Hokonui (New Zealand electorate)

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Hokonui was a parliamentary electorate in the Southland Region of New Zealand, from 1881 to 1890.

Population centres

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 Hokonui, and two electorates that had previously been abolished to be recreated. This necessitated a major disruption to existing boundaries.[1]

The electorate included the Hokonui Hills, the range of hills which rise above the Southland Plains, of which the hills mark a northern extremity.


The Hokonui electorate in the Southland Region of New Zealand was formed for the 1881 election.[2] The 1881 election was contested by Henry Driver, Cuthbert Cowan and Peter Finn, who obtained 527, 431, and 121 votes, respectively. Driver was thus declared elected.[3] Driver had previously represented the Roslyn electorate for four parliamentary terms.[4] Cowan had represented the Wallace in 1869 following a by-election for only a few months.[5] Peter Finn, a supporter of the previous Premier George Grey,[6] was a barrister and solicitor from Invercargill who had previously been a politician in Victoria.[7]

The 1884 election was contested by Cowan, Frank Stephen Canning, Justus Hobbs, and Thomas James Lumsden (a son of George Lumsden). Cowan, Canning, Hobbs and Lumsden received 557, 286, 52 and 5 votes, respectively.[8]

In the 1887 election, Cowan was challenged by Alfred Baldey, a farmer from Ryal Bush who was prominent in local Southland politics.[9] Cowan and Baldey received 649 and 593 votes, respectively.[10]

At the end of the parliamentary term in 1890, the Hokonui electorate was abolished[11] and Cowan retired from Parliament.[5]

Election results

Hokonui was represented by two Members of Parliament.[11]



Election Winner
1881 election Henry Driver
1884 election Cuthbert Cowan
1887 election


  1. ^ McRobie 1989, pp. 43–48.
  2. ^ Wilson 1985, p. 265.
  3. ^ "Winton". Southland Times (4202). 17 December 1881. p. 4. Retrieved 30 June 2012.
  4. ^ Wilson 1985, p. 194.
  5. ^ a b Wilson 1985, p. 191.
  6. ^ "Invercargill". Daily Telegraph (3222). 27 October 1881. p. 3. Retrieved 30 June 2012.
  7. ^ "Mr Peter T Finn". Poverty Bay Herald. XXXVIII (12446). 4 May 1911. p. 5. Retrieved 30 June 2012.
  8. ^ "The General Election, 1884". National Library. 1884. p. 3. Retrieved 17 March 2012.
  9. ^ Cyclopedia Company Limited (1905). "Members Of The Legislative Council". The Cyclopedia of New Zealand : Otago & Southland Provincial Districts. Christchurch: The Cyclopedia of New Zealand. Retrieved 29 June 2012.
  10. ^ "The General Election, 1887". National Library. 1887. p. 2. Retrieved 25 February 2012.
  11. ^ a b Wilson 1985, p. 277.


  • 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.
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