New Zealand general election, 1902

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New Zealand general election, 1902

← 1899 25 November (general) & 22 December (Māori) 1902 1905 →

All 80 seats in the New Zealand House of Representatives
41 seats were needed for a majority
Turnout 76.7%
  First party Second party
  Richard Seddon, 1906.jpg William Ferguson Massey, 1905.jpg
Leader Richard Seddon William Massey
Party Liberal Conservative
Leader since 1893 1900[nb 1]
Leader's seat Westland Franklin
Last election 49 seats 19 seats
Seats won 47 19
Seat change Decrease 2 Steady
Popular vote 215,378 85,652
Percentage 51.8 20.6
Swing Decrease 1.9 Decrease 16.0

Prime Minister before election

Richard Seddon

Prime Minister-designate

Richard Seddon

The New Zealand general election of 1902 was held on Tuesday, 25 November, in the general electorates, and on Monday, 22 December in the Māori electorates to elect a total of 80 MPs to the 15th session of the New Zealand Parliament. A total number of 415,789 (76.7%) voters turned out to vote.[2]

The Rev Frank Isitt was nominated as the Prohibitionist candidate for ten separate electorates, and came second in eight. Another candidate, David Whyte, was nominated for two. Both men stood to ensure that a local liquor licensing poll was held in each electorate for which they were nominated.

1902 electoral redistribution

The Representation Act 1900 had increased the membership of the House of Representatives from general electorates 70 to 76, and this was implemented through the 1902 electoral redistribution. In 1902, changes to the country quota affected the three-member electorates in the four main centres. The tolerance between electorates was increased to ±1,250 so that the Representation Commissions (since 1896, there had been separate commissions for the North and South Islands) could take greater account of communities of interest. These changes proved very disruptive to existing boundaries.[3] Six electorates were established for the first time: Courtenay, Newtown, Grey Lynn , Hurunui, Oroua, and Kaipara. Two electorates that previously existed were re-established: Mount Ida and Hutt.[4]

This boundary redistribution resulted in the abolition of three electorates:[4]


Frank Isitt, a Methodist minister, stood in ten seats as a Prohibition candidate, and came second in eight.

Party totals

The following table gives party strengths and vote distribution according to Wilson (1985), who records Maori representatives as Independents prior to the 1905 election.[5]

Election results
Party Candidates Total votes Percentage Seats won Change
Liberal 105 215,378 51.8 47 -2
Conservative 53 85,652 20.6 19 ±0
Independent 54 115,173 27.7 14 +8

Votes summary

Popular Vote
Parliament seats

Electorate results

The following are the results of the 1902 general election:


 Liberal    Conservative    Independent Liberal        Liberal–Labour  Independent  

Electorate results for the New Zealand general election, 1902[6]

