31st New Zealand Parliament

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31st Parliament of New Zealand
30th Parliament 32nd Parliament
Term22 March 1955 – 25 October 1957
Election 1954 New Zealand general election
Government First National Government
House of Representatives
Speaker of the House Matthew Oram
Prime Minister Keith Holyoake
––Sidney Holland until 20 September 1957
Leader of the Opposition Walter Nash
Monarch HM Elizabeth II
Governor-General HE Lt. Gen. The Lord Norrie

The 31st New Zealand Parliament was a term of the New Zealand Parliament. It was elected at the 1954 general election on 13 November of that year.


1954 general election

The 1954 general election was held on Saturday, 13 November. [1] A total of 80 MPs were elected; 50 represented North Island electorates, 26 represented South Island electorates, and the remaining four represented Māori electorates; this was a gain of one electorate for the North Island from the South Island since the 1951 election. [2] 1,209,670 voters were enrolled and the official turnout at the election was 91.4%. [1]


The 31st Parliament sat for three sessions, and was prorogued on 25 October 1957. [3]

first22 March 195528 October 1955
second4 April 195626 October 1956
third11 June 195725 October 1957


The National Party under Sidney Holland had been in power since the 1949 election, and Holland remained in charge until 1957, when he stepped down due to ill health in September 1957 some two months prior to the 1957 election. Holland was succeeded by Keith Holyoake, but the Labour Party narrowly defeated National at the 1957 election, and the government changed in mid-December of that year. [4]

Overview of seats

The table below shows the number of MPs in each party following the 1954 election and at dissolution:

At 1954 election At dissolution
National Government4545
Labour Opposition3535
Working Government majority1010


Initial composition of the 31st Parliament

The table below shows the results of the 1954 general election:


