1993 New Zealand general election

The 1993 New Zealand general election was held on 6 November 1993 to determine the composition of the 44th New Zealand Parliament. Voters elected 99 members to the House of Representatives, up from 97 members at the 1990 election. The election was the last general election to use the first-past-the-post electoral system, with all members elected from single-member electorates.

1993 New Zealand general election

← 1990 6 November 1993 (1993-11-06) 1996 →

All 99 seats in the New Zealand House of Representatives
50 seats were needed for a majority
Turnout1,922,796 (82.82%)
  First party Second party
Mike Moore, 1992 (crop).jpg
Leader Jim Bolger Mike Moore
Party National Labour
Last election 67 seats, 47.82% 29 seats, 35.14%
Seats before 63 29
Seats won 50 45
Seat change Decrease 13 Increase 16
Popular vote 673,892 666,759
Percentage 35.05 34.68
Swing Decrease 12.77% Decrease 0.46%

  Third party Fourth party
Jim Anderton, 2010.jpg
Winston Peters cropped.PNG
Leader Jim Anderton Winston Peters
Party Alliance NZ First
Last election 1 seat, 14.28%[1] New party
Seats before 2 2
Seats won 2 2
Seat change Steady 0 Steady 0
Popular vote 350,063 161,481
Percentage 18.21 8.40
Swing Increase 3.93%[1] Increase 8.40%

1993 New Zealand general election - Results.svg
Results of the election

Prime Minister before election

Jim Bolger

Subsequent Prime Minister

Jim Bolger

The election saw the governing National Party, led by Jim Bolger, win a second term in office, despite a major swing away from National in both seats and votes. The opposition Labour Party, despite a slight drop in their support, managed to make gains in terms of seats. The new Alliance and New Zealand First parties gained significant shares of the vote, but won few seats.


Before the election, the National Party governed with 64 seats, while the opposition Labour Party held only 29. The 1990 election had been a major victory for the National Party, with the unpopular Fourth Labour Government being decisively defeated. The Labour Party had become unpopular for its ongoing economic reforms, which were based around liberalisation, privatisation, and the removal of tariffs and subsidies. The National Party divided as to the merits of the reforms, with conservatives generally opposed and libertarians generally in favour. The party had fought the 1990 election saying that the Labour government's program was too radical, and was being carried out without any thought of the social consequences – Jim Bolger spoke about "the Decent Society", promising a return to a more moderate and balanced platform. Once in government, however, the key Minister of Finance role was taken not by a moderate but by Ruth Richardson, who wished to expand, not end, the economic reforms. Many of the voters who had felt betrayed by Labour's reforms now felt betrayed by the National Party as well. By September 1991, support for National had plummeted to a hitherto unprecedented polling low of 22%.

The Alliance, the largest "third party", was a broad coalition of five smaller groups – the NewLabour Party (a Labour splinter), the Democrats (a social credit party), the Greens (an environmentalist party), Mana Motuhake (a Māori party), and the Liberal Party (a National splinter). The Alliance held three seats in Parliament – one belonged to Jim Anderton, who had been re-elected under a NewLabour banner in the seat he had formerly held for Labour, while the other two belonged to the National MPs who formed the Liberal Party. In its first electoral test, the 1992 by-election in Tamaki, the Alliance had performed well, taking second place. Another smaller group was New Zealand First, a party established by former National MP Winston Peters. Peters had broken with his party after a number of policy disputes with its leadership, and resigned from parliament to contest his seat as an independent. After being overwhelmingly re-elected, Peters established New Zealand First to promote his views. Peters was the party's sole MP.

Another consequence of dissatisfaction with both major parties was the referendum conducted alongside the 1993 election. The culmination of the larger decade-long New Zealand electoral reform process, the referendum was held following the September 1992 indicative referendum, which saw 85% of voters voting for change from the existing First Past The Post (FPP) system, and 70% choosing the Mixed Member Proportional (MMP) as its preferred replacement: a proportional system which would make it easier for smaller parties to win seats. It asked voters to choose whether to keep the existing FPP system or change to MMP, with 53.9% of voters opting to change to MMP.

While National and Labour usually stood candidates in every seat, National was one candidate short as their Southern Maori candidate apparently did not apply in time.

