New Zealand general election, 1999
The 1999 New Zealand general election was held on 27 November 1999 to determine the composition of the 46th New Zealand Parliament. The governing National Party, led by Prime Minister Jenny Shipley, was defeated, being replaced by a coalition of Helen Clark's Labour Party and the smaller Alliance. This marked an end to nine years of National Party government, and the beginning of the Fifth Labour Government of New Zealand which would govern for 9 years, until its loss to the National Party in the 2008 general election.
Before the election, the National Party had an unstable hold on power. After the 1996 election National had formed a coalition with the populist New Zealand First party and its controversial leader, Winston Peters. The coalition was unpopular, as New Zealand First was seen as opposed to the National government, and had made many statements in the 1996 election campaign to that effect, such as saying that only through New Zealand First could National Party be toppled, and Peters said that he would not accept Jim Bolger as Prime Minister, Bill Birch as Finance Minister or Jenny Shipley in a social welfare portfolio. NZ First's support crashed, though this was also partly caused by scandals and by mid-1997, NZ First was polling at as low as 2%. National also polled badly, and Jim Bolger was replaced as Prime Minister with Jenny Shipley.
Gradually, however, the relationship between the two parties deteriorated, and Peters took his party out of the coalition. A number of New Zealand First MPs deserted Peters, establishing themselves as independents or as members of newly established parties. By forming agreements with these MPs, National was able to keep itself in office, but its control was often unsteady. The polls were still initially close, but without NZ First support, National's chances of forming a government were slim. Eventually, Labour Party gained a solid lead over National.
The Labour Party, which had been in Opposition since losing the 1990 election, presented a strong challenge, particularly due to its agreement with the smaller Alliance party. The two had not previously enjoyed good relations, primarily due to the presence of the NewLabour Party as one of the Alliance's key members. NewLabour had been established by Jim Anderton, a former Labour MP who quit the party in protest over the economic reforms of Roger Douglas, which were often blamed for Labour's election loss in 1990. Gradually, as the Labour Party withdrew from "Rogernomics", the Alliance (led by Anderton) reduced its hostility towards Labour, but it was not until shortly before the 1999 election that a formal understanding was reached regarding a possible left-wing coalition. This agreement was deemed a necessary step towards building a credible alternative to the National Party.
This election was the first in New Zealand's history where both main parties were led by women.
The election took place on 27 November. Less than 84.1% of the 2,509,365 people registered to vote turned out for the election. This was the lowest turnout for some time, although it would drop further in the 2002 elections. A total of 679 candidates stood for electorate seats, representing 36 parties. Party lists comprised 760 candidates from 22 parties. The new government was sworn in on 10 December.
In the election 965 candidates stood, and there were 22 registered parties with party lists. Of the candidates, 482 were electorate and list, 197 were electorate only, and 286 were list only. 67% of candidates (647) were male and 33% (318) female.  
Summary of results
Labour Party won 49 seats in parliament. When combined with the ten seats won by the Alliance, the coalition was two seats short of an absolute majority. It was able to form a new government with support from the Green Party, which entered parliament for the first time as an independent party (having previously been a part of the Alliance). The Green Party's entry to parliament was by a narrow margin, however - in order to gain seats, it needed to either win 5% of the party vote or win an electorate seat, neither of which the party appeared likely to do. Helen Clark openly encouraged Labour supporters in the Coromandel to give their constituency vote to Green Party co-leader Jeanette Fitzsimons and their party vote to Labour. However, when all special votes (that is, votes cast by people who were not able to attend a polling place in their electorate on the day of the election) were counted, the Greens had narrowly reached not one but both targets - Jeanette Fitzsimons won the electorate of Coramandel by 250 votes, and the party gained 5.16% of the vote.
