1922 New Zealand general election

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1922 general election
Flag of New Zealand.svg
  1919 6 (Māori) & 7 December (general) 1922 1925  

All 80 seats in the New Zealand House of Representatives
41 seats needed for a majority
 First partySecond partyThird party
  William Ferguson Massey 1919.jpg Thomas Wilford, 1928.jpg Harry Holland (1922).jpg
Leader William Massey Thomas Wilford Harry Holland
Party Reform Liberal Labour
Leader since11 February 19098 September 1920 27 August 1919
Leader's seat Franklin Hutt Buller
Last election45 seats, 35.7%19 seats, 28.7%8 seats, 24.2%
Seats won372217
Seat changeDecrease2.svg 8Increase2.svg 3Increase2.svg 9
Popular vote249,735166,708150,448
SwingIncrease2.svg 3.7%Decrease2.svg 2.4%Decrease2.svg 0.5%

Prime Minister before election

William Massey

Prime Minister-designate

William Massey

The New Zealand general election of 1922 was held on Monday, 6 December in the Māori electorates, and on Tuesday, 7 December in the general electorates to elect a total of 80 MPs to the 21st session of the New Zealand Parliament. A total number of 700,111 (87.7%) voters turned out to vote. [1] In one seat (Bay of Plenty) there was only one candidate. [2] [3]

Māori electorates

In New Zealand politics, Māori electorates, colloquially known as the Māori seats, are a special category of electorate that gives reserved positions to representatives of Māori in the New Zealand Parliament. Every area in New Zealand is covered by both a general and a Māori electorate; there are currently seven Māori electorates. Since 1967 candidates in Māori electorates have not needed to be Māori themselves, but to register as a voter in the Māori electorates people need to declare they are of Māori descent.

21st New Zealand Parliament

The 21st New Zealand Parliament was a term of the New Zealand Parliament. It was elected at the 1922 general election in December of that year.

New Zealand Parliament legislative body of New Zealand

The New Zealand Parliament is the legislature of New Zealand, consisting of the Queen of New Zealand (Queen-in-Parliament) and the New Zealand House of Representatives. The Queen is usually represented by her governor-general. Before 1951, there was an upper chamber, the New Zealand Legislative Council. The New Zealand Parliament was established in 1854 and is one of the oldest continuously functioning legislatures in the world. It has met in Wellington, the capital of New Zealand, since 1865.


1922 was the year residents of the Chatham Islands were enfranchised for the first time (included in Lyttelton and Western Māori electorates).

Chatham Islands New Zealands most remote group of inhabited islands

The Chatham Islands are a New Zealand archipelago in the Pacific Ocean about 800 kilometres (500 mi) east of the South Island of New Zealand. The archipelago consists of about ten islands within a 40-kilometre (25 mi) radius, the largest of which are Chatham Island and Pitt Island. Some of these islands, formerly cleared for farming, are now preserved as nature reserves to conserve some of the unique flora and fauna. As of 2013 the islands had a resident population of 600. The local economy depends largely on conservation, tourism, farming, and fishing.

Lyttelton, New Zealand Place

Lyttelton is a port town on the north shore of Lyttelton Harbour, at the northwestern end of Banks Peninsula and close to Christchurch, on the eastern coast of the South Island of New Zealand.


Labour Party candidates in the 1922 election New Zealand Labour Party election candidates, 1922.jpg
Labour Party candidates in the 1922 election

William Massey formed a government, but with the loss in support for the Reform Party he had to negotiate for support with Independents, and with two Liberal Party members. [4]

William Massey Prime Minister of New Zealand

William Ferguson Massey, commonly known as Bill Massey, was a politician who served as the 19th Prime Minister of New Zealand from May 1912 to May 1925. He was the founding leader of the Reform Party, New Zealand's second organised political party, from 1909 until his death.

The Reform Party, formally the New Zealand Political Reform League, was New Zealand's second major political party, having been founded as a conservative response to the original Liberal Party. It was in government between 1912 and 1928, and later formed a coalition with the United Party, and then merged with United to form the modern National Party.

The New Zealand Liberal Party was the first organised political party in New Zealand. It governed from 1891 until 1912. The Liberal strategy was to create a large class of small land-owning farmers who supported Liberal ideals, by buying large tracts of Māori land and selling it to small farmers on credit. The Liberal Government also established the basis of the later welfare state, with old age pensions, developed a system for settling industrial disputes, which was accepted by both employers and trade unions. In 1893 it extended voting rights to women, making New Zealand the first country in the world to enact universal female suffrage.