MPs retiring in 1993Edit

Four MPs, including three National MPs and one Labour MP, intended to retire at the end of the 43rd Parliament.

Party Name Electorate
National Jeff Grant Awarua
Jeff Whittaker Hastings
Gail McIntosh Lyttlelton
Labour Sonja Davies Pencarrow

The electionEdit

The election was held on 6 November. 2,321,664 people were registered to vote, and 85.2% turned out. This turnout was almost exactly the same as for the previous election, although slightly less than what would be seen for the following one.

Summary of resultsEdit

Preliminary results based on election night counts saw the country facing its first hung parliament since 1931, with no party gaining the 50 seats required for a majority. The National Party won 49 seats, a drop of 15 from before the election, and Labour had won 46 seats, with the balance of power held with the Alliance and New Zealand First, which won two seats each.[2][3] This led to Jim Bolger saying on public television, "Bugger the pollsters", as polls had predicted a comfortable National victory.[4] Bolger reacted to the election results by giving a conciliatory speech, while Labour leader Mike Moore delivered a speech later described by political scientist Jack Vowles as "damaging" and "more appropriate for a decisive Labour win than a narrow defeat."[5]

On election night result with the two major parties tied, the Governor-General Dame Catherine Tizard asked her predecessor Sir David Beattie to form a committee, along with three retired appeal court judges, to decide whom to appoint as prime minister.[6] However National won one more seat and was returned to power when the official count saw the seat of Waitaki swing from Labour to National, giving National 50 seats and Labour 45 seats. Labour's Sir Peter Tapsell agreed to become speaker of the New Zealand House of Representatives (so that National would not lose a vote in the house). Hence National had a majority of one seat.[3]

The 1993–1996 parliamentary term would see a number of defections from both major parties, meaning that National would eventually be forced to make alliances to retain power.

Detailed resultsEdit

Party totalsEdit

Summary of the 6 November 1993 New Zealand House of Representatives election results[7][8]
party votes % of votes seats
% change total change
National 673,892 35.05 -12.78 50 -17
Labour 666,759 34.68 -0.46 45 +16
Alliance 350,064 18.21 +3.93a 2 +1b
NZ First 161,481 8.40 +8.4 2 +2
Christian Heritage 38,749 2.02 +1.49 0
McGillicuddy Serious 11,706 0.61 +0.06 0
Natural Law 6,056 0.31 +0.31 0
Mana Māori 3,342 0.17 +0.17 0
minor parties and independents 10,747 0.56 +0.34 0
total votes 1,922,796 100.00 99 +2
total registered electors 2,321,664
turnout 82.82%

a Increase over Alliance's constituent member parties' (Greens, NewLabour, Democrats and Mana Motuhake) combined vote share in 1990.
b Increase of one over Alliance's constituent party, NewLabour's result in 1990.

Votes summaryEdit

Popular Vote
NZ First
Christian Heritage
Parliament seats
NZ First

Electorate resultsEdit

The table below shows the results of the 1993 general election by electorate:[9]


