Waitemata by-election, 1894

Waitemata by-election, 1894
New Zealand
9 April 1894 (1894-04-09)

Candidate William Massey Jackson Palmer
Party Conservative Independent Liberal
Popular vote 1,619 1,446
Percentage 52.82 47.17

Member before election

Richard Monk

Elected Member

William Massey

The Waitemata by-election, 1894 was a by-election held on 9 April 1894 during the 12th New Zealand Parliament in the rural North Island seat of the Waitemata.

The contest was won by the independent conservative candidate William Massey. Massey somewhat narrowly beat the Liberal candidate Jackson Palmer recording only a 173-vote majority.[1]


The seat was declared vacant when sitting MP Richard Monk had his election declared void.[2] Opposition supporters in the Waitemata area sent a telegram to Massey asking him to stand in the by-election on their behalf. Massey was allegedly atop a haystack when the telegram arrived and it was passed up to him on a pitchfork. He decided to accept.[3] Massey's nomination for the election also came under scrutiny, with a written objection being lodged against him on the alleged ground that one of the men who nominated him was not qualified to do so.[4]

Massey's only opponent was Paeroa lawyer Jackson Palmer, an Independent Liberal, who had won the Waitemata seat previously, in the 1890 election.[5] Fellow conservative Eden George also intended to stand, but ultimately withdrew from the contest.[4]


The following table gives the election results:

Waitemata by-election, 1894[1]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Conservative William Massey 1,619 52.82
Independent Liberal Jackson Palmer 1,446 47.17
Majority 173 5.64
Turnout 3,065

Monk won the electorate again in 1896, and retired in 1902.[2] Massey stood successfully for Franklin in 1896 and was to stay in Parliament for the remaining 31 years of his life, serving as Prime Minister (1912–25).[3] Palmer would later win the seat of Ohinemuri in the election of 1899.[5]


  1. 1 2 "Waitemata Election". Thames Adviser. XXVI (7794). 13 April 1894. p. 2. Retrieved 7 April 2016.
  2. 1 2 Wilson 1985, p. 220.
  3. 1 2 Gustafson, Barry. "Massey, William Ferguson". Dictionary of New Zealand Biography. Ministry for Culture and Heritage. Retrieved 10 December 2011.
  4. 1 2 "Waitemata Seat". Poverty Bay Herald. XXI (6942). 4 April 1894. p. 3.
  5. 1 2 Wilson 1985, p. 225.


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