24th New Zealand Parliament

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24th Parliament of New Zealand
23rd Parliament 25th Parliament
Parliament House, Wellington, New Zealand (50).JPG
Term 23 February 1932 – 26 October 1935
Election New Zealand general election, 1931
Government United-Reform coalition Government
House of Representatives
New Zealand 24th Parliament.png
Members 80
Speaker of the House Charles Statham
Prime Minister George Forbes
Leader of the Opposition Michael Joseph Savage from 12 October 1933
––Harry Holland until 8 October 1933
Legislative Council
Members 35 (at start)
28 (at end)
Speaker of the Council Sir Walter Carncross
Leader of the Council Robert Masters
Monarch HM George V
Governor-General HE Rt. Hon. The Viscount Galway from 12 April 1935
––HE Rt. Hon. THe Lord Bledisloe until 15 March 1935
1st 23 February 1932 – 28 October 1932
2nd 1 November 1932 – 10 March 1933
3rd 21 September 1933 – 22 December 1933
4th 28 June 1934 – 5 April 1935
5th 29 August 1935 – 26 October 1935

The 24th New Zealand Parliament was a term of the New Zealand Parliament. It opened on 23 February 1932, following the 1931 election. It was dissolved on 1 November 1935 in preparation for the 1935 election. The 24th Parliament was extended by one year because the 1935 election was held later than anticipated due to the ongoing depression, similarly the 1919, and the 1943 elections were held two years late, having been postponed during World War I and World War II respectively.

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 a governor-general. Before 1951, there was an upper chamber, the New Zealand Legislative Council. The Parliament was established in 1854 and is one of the oldest continuously functioning legislatures in the world.


The Prime Minister during the 24th Parliament was George Forbes, leader of the United Party. Many commentators at the time, however, alleged that Gordon Coates, leader of the larger Reform Party, had the greater influence.

Prime Minister of New Zealand head of the New Zealand government

The Prime Minister of New Zealand is the head of government of New Zealand. The incumbent Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern, leader of the New Zealand Labour Party, took office on 26 October 2017.

George Forbes (New Zealand politician) New Zealand politician

George William Forbes was a New Zealand politician who served as the 22nd Prime Minister of New Zealand from 28 May 1930 to 6 December 1935.

Gordon Coates New Zealand politician

Joseph Gordon Coates served as the 21st Prime Minister of New Zealand from 1925 to 1928. He was the third successive Reform prime minister since 1912.

The 24th Parliament consisted of eighty representatives, each elected from separate geographical electorates.


The 24th Parliament was led by a coalition of the Reform Party and the United Party; [1] Reform had twenty-eight seats, United had nineteen, and there were four pro-coalition independents. The primary opposition was from the Labour Party, which had twenty-four seats. The small Country Party had one seat, and there were four non-aligned independents. The distribution of seats between three large parties (also a feature of the previous parliament) was relatively unusual, as New Zealand tended towards a two-party system at the time.

The United Party of New Zealand, a party formed out of the remnants of the Liberal Party, formed a government between 1928 and 1935, and in 1936 merged with the Reform Party to establish the National Party.

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.

The Country Party of New Zealand was a political party which appealed to rural voters. It was represented in Parliament from 1928 to 1938. Its policies were a mixture of rural advocacy and social credit theory.

The coalition government had been formed on 22 September 1931 during the term of the previous Parliament. During the difficult times of the Great Depression, Forbes had wanted to form a grand coalition with the Labour Party and the Reform Party. Labour refused, but Reform went into a coalition government with United from September 1931. [2] [3]

Great Depression 20th-century worldwide economic depression

The Great Depression was a severe worldwide economic depression that took place mostly during the 1930s, beginning in the United States. The timing of the Great Depression varied across nations; in most countries it started in 1929 and lasted until the late-1930s. It was the longest, deepest, and most widespread depression of the 20th century. In the 21st century, the Great Depression is commonly used as an example of how intensely the world's economy can decline.