  National     Labour     Alliance     NZ First     Independent  

Electorate results for the 1993 New Zealand general election
Electorate Incumbent Winner Majority Runner up
General electorates
Albany Don McKinnon 3,651 Jill Jeffs
Auckland Central Richard Prebble Sandra Lee 1,291 Richard Prebble
Avon Larry Sutherland 5,643 Marie Venning
Awarua Jeff Grant Eric Roy 2,236 Olivia Scaletti-Longley
Birkenhead Ian Revell 104 Ann Hartley
Christchurch Central Lianne Dalziel 6,189 Andrew Rowe
Christchurch North Mike Moore 6,024 Lee Morgan
Clutha Robin Gray 4,117 Jeff Buchanan
Dunedin North Pete Hodgson 3,794 Hugh Perkins
Dunedin West Clive Matthewson 4,477 Ollie Turner
East Coast Bays Murray McCully 4,516 Heather-Anne McConachy
Eastern Bay of Plenty New electorate Tony Ryall 806 Diane Collins
Eastern Hutt Paul Swain 4,718 Peter MacMillan
Eden Christine Fletcher 3,394 Verna Smith
Far North New electorate John Carter 3,425 Maryanne Baker
Fendalton Philip Burdon 4,982 Tony Day
Franklin New electorate Bill Birch 3,543 Judy Bischoff
Gisborne Wayne Kimber Janet Mackey 1,068 Wayne Kimber
Glenfield Peter Hilt 1,983 Ann Batten
Hamilton East Tony Steel Dianne Yates 80 Tony Steel
Hamilton West Grant Thomas Martin Gallagher 449 Grant Thomas
Hastings Jeff Whittaker Rick Barker 2,571 Cynthia Bowers
Hauraki New electorate Warren Kyd 1,870 Jeanette Fitzsimons
Hawkes Bay Michael Laws 3,143 Peter Reynolds
Henderson New electorate Jack Elder 2,130 David Jorgensen
Heretaunga Peter McCardle 832 Heather Simpson
Hobson Ross Meurant 2,697 Frank Grover
Horowhenua Hamish Hancock Judy Keall 2,347 Hamish Hancock
Howick New electorate Trevor Rogers 5,754 James Clarke
Invercargill Rob Munro Mark Peck 1,174 Rob Munro
Island Bay Elizabeth Tennet 5,422 Chris Shields
Kaimai Robert Anderson 372 Peter Brown
Kaipara Lockwood Smith 2,958 Rosalie Steward
Kapiti Roger Sowry 1,038 Rob Calder
King Country Jim Bolger 4,506 Murray Simpson
Lyttelton Gail McIntosh Ruth Dyson 677 David Carter
Manawatu Hamish MacIntyre[nb 1] Jill White 164 Gray Baldwin
Māngere David Lange 5,958 Len Richards
Manurewa George Hawkins 4,014 Mark Chalmers
Marlborough Doug Kidd 2,548 Ron Howard
Matakana New electorate Graeme Lee 893 John Neill
Matamata John Luxton 5,977 John Pemberton
Miramar Graeme Reeves Annette King 2,595 Graeme Reeves
Mount Albert Helen Clark 4,656 Vanessa Brown
Napier Geoff Braybrooke 4,926 Colleen Pritchard
Nelson John Blincoe 2,007 Margaret Emerre
New Lynn Jonathan Hunt 1,598 Cliff Robinson
New Plymouth John Armstrong Harry Duynhoven 3,126 John Armstrong
North Shore Bruce Cliffe 4,723 Joel Cayford
Onehunga Grahame Thorne Richard Northey 407 Grahame Thorne
Onslow New electorate Peter Dunne 1,065 George Mathew
Otago Warren Cooper 3,220 Janet Yiakmis
Otara Trevor Rogers Taito Phillip Field 5,981 Shane Frith
Pahiatua John Falloon 5,178 Margo Martindale
Pakuranga Maurice Williamson 5,460 Heather MacKay
Palmerston North Steve Maharey 3,764 Barbara Stones
Panmure Judith Tizard 3,277 Bruce Jesson
Papakura John Robertson 484 Nancy Hawks
Papatoetoe Ross Robertson 5,977 Jim Wild
Pencarrow Sonja Davies Trevor Mallard 2,641 Rosemarie Thomas
Porirua Graham Kelly 6,713 Lagi Sipeli
Raglan Simon Upton 4,540 Bill Harris
Rakaia New electorate Jenny Shipley 4,540 John Howie
Rangiora Jim Gerard 4,469 Maureen Little
Rangitīkei Denis Marshall 3,422 Bob Peck
Remuera Doug Graham 8,619 Mary Tierney
Roskill Gilbert Myles[nb 2] Phil Goff 2,205 Allan Spence
Rotorua Paul East 429 Keith Ridings
Selwyn Ruth Richardson 888 Ron Mark
St Albans David Caygill 3,425 Raewyn Dawson
St Kilda Michael Cullen 5,071 Leah McBey
Sydenham Jim Anderton 7,476 Greg Coyle
Tāmaki Clem Simich 7,951 Richard Green
Taranaki Roger Maxwell 4,871 Stephen Wood
Tarawera Max Bradford 4,155 Gordon Dickson
Tasman Nick Smith 4,059 Geoff Rowling
Tauranga Winston Peters[nb 3] Winston Peters 7,924 John Cronin
Te Atatū Brian Neeson Chris Carter 1,388 Laila Harré
Timaru Maurice McTigue Jim Sutton 2,940 Maurice McTigue
Titirangi Marie Hasler Suzanne Sinclair 340 Marie Hasler
Tongariro Ian Peters Mark Burton 1,951 Ian Peters
Waikaremoana Roger McClay 4,021 Gregg Sheehan
Waikato Rob Storey 2,286 Susan Moore
Waipa Katherine O'Regan 3,730 John Kilbride
Wairarapa Wyatt Creech 2,229 Peter Teahan
Waitakere New electorate Brian Neeson 3,180 Barbara Hutchinson
Waitaki Alec Neill 53 Bruce Albiston[nb 4]
Waitotara Peter Gresham 4,545 K F Lehmstedt
Wallace Bill English 5,578 Lesley Soper
Wanganui Cam Campion[nb 5] Jill Pettis 3,371 Gael Donoghue
Wellington-Karori New electorate Pauline Gardiner 480 Chris Laidlaw
West Coast Margaret Moir Damien O'Connor 2,920 Margaret Moir
Western Hutt Joy Quigley 1,542 Vern Walsh
Whangarei John Banks 1,587 Mark Furey
Yaldhurst Margaret Austin 2,997 David Watson
Māori electorates
Eastern Maori Peter Tapsell 6,666 Alamein Kopu
Northern Maori Bruce Gregory Tau Henare 416 Bruce Gregory
Southern Maori Whetu Tirikatene-Sullivan 6,340 Jules Parkinson
Western Maori Koro Wētere 3,777 Ricky Taiaroa

