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 Eastern Hutt) or re-established. These changes came into effect for the 1978 election.
In the 1977 electoral redistribution, the existing Western Hutt moved west, and the Eastern Hutt electorate was formed from areas that previously belonged to Western Hutt and the Hutt electorate, the latter of which was abolished. The Eastern Hutt electorate incorporated the eastern part of Lower Hutt in the Hutt Valley up to the suburb of Haywards in the north. In the 1983 electoral redistribution, the northern part of the electorate transferred to the Western Hutt electorate (including Haywards) and the electorate moved slightly further east.
In the 1978 election, the Eastern Hutt electorate was won by Trevor Young, who had been MP for the Hutt electorate since 1968. Young retired at the 1990 election and was succeeded by Paul Swain. When Eastern Hutt was replaced in 1996 by the Hutt South electorate, Swain transferred to the Rimutaka electorate to the north of Hutt South.
McRobie, Alan (1989). Electoral Atlas of New Zealand. Wellington: GP Books. ISBN0-477-01384-8.
Wilson, James Oakley (1985) [First published in 1913]. New Zealand Parliamentary Record, 1840–1984 (4th ed.). Wellington: V.R. Ward, Govt. Printer. OCLC154283103.
Norton, Clifford (1988). New Zealand Parliamentary Election Results 1946–1987: Occasional Publications No 1, Department of Political Science. Wellington: Victoria University of Wellington. ISBN0-475-11200-8.