Totara (New Zealand electorate)

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Totara was a parliamentary electorate in the West Coast of New Zealand from 1871 to 1881. It was represented by two Members of Parliament

Population centres

The 1870 electoral redistribution was undertaken by a parliamentary select committee based on population data from the 1867 New Zealand census. Eight sub-committees were formed, with two members each making decisions for their own province; thus members set their own electorate boundaries. The number of electorates was increased from 61 to 72, and Totara was one of the new electorates.[1]

The Totara electorate covered the West Coast south of, but not including, Hokitika. Settlements included Ross, Hari Hari, Whataroa, and Haast. The southern boundary of the electorate met the Tasman Sea at Awarua Point.[2] In the 1875 electoral redistribution, the Totara electorate was unaltered.[3] In the 1881 electoral redistribution, the Totara electorate was abolished and replaced with the Hokitika electorate. The boundaries of this new electorate were almost identical but for the adjustment at the northern end, which brought the town of Hokitika into the new electorate.[4]


The first representative was George Henry Tribe, who was the successful candidate in the 1871 election. Tribe died on 19 March 1877 while in office.[5] He was succeeded in a 1877 by-election by William Gisborne.[6] He was re-elected in the 1879 election and at the end of the parliamentary term in 1881, when the Totara electorate was abolished, Gisborne retired from Parliament to return to England following the death of his brother.[6][7]

Election results

The electorate was represented by two Members of Parliament:



Election Winner
1871 election George Tribe
1876 election
1877 by-election William Gisborne
1879 election
(Electorate abolished 1881; see Hokitika)


  1. ^ McRobie 1989, p. 39.
  2. ^ McRobie 1989, p. 41.
  3. ^ McRobie 1989, pp. 43f.
  4. ^ McRobie 1989, pp. 45–49.
  5. ^ Wilson 1985, p. 241.
  6. ^ a b Wilson 1985, p. 199.
  7. ^ Bohan, Edmund. "Gisborne, William". Dictionary of New Zealand Biography. Ministry for Culture and Heritage. Retrieved 11 February 2012.


  • 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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