Hobson (New Zealand electorate)

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Hobson is a former New Zealand parliamentary electorate. It existed from 1946 to 1978 and then from 1987 to 1996, and was represented by five Members of Parliament, four of whom represented the National Party. It is notable for returning a member of the Social Credit Party in the 1966 election, as no other candidate not aligned with either Labour or National had been elected to Parliament since 1943.

Population centres[edit]

The 1941 census had been postponed due to World War II, so the 1946 electoral redistribution had to take ten years of population growth and movements into account. The North Island gained a further two electorates from the South Island due to faster population growth. The abolition of the country quota through the Electoral Amendment Act, 1945 reduced the number and increased the size of rural electorates. None of the existing electorates remained unchanged, 27 electorates were abolished, eight former electorates were re-established, and 19 electorates were created for the first time, including Hobson.[1] The electorate was in the Northland Region, and in its original form included the following population centres: Ruawai, Dargaville, Kawakawa, Kaikohe, Kerikeri, Kaitaia, and Mangonui.[2] The original area had previously been covered by the Bay of Islands and Kaipara electorates.[3]

The electorate was abolished through the 1977 electoral redistribution. The area that it last covered was divided by the Bay of Islands and Kaipara electorates.[4]

The 1987 electoral redistribution took the continued population growth in the North Island into account, and two additional general electorates were created, bringing the total number of electorates to 97. In the South Island, the shift of population to Christchurch had continued.[5] Overall, three electorates were newly created, three electorates were recreated (including Hobson), and four electorates were abolished. All of those electorates were in the North Island. Changes in the South Island were restricted to boundary changes.[6] These changes came into effect with the 1987 election.[7]


The first representative of the Hobson electorate was Sidney Smith, who had previously represented the Bay of Islands electorate.[8] Smith retired in 1960 and was succeeded by Logan Sloane in the 1960 election.[8] In the 1960 and 1963 elections, Vernon Cracknell of the Social Credit Party contested the Hobson electorate and placed second on both occasions, pushing the Labour Party candidate into third place. The area had previously been receptive to social credit theory; the Social Credit Party had placed second in the 1954 election. In the 1966 election, Cracknell narrowly defeated Sloane.[9]

Members of Parliament[edit]


 National    Social Credit  

Election Winner
1946 election Sidney Smith
1949 election
1951 election
1954 election
1957 election
1960 election Logan Sloane
1963 election
1966 election Vernon Cracknell
1969 election Logan Sloane (2nd period)
1972 election
1975 election Neill Austin
(Electorate abolished in 1978; see Bay of Islands and Kaipara)
1987 election Ross Meurant
1990 election
1993 election

Election results[edit]

1975 election[edit]

General election, 1975: Hobson[10]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
National Neill Austin 9,559 51.7
Social Credit Howard Manning 5,458 29.5 +0.5
Labour David Lange 2,703 14.6
Majority 4,101 22.2 +15.8
Turnout 21,965 84.5 +3.6


  1. ^ McRobie 1989, pp. 91–96.
  2. ^ McRobie 1989, p. 94.
  3. ^ McRobie 1989, pp. 90, 94.
  4. ^ McRobie 1989, pp. 114–119.
  5. ^ McRobie 1989, pp. 127f.
  6. ^ McRobie 1989, pp. 123–128.
  7. ^ McRobie 1989, p. 127.
  8. ^ a b Wilson 1985, p. 235.
  9. ^ Wilson 1985, pp. 191, 235.
  10. ^ Norton 1988, p. 247.


  • 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.