Yaldhurst (New Zealand electorate)
The 1977 electoral redistribution was the most overtly political since the Representation Commission had been established through an amendment to the Representation Act in 1886, initiated by Muldoon's National Government. As part of the 1976 census, a large number of people failed to fill out an electoral re-registration card, and census staff had not been given the authority to insist on the card being completed. This had little practical effect for people on the general roll, but it transferred Māori to the general roll if the card was not handed in. Together with a northward shift of New Zealand's population, this resulted in five new electorates having to be created in the upper part of the North Island. The electoral redistribution was very disruptive, and 22 electorates were abolished, while 27 electorates were newly created (including Yaldhurst) or re-established. These changes came into effect for the 1978 election.
The Wigram electorate was abolished through the 1977 electoral redistribution and its northern part made up much of the area of the new Yaldhurst electorate. A much smaller areas were gained by Yaldhurst from the Riccarton and Rangiora electorates. Christchurch suburbs located in the Yaldhurst electorate included Burnside, Avonhead, Russley, Broomfield, Hei Hei, Yaldhurst, and parts of Hornby.
In the 1978 election, the Yaldhurst electorate was won by Mick Connelly of the Labour Party, who had been MP for the Wigram electorate since 1969, and the Riccarton electorate prior to that since 1956. Connelly retired at the 1984 election and was succeeded by Labour's Margaret Austin. In 1995, Austin defected to United New Zealand prior to the first mixed-member proportional (MMP) election. When the electorate was abolished in 1996, Austin stood in the new Ilam electorate where she came third.
Members of Parliament
|1978 election||Mick Connelly|
|1984 election||Margaret Austin|
|(Electorate abolished in 1996; see Ilam)|