Party standings

Start of Parliament

PartyLeader(s)Seats at start
Reform Party Gordon Coates 28
Labour Party Harry Holland 24
United Party George Forbes 19
Country Party Harold Rushworth 1
Independents 8

End of Parliament

PartyLeader(s)Seats at end
Reform Party Gordon Coates 29
Labour Party Michael Joseph Savage 24
United Party George Forbes 16
Democrat Party Thomas Hislop (outside parliament)2
Country Party Harold Rushworth 1
Ratana Eruera Tirikatene 1
Independents 7

Electoral boundaries



Initial MPs


  Reform     Labour     United     Country Party     Independent Liberal     Ratana     Independent   

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, 1931 [4] [5]
ElectorateIncumbentWinnerMajorityRunner up
General electorates
Auckland Central Bill Parry 3,793 [6] Harold Penfound Congdon
Auckland East James Donald Frederick Schramm 2,256 [7] Harold Percy Burton
Auckland Suburbs Rex Mason 1,223Richard Herbert Marryatt [8]
Auckland West Michael Joseph Savage 4,517Hugh Ross Mackenzie [8]
Avon Dan Sullivan 3,039Harben Robert Young
Awarua Philip De La Perrelle 2,148Norman McIntyre [9]
Bay of Islands Harold Rushworth 1,209 Allen Bell
Bay of Plenty Kenneth Williams Uncontested
Buller Harry Holland 3,631John Menzies [10]
Central Otago William Bodkin 2,516 Charles Todd
Chalmers Alfred Ansell 172Norman Hartley Campbell
Christchurch East Tim Armstrong 3,206George Frederick Allen
Christchurch North Henry Holland 2,077 Elizabeth McCombs
Christchurch South Ted Howard 2,798 [11] Charles Samuel "Charlie" McCully [12]
Clutha Fred Waite Peter McSkimming 1,530Fred Waite
Dunedin Central Charles Statham 262 Peter Neilson
Dunedin North James Wright Munro 524John McCrae [13] [14]
Dunedin South William Burgoyne Taverner Fred Jones 3,644William Burgoyne Taverner
Dunedin West William Downie Stewart Jr. 924 John Gilchrist
Eden Arthur Stallworthy 1,270 [11] Bill Anderton
Egmont Charles Wilkinson 1,308F. Gawith
Franklin Jack Massey 2,457Harry Oswald Mellsop [15]
Gisborne Douglas Lysnar David William Coleman 317 [11] Douglas Lysnar
Grey Lynn John Fletcher John A. Lee 3,242 [6] John Fletcher
Hamilton Alexander Young 3,072 [16] Hubert Beebe
Hauraki Walter William Massey 2,750 [6] Charles Robert Petrie
Hawke's Bay Hugh Campbell 2,259 Edward Cullen [17]
Hurunui George Forbes 3,953R. J. Logan [18]
Hutt Walter Nash 2,823James Kerr [nb 1]
Invercargill Vincent Ward James Hargest 508W. McChesney
Kaiapoi Richard Hawke 1,414 John Archer [19]
Kaipara Gordon Coates 2,084Albert Edward Robinson [20]
Lyttelton James McCombs 32Frederick Willie Freeman [21]
Manawatu Joseph Linklater 2,246 Clifford Hunter
Manukau Bill Jordan 3,394 [11] Stanley Rickards [8]
Marsden Alfred Murdoch 2,942 James Gillespie Barclay
Masterton George Sykes 1,951 Peter Butler
Mataura David McDougall 943Thomas Golden [22]
Mid-Canterbury David Jones Jeremiah Connolly 136 [23] David Jones
Motueka George Black 517 Keith Holyoake
Napier Bill Barnard 1,456John Butler
Nelson Harry Atmore 100Herbert Everett [24]
New Plymouth Sydney George Smith 3,472 William Sheat
Oamaru John Andrew MacPherson 1,046 [11] John Craigie Kirkness
Oroua John Cobbe Uncontested
Otaki William Hughes Field 1,321 Jim Thorn
Pahiatua Alfred Ransom Uncontested
Palmerston Jimmy Nash 1,245 Joe Hodgens
Parnell Bill Endean 4,821 [6] John William Yarnall
Patea Harold Dickie 3,495W. G. Simpson
Raglan Lee Martin Stewart Reid 806 Lee Martin
Rangitikei James Thomas Hogan Alexander Stuart 15 James Thomas Hogan
Riccarton Herbert Kyle 589Archibald Albany McLachlan [nb 2]
Roskill George Munns Arthur Shapton Richards 171 [6] William John Holdsworth [25]
Rotorua Cecil Clinkard 57 Alexander Moncur
Stratford William Polson 1,518J W McMillan [nb 3]
Tauranga Charles MacMillan 658 Bill Sullivan [nb 4]
Temuka Thomas Burnett 1,237Thomas Herbert Langford
Thames Albert Samuel 464John Sommerville Montgomerie [27]
Timaru Clyde Carr 820Herbert N. Armstrong [28] [nb 5]
Waikato Frederick Lye 981Solomon Netheim Ziman [nb 6]
Waimarino Frank Langstone 591William Henry Wackrow
Waipawa Albert Jull [nb 7] 386John Davies Ormond, Jr. [nb 8]
Wairarapa Thomas McDonald Alexander McLeod 616Thomas McDonald
Wairau Edward Healy 1,424 William Girling
Waitaki John Bitchener 885Alexander McLean Paterson [30]
Waitemata Alexander Harris 2,378 [6] Arthur Osborne [31]
Waitomo Walter Broadfoot Uncontested
Wallace Adam Hamilton 2,842Peter Gilfedder [32]
Wanganui Bill Veitch 590 Bill Rogers
Wellington Central Peter Fraser 2,471 [33] Robert Darroch
Wellington East Bob Semple 593 [33] Thomas Forsyth
Wellington North Charles Henry Chapman 1,061 [33] George Troup
Wellington South Robert McKeen 2,659 Will Appleton [34]
Wellington Suburbs Robert Alexander Wright 2,570 [33] Tom Brindle
Westland James O'Brien 1,121John Greenslade
Māori electorates
Eastern Maori Āpirana Ngata 3,211 Pita Moko
Northern Maori Taurekareka Henare 1,188 Paraire Karaka Paikea
Southern Maori Tuiti Makitanara 19 Eruera Tirikatene
Western Maori Taite Te Tomo 1,436 Toko Ratana