  National     Labour     Independent     Social Credit   

Electorate results for the 1954 New Zealand general election [5]
ElectorateIncumbentWinnerMajorityRunner up
General electorates
Ashburton Richard Gerard 2,292G Glassey
Auckland Central Bill Anderton 4,093John Weir Stewart
Avon John Mathison 4,955A N Stone
Awarua George Herron 3,172J P Wyatt
Bay of Plenty Bill Sullivan 3,062Thomas Godfrey Santon
Buller Jerry Skinner 3,348D M Carson
Central Otago William Bodkin John George 2,074P J Scott
Christchurch Central Robert Macfarlane 3,395Oliver G. Moody
Clutha James Roy 1,490T A Rodgers
Dunedin Central Philip Connolly 330Marcus Anderson
Dunedin North Ethel McMillan 2,791 Helen Black [6]
Eden Wilfred Fortune Duncan Rae 8 John Stewart [nb 1]
Egmont Ernest Corbett 2,977Roy Evans [7]
Fendalton Sidney Holland 3,004R H McDonald
Franklin Jack Massey 4,587Percival Peacock
Gisborne Harry Dudfield Reginald Keeling 521Harry Dudfield
Grey Lynn Fred Hackett 4,807Thomas McGowan
Hamilton Hilda Ross 1,430 Ben Waters
Hastings Sydney Jones Edwin Keating 252Sydney Jones
Hauraki Andrew Sutherland Arthur Kinsella 2,659Brevat William Dynes
Hawkes Bay Cyril Harker 3,109A Stafford
Heretaunga New electorate Phil Holloway 5,058 Allan McCready
Hobson Sidney Smith 2,584Cecil William Elvidge
Hurunui William Gillespie 2,395 Norman Kirk
Hutt Walter Nash 3,681Clevedon Costello
Invercargill Ralph Hanan 943 William Denham
Island Bay Robert McKeen Arnold Nordmeyer 3,824John Maurice Whitta
Karori Charles Bowden Jack Marshall 1,811 Jim Bateman
Lyttelton Harry Lake 24 Tom McGuigan
Manawatu Matthew Oram 2,228Patrick Kelliher
Manukau New electorate Leon Götz 3,072Cyril Stamp
Marlborough Tom Shand 1,635G A Turner
Marsden Alfred Murdoch Donald McKay 872Mervyn Allan Hosking
Miramar Bob Semple Bill Fox 1,527Robert John McConnell
Mornington Walter Hudson 3,886Walter MacDougall
Mt Albert Warren Freer 3,226 Robert Muldoon
Napier Peter Tait Jim Edwards 720 Peter Tait
Nelson Edgar Neale 717 Stanley Whitehead
New Plymouth Ernest Aderman 1,178C R Parkes
North Shore Dean Eyre 1,395 Arthur Faulkner
Oamaru Thomas Hayman 1,358J H Rapson
Onehunga Hugh Watt 4,389 Alfred E. Allen
Onslow Henry May 519 Wilfred Fortune
Otahuhu Leon Götz James Deas 1,806Leonard George Bradley
Otaki James Maher 963Ernest Langford
Pahiatua Keith Holyoake 3,519R Bell
Palmerston North Blair Tennent Philip Skoglund 346Blair Tennant
Patea William Sheat Roy Jack 662Benjamin R. Winchcombe
Petone Michael Moohan 4,211Fanny Elizabeth Soward
Ponsonby Ritchie Macdonald 3,948Harold Barry
Raglan Hallyburton Johnstone 857James Harrison Wilson
Rangitikei Edward Gordon Norman Shelton 2,679Stephen Malcolm Roberton
Remuera Ronald Algie 3,544 Bob Tizard
Riccarton Angus McLagan 4,343Balfour Grieve Dingwall
Rodney Clifton Webb Jack Scott 3,270Arthur Hellyn
Roskill John Rae 1,652Elizabeth Morris
Rotorua New electorate Ray Boord 822 Percy Allen
St Albans Jack Watts 608 Mick Connelly
St Kilda Jim Barnes 114 Fred Jones
Selwyn John McAlpine 2,521D Clinton
Stratford New electorate Thomas Murray 2,966Brian Edgar Richmond
Sydenham Mabel Howard 5,560Mrs A Schumacher
Tamaki Eric Halstead 1,986 Pat Curran
Tauranga George Walsh 3,448Oliver Liddell
Timaru Clyde Carr 1,423V W Wilson
Waikato Geoffrey Sim 4,698Albert Clifford Tucker
Waimate (vacant) [nb 2] Alfred Davey 1,438 Neville Pickering
Waipa New electorate William Goosman 4,435Harold Francis Gallagher
Wairarapa Bert Cooksley 1,691Bob Wilkie [9]
Waitakere Rex Mason 3,424Jim McAllister
Waitemata New electorate Norman King 387Hubert Morrison
Waitomo Walter Broadfoot David Seath 1,480Vic Haines
Wallace Tom Macdonald 4,466J W Cleary
Wanganui Joseph Cotterill 305J S Rumbold
Wellington Central Charles Chapman Frank Kitts 627 Allan Highet
Westland James Kent 3,605 Mark Wallace
Māori electorates
Eastern Maori Tiaki Omana 3,094Claude Anaru [10]
Northern Maori Tapihana Paikea 4,435H. T. Waetford
Southern Maori Eruera Tirikatene 2,864 Turi Carroll
Western Maori Iriaka Matiu Ratana 6,637William Rakeipoho Bennett [11]
Table footnotes
  1. John Stewart was first on election night, but lost when special votes were included
  2. David Campbell Kidd, the National Party MP for Waimate, died less than two months before the election, leaving his seat vacant. [8]

By-elections during 31st Parliament

There were a number of changes during the term of the 31st Parliament.

Electorate and by-electionDateIncumbentCauseWinner
Riccarton 1956 27 October Angus McLagan Death Mick Connelly
Bay of Plenty 1957 6 April Bill Sullivan Resignation Percy Allen


  1. 1 2 "General elections 1853–2005 - dates & turnout". Elections New Zealand. Archived from the original on 27 May 2010. Retrieved 2 December 2012.
  2. Wilson 1985, p. 173.
  3. Wilson 1985, p. 142.
  4. Wilson 1985, pp. 86–88.
  5. Norton 1988, pp. ?.
  6. Norton 1988, p. 214.
  7. Norton 1988, p. 222.
  8. Wilson 1985, p. 210.
  9. Espiner, Guyon (3 March 2012). "Profile: Labour deputy Grant Robertson". New Zealand Listener . Retrieved 26 September 2014.
  10. Gustafson 1986, p. 353.
  11. Gustafson 1986, p. 355.