The National Party, while not performing exceptionally poorly, failed to gain enough support to keep it in power. It won 39 seats, ten fewer than the Labour Party. ACT New Zealand, a potential coalition partner for National, gained nine seats. While this was an increase on ACT's previous election results, it was not sufficient to enable the National Party to form a government. National's former coalition partner, New Zealand First, performed poorly, with voters punishing it for the problems in the last government. The party received less than 5% of the vote, and so would have been removed from parliament had Winston Peters not retained his electorate of Tauranga, something he did by only 63 votes. None of the MPs who deserted New Zealand First were returned to parliament.
|party||votes||% of votes||seats|
|disallowed special votes||41,884|
|total votes cast||2,127,295|
|Christian Heritage New Zealand||49,154||2.38|
|Future New Zealand||23,033||1.12|
|McGillicuddy Serious Party||3191||0.15|
|South Island Party||2912||0.14|
|One New Zealand||1311||0.06|
|Minor parties, total||124,460||6.03|
In addition to the registered parties listed above, some groups participated in the election without submitting party lists. Many of these were unregistered parties, lacking the necessary membership numbers for submitting a party list. There were, however, three registered ones that did not, for whatever reason, submit a party list. In total, 14 parties nominated electorate candidates only. By number of votes received, the most significant parties to do this were Te Tawharau (registered), Mana Wahine Te Ira Tangata (registered), the Equal Rights Party (unregistered), the Piri Wiri Tua Movement (unregistered), and the Asia Pacific United Party (registered). None of these parties were successful. There were also 36 independent candidates, also unsuccessful. The Mauri Pacific Party, established by a group of defectors from New Zealand First, failed to place even second in the electorates they held. Te Tawharau, which held a seat in parliament thanks to another New Zealand First defector, failed to retain its seat.
Of the 67 electorates in the 1999 election, a majority (41) were won by the opposition Labour Party. Included in Labour's total are the Maori seats, which it managed to regain after losing them to New Zealand First in the previous election. The governing National Party won 22 electorate seats, slightly less than a third of the total.
Four minor parties managed to win electorate seats. This proved important for some - neither New Zealand First nor United would have entered parliament if not for Winston Peters and Peter Dunne retaining their seats. Jim Anderton also retained his seat. The Greens won their first (and, so far, only) electorate seat when Jeanette Fitzsimons took Coromandel, although since the Greens crossed the 5% threshold, this was of less importance than originally thought.
The table below shows the results of the 1999 general election:
|ACT||United NZ||NZ First||Mauri Pacific|
|Unsuccessful: Lynne Pillay, John Blincoe, George Eru, Lili Tuioti, Ashraf Choudhary, Brenda Lowe-Johnson, Lesley Soper, Gordon Duncan, Denise Jelicich, Warren Lindberg, Derek Best, Josie Karanga, Tuipola Eva Charlton, Terry Hughes, Lindsay Rea, Glen Cameron, Kenneth Barclay, Margaret Hawkeswood, Tapihana Shelford, Hamish McCracken, Val Dearman, David Shearer, Lynette Stutz, Max Purnell, Yani Johanson|
Georgina Te Heuheu