Liberal was in decline and disorganised. Just before the 1925 election (held on 4 November), two Liberal MPs from Christchurch who had supported Massey (along with Independents Harry Atmore and Allen Bell) were appointed to the Legislative Council. They were Leonard Isitt and George Witty who were both appointed to the Legislative Council by Gordon Coates on 28 October 1925. Both were Liberals and their retirement removed "a source of some bitterness from the Party’s ranks (Coates rewarded them with seats in the Legislative Council the day after the election)". [5] Gordon Coates was Reform, and both of their seats went to Reform candidates in 1925.

1925 New Zealand general election

The New Zealand general election of 1925 was held 4 November to elect a total of 80 MPs to the 22nd session of the New Zealand Parliament. A total number of 678,877 (90.02%) voters turned out to vote. In one seat there was only one candidate.

Harry Atmore New Zealand politician

Harry Atmore was a New Zealand Independent Member of Parliament for Nelson in the South Island.

Allen Bell New Zealand politician

Lt. Colonel Allan (Allen) Bell was a New Zealand Member of Parliament for the Bay of Islands in Northland.

Party Totals

Party totals

Election results
PartyCandidatesTotal votesPercentageSeats won
Reform Party 76249,73539.3537
Liberal Party 56166,70826.2622
Labour Party 41150,44823.7017

*Note: For numbers of candidates see Wilson (1985) p295; for numbers of votes and percentage see Wilson (1985) p289. Electorate results given below include 38 Reform and 21 Liberal members. The figures given in the table agree with Mackie and Rose, as well as the article on New Zealand elections.

Votes summary

Popular Vote
Parliament seats

Electorate results

The results of the 1922 election were as follows:


  Reform     Liberal     Labour     Independent Liberal     Independent   

The New Zealand Labour Party, or simply Labour, is a centre-left political party in New Zealand. The party's platform programme describes its founding principle as democratic socialism, while observers describe Labour as social-democratic and pragmatic in practice. It is a participant of the international Progressive Alliance.

Independent Liberal is a description allowed in politics to denote party affiliation. It is used to designate a politician as a liberal, yet independent of the official Liberal Party of a country. Those parties were the Liberal Party of Canada, or the Liberal Party of the United Kingdom, or the New Zealand Liberal Party.

An independent or nonpartisan politician is an individual politician not affiliated with any political party. There are numerous reasons why someone may stand for office as an independent.