Table footnotes:

  1. For some biographical details of James Kerr refer to his father's article
  2. For some biographical details of McLachlan refer to his grandfather's article
  3. McMillan claimed to stand for the Reform Party, but he was not the official candidate, as the United/Reform Coalition endorsed William Polson, who ran as an Independent [26]
  4. Bill Sullivan was a member of the United Party, but Charles MacMillan was the official candidate of the United/Reform Coalition, hence Sullivan stood as an Independent
  5. The Reform and United parties could not agree on an official coalition candidate for the Timaru electorate, so neither Armstrong (Reform) nor Herbert Hall (United) were official candidates, and many sources show them as Independents
  6. Ziman was the father of John Ziman [29]
  7. Jull was the official candidate of the United/Reform Coalition
  8. Ormond was the son of John Davies Ormond and the father of John Ormond
  • Four of the eight independent MPs (Connolly, Hargest, McSkimming, and Polson) were aligned with the United-Reform coalition, and are not classified as independents by some sources.

By-elections during 24th Parliament

There were a number of changes during the term of the 24th Parliament.

Electorate and by-electionDateIncumbentCauseWinner
Southern Maori 1932 3 August [35] Tuiti Makitanara Death Eruera Tirikatene
Motueka 1932 1 December [36] George Black Death Keith Holyoake
Lyttelton 1933 13 September [37] James McCombs Death Elizabeth McCombs
Buller 1933 22 November [38] Harry Holland Death Paddy Webb
Lyttelton 1935 24 July [37] Elizabeth McCombs Death Terry McCombs

Summary of changes

Tuiti Makitanara New Zealand politician

Tuiti Makitanara, sometimes known as Sweet MacDonald, was a Māori and United Party Member of Parliament in New Zealand.

Eruera Tirikatene politician

Sir Eruera Tihema Te Aika Tirikatene was a New Zealand Māori politician of the Ngai Tahu tribe. Known in early life as Edward James Te Aika Tregerthen, he was the first Ratana Member of Parliament and was elected in a by-election for Southern Maori in June 1932 after the death of Tuiti Makitanara.