Table footnotes:

  1. ^ Hamish MacIntyre left National in 1992, joining the Liberal Party which became part of the Alliance
  2. ^ Gilbert Myles left National in 1991, becoming Independent, then joining the Liberal Party, which became part of the Alliance, finally New Zealand First in 1992–93
  3. ^ Winston Peters had been an Independent since the 1993 by-election.
  4. ^ Albiston was first on election night for Waitaki, but lost when special votes were included
  5. ^ Campion became an Independent on 3 March 1993

Summary of changesEdit

Based on the 1991 New Zealand census, an electoral redistribution was carried out; the last one had been carried out in 1987 based on the previous census in 1986.[10] This resulted in the abolition of nine electorates, and the creation of eleven new electorates. Through an amendment in the Electoral Act in 1965, the number of electorates in the South Island was fixed at 25, so the new electorates increased the number of the North Island electorates by two.[11] In the South Island, one electorate was abolished (Ashburton), and one electorate was recreated (Rakaia). In the North Island, five electorates were newly created (Eastern Bay of Plenty, Far North, Howick, Matakana, and Wellington-Karori), five electorates were recreated (Franklin, Hauraki, Henderson, Onslow, and Waitakere), and eight electorates were abolished (Bay of Islands, Clevedon, Coromandel, East Cape, Maramarua, Ohariu, Wellington Central, and West Auckland).

In many cases an MP from an abolished seat stood for, and was elected to a new one that broadly covered their previous electorate.

Abolished Electorate MP relocated New Electorate
Ashburton   Jenny Shipley   Rakaia
Bay of Islands   John Carter   Far North
Clevedon   Warren Kyd   Hauraki
Coromandel   Graeme Lee   Matakana
East Cape   Tony Ryall   Eastern Bay of Plenty
Maramarua   Bill Birch   Franklin
Ohariu   Peter Dunne   Onslow
West Auckland   Jack Elder   Henderson
One MP from an abolished electorate failed to win a new electorate
Wellington Central Pauline Gardiner  Y Wellington-Karori
Chris Laidlaw  N
Due to boundary changes, two MPs moved to safer new electorates
Marginal Electorate MP relocated New Electorate
Te Atatu   Brian Neeson   Waitakere
Otara   Trevor Rogers   Howick

New electorates.