|Unsuccessful: Arthur Anae1, Alec Neill1, Katherine O'Regan, Mark Thomas, Phil Raffills, Kerry Prendergast, Martin Poulson, David Steele, Dale Stephens, Angus McKay, Paul Henry, Chester Borrows, George Ngatai, Enosa Auva'a, Bret Bestic, Rod O'Beirne, Wayne Marriott, Stephen Rainbow, Tim Macindoe, George Kahi, Larry White, Ken Yee, Matthew Parkinson, Dawn Honeybun, George Halligan, Grant McCallum, Peggy Burrows, Toni Millar, Noelene Buckland, Stuart Boag|
|Unsuccessful: Mark Ryan, Heather Ann McConachy, Des Ratima, Dave Macpherson, Gerard Hehir, Moira Ann Lawler, Finau Kolo, Trevor Lance Barnard, Tricia Cutforth, Tekarehana Wicks, Robin Gwynn, Stephnie de Ruyter, Vernon Tile, Vern Winitana, Sarah Martin, Brendan Tracey, Cathy Casey, Jill Ovens, Deborah Frederikse, Tony Bird, Rebecca Matthews, Mary Ellen O'Connor, Gavin Maclean, Dion Martin, Evana Belich, Michael Treen, John Pemberton, Peter Jamieson, David Wilson, Donna Pokere-Phillips, Harry Alchin-Smith, Bonnie Johnstone, Janice Graham, Joseph Te Pare, Anna Sutherland, Lois Griffiths, Quentin Findlay, Peter Conrad Romanovsky, Gordon Parr, Lynley Simmons, Wayne Morris, Maevis Watson, Lindsay Mehrtens, John Neill, Bruce Bennett Holm, Pirihira Kaio, Paul Piesse, Bill Mockridge, Patrick Rooney|
Donna Awatere Huata
|Unsuccessful: Heather Roy, Dick Quax, Kathryn Asare, Max Whitehead, Andrew Davies, Hilary Calvert, Alex Wong, Nigel Mattison, Bruce Howat, Mike Steeneveld, Coral Wong, John Ormond, Charles Lowndes, Christopher Milne, Angus Ogilvie, Michael Coote, Brett Ambler, Vijaya Charan, Katharine Sillars, Matt McInnes, Lech Beltowski, Alex Swney, Ian Carline, Moira Irving, Daniel King, Richard Cox, John Thompson, Paul King, Reg Turner, Graham Hewett, John Morrison, Malcolm Spark, Glen Cowie, Alan Beecham, Dean Richardson, Alan Wood, Willie Martin, Ian Swan, Andrew Power, Lynne Cook, Lynley McKerrow, Gavin Denby, Barbara Steinijans, Ria Gray-Lock, Morris Hey, Jean Thompson, Paul Booth, Trevor West, Men Chandler, John Peters, Darryl Ward, Wayne Harris, Stephen Kidby, William Tripe, Kati Unuia, Garry Mallett|
|Unsuccessful: Mike Ward, Janine McVeagh, Richard Davies, Judy Bischoff, Danna Glendining, Janet McVeagh, Caron Zillwood, Evan Alty, Michael Tritt, Rex Verity, Laurence Boomert, David Clendon, Brendan Hoare, Lynne Dempsey, Frankie Dean, Diana Pennel, Don Murray, Diana Mellor, Angie Denby, Stephen Abel, Craig Potton, Celia Wade-Brown, Toni Atkinson, Karen Summerhays, Jeremy Hall, Deb Harding, Ruth Gardner, Pat McNamara, Wayne Parsonson, Pid Direen, Clive Taylor, Bera MacClement, Cliff Mason, Dianne Gillard, Rich Wernham, James Baynton, Craig Carson, Jane Wells, Chris Marshall, David Rose, Robert Cawte, Olive Gallagher, Chris Hay, John Carapiet, Nick Fisher, Jim Valley, Greg Sawyer|
|New Zealand First||Peter Brown
|Unsuccessful: Ian Walker, Suzanne Bruce, Andrew Gin, Josie Anderson, Gilbert Myles, Jonathan Mosen, Kahukore Baker, Chris Comesky, Allan Wise, Rob Harris, David Fowler, Chris Rivers, Pat O'Dea, Pita Paraone, Robyn McDonald, Bill Woods, Jenny Bloxham, Graham Adams, Dave Mackie, Bill Gudgeon, Anaru George, Robert Dixon, Gordon Stewart, Anne Martin, Brent Catchpole, Charles Crofts, Lorraine Anderson, John Ballantyne, Jerry Hohepa, Joy Brett, Dilip Rupa, Edwin Perry, Raymond Hina, Dawn Mullins, Mae Neuman|
