Christchurch (New Zealand electorate)

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This article is about the former Christchurch (New Zealand) electorate. For other uses, see Christchurch (disambiguation).

Christchurch was a parliamentary electorate in Christchurch, New Zealand. It existed three times. Originally it was the Town of Christchurch from 1853 to 1860. From the 1860–61 election to the 1871 election, it existed as City of Christchurch. It then existed from the 1875–76 election until the 1881 election. The last period was from the 1890 election to the 1905 election. Since the 1946 election, a similarly named electorate called Christchurch Central has been in existence.

The historic electorate was represented by 21 members of parliament. For some of the time, it was represented by one member at a time. During other periods, it was one of the few three-member electorates in New Zealand.

Population centres[edit]

In December 1887, the House of Representatives voted to reduce its membership from general electorates from 91 to 70. The 1890 electoral redistribution used the same 1886 census data used for the 1887 electoral redistribution. In addition, three-member electorates were introduced in the four main centres. This resulted in a major restructuring of electorates, and Christchurch was one of eight electorates to be re-created for the 1890 election.[1]

History[edit]

The nomination meeting for the first election was held on 16 August 1853 at the Christchurch Land Office, together with the nomination meeting for the Christchurch Country electorate. The first election was held on Saturday, 20 August between 9 am and 4 pm at the Resident Magistrate's Office in Christchurch, with Charles Simeon acting as the returning officer.[2]

At the nomination meeting on 31 January 1861, John Cracroft Wilson was proposed by William Wilson and seconded by William Thomson. Cracroft Wilson was declared elected unopposed.[3]

1853 to 1871[edit]

From 1853 to 1871, the electorate was represented by one member at a time. Prior to the 1860/61 election, it was known as Town of Christchurch:[4]

Election Winner
1853 election Henry Sewell
1855 election
1856 by-election[5] Richard Packer
1860 by-election[6][7] Henry Sewell
1861 election John Cracroft Wilson
1866 election James FitzGerald
1867 by-election William Travers
1870 by-election William Sefton Moorhouse

1875 to 1881[edit]

The electorate was recreated for the 1875 election and existed for two terms until the 1881 election as a three-member electorate.

The nomination meeting for the 1875 election was held on 16 December. The former member of the Legislative Council, George Leslie Lee, was the returning officer. Edward Richardson, who had previously represented Christchurch West, was nominated by Louis Edward Nathan and seconded by Edward Brenchley Bishop. Edward Cephas John Stevens, who had previously represented Selwyn, was nominated John Inglis and seconded by William Derisley Wood. Samuel Paull Andrews was nominated by Henry Wynn-Williams and seconded by Daniel Reese. William Sefton Moorhouse was nominated by Fred Hobbs and seconded by William Wilson. Jerningham Wakefield put his own name forward, and he was seconded by J. W. Treadwell. The latter was in turn proposed by J. R. Johnson and seconded by J. S. Buxton.[8] The election was held on 21 December, and Stevens, Richardson, and Moorhouse were returned with 1059, 992, and 662 votes, respectively. Andrews, Wakefield, and Treadwell received 532, 241, and 22 votes, respectively.[9]

George Grey was elected in both the Thames and the City of Christchurch electorates in September 1879.[10] Grey came first in the three-member Christchurch electorate (Samuel Paull Andrews and Edward Stevens came second with equal numbers of votes, and only 23 votes ahead of Edward Richardson).[11] Richardson petitioned against Grey's return on technical grounds, as Grey had already been elected in the Thames electorate.[12][13] The electoral commission unseated Grey on 24 October,[14] with Richardson offered to fill this vacancy a few days later. Grey kept the Thames seat and remained a member of parliament through that constituency.[15]

Election Winners
1875 election[16][17] William Sefton Moorhouse Edward Richardson Edward Cephas John Stevens
1879 election[11][18] Samuel Paull Andrews

1890 to 1905[edit]

From 1890 until the 1905 election, it was a three-member electorate again.[19] Six candidates stood for election in 1890: William Pember Reeves (2784 votes), Westby Perceval (2721 votes), Richard Molesworth Taylor (2614 votes), John Tippett Smith (1811 votes), Edward Wingfield Humphreys (1666 votes) and Eden George (119 votes).[20] Reeves, Perceval and Taylor were thus elected.

The 1896 by-election was caused by the appointment of William Pember Reeves as Agent-General.[21]

Election Winners
1890 election[21][22] Westby Perceval William Pember Reeves Richard Molesworth Taylor
1891 by-election Ebenezer Sandford[23]
1893 election[21] George John Smith William Whitehouse Collins
1896 by-election[21] Charles Lewis
1896 election[24] Tommy Taylor
1899 election Harry Ell William Whitehouse Collins (2nd period)
1901 by-election George John Smith (2nd period)
1902 election Thomas Henry Davey Tommy Taylor (2nd period)
(Electorate abolished 1908)

Election results[edit]

1899 election[edit]

General election, 1899: Christchurch[25][26]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Liberal William Whitehouse Collins 7,688 53.56 +16.13
Opposition Charles Lewis 6,346 44.21 -2.11
Independent Harry Ell 6,149 42.84 +9.67
Independent Tommy Taylor 5,928 41.30 +2.91
Independent George John Smith 5,413 37.71 -4.17
Liberal Charles Taylor 5,212 36.31
Opposition Michael Donnelly 4,427 30.84 +4.69
Opposition James Greig 1,899 13.23
Majority 221[mb 1] 1.54 +1.22
Turnout 14,354 69.18 -9.65
Registered electors 20,750

