New Zealand general election, 1893

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1893 general election
New Zealand
1890 ←
28 November (general) & 20 December (Māori) 1893 → 1896
outgoing members ← → members

All 74 seats in the New Zealand House of Representatives
38 seats were needed for a majority
Turnout 75.3%
  First party Second party
  RichardSeddon1905.jpg William Rolleston in retirement.jpg
Leader Richard Seddon William Rolleston
Party Liberal Independent
Leader since 1893 1891
Leader's seat Westland Halswell (lost seat)
Last election 40 seats 25 seats
Seats won 51 13
Seat change Increase 11 Decrease 12
Popular vote 175,814 74,482
Percentage 57.80% 24.49%
Swing Increase 1.7% Decrease 4.5%

Prime Minister before election

Richard Seddon

Prime Minister-designate

Richard Seddon

The New Zealand general election of 1893 was held on 28 November and 20 December in the European and Māori electorates, respectively, to elect 74 MPs to the 12th session of the New Zealand Parliament. The election was won by the Liberal Party, and Richard Seddon became Prime Minister.

1893 was the year universal suffrage was granted to women over 21 (including Māori), plural registration was abolished, plural voting for Māori property-owners was abolished, and only those whose descent was exactly half Māori were allowed to choose whether to vote in European or Māori electorates. Women's suffrage was the most consequential change.

1892 electoral redistribution[edit]

The previous electoral redistribution was undertaken in 1890 for the 1890 election. The 1891 census was the first to automatically trigger an electoral redistribution, which was undertaken in 1892. The population drift to the North Island resulted in the transfer of one electorate from the south to the north. Only three electorates remained with unaltered boundaries: Thames, Wairarapa, and Timaru.[1] 14 new electorates were established, and of those, eight electorates were established for the first time: Bay of Plenty, Otaki, Pareora, Patea, Riccarton, Waiapu, Waimea-Sounds, and Wellington Suburbs. The remaining six electorates had existed before, and they were re-established for the 12th Parliament: Caversham, Chalmers, Lyttelton, Rangitata, Waihemo, and Waipa.[2]

Women's suffrage[edit]

Kate Sheppard National Memorial in Christchurch adjacent to Our City. The figures shown from left to right are Amey Daldy, Kate Sheppard, Ada Wells and Harriet Morison

By far the most notable change for the 1893 election was that the Electoral Act, 1893, extended the franchise to all women (including Māori) aged 21 and over.[3] Women's suffrage was granted after about two decades of campaigning by women such as Kate Sheppard and Mary Ann Müller and organisations such as the New Zealand branch of the Women's Christian Temperance Union led by Anne Ward.[4] Of countries presently independent, New Zealand was the first to give women the vote in modern times.[5] John Hall, a conservative politician and former premier, received most of the credit for pushing the legislation through Parliament; he is the only male who has his name inscribed on the Kate Sheppard National Memorial.[5] There were only 10 weeks between the passage of the legislation and the election, and the Woman's Christian Temperance Union (WCTU) set about to enrol as many women as possible.[4]

The election[edit]

The 1893 election was held on Tuesday, 28 November in the general electorates, and on Wednesday, 20 December in the Māori electorates to elect a total of 74 MPs to the 12th Parliament.[6][7]

A total number of 302,997 (75.3%) voters turned out to vote.[8] 65% of all eligible New Zealand women voted in the 1893 election.[4] In 3 seats there was only one candidate.[9] 31 and 39 electorates were in the North Island and South Island, respectively, plus the 4 Māori electorates.[10]


Party totals[edit]

The following table gives party strengths and vote distribution according to Wilson (1985), who records Maori representatives as Independents prior to the 1905 election.[11]

Party Candidates Total votes Percentage Seats won
Liberal 103 175,814 57.80% 51
Opposition 55 74,482 24.49% 13
Independent 49 53,880 17.71% 10
Total 207 302,997 74

Votes summary[edit]

Popular Vote
Parliament seats

Electorate results[edit]