Electorate Incumbent Winner Majority Runner up
General electorates
Ashburton John McLachlan 439 John Studholme
Auckland, City of William Joseph Napier Alfred Kidd 934 William Richardson
Joseph Witheford 1,515 William Joseph Napier
George Fowlds Frederick Baume 2,282 Arthur Rosser
Avon William Tanner John Russell Brunt
Awarua Joseph Ward 1,882 David Whyte
Bay of Islands Robert Houston A G C Glass
Bay of Plenty William Herries D Lundon
Bruce James Allen J A Scott
Buller James Colvin Frank Isitt
Caversham Thomas Sidey William Earnshaw
Chalmers New electorate Edmund Allen 612 John White
Christchurch, City of George John Smith Thomas Davey William Whitehouse Collins
Harry Ell George John Smith
William Whitehouse Collins Tommy Taylor Arthur Hughes Turnbull
Clutha James William Thomson D Stewart
Courtenay New electorate Charles Lewis John Rennie
Dunedin, City of Alfred Richard Barclay Harry Bedford Alfred Richard Barclay
John A. Millar
James Frederick Arnold
Eden John Bollard P E Cheal
Egmont Walter Symes William Thomas Jennings 15 Charles Leech[7]
Ellesmere Heaton Rhodes C R Thornton
Franklin William Massey A R Harris
Geraldine Frederick Flatman William Maslin
Grey Arthur Guinness Frank Isitt
Grey Lynn New electorate George Fowlds T T Masefield
Hawera Felix McGuire Charles E. Major Felix McGuire
Hawke's Bay William Russell Frank Isitt
Hurunui New electorate Andrew Rutherford 697 Henry Fear Reece
Hutt New electorate Thomas Wilford Frederick Pirani
Invercargill Josiah Hanan David Whyte
Kaiapoi David Buddo Alfred Daniel Hassall
Kaipara New electorate Alfred Harding John Stallworthy
Lyttelton George Laurenson William Rollitt
Manawatu John Stevens Job Vile John Stevens
Manukau Maurice O'Rorke Matthew Kirkbride Maurice O'Rorke
Marsden Robert Thompson Francis Mander Robert Thompson
Masterton Alexander Hogg J C Cooper
Mataura Robert McNab I W Raymond
Motueka Roderick McKenzie Frank Isitt
Mount Ida New electorate Alexander Herdman J Ewing
Napier Alfred Fraser 1,490 Richard Joseph Eames[8]
Nelson John Graham Harry Atmore
Newtown New electorate William Henry Peter Barber Thomas William Hislop
Oamaru Thomas Duncan 880 John Marshall Brown[9]
Ohinemuri Jackson Palmer Edward George Britton Moss Jackson Palmer
Oroua New electorate Frank Lethbridge Arthur Henry Tompkins
Otaki William Hughes Field Frank Isitt
Pahiatua John O'Meara S Bolton
Palmerston Frederick Pirani William Thomas Wood T R Hodder
Parnell Frank Lawry J M Shera
Patea Frederick Haselden Walter Symes Frederick Haselden
Rangitikei Frank Lethbridge Arthur Remington W J Birch
Riccarton George Warren Russell George Witty George Warren Russell
Selwyn Charles Hardy Joseph Ivess
Taieri Walter Carncross Donald Reid J J Ramsay
Taranaki Edward Metcalf Smith Henry Okey
Thames James McGowan William Henry Lucas
Timaru William Hall-Jones F H Smith
Tuapeka James Bennet R Gilkison
Waipawa Charles Hall 1,568 James Taylor
Waikato Frederic Lang Henry Greenslade
Waikouaiti Edmund Allen Thomas Mackenzie Frank Isitt
Wairarapa J. T. Marryat Hornsby Walter Clarke Buchanan J. T. Marryat Hornsby
Wairau Charles H. Mills John Duncan
Waitaki William Steward J Campbell
Waitemata Richard Monk Ewen Alison 714 Alexander John Hatfield[10]
Waiapu James Carroll Frank Isitt
Wakatipu William Fraser Robert Beatson Ross
Wallace Michael Gilfedder John Thomson Michael Gilfedder
Wanganui Archibald Willis J W Baker
Wellington, City of John Hutcheson John Aitken 380 Patrick O'Regan
Arthur Atkinson John Duthie 591 Arthur Richmond Atkinson
George Fisher 1,921 John Findlay
Westland Richard Seddon Frank Isitt
Māori electorates
Eastern Maori Wi Pere Pirimi Mataiawhea
Northern Maori Hone Heke Hāmiora Mangakāhia
Southern Maori Tame Parata Hone Taare Tikao
Western Maori Henare Kaihau 2,370 Ngarangi Katitia


  1. ^ Gustafson, Barry. "Massey, William Ferguson". Dictionary of New Zealand Biography. Ministry for Culture and Heritage. Retrieved 10 December 2011. 
  2. ^ "General elections 1853-2005 - dates & turnout". Elections New Zealand. Retrieved 12 January 2011. 
  3. ^ McRobie 1989, pp. 67f.
  4. ^ a b McRobie 1989, pp. 63–68.
  5. ^ Wilson 1985, pp. 287–289.
  6. ^ "The General Election, 1902". National Library. 1903. pp. 1–4. Retrieved 8 February 2012. 
  7. ^ "Mr Charles Leech". Auckland Star. XXXIII (281). 26 November 1902. p. 3. Retrieved 14 March 2014. 
  8. ^ "Electoral District of Napier". Hawke's Bay Herald. XXXVII (12308). 1 December 1902. p. 3. Retrieved 10 October 2015. 
  9. ^ "Electoral District of Oamaru". The Oamaru Mail. XXVIII (8060). 29 November 1902. p. 3. Retrieved 15 February 2014. 
  10. ^ "Page 18 Advertisements Column 1". Observer. XXIII (10). 22 November 1902. p. 18. Retrieved 3 December 2014. 


  1. ^ Massey, the Senior Conservative Whip, served as de facto leader[1]


  • 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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