|Christian Heritage||Unsuccessful: Graham Capill, Philip Sherry, Ewen McQueen, Gael Donoghue, John Bryant, Frank Grover, Rosemarie Thomas, Vic Jarvis, Tuhi Vahaakolo, Dick Holland, David Parlour, Grant Bradfield, Rosemary Francis, Barrie Paterson, Chris Salt, Helma Vermeulen, Nick Barber, Robin Corner, Mike Lloyd, Madeleine Flannagan, Max Shierlaw, McGregor Simpson, Geoff Francis, Jim Prime, Mary Paki, Mark Munroe, Derek Blight, Judith Phillips, Renton Maclauchlan, Mike Ferguson, Rod Harris, David Simpkin, John Tonson, Steve Williams, Margaret Burgess, Barry Pepperell, Marin Reid, Uaita Levi, Eleanor Goodall, Richard Rangihuna, Leona Emberson-Ready, Joyce Stevens, Ken Moore, Ross Prichard, Tony Corbett, Ned Jack, Mark Jones, Don Moore, Gavin Hockly, Diane Taylor, Russell Zwies, Steve Panapa, Bob Davis, Tony Brebner, Mary-Anne Gladwell, John van der Zee, Ken Andrew, Murray Pirret, Jeannette Shramka, Grant Peck, Hasko Starrenberg, Victor Grubi, David Harris, John Streekstra|
|Future New Zealand||Unsuccessful: Anthony Walton, David Brown, Murray Smith, Geoffrey Hounsell, Grant Bowater, Kanui Hiha, Daryl Gregory, Kevin Harper, Larry Baldock, Yvonne Palmer, Robert Wheeler, Harold Smithers, David Ogden, Judy Turner, Wayne Chapman, Julie Belding, Walter McGrail, Jason Keiller, Linda Dring, Craig Hunt, Win Murray, David Perkin, Tiwha Blake, Rosemary Drake, Martyn Seddon|
|Legalise Cannabis||Unsuccessful: Michael Appleby, Allan Webb, Kevin O'Connell, David Moore, Jeanette Saxby, Caleb Armstrong, Paul McMullan, Brian Jensen, Mike Britnell, Daya Moy, Kerry Gooch, Evelyn Adele Shingleton, Teresa Aporo, Christine Mitchell, Daniel Hovell, Benjamin Clark, Riki Joyce|
|United||Unsuccessful: Mike Sheppard, Aditya Prakash Kashyap, Ram Prakash, Jim Howard, Kim Woon, Graham Butterworth, Kookie Samin, Rehana Qureshi, Colin Jackson, Steven Bright, Maata Fuimaono, Frank Owen, Gray Phillips, Bryan Mockridge, John Hubscher, Kent Clark, Youssuf Qureshi, Murray Callister, Atiqur Rahman, Pathik Vyas, Seyed Hosseni|
|Libertarianz||Unsuccessful: Lindsay Perigo, Richard McGrath, Deborah Coddington, Bernard Darnton, Tina White, Peter Linton, Larry Timberlake, Sally O'Brien, Julian Darby, Chris Lewis, Peter Cresswell, Paul McDonald, Anna Woolf, Joy Faulkner, Robert Winefield, Scott Alsweiler, Keith Patterson, Andrew Couper, Robert White, Andrew Bates, Michael Murphy, Mark McCombe, Nikolas Haden, Chris Robertson, Mike Webber, Richard Wiig, Russell Watkins, Helen Hughes, Derek Bull, Ken Riddle|
|Mana Maori||Unsuccessful: Tame Iti, Tuariki Delamere, Angeline Greensill, Richard Kake, Tunuirangi McLean, Tracey Hancy, Ken Mair, Anton Kerekere, Jesse Pene, Mereana Pitman, David Edmonds, Henare Morehu, Te Miringa Hohaia, Gareth Seymour, Himenoa Kake, Tania Rauna, Ellen Amohanga, Diane Prince, Anthony Moke, Lai Toy, Nigel Tairua, Ngahapeaparatuae Lomax, Julie Nathan, Harata Jane Paul, Tehurihanga Heihei, Rangimarie Harding, Wiremu Tairua, Tiare Para|
|Mauri Pacific||Unsuccessful: Tau Henare, Tuku Morgan, Peta Stulepa, Rana Waitai, Ann Batten, Te Orohi Paul, Atawhai Tibble, Amokura Huia Panoho, Rovina Anderson, Eric Chuah, Danny Turia, Rajesh Masters, Martin Kaipo, Helen Akhtari, Trieste Te Awe Awe, Sharon Faloon, Rayna Waitai, Fa'amatuainu Iakopo, Laura Mason, Richard Waitai, Kelly Waitai, Api Malu|
|Animals First||Unsuccessful: Alistar McKellow, Adrienne Hall, Susan Walker, Terri Walsh, Bettina Brown, Brenda Walker, Janice Strong, Jan Cumming, Peter Crosse, Neville Lynch|