  1. Scholefield 1950, pp. 48–49.
  2. Gardner, W. J. "Forbes, George William - Biography". Dictionary of New Zealand Biography . Ministry for Culture and Heritage . Retrieved 11 December 2011.
  3. Scholefield 1950, p. 48.
  4. McRobie 1989, pp. 87f.
  5. Skinner 1932, pp. 1–10.
  6. 1 2 3 4 5 6 "Election Counts". Auckland Star . LXII (291). 9 December 1931. p. 9. Retrieved 28 October 2014.
  7. "Recount of Votes". Auckland Star . LXII (289). 7 December 1931. p. 9. Retrieved 31 October 2014.
  8. 1 2 3 "Parliamentary Elections". Auckland Star . LXII (275). 20 November 1931. p. 5. Retrieved 7 November 2014.
  9. "Page 4 Advertisements Column 4". Akaroa Mail and Banks Peninsula Advertiser. LV (5636). 1 December 1931. p. 4. Retrieved 8 November 2014.
  10. "Buller Electorate". The Evening Post . CXII (127). 25 November 1931. p. 10. Retrieved 8 November 2014.
  11. 1 2 3 4 5 "Election Results". Auckland Star . LXII (290). 8 December 1931. p. 3. Retrieved 1 November 2014.
  12. "Straight Grained". New Zealand Truth (1197). 8 November 1928. p. 6. Retrieved 2 November 2014.
  13. "John McCrae". Auckland War Memorial Museum . Retrieved 11 November 2014.
  14. "Dunedin North". Auckland Star . LXII (264). 7 November 1931. p. 11. Retrieved 11 November 2014.
  15. "Electoral". The New Zealand Herald . LXVIII (21053). 11 December 1931. p. 22. Retrieved 15 November 2014.
  16. "Electors' Choice". Auckland Star . LXII (286). 3 December 1931. p. 8. Retrieved 1 November 2014.
  17. "A Coalition Certainty". The Evening Post . CXII (120). 17 November 1931. p. 10. Retrieved 29 June 2014.
  18. "In Canterbury". Auckland Star . LXII (281). 27 November 1931. p. 8. Retrieved 16 November 2014.
  19. Gustafson, Barry. "Archer, John Kendrick". Dictionary of New Zealand Biography . Ministry for Culture and Heritage . Retrieved 8 April 2011.
  20. "Notice of Nominations received and Polling Places appointed". Rodney and Otamatea Times, Waitemata and Kaipara Gazette. 25 November 1931. p. 7. Retrieved 21 November 2014.
  21. "Notice of Nominations Received and Polling Places Appointed". Akaroa Mail and Banks Peninsula Advertiser. LV (5634). 24 November 1931. p. 2. Retrieved 22 November 2014.
  22. "Mr McDougall Opposed". The Evening Post . CXII (120). 17 November 1931. p. 10. Retrieved 24 November 2014.
  23. "Public Notices". Ellesmere Guardian. LII (99). 11 December 1931. p. 1. Retrieved 24 November 2013.
  24. "Opposing Mr Atmore". The Evening Post . CXII (110). 5 November 1931. p. 10. Retrieved 27 November 2014.
  25. "Electoral". The New Zealand Herald . LXVIII (21051). 9 December 1931. p. 18. Retrieved 2 December 2014.
  26. "Stratford Electorate". The New Zealand Herald . LXVIII (21029). 13 November 1931. p. 11. Retrieved 6 December 2014.
  27. "Reform Triumph". The Northern Advocate . 18 June 1925. p. 5. Retrieved 15 December 2014.
  28. Kerr, Stephen (2003). "Good Old Clyde": Clyde Carr M.P., Timaru and the Art of Incumbency, 1928–1962 (PDF) (Thesis). University of Canterbury. p. 66. Retrieved 16 December 2014.
  29. "Ziman, John Michael" (PDF). Oxford University Press. Retrieved 16 December 2014.
  30. Facer, Wayne Arthur Pickard (2012). "In New Zealand: Timaru 1923–1925". William Jellie: Unitarian, Scholar and Educator (PDF) (M.Phil.). Massey University . Retrieved 14 March 2015.
  31. "Parliamentary Elections". Auckland Star . LXII (275). 20 November 1931. Retrieved 29 October 2014.
  32. "Declaration of Result of Poll for the Electoral District of Wallace". Otautau Standard and Wallace County Chronicle. XXVII (1349). 15 December 1931. p. 2. Retrieved 15 March 2015.
  33. 1 2 3 4 "Declaration of Result of Poll for the Electoral District of Wellington Suburbs". The Evening Post . CXII (140). 10 December 1931. p. 2. Retrieved 5 March 2014.
  34. "Coalition Selection". The Evening Post . CXII (117). 13 November 1931. p. 8. Retrieved 17 March 2015.
  35. Scholefield 1950, p. 144.
  36. Scholefield 1950, p. 114.
  37. 1 2 Scholefield 1950, p. 121.
  38. Scholefield 1950, p. 146.

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