Marlborough (New Zealand electorate)

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Marlborough is a former New Zealand parliamentary electorate, in the Marlborough region at the top of the South Island. It existed from 1938 to 1996, and was represented by five Members of Parliament.

Population centres

The 1931 New Zealand census had been cancelled due to the Great Depression, so the 1937 electoral redistribution had to take ten years of population growth into account. The increasing population imbalance between the North and South Islands had slowed, and only one electorate seat was transferred from south to north. Five electorates were abolished, one former electorate (Onehunga) was re-established, and four electorates were created for the first time, including Marlborough.[1] The Marlborough electorate replaced the Wairau electorate, which had more or less the same shape as Wairau had had since the 1927 electoral redistribution.[2] For the purposes of the country quota, the 1936 census had determined that some 27% of the population lived in urban areas, and the balance in rural areas.[3]

Settlements that were covered by the original electorate included Havelock, Picton, Blenheim, and Kaikoura.[4] The area is noted for growing grapes for white wine.


The electorate was created in 1938, replacing the Wairau electorate. Edwin Meachen of the Labour Party, who had previously represented Wairau, was the first representative.[5] In the 1946 election, Meachen was defeated by National's Tom Shand.[6]

In 1996 with the advent of mixed-member proportional (MMP) representation the electorate was included into the Kaikōura electorate. The then MP Doug Kidd was the first MP for Kaikōura.

Members of Parliament


 Labour    National  

Election Winner
1938 election Edwin Meachen
1943 election
1946 election Tom Shand
1949 election
1951 election
1954 election
1957 election
1960 election
1963 election
1966 election
1969 election
1970 by-election Ian Brooks
1972 election
1975 election Edward Latter
1978 election Doug Kidd
1981 election
1984 election
1987 election
1990 election
1993 election
(Electorate abolished in 1996)

Election results

1970 by-election

1970 Marlborough by-election
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Labour Ian Brooks 7,060 47.93
National Anthony Shand 6,017 40.85
Social Credit G R Kerr 1,171 7.95
Country Party Clifford Stanley Emeny 482 3.27
Majority 1,043 7.08
Turnout 14,730


  1. ^ McRobie 1989, pp. 87–92.
  2. ^ McRobie 1989, pp. 87–93.
  3. ^ McRobie 1989, p. 92.
  4. ^ McRobie 1989, p. 93.
  5. ^ Wilson 1985, p. 219.
  6. ^ Wilson 1985, pp. 219, 233.


  • 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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