The following is a table of electorate results by electorate. Key

 Liberal    Opposition    Liberal-Labour    Independent  

[v · t · e] Electorate results for the New Zealand general election, 1893[12][13]
Electorate Incumbent Winner Majority Runner up
General electorates
Ashburton Edward George Wright John McLachlan 26 Cathcart Wason
Ashley Richard Meredith 590 David Duncan Macfarlane
Auckland, City of Alfred Cadman George Grey 2,233 Thomas Tudehope[14]
Thomas Thompson William Crowther 438
John Shera Charles Button 68
Avon Edwin Blake William Tanner 653 George McIntyre
Awarua Joseph Ward Uncontested
Bay of Islands Robert Houston 231 James Trounsen[15]
Bay of Plenty New electorate William Kelly 209 Henry Burton[16]
Bruce James Allen Uncontested
Buller Eugene O'Conor Roderick McKenzie
Caversham New electorate Arthur Morrison
Chalmers New electorate John A. Millar
Christchurch, City of Ebenezer Sandford William Whitehouse Collins
William Pember Reeves
Richard Molesworth Taylor George Smith
Clutha Thomas Mackenzie
Dunedin, City of William Hutchison
David Pinkerton
Henry Fish William Earnshaw
Eden Edwin Mitchelson 1,161 Malcolm Niccol
Egmont Felix McGuire 135 Benjamin Robbins
Ellesmere John Hall William Montgomery
Franklin Ebenezer Hamlin Benjamin Harris 89 William Massey
Grey Arthur Guinness
Hawke's Bay William Russell 70 Charles William Reardon[17]
Inangahua Robert Stout Patrick O'Regan
Invercargill James Kelly
Kaiapoi Richard Moore David Buddo
Lyttelton New electorate John Joyce
Manukau Frank Buckland Maurice O'Rorke 252 Frank Buckland
Marsden Robert Thompson[nb 1] Robert Thompson 1,010 James Harrison[15]
Masterton Alexander Hogg 1,228 Joseph Harkness
Mataura George Richardson Robert McNab
Napier George Henry Swan Samuel Carnell 520 George Henry Swan
Nelson Joseph Harkness John Graham
New Plymouth Edward Metcalf Smith 491 Robert Trimble
Oamaru Thomas Duncan
Otaki New electorate James Wilson
Palmerston James Wilson Frederick Pirani
Pareora New electorate Frederick Flatman
Parnell Frank Lawry 334 William Shepherd Allen
Patea New electorate George Hutchison
Rangitata New electorate William Maslin
Rangitikei Robert Bruce John Stevens
Riccarton New electorate George Russell
Selwyn Alfred Saunders
Taieri Walter Carncross
Thames James McGowan 311 Edmund Taylor
Timaru William Hall-Jones 407 Edward George Kerr
Tuapeka Hugh Valentine Vincent Pyke
Waihemo New electorate John McKenzie
Waiapu New electorate James Carroll 497 Cecil de Lautour
Waikato Edward Lake Alfred Cadman 75 Isaac Coates[13]
Waikouaiti James Green
Waimea-Sounds New electorate Charles H. Mills
Waipa New electorate Frederic Lang 989 Gerald Peacock[18]
Waipawa William Smith Charles Hall 378 George Hunter
Wairarapa Walter Clarke Buchanan 690 George Augustus Fairbrother[19]
Wakatipu Thomas Fergus William Fraser
Wairau Lindsay Buick 322 William Sinclair
Waitaki John McKenzie William Steward
Waitemata Jackson Palmer[nb 2] Richard Monk 239 Jackson Palmer
Wallace James Mackintosh
Wanganui John Ballance Archibald Willis
Wellington Suburbs New electorate Alfred Newman
Wellington, City of John Duthie
George Fisher Francis Bell
William McLean Robert Stout
Westland Richard Seddon Uncontested
Māori electorates[nb 3]
Eastern Maori James Carroll Wi Pere
Northern Maori Eparaima Te Mutu Kapa Hone Heke Ngapua
Southern Maori Tame Parata 185 Teoti Pita Mutu
Western Maori Hoani Taipua Ropata Te Ao 90 Pepene Eketone

Table footnotes:

  1. ^ Robert Thompson was an Independent in the previous Parliament
  2. ^ Jackson Palmer was listed as Government in contemporary media, but as an Independent by Wilson
  3. ^ The affiliation of many of the Māori candidates is unknown or uncertain


  1. ^ McRobie 1989, pp. 55–60.
  2. ^ McRobie 1989, pp. 59f.
  3. ^ McRobie 1989, p. 59.
  4. ^ a b c Malcolm, Tessa K. "Sheppard, Katherine Wilson". Dictionary of New Zealand Biography. Ministry for Culture and Heritage. Retrieved 2 December 2013. 
  5. ^ a b "One giant leap for womankind". The New Zealand Herald. 13 November 2013. pp. F24–F25. Retrieved 21 February 2015. 
  6. ^ "The General Election, 1893". National Library. 1894. pp. 1–4. Retrieved 25 February 2012. 
  7. ^ "The general Election". Otago Daily Times. 23 December 1893. p. 2. Retrieved 23 August 2011. 
  8. ^ "General elections 1853-2005 - dates & turnout". Elections New Zealand. Retrieved 12 September 2010. 
  9. ^ Wilson 1985, p. 286.
  10. ^ Wilson 1985, p. 173.
  11. ^ Wilson 1985, pp. 287–289.
  12. ^ "The General Election, 1893". National Library. 1894. pp. 1–4. Retrieved 19 November 2013. 
  13. ^ a b "The General Election". Otago Daily Times. 28 November 1893. p. 6. Retrieved 28 November 2013. 
  14. ^ "Electorate City of Auckland". Auckland Star XXIV (273). 17 November 1893. p. 3. Retrieved 28 November 2013. 
  15. ^ a b "Page 4 Advertisements Column 3". The Northern Advocate. 25 November 1893. p. 4. Retrieved 19 November 2013. 
  16. ^ "Public Notice". Bay of Plenty Times. 20 November 1893. p. 5. Retrieved 28 November 2013. 
  17. ^ "Hawke's Bay Electorate". Hawke's Bay Herald. XXVIII (9544). 2 December 1893. p. 3. Retrieved 30 November 2013. 
  18. ^ "The General Elections". The Press L (8651). 28 November 1893. p. 6. Retrieved 29 November 2013. 
  19. ^ Cyclopedia Company Limited (1897). "Borough Of Carterton". The Cyclopedia of New Zealand : Wellington Provincial District. Wellington: The Cyclopedia of New Zealand. Retrieved 30 November 2013. 


  • 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. 

External links[edit]