  • Eastern Bay of Plenty – most of the abolished East Cape seat, plus part of Tarawera. Won by former East Cape MP Tony Ryall.
  • Far North – most of the abolished Bay of Islands seat. Won by former Bay of Islands MP John Carter.
  • Franklin – part of the abolished Maramarua seat and part of Papakura. Won by former Maramarua MP Bill Birch.
  • Hauraki – parts of the abolished Clevedon, Maramarua, and Coromandel seats. Won by former Clevedon MP Warren Kyd.
  • Henderson – parts taken from the West Auckland, Te Atatu, and Titirangi electorates. Won by former West Auckland MP Jack Elder (Labour).
  • Howick – the eastern part of the Otara seat. Won by former Otara MP Trevor Rogers (National).
  • Matakana – part of the abolished Coromandel seat. Won by former Coromandel MP Graeme Lee.
  • Onslow – the core of the abolished Ohariu seat. Won by former Ohariu MP Peter Dunne (Labour).
  • Rakaia – the abolished Ashburton seat, plus part of the Selwyn seat. Won by former Ashburton MP Jenny Shipley (National).
  • Waitakere – chiefly, the abolished seat of West Auckland. Won by former Te Atatu MP Brian Neeson (National).
  • Wellington-Karori – the abolished Wellington Central seat, plus part of the abolished Ohariu seat. Won by new National MP Pauline Gardiner.

The seats of Gisborne, Hamilton East, Hamilton West, Hastings, Horowhenua, Invercargill, Lyttelton, Manawatu, Miramar, New Plymouth, Onehunga, Otara, Roskill, Te Atatu, Timaru, Titirangi, Tongariro, Wanganui and West Coast were won from the National Party by Labour challengers. Seventeen of these seats (Gisborne, Hamilton East, Hamilton West, Hastings, Horowhenua, Lyttelton, Manawatu, Miramar, New Plymouth, Onehunga, Otara, Roskill, Te Atatu, Titirangi, Tongariro, Wanganui & the West Coast) had been won by National from Labour in 1990, so were one-term National seats.

  • The seat of Auckland Central was won from the Labour Party by an Alliance challenger. The challenger was Sandra Lee and the defeated incumbent was Richard Prebble.
  • The seat of Northern Maori was won from the Labour Party by a New Zealand First challenger. The challenger was Tau Henare and the defeated incumbent was Bruce Gregory.
  • The seat of Awarua passed from an incumbent National MP to a new National MP.
  • The seat of Pencarrow passed from an incumbent Labour MP to a new Labour MP.

Post-election eventsEdit

A number of local by-elections were required due to the resignation of incumbent local body politicians following their election to Parliament:


  1. ^ a b Alliance results compared with 1990 totals of NewLabour Party, Democratic Party, Mana Motuhake and Green Party.
  2. ^ "A Hung Parliament Seems Likely For New Zealand". Orlando Sentinel. 8 November 1993. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 25 October 2011.
  3. ^ a b "History of the National Party". New Zealand National Party. Archived from the original on 16 April 2014. Retrieved 25 October 2011.
  4. ^ McCulloch, Craig (2 April 2017). "Pollsters, prophets and politics: On the ball or off the mark?". Radio New Zealand.
  5. ^ Vowles, Jack (2013). Voters' Victory?: New Zealand's First Election under Proportional Representation. Auckland University Press. ISBN 9781869407131.
  6. ^ McLean, Gavin (2006). The Governors: New Zealand's Governors and Governors-General. Otago University Press. ISBN 1-877372-25-0.
  7. ^ "Elections to the New Zealand House of Representatives". Election Resources on the Internet. Retrieved 17 December 2011.
  8. ^ "New Zealand Elections 1972-1993". New Zealand Election Study. Retrieved 17 December 2011.
  9. ^ "New Zealand Elections 1972-1993". New Zealand Election Study. Retrieved 17 December 2011.
  10. ^ McRobie 1989, p. 127.
  11. ^ McRobie 1989, p. 111.
  12. ^ "Lee ally wins her seat on city council". The New Zealand Herald. 30 May 1994. p. 10.


  • McRobie, Alan (1989). Electoral Atlas of New Zealand. Wellington: GP Books. ISBN 0-477-01384-8.
  • Temple, Philip. Temple's Guide to the 44th New Zealand Parliament. Dunedin: McIndoe Publishers. ISBN 0-86868-159-8.
  • Part 1: Votes recorded at each polling place (Technical report). Chief Electoral Office. 1993.