Sir Alexander Herdman
|11th Attorney-General of New Zealand
10 July 1912 –4 February 1918
|19th Minister of Justice of New Zealand
10 July 1912 –12 August 1915
|17 July 1869
|13 June 1953
Sir Alexander Lawrence Herdman (17 July 1869 –13 June 1953) was a New Zealand politician. He served as Attorney-General,Minister of Justice,and Minister of Police. He is known for his reforms of the civil service and for his hard line on law and order.
Herdman was born in Dunedin. He studied at Otago Boys' High School,and then gained a law degree while working part-time. He was admitted to the bar in 1894,and established a practice in Naseby the following year. He also worked in Palmerston,where he joined the local Freemason lodge. He would retain his connection with the Freemasons over his career,eventually grand master of the Grand Lodge of New Zealand.
|Changed allegiance to:
Herdman began a political career in Naseby,being elected mayor in 1898. He eventually decided to abandon this by moving to Wellington in 1902,but shortly after he arrived,he was invited to return and stand as a parliamentary candidate in Mount Ida,the Otago electorate which encompassed Naseby.In the 1902 election,Herdman ran on a strongly anti-government platform,harshly criticising the governing Liberal Party. He was elected, and joined the unorganised group of independents who opposed the Liberals. He did not,however,move back to Naseby,instead representing his seat as an absentee.
In the 1905 election,Herdman was defeated.In the 1908 election,he contested the seat of Wellington North,and was elected. The following year,William Massey organised the opposition into the Reform Party,which Herdman became part of.
One of Herdman's early concerns in Parliament was the reform of the public service. Herdman believed that the service was poorly organised and subject to political patronage,particularly under the government of Richard Seddon. In the 1911 election,the Reform Party won office as the Reform Government,and Herdman was able to push through his reform proposals –the Public Service Act of 1912 established uniform conditions of appointment and promotion,and established a supervisory commissioner.
In Cabinet,Herdman served as Attorney-General (10 July 1912 –4 February 1918),Minister of Justice (10 July 1912 –12 August 1915),and Minister of Stamp Duties (13 July 1912 –12 August 1915).In these roles,he gained a reputation as a hard-liner,being described by a contemporary as "ready to employ force ruthlessly for the purpose of upholding law and order". Herdman is believed to have had a major role in the suppression of the Waihi miners' strike,and of the waterfront strike the following year. Both were criticised by many left-wing groups as heavy-handed and repressive,but were defended by the government as necessary steps to preserve order. During World War I,Herdman supported strong measures against anyone protesting New Zealand's participation. As Minister responsible for Police,Herdman also responded harshly to attempts by police officers to form a union,prohibiting the move and attempting to drive the instigators out of the force.
In addition to his political ambitions,Herdman was also interested in becoming a judge of the (original) Supreme Court. As Attorney-General,he had powers to appoint judges,and in 1918,when a position became vacant,he appointed himself. This move was criticised by many as self-interested,especially as Herdman's career as a lawyer had not been particularly distinguished. He served as a judge both in Christchurch and Auckland,and briefly acted as Chief Justice in 1929.
In the 1929 King's Birthday Honours,Herdman was appointed a Knight Bachelor.
In 1935,he resigned from his judicial position to seek re-election to Parliament,contesting the Auckland seat of Parnell. He was officially an independent,although he had close links to the Democrat Party. He was unsuccessful,and subsequently retired to the Lake Okataina area. He died in Rotorua on 13 June 1953.
William Ferguson 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.
Sir Francis Henry Dillon Bell was a New Zealand lawyer and politician who served as the 20th prime minister of New Zealand from 14 to 30 May 1925. He was the first New Zealand-born prime minister, holding office in a caretaker capacity following the death of William Massey.
Sir Thomas Mason Wilford was a New Zealand politician. He held the seats of Wellington Suburbs then Hutt continuously for thirty years, from 1899 to 1929. Wilford was leader of the New Zealand Liberal Party, and Leader of the Opposition from 1920 to 1925.
Henry Greathead Rex Mason was a New Zealand politician. He served as Attorney General, Minister of Justice, Minister of Education, and Minister of Native Affairs, and had a significant influence on the direction of the Labour Party. The longest-serving Member of Parliament in New Zealand history, Mason served in Parliament continuously from 1926 to 1966. He is also the only person to serve as an Member of the New Zealand Parliament for over 40 years.
Invercargill is an electorate of the New Zealand Parliament that has existed since 1866. Since the 2020 election, the electorate's representative is Penny Simmonds of the National Party.
Robert McNab was a New Zealand lawyer, farmer, historian, and politician of the Liberal Party. He was Minister of Justice for the 18 months before his death.
Sir Christopher James Parr was a New Zealand lawyer and politician of the Reform Party. He was Mayor of Auckland, a Member of Parliament representing the Eden electorate, a Minister in the Reform Government, High Commissioner in London and a Member of the