Bay of Islands is a former New Zealand parliamentary electorate. It existed during various periods between 1853 and 1993. It was thus one of the original 24 electoral districts, and New Zealand's first ever MP was elected, although unopposed, in the Bay of Islands; Hugh Carleton thus liked to be called the Father of the House.
The previous electoral redistribution was undertaken in 1875 for the 1875–76 election. In the six years since, New Zealand's European population had increased by 65%. In the 1881 electoral redistribution, the House of Representatives increased the number of European representatives to 91 (up from 84 since the 1875–76 election). The number of Māori electorates was held at four. The House further decided that electorates should not have more than one representative, which led to 35 new electorates being formed, and two electorates that had previously been abolished to be recreated, including Bay of Islands. This necessitated a major disruption to existing boundaries.
Hugh Carleton was elected to the seat in the first New Zealand Parliament in 1853. Although he was elected unopposed, he was the first MP elected and liked to be called Father of the House. He represented the seat until 1870, when he was defeated.
The 1893 election was contested by Houston (1431 votes), Trownson (1200 votes) and Dargaville (399 votes). The incumbent was thus re-elected.
The 1896 election was contested by Houston (1592 votes) and John Press (965 votes). The incumbent was again re-elected. Houston remained the electorate's representative until he retired at the 1908 election.
Houston was succeeded by Vernon Reed, who represented the Liberal Party in the 1908 and 1911 elections. The opposition candidate in 1908 was John Charles Johnson, and by 1911 the Reform Party had established itself and George Wilkinson was their candidate.