West Coast (New Zealand electorate)

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West Coast is a former New Zealand Parliamentary electorate, from 1972 to 1996.

Population centres[edit]

Since the 1969 election, the number of electorates in the South Island was fixed at 25, with continued faster population growth in the North Island leading to an increase in the number of general electorates. There were 84 electorates for the 1969 election,[1] and the 1972 electoral redistribution saw three additional general seats created for the North Island, bringing the total number of electorates to 87.[2] Together with increased urbanisation in Christchurch and Nelson, the changes proved very disruptive to existing electorates.[2] In the South Island, three electorates were abolished, and three electorates were newly created (including West Coast).[3] In the North Island, five electorates were abolished, two electorates were recreated, and six electorates were newly created.[4] The West Coast and Tasman electorates replaced the former Buller and Westland electorates in 1972.[5]

Population centres of the original West Coast electorate were Haast, Whataroa, Hari Hari, Ross, Hokitika, Kumara, Greymouth, Moana, Punakaiki, Reefton, Inangahua, Westport, and Karamea.[6] In the 1977 electoral redistribution, Springs Junction was gained from the Tasman electorate.[7] There were no boundary changes through the 1983 and 1987 electoral redistribution.[8]


Labour's Paddy Blanchfield had represented the Westland electorate since 1960 and when Westland was abolished in 1972, Blanchfield transferred to the West Coast electorate.[9] He retired at the 1978 election and was replaced by Kerry Burke.[10] Burke was defeated in 1990 by Margaret Moir of the National Party. Moir was in turn defeated by Damien O'Connor at the 1993 election.[11]

In 1996, the first mixed-member proportional (MMP) election the electorate was combined with Tasman to form the West Coast-Tasman electorate.

Members of Parliament[edit]


 Labour    National  

Election Winner
1972 election Paddy Blanchfield
1975 election
1978 election Kerry Burke
1981 election
1984 election
1987 election
1990 election Margaret Moir
1993 election Damien O'Connor
(Electorate abolished 1996; see West Coast-Tasman)


  1. ^ McRobie 1989, p. 111.
  2. ^ a b McRobie 1989, p. 115.
  3. ^ McRobie 1989, pp. 112, 116.
  4. ^ McRobie 1989, pp. 111, 115.
  5. ^ McRobie 1989, pp. 113, 117.
  6. ^ McRobie 1989, p. 117.
  7. ^ McRobie 1989, pp. 117–121.
  8. ^ McRobie 1989, pp. 123–128.
  9. ^ Wilson 1985, p. 184.
  10. ^ Wilson 1985, pp. 184, 187.
  11. ^ Bromley, Tui (April 2011). "Shunned O'Connor lashes out". Greymouth Star. Retrieved 23 May 2015. 


  • McRobie, Alan (1989). Electoral Atlas of New Zealand. Wellington: GP Books. ISBN 0-477-01384-8. 
  • Wilson, James Oakley (1985) [First ed. published 1913]. New Zealand Parliamentary Record, 1840–1984 (4th ed.). Wellington: V.R. Ward, Govt. Printer. p. 266. OCLC 154283103.