Rimutaka – NZ 2014

LAB 15.07% vs NAT

Incumbent MP
Chris Hipkins, since 2008.

Geography
Wellington region. Rimutaka covers the Upper Hutt Valley, in the suburbs of Wellington. Suburbs in Rimutaka include Avalon, Blue Mountains, Heretaunga, Mangaroa, Maoribank, Naenae, Parkdale, Pomare, Riverstone Terraces, Silverstream, Stokes Valley, Taita, Te Marua, Trentham, Upper Hutt and Wallaceville. The electorate covers most of the Upper Hutt council area, and a small part of the Lower Hutt council area.

Map of Rimutaka's 2011 and 2014 boundaries. 2011 boundaries marked as red lines, 2014 boundaries marked as white area. Click to enlarge.
Map of Rimutaka’s 2011 and 2014 boundaries. 2011 boundaries marked as red lines, 2014 boundaries marked as white area. Click to enlarge.

Redistribution
Changes were made to Rimutaka’s south-western boundary, losing Kelson and Belmont to Hutt South, and gaining Naenae from Hutt South. These changes increased the Labour margin from 9.9% to 15.1%.

History
Rimutaka has existed since the 1996 election. A single electorate called ‘Hutt’ covered the Hutt Valley from 1902 to 1978, when the seat was split into ‘Eastern Hutt’ and ‘Western Hutt’. In 1996, the boundaries were realigned, with Eastern Hutt becoming Rimutaka and Western Hutt becoming Hutt South. Hutt, Eastern Hutt and Rimutaka have been continuously held by Labour since 1929.

The Liberal Party’s Thomas Wilford won Hutt in 1902. He had previously served two terms representing the ‘Wellington Suburbs’ electorate. Wilford went on to lead the Liberal Party in the 1920s, and resigned in 1929.

The 1929 by-election was won by Labour’s Walter Nash. He served as Minister for Finance in Labour governments from 1935 to 1949, Labour leader from 1951 to 1963, and Prime Minister from 1957 to 1960. He died in 1968.

Nash’s death in 1968 triggered a by-election, won by Labour’s Trevor Young. Young held Hutt until 1978, when the seat was split between Eastern Hutt and Western Hutt. Young held Eastern Hutt from 1978 until his retirement in 1990.

Paul Swain won Eastern Hutt in 1990. He held it for two terms, and then won Rimutaka in 1996. He held Rimutaka until 2008.

Labour MP Chris Hipkins has held Rimutaka since 2008.

Candidates

Assessment
Rimutaka is a reasonably safe Labour seat.

2011 election results

Electorate VotesParty Votes
CandidatePartyVotes%SwingRedistVotes%SwingRedist
Chris Hipkins Labour 17,17151.58+12.3154.1111,37533.13-8.1836.20
Jonathan Fletcher National 13,88541.71+4.6039.0415,36444.75+4.1041.94
Tane Woodley Green 1,9905.98+0.965.823,4229.97+4.049.51
Alwyn CourtenayACT2410.72-0.570.672350.68-1.870.63
New Zealand First2,1486.26+2.176.52
Conservative0.289552.78+2.782.76
United Future0.083400.99-0.410.95
Māori1900.55-0.180.55
Legalise Cannabis1640.48+0.130.49
Mana800.23+0.230.28
Libertarianz280.08+0.040.08
Alliance200.06-0.020.06
Democrats120.03+0.010.04
Polling places in Rimutaka at the 2011 general election. Central in green, East in orange, West in blue. Click to enlarge.
Polling places in Rimutaka at the 2011 general election. Central in green, East in orange, West in blue. Click to enlarge.

Booth breakdown
Booths in Rimutaka have been split into east, central and west.

Labour’s vote was highest in the east, and lowest in the centre. Labour won a majority of the electorate vote in the east and west, and a narrow plurality of the electorate vote. On the party vote, Labour won a plurality in the east and National won a plurality in both central and west.

Voter groupElectorate votesParty votesTotal% of votes
LABNATGRNLABNATGRNNZF
East61.3330.266.7445.3933.888.676.829,39328.22
West52.5342.214.6331.6945.508.987.518,66726.04
Central47.2846.965.0427.7349.8910.445.668,15224.49
Other votes54.3437.716.9439.0139.3610.195.937,07221.25
National party votes in Rimutaka at the 2011 general election.
National party votes in Rimutaka at the 2011 general election.
Labour party votes in Rimutaka at the 2011 general election.
Labour party votes in Rimutaka at the 2011 general election.
Green party votes in Rimutaka at the 2011 general election.
Green party votes in Rimutaka at the 2011 general election.

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