Table footnotes:

  1. ^ Majority is difference between lowest winning poll (Ell – 6,149) and highest losing poll (Taylor – 5,928)

1896 election[edit]

General election, 1896: Christchurch[27]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Opposition Charles Lewis 6,570 46.32
Independent George John Smith 5,940 41.88
Independent Tommy Taylor 5,445 38.39
Liberal William Whitehouse Collins 5,309 37.43
Independent Harry Ell 4,705 33.17
Opposition Harry Joseph Beswick[28] 3,874 27.31
Opposition Michael Donnelly 3,709 26.15
Liberal William Cullen 3,365 23.72
Liberal James Marciel 2,982 21.02
Liberal Richard Molesworth Taylor 555 3.91
Independent James Timothy Partridge 97 0.68
Majority 136[nb 1] 0.32
Informal votes 350 2.41
Registered electors 18,439[29]
Turnout 14,534 78.82

Table footnotes:

  1. ^ Majority is difference between lowest winning poll (Taylor – 5,445) and highest losing poll (Collins – 5,309)

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ McRobie 1989, pp. 54ff.
  2. ^ "Public Notice". Lyttelton Times III (134). 30 July 1853. p. 1. Retrieved 18 September 2013. 
  3. ^ "Elections". Lyttelton Times XV (859). 2 February 1861. p. 4. Retrieved 13 February 2012. 
  4. ^ McRobie 1989, pp. 30, 34.
  5. ^ "Canterbury" XV (79). Nelson Examiner and New Zealand Chronicle. 31 December 1856. p. 3. Retrieved 26 March 2010. 
  6. ^ "Canterbury" XV (1398). Wellington Independent. 17 January 1860. p. 3. Retrieved 27 March 2010. 
  7. ^ "Mr. Sewell's Policy" XV (1402). Wellington Independent. 31 January 1860. p. 3. Retrieved 27 March 2010. 
  8. ^ "General Elections". The Star (2416). 17 December 1875. p. 2. Retrieved 21 April 2013. 
  9. ^ "Polling for Christchurch City". The Press XXIV (3217). 22 December 1875. p. 2. Retrieved 21 April 2013. 
  10. ^ "General Election News" XII (9511). Wanganui Herald. 11 September 1879. p. 2. Retrieved 16 March 2010. 
  11. ^ a b "The Christchurch Election". The Star (3563). 11 September 1879. p. 3. Retrieved 19 March 2010. 
  12. ^ "The Timaru Herald". The Timaru Herald XXXI (1594). 30 October 1879. p. 2. Retrieved 20 March 2010. 
  13. ^ "The Christchurch Election". The Star (3608). 3 November 1879. p. 3. Retrieved 20 March 2010. 
  14. ^ "Sir George Grey unseated for Christchurch". The Timaru Herald XXXI (1590). 25 October 1879. p. 2. Retrieved 20 March 2010. 
  15. ^ "Parliamentary" VI (934). Poverty Bay Herald. 27 October 1879. p. 2. Retrieved 20 March 2010. 
  16. ^ "The New Parliament". XXXII (5708). Daily Southern Cross. 8 January 1876. p. 3. Retrieved 18 March 2010. 
  17. ^ "General Elections". The Star (2431). 7 January 1876. p. 3. Retrieved 20 March 2010. 
  18. ^ "The New Parliament" VI (310). Clutha Leader. 12 September 1879. p. 5. Retrieved 18 March 2010. 
  19. ^ McRobie 1989, pp. 55–68.
  20. ^ "The Results". The Press. XLVIL (7728). 6 December 1890. p. 6. Retrieved 23 April 2012. 
  21. ^ a b c d "The Christchurch Election : The Nationalist Candidate Elected" (219). Otago Witness. 20 February 1896. p. 21. Retrieved 13 March 2010. 
  22. ^ "General elections". The Star (7029). 6 December 1890. p. 4. Retrieved 20 March 2010. 
  23. ^ "The Christchurch Election". The Star (7291). 10 October 1891. p. 4. Retrieved 16 March 2010. 
  24. ^ "Other Electorates" XXXI (284). Marlborough Express. 5 December 1896. p. 3. Retrieved 25 March 2010. 
  25. ^ "The General Election, 1899". Wellington: Appendix to the Journals of the House of Representatives. 19 June 1900. p. 2. Retrieved 1 November 2012. 
  26. ^ "Electoral District of City of Christchurch". The Press LVI (10515). 29 November 1899. p. 10. Retrieved 11 February 2014. 
  27. ^ "Page 3 Advertisements Column 3". The Star (5740). 7 December 1896. p. 3. Retrieved 14 January 2014. 
  28. ^ "Ex Mayors". The Cyclopedia of New Zealand : Canterbury Provincial District. Christchurch: Cyclopedia Company Limited. 1903. Retrieved 16 March 2010. 
  29. ^ McRobie 1989, p. 64.

References[edit]

  • McRobie, Alan (1989). Electoral Atlas of New Zealand. Wellington: GP Books. ISBN 0-477-01384-8. 
  • Wilson, James Oakley (1985) [First published in 1913]. New Zealand Parliamentary Record, 1840–1984 (4th ed.). Wellington: V.R. Ward, Govt. Printer. OCLC 154283103.