|McGillicuddy Serious||Unsuccessful: Graeme Cairns, Leanne Ireland, Steve Richards, Rodney Hansen, K T Julian, Val Smith, Peter Caldwell, Greg Smith, Donna Demente, Paul Smith, Robyn West, Adrian Holroyd, Johanna Sanders, Cecil G. Murgatroyd, Penny Bousfield, Grant Knowles, Heidi Borchardt, Paull Cooke, Amy Ross, Rebekah Coogan, Derek Craig, Douglas Mackie, Mark Servian, Bernard Smith, Paul Beere, Worik Turei Stanton, Metiria Stanton Turei, Phil Clayton, Megan Seawright, Timothy Owens, Antony Deaker, Colin Howie, Adrienne Carthew, Jonat Wharton, Paula Hudson, Helen Thornton, Amy MacDonald, David McGregor, Fiona Jack, Michael-Garnet Grimmett, Kerry Hoole, Toni-Ann Alsop, D J Howard, John Creser, Maria McMillan, Jane Hakaria, Catherine Wilson, Ara Nokomis, Dale Taylor, Wendy Clesse, Jeffrey Holdaway, Tricesta Engebretsen, Phillip Sandlant, Robyn Homes, Ross Edgar, Serena Moran, Emma Smith, Nikki Davis, Andrew French, David Sutcliffe, Daniel Mohr, Michael Gemmel, Samuel Cumming, Karl Hewlett|
|South Island||Unsuccessful: Allan McDonald, Patrick McCarrigan, Margaret McCarrigan, Miles Notman, Gerry Campbell, Joe Price, Paul Mierzejewski|
|Natural Law||Unsuccessful: Bryan Lee, Ian Douglas, David Lovell-Smith, Gillian Sanson, John Cleary, Graeme Lodge, Gray Tredwell, Bruce Brown, Anthony Martin, Selwyn Austin, Gail Pianta, John Hodgson, Linda Davy, Mark Watts, Paul Moreham, Raymond Cain, Anthony Katavich, John Bird, Raylene Lodge, Ian Smillie, Tim Irwin, Linda Sinden, Michael Hirst, Daniel Meares, Warwick Jones, Bruce Sowry, Wayne Shepherd, Gary Benner, Martin Jelley, Jonathan Muller, Leslie McGrath, Anthony Cornellissen, Russell Mack, Carolyn Drake, Thomas Hopwood, Andrew Sanderson, Ian McCullough, Kay Morgan, Martin Sharp, Bobbie Aubertin, Gilbert Urquhart, Mieke van Basten Batenburg, Leigh Bush, Michael Bartelmeh, Faye McLaren, Grant Bilyard, Brendan Rhodes, Anne Brigid, Roy Neumegen, Ruth Ordish-Benner, Gary Barnard, Lillian Urquhart|
|One New Zealand||Unsuccessful: Walter Boyd|
|NMP||Unsuccessful: Vivienne Berry-Evans, Peter Harrison, Pauline Hallows, Cecil Andrew da Latour, Edwina Chmielowski, Graham Mark Atkin, Llyn Renwick, Darag Stuart Rennie, Alison White, Aaziq Mumtaz, Sue Johnstom, Brett K Gifkins, Isabel Montgomery, Peter Archer, Isabel Hutchinson, Alfred James Mitchell, David Pattinson, John Sulu Tau Shepherd, Anthony Phillip Cranston|
|Freedom Movement||Unsuccessful: Jennifer Waitai-Rapana, Lei Graham, Kororia Ettie Rawinia Aperahama, Miiria Macushla Mako, Helen Te Uruiria Wepiha-Tai, Atareta Kapa Hills, Arahi R Hagger, Priscilla Ann Maxwell, Trevor Sorenson, Kevin Leonard Kapea, Taukiri Abraham, Te Rino Kotene Rapana, Mereana Pari, Myna Yvonne Rangiamohia Paraha-Richmond, Chrissie B Zurcher, Carol Grace Arnold, Whare Ngarare Mehana, Hone Hamiora Piripi Paki, Annette Christine Paki, Wiremu Abraham, Donna Louise Plumridge, Jaaron Turei Moore, Florence Plumridge, Whetu-Ote-Ata Aranui, Okeroa Denise Waitai, Tutere Tai, William Ernest Abraham, Mary-Anne Waitai, Te Wairangi (Lavinia) Pere, Michelle Ngauta Wroe, Bill Nathan Piriwiritua Thompson, Te Kura (Edward) Pairama, Jared Steve Abbot, Catherine Chisholm, Vanessa Tewaa Rangitakatu, Te Aira Nyman, John Haki Huia, Maraea Mere Hapi-Crowe, Kim Sonia Maxwell, Tina Mouri Johnston-Downs|
|Peoples Choice||Unsuccessful: Rusty Kane, Doug Wilson|
|Republican||Unsuccessful: Gregory H Smith, Brian Freeth, Graham Gilfillan, Jane Hotere, Sam Mendes, Rose Hotere, William Powell|
- These party list members later entered parliament in the term as other list MPs elected resigned from parliament.
