Waitotara (New Zealand electorate)
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, including Waitotara, and two electorates that had previously been abolished to be recreated. This necessitated a major disruption to existing boundaries.
The electorate was rural, in South Taranaki. It was based on the town of Waitotara, and is north of the city of Wanganui. Its original area was bounded by Egmont and Taranaki in the west, Waipa in the north, and Rangitikei in the east. It bordered onto the South Taranaki Bight and went around the Wanganui electorate. It included the towns of Patea, Pipiriki, Raetihi, and Ohakune.
In the 20th century the seat existed from 1978 to the introduction of MMP in 1996 and was represented by two National MPs.
At the 1996 election, the bulk of the Waitotara electorate was merged with Wanganui to create the new electorate of Whanganui, and Peter Gresham was defeated by the Wanganui incumbent, Jill Pettis of the Labour Party. Gresham remained in Parliament as a list MP but retired in 1999.
Members of Parliament
Waitotara was represented by four Members of Parliament.
|1881 election||John Bryce|
|1887 election||George Hutchison|
|(Electorate abolished 1893–1978)|
|1978 election||Venn Young|
|1990 election||Peter Gresham|