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Hamilton (New Zealand electorate)

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Hamilton is a former New Zealand parliamentary electorate that existed from 1922 to 1969. The electorate covered the urban area of the city of Hamilton. In 1969, the city was part of two rural electorates, Hamilton East and Waikato. For the 1972 election, the nature of Hamilton East changed to urban, and the Hamilton West electorate complements it to form a second urban electorate.


Five members of parliament have served the Hamilton electorate over its 47 years of existence. Two of them died in office, and both deaths caused by-elections.

Population centres

In the 1922 electoral redistribution, the North Island gained one electorate from the South Island due to faster population growth. The Bruce electorate was abolished, and the Hamilton electorate was created for the first time. For the purposes of the country quota, the initial electorate was classed as two thirds urban and one third rural, and covered the city of Hamilton.

Through an amendment in the Electoral Act in 1965, the number of electorates in the South Island was fixed at 25, an increase of one since the 1962 electoral redistribution. It was accepted that through the more rapid population growth in the North Island, the number of its electorates would continue to increase, and to keep proportionality, three new electorates were allowed for in the 1967 electoral redistribution for the next election. In the North Island, five electorates were newly created and one electorate was reconstituted while three electorates were abolished (including Hamilton). In the South Island, three electorates were newly created and one electorate was reconstituted while three electorates were abolished. The overall effect of the required changes was highly disruptive to existing electorates, with all but three electorates having their boundaries altered. These changes came into effect with the 1969 election.


The Hamilton electorate was first used in the 1922 election. The electorate's first representative was Alexander Young of the Reform Party, who had since the 1911 election represented the Waikato electorate, but chose to stand in the new electorate in 1922 instead. Young remained the representative until the 1935 election, when he was defeated by Labour's Charles Barrell. Barrell in turn was defeated in the 1943 election by National's Frank Findlay, who died in office on 31 March 1945.

Findlay's death caused the 1943 by-election, which was won by National's Hilda Ross. Ross died in office on 6 March 1959, and this caused the 1959 by-election, which was won by National's Lance Adams-Schneider. Adams-Schneider served until the end of the term in 1969, when the electorate was abolished. He transferred to the Waikato electorate, which covered the area east of the Waikato River and that was recreated for the 1969 election.

The 1967 electoral redistribution created a new electorate called Hamilton West electorate. Its eastern boundary was the Waikato River, but it incorporated much of the former Waipa electorate, extended to the Tasman Sea, and was thus more rural in nature.

The 1972 electoral redistribution created the Hamilton East electorate and at the same time, the Hamilton West electorate lost its rural hinterland to Raglan. Hence, two urban electorates covered Hamilton for the 1972 election.

Members of Parliament


 Reform    Labour    National    Independent  

1943 election

Table footnotes:


Hamilton (New Zealand electorate) Wikipedia

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