Electorate results for the New Zealand general election, 1922 [6] [7] [8]
ElectorateIncumbentWinnerMajorityRunner up
General electorates
Ashburton William Nosworthy 1,482 [9] Henry Manwell Jones
Avon Dan Sullivan 2,036 George Warren Russell
Awarua John Hamilton Philip De La Perrelle 51 [10] John Hamilton
Auckland Central Bill Parry 1,003 Albert Glover
Auckland East Clutha Mackenzie John A. Lee 751Clutha Mackenzie
Auckland West Michael Joseph Savage 1,349John Farrell
Bay of Islands Vernon Reed Allen Bell 188Vernon Reed
Bay of Plenty Kenneth Williams Uncontested
Buller Harry Holland 1,541 [9] John Menzies
Chalmers James McColl Dickson 679Joseph Stephens [11]
Christchurch East Henry Thacker Tim Armstrong 1,094Henry Thacker
Christchurch North Leonard Isitt 1,950 John Archer
Christchurch South Ted Howard 3,140H C Lane
Clutha Alexander Malcolm John Edie 120Alexander Malcolm
Dunedin Central Charles Statham 723 John Gilchrist
Dunedin North James Wright Munro 55J J Clark
Dunedin West Thomas Sidey 1,281 John McManus
Dunedin South William Downie Stewart 1,727C M Moss
Eden James Parr 675 Rex Mason
Egmont Oswald Hawken 372D L A Astbury
Ellesmere Heaton Rhodes 732J C Free
Franklin William Massey 2,750Joseph Rea
Grey Lynn Fred Bartram 1,407William John Holdsworth
Gisborne Douglas Lysnar 500 [9] George Wildish [12]
Hamilton New electorate Alexander Young 2,043 Arthur Shapton Richards
Hawke's Bay Hugh Campbell Gilbert McKay 317 Andrew Hamilton Russell [13]
Hurunui George Forbes 1,198S Andrew
Hutt Thomas Wilford 802 [9] David Pritchard
Invercargill Josiah Hanan 993J Armstead
Kaipara Gordon Coates 2,464 Robert Hornblow
Kaiapoi David Jones David Buddo 65 [14] David Jones
Lyttelton James McCombs 614R MacCartney
Manawatu Edward Newman Joseph Linklater 1,505F D Whibley
Manukau Frederic Lang Bill Jordan 209Frederic Lang
Marsden Francis Mander Alfred Murdoch 136 William Jones
Masterton George Sykes 556 [9] A. C. Holmes
Mataura George Anderson 1,041 David McDougall
Motueka Richard Hudson 538R Patterson
Napier Vigor Brown Lewis McIlvride 763 John Mason
Oamaru Ernest Lee John MacPherson 14Ernest Lee
Ohinemuri Hugh Poland 939 Stephen Shepherd Allen
Oroua David Guthrie 43 John Cobbe
Nelson Harry Atmore 2,164 [9] A. Gilbert
Otaki William Hughes Field 58 [9] G. H. M. McClure
Pahiatua Archibald McNicol Alfred Ransom 59Archibald McNicol
Palmerston Jimmy Nash 1,067 Joe Hodgens
Parnell James Samuel Dickson 2,324S M Wren
Patea Edwin Dixon James Randall Corrigan 151Edwin Dixon
Raglan Richard Bollard 776S C G Lye
Rangitikei William Spiers Glenn 1,007F P Brady
Riccarton George Witty 235 Herbert Kyle
Roskill Vivian Potter 2,007 Alfred Hall-Skelton [15]
Rotorua Frank Hockly 404 Cecil Clinkard
Stratford Robert Masters 363 John Hine
Taranaki Sydney George Smith 134 Charles Bellringer
Tauranga William Herries 1,440 [16] Laurence Johnstone
Temuka Thomas Burnett 407Thomas Herbert Langford
Thames Thomas William Rhodes 790W A Allan
Timaru James Craigie Frank Rolleston 288 [9] Percy Vinnell
Waikato Alexander Young Frederick Lye 44J T Johnson
Waimarino Robert William Smith Frank Langstone 887Robert William Smith
Waipawa George Hunter 1,076John Joshua Langridge
Wairarapa Alexander Donald McLeod 698J W Card
Waitemata Alexander Harris 1,271Frank Henry Burbush [15]
Wairau Richard McCallum William Girling 186Richard McCallum
Waitaki John Bitchener William Paul
Waitomo William Thomas Jennings John Rolleston 25William Thomas Jennings
Wakatipu James Horn 1,637J Ritchie
Wallace Adam Hamilton John Charles Thomson 205Adam Hamilton
Wanganui Bill Veitch 1,072John Coull
Wellington Central Peter Fraser 4,202William Bennett
Wellington North John Luke 375 Harry Combs
Wellington East Alfred Newman Alec Monteith 473 Thomas Forsyth
Wellington South George Mitchell Robert McKeen 422George Mitchell
Wellington Suburbs Robert Wright 291 Alexander Croskery
Westland Tom Seddon James O'Brien 487Tom Seddon
Māori electorates
Eastern Maori Āpirana Ngata 1,501Taranaki Kanara te Uamairangi
Northern Maori Taurekareka Henare 1,441Nau Parone Kawiti
Southern Maori Henare Uru 87Peter MacDonald
Western Maori Māui Pōmare 798Ngarangi Katitia

Summary of changes

A boundary redistribution resulted in the abolition of one seat:

At the same time, one new seat was created:


  1. "General elections 1853-2005 - dates & turnout". Elections New Zealand. Retrieved 12 January 2011.
  2. Bassett 1982, p. 666.
  3. Wilson 1985, p. 286.
  4. Bassett 1982, p. 32.
  5. Bassett 1982, p. 35.
  6. The General Election, 1922. Government Printer. 1923. p. 2. Retrieved 28 August 2016.
  7. McRobie 1989, pp. 83f.
  8. Hislop 1923, pp. 1–6.
  9. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 "Official Counts". The Evening Post . CIV (144). 15 December 1922. p. 8. Retrieved 3 March 2014.
  10. "Awarua". Hawera & Normanby Star. XLII. 14 December 1922. p. 7. Retrieved 8 November 2014.
  11. "Labour's Candidates". Maoriland Worker . 12 (299). 22 November 1922. p. 12. Retrieved 26 January 2014.
  12. "Women Take Part". The Evening Post . CXX (107). 1 November 1935. p. 14. Retrieved 11 November 2013.
  13. Pugsley, Chris. "Russell, Andrew Hamilton". Dictionary of New Zealand Biography . Ministry for Culture and Heritage . Retrieved 10 November 2013.
  14. "The Official Count". Auckland Star . LIII (295). 13 December 1922. p. 5. Retrieved 23 November 2013.
  15. 1 2 "Electoral". Auckland Star . LIII (296). 14 December 1922. p. 16. Retrieved 5 December 2014.
  16. "The Final Counts". The New Zealand Herald . LIX (18276). 18 December 1922. p. 6. Retrieved 3 March 2014.

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