In the 1875 electoral redistribution, the House of Representatives increased representation by 10 seats, but this was mostly achieved through adding more members to existing electorates. Only two new electorates were created, and the Waipa electorate was one of them. It was created by splitting the area of the Waikato electorate. For the first election in 1876, polling booths were in Hamilton West (the Waikato River was the electorate's boundary), Ngāruawāhia, Alexandra (since renamed to Pirongia), Raglan, and Ōhaupō.
In the 1881 electoral redistribution, the Waipa electorate was not altered. In the 1887 electoral redistribution, the Waipa electorate lost some area in the south and east, and Awakino went to the Taranaki electorate, whilst Turangi went to the Tauranga electorate. In the 1890 electoral redistribution, Waipa was abolished and the vast majority of its area went to the Waikato electorate, which shifted west.
The First Labour Government was defeated in the 1949 election and the incoming National Government changed the Electoral Act, with the electoral quota once again based on total population as opposed to qualified electors, and the tolerance was increased to 7.5% of the electoral quota. There was no adjustments in the number of electorates between the South and North Islands, but the law changes resulted in boundary adjustments to almost every electorate through the 1952 electoral redistribution; only five electorates were unaltered. Five electorates were reconstituted (including Waipa) and one was newly created, and a corresponding six electorates were abolished; all of these in the North Island. These changes took effect with the 1954 election.
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 Waipa). 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.
Waipa existed from 1876 to 1890, 1893 to 1896, then from 1954 to 1969, and then from 1978 to 1996.
Holders of the electorate from 1876 to 1890 were:
- Alfred Cox 1876–78 (resigned)
- Edward Graham McMinn 1878–79 (defeated)
- Frederick Alexander Whitaker 1879–84 (retired)
- Edward Lake 1884–87 (retired)
- William Jackson 1887–89 (died)
- John Bryce 1889–90 (stood for Waikato)
For the period from 1893 to 1896, there was one representative:
- Frederic Lang 1893–96
The following members represented Waipa:
|1876 election||Alfred Cox|
|1878 by-election||Edward McMinn|
|1879 election||Frederick Whitaker|
|1884 election||Edward Lake|
|1887 election||William Jackson|
|1889 by-election||John Bryce|
|(Electorate abolished 1890–1893; see Waikato)|
|1893 election||Frederic Lang|
|(Electorate abolished 1896–1954)|
|1954 election||Stan Goosman|
|1957 election||Hallyburton Johnstone|
|1963 election||Leslie Munro|
|(Electorate abolished 1969–1978)|
|1978 election||Marilyn Waring|
|1984 election||Katherine O'Regan|
|Independent||Edward Graham McMinn||284||53.89|
|Independent||Frederick Alexander Whitaker||243||46.11|
- McRobie 1989, p. 43.
- McRobie 1989, pp. 38–43.
- "Waipa District". Waikato Times. Vol. X, no. 559. 18 December 1875. p. 3. Retrieved 16 December 2013.
- McRobie 1989, p. 47.
- McRobie 1989, pp. 50f.
- McRobie 1989, pp. 50–55.
- McRobie 1989, pp. 54–59.
- McRobie 1989, pp. 99f.
- McRobie 1989, pp. 95–100.
- McRobie 1989, p. 99.
- McRobie 1989, pp. 108, 111, 112.
- McRobie 1989, p. 111.
- McRobie 1989, pp. 107, 111.
- McRobie 1989, pp. 108, 112.
- McRobie 1989, pp. 111f.
- Wilson 1985, p. 274.
- "Waipa Election". The New Zealand Herald. 26 July 1878.
- "Waipa Election". Otago Witness. 3 August 1878.
- "Waipa Election". Grey River Argus. 26 July 1878.