- These party list members later resigned during the parliamentary term.
Summary of seat changes
- Electoral redistributions:
- A minor reconfiguration of electorates and their boundaries occurred between the 1996 and 1999 elections. Six seats were abolished and eight were created, giving a net gain of two electorates.
- The seats of Mahia, New Lynn, Owairaka, Waipareira, Te Tai Rawhiti (Maori) and Te Puku O Te Whenua (Maori) ceased to exist.
- The seats of East Coast, Mt Albert, Mt Roskill, Te Atatu, Titirangi, Hauraki (Maori), Ikaroa-Rawhiti (Maori) and Waiariki (Maori) came into being.
- Seats captured:
- By Labour: Banks Peninsula, Hamilton West, Maungakiekie, Northcote, Rotorua and Wairarapa were captured from National. Te Tai Hauauru and Te Tai Tokerau were captured from Mauri Pacific. Wellington Central was captured from ACT. Te Tai Tonga was captured from New Zealand First.
- By the Greens: Coromandel was captured from National.
- Seats transferred from departing MPs to new MPs:
- Epsom, Kaikoura, Karapiro, Port Waikato, Rangitikei, Waitakere and Whangarei, all held by departing National MPs, were won by new National candidates. Two of the departing MPs remained in Parliament as list MPs, and another won a different electorate seat.
- The seats of Mana, Dunedin South and Waimakariri, all held by departing Labour MPs, were won by new Labour candidates. One of the departing MPs remained in Parliament as a list MP.
- Labour list seats: Lost 3 (was 11, fell to 8)
- Became electorate MPs: 7
- Re-elected: 5
- Newly elected: 3 (including a former electorate MP)
- National list seats: Gained 3 (was 14, rose to 17)
- Retired: 4
- Re-elected: 6
- Not re-elected: 3
- Newly elected: 11 (including 9 former electorate MPs)
- Alliance list seats: Lost 2 (was 11, fell to 9)
- Re-elected: 9
- (Became Green MPs: 2)
- ACT list seats: Gained 2 (was 7, rose to 9)
- Retired: 2
- Re-elected: 5
- Newly elected: 4 (including a former electorate MP)
- Green list seats: Gained 6 (was 0, rose to 6)
- (Former Alliance list MPs: 2)
- Became electorate MP: 1
- Re-elected: 1
- Newly elected: 5
- New Zealand First list seats: Lost 3 (was 7, fell to 4)
- Re-elected: 4
- Not re-elected: 3
- Christian Heritage list seats: Lost 1 (was 1, fell to 0)
- Not re-elected: 1
- Mauri Pacific list seats: Lost 2 (was 2, fell to 0)
- Not re-elected: 2
- Mana Wahine list seats: Lost 1 (was 1, fell to 0)
- Not re-elected: 1
- The Baubles of Office: The New Zealand General Election of 2005 p87, edited by Stephen Levine & Nigel S Roberts (2007, Victoria University Press, Wellington) ISBN 978-0-86473-539-3
- New Zealand Votes: The General Election of 2002 p22 edited by Jonathan Boston, Stephen Church, Stephen Levine, Elizabeth McLeay & Nigel S. Roberts (2003, Victoria University Press, Wellington) ISBN 0-86473-468-9
- Bernard Orsman (28 October 1999). "Key electorate: Coromandel". New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 24 December 2014.
- Left Turn: The New Zealand General Election of 1999. Victoria University Press. 2000. p. 237. ISBN 9780864734044.
- "Candidate Vote Details". Electoral Commission. Retrieved 9 April 2014.
- "Party Lists of Successful Registered Parties". Electoral Commission. Retrieved 26 August 2013.
- "Party Lists of Unsuccessful Registered Parties". Electoral Commission. Retrieved 26 August 2013.
- Boston, Jonathan; Church, Stephen; Levine, Stephen; McLeay, Elizabeth; Roberts, Nigel S., eds. (2000). Left turn: the New Zealand general election of 1999. Wellington: Victoria University Press. ISBN 0864734042.