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Settler Kaponga 1881–1914 — A Frontier Fragment of the Western World

General Election of 10 December 1914

General Election of 10 December 1914

The returns for the relevant booths were: Kaponga, 330; Riverlea, 114; Rowan, 48; Mahoe, 89; Kapuni, 177. Taking one-third of the Kapuni figures and half of the Mahoe ones as belonging to our District, this gives us 595 page 355 votes. Votes in the Egmont electorate totalled 5618, which represented 47.94 per cent of its 1911 population of 11,718. Treating the Kaponga District as a true sample of the electorate, and for simplicity treating the two small Stratford electorate booths of Rowan and Mahoe as if they were in Egmont, we come up with a population figure of 1241 for our District. This is close enough to our 1202 figure for the 1916 census to suggest that this approach is a reasonable way of getting rough estimates of the population. Similarly, when the approach was applied to the general election of 26 September 1887 it gave a Kaponga District figure of 126. This seems very reasonable in relation to our March 1886 ‘round-up’ estimate of 95, when a further 18 months of immigration and natural growth is taken into account.

An examination of the available information from the various general elections shows that some cannot be used for this purpose. Thus at the election of 25 November 1902 the booth at little Riverlea took 231 votes whereas Kaponga's booth took only 80. Obviously there was some unusual activity at Riverlea that day, though there is nothing in the press to indicate what it was. However, it may well have drawn many voters there from outside our District, so this election must be discarded for our purposes. The information for the 7 December 1911 general election is vitiated by the fact that no records can be traced for the Mahoe and Rowan booths. However, suitable figures for the mid-1890s and 1900s are available so we can roughly track the population at 10-year intervals as follows:

1886 (March) 95
1896 (based on 4 Dec. gen. elect.) 647
1905 (based on 6 Dec. gen. elect.) 975
1916 (based on 15 Oct. census) 1277