorate vote.
|Total Valid votes||39,796||40,636|
|National gain from NZ First||Majority||1,389||3.49||−23.36|
The following table shows final by-election results:
|2015 Northland by-election|
Notes: Blue background denotes the winner of the by-election.
|NZ First||Winston Peters||16,089||54.45||+54.45|
|Legalise Cannabis||Maki Herbert||94||0.32||+0.32|
|Total Valid votes||29,548|
|NZ First gain from National||Majority||4,441||15.03|
|2014 general election: Northland|
Blue background denotes the winner of the electorate vote.
|Democrats||David Angus Wilson||173||0.50||+0.50||64||0.18||+0.07|
|Money Free||Jordan Osmaston||75||0.22||+0.22|
|Total Valid votes||34,637||35,553|
|2011 general election: Northland|
Blue background denotes the winner of the electorate vote.
|Total Valid votes||31,604||32,665|
Electorate (as at 26 November 2011): 44,182
|2008 general election: Northland|
|ACT||Alan (Smilie) Wood||565||1.68||1,443||4.21|
|Family Party||Melanie Taylor||319||0.95||162||0.47|
|United Future||Phil Johnson||162||0.48||228||0.67|
|Bill and Ben||153||0.45|
|Total Valid votes||33,633||34,240|
|2005 general election: Northland|
|NZ First||Jim Peters||2,547||8.32||3,162||10.19|
|United Future||Phil Johnson||315||1.03||618||1.99|
|Direct Democracy||Mel Whaanga||10||0.03||5||0.02|
|Total Valid votes||30,628||31,039|
Refer to Candidates in the New Zealand general election 1999 by electorate#Northland for a list of candidates.
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