Helensville is a New Zealand parliamentary electorate, returning one Member of Parliament to the House of Representatives. The electorate was first established for the 1978 election and was abolished again in 1984, and has existed again since the 2002 election. The current MP for Helensville is John Key, the former leader of the National Party and former Prime Minister of New Zealand. He held this electorate from 2002-2017. As of April 14, John Key will no longer be the MP for Helensville.
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 Helensville) or re-established. These changes came into effect for the 1978 election.
In the 1983 electoral redistribution, the Helensville electorate was abolished, and its area went to West Auckland and Rodney. The electorate was re-established in time for the 2002 election in reaction to continued high population growth in and around Auckland. It was made by cutting off the northern flank of the electorate of Waitakere and adding in areas from the electorate of Rodney around its southern boundary.
Helensville covers an area of the rapidly growing northern Auckland urban fringe, drawing Helensville and Kumeu from Rodney District, moving south to take in Paremoremo, Greenhithe and Albany from North Shore City, and finally tacking west to include Whenuapai, Hobsonville and West Harbour from Waitakere City.
In the 1978 election, the Helensville electorate was won by Dail Jones, who had been MP for the Waitemata electorate since 1975 election. After the Helensville electorate was abolished, Jones stood in the West Auckland electorate in the 1984 election but was defeated by the Labour Party candidate, Jack Elder.
Since the Helensville electorate was re-established for the 2002 election, its only MP has been the current Prime Minister, John Key, who beat sitting Waitakere MP Brian Neeson to the nomination, and in a tight year for his party, won the electorate by 1,705 votes in a split field when a disgruntled Neeson chose to stand as an independent. Helensville is partly rural, and wealthy beyond the national average, making it a safe National electorate, and the results in 2002 notwithstanding, Key was returned easily in 2005, 2008 and 2011 with large majorities.
National NZ First Labour ACT Green
Members of Parliament elected from party lists in elections where that person also unsuccessfully contested the Helensville electorate. Unless otherwise stated, all MPs terms began and ended at general elections.
1 Garrett resigned in September 2010, and his list position was taken by Hilary Calvert
2 Clendon entered Parliament in October 2009 following the resignation of Sue Bradford
Electorate (as at 11 November 2011): 46,983