Otago was a New Zealand parliamentary electorate first created for the 1978 election, which was replaced by the Waitaki electorate and Clutha-Southland electorates for the 2008 election. Its last representative was Jacqui Dean of the National Party.
The 1977 electoral redistribution was the most overtly political since the Representation Commission had been established through an amendment to the Representation Act in 1886, initiated by Muldoon's National Government.As part of the 1976 census, a large number of people failed to fill out an electoral re-registration card, and census staff had not been given the authority to insist on the card being completed. This had little practical effect for people on the general roll, but it transferred Māori to the general roll if the card was not handed in. Together with a northward shift of New Zealand's population, this resulted in five new electorates having to be created in the upper part of the North Island. The electoral redistribution was very disruptive, and 22 electorates were abolished, while 27 electorates were newly created (including Otago) or re-established. These changes came into effect for the 1978 election.
When the electorate was first formed, it mostly replaced the Otago Central electorate, but also gained areas from the Clutha electorate (including Tapanui and Lawrence) and the coastal strip north of Dunedin from the Oamaru electorate (including Waikouaiti, Palmerston, and Hampden). The main towns that came from the Otago Central electorate were Queenstown, Alexandra, Cromwell, and Wanaka.In the 1983 electoral redistribution, the southern boundary moved north and some towns transferred to the Clutha electorate, including Tapanui, Lawrence, and Roxburgh. To compensate, some outer suburbs of Dunedin on the northern part of Otago Peninsula were gained from the Dunedin North electorate, including St Leonards and Ravensbourne.
The electoral redistribution carried out for the 1996 election saw the electorate move further north to now include Twizel. The electoral redistribution carried out after the 2006 census saw Otago abolished, with its area split between the Waitaki and Clutha-Southland electorates.
The Otago electorate was first won by Warren Cooper of the National Party in 1978, who had been the representative for the Otago Central electorate since the 1975 election.When Cooper retired at the 1996 election, he was succeeded by Gavan Herlihy. Although Otago was a reasonably safe seat for the National Party, that party's poor showing at the 2002 election saw the Otago constituents elect a Labour MP, David Parker. Three years later in 2005, a swing to National in provincial New Zealand unseated Parker in favour of National's Jacqui Dean. When the Otago electorate was abolished in 2008, Dean transferred to the Waitaki electorate.
|1978 election||Warren Cooper|
|1996 election||Gavan Herlihy|
|2002 election||David Parker|
|2005 election||Jacqui Dean|
|(Electorate abolished in 2008; see Waitaki)|
Members of Parliament elected from party lists in elections where that person also unsuccessfully contested the Otago electorate. Unless otherwise stated, all MPs' terms began and ended at general elections.
|1999 election||Gerry Eckhoff|
|2005 election||David Parker|
|2005 general election: Otago|
Blue background denotes the winner of the electorate vote.
|Labour||N David Parker||15,369||14,573|
|United Future||Gerald Telford||620||783|
|Direct Democracy||Simon Guy||88||36|
|Total Valid votes||36,288||36,813|
|National gain from Labour||Majority||1,995|
|2002 general election: Otago|
Blue background denotes the winner of the electorate vote.
|National||N Gavan Herlihy||13,429||8,472|
|United Future||Allan Smellie||1,115||1,779|
|Christian Heritage||Mike Ferguson||544||431|
|Progressive||Hessel van Wieren||438||528|
|Mana Māori Movement||4|
|Total Valid votes||31,374||31,954|
|Labour gain from National||Majority||684|
Refer to Candidates in the New Zealand general election 1999 by electorate#Otago for a list of candidates.
|Democrats||W J Thompson||1,279||7.1||-7.8|
|Wizard Party||Ms P Johnstone||178||1.0||+1.0|
|Social Credit||W J Thompson||2,124||14.9||-9.9|
|NZ Party||F H Chittock||1,501||7.1||+7.1|
|Social Credit||M J Robertson||4,951||24.8||+7.0|
|Labour||R J Rutherford||5,387||29.7||-10.7|
|Social Credit||H Te H Ruru||3,326||17.8||+13.2|
|Values||Mrs J Pitches||430||2.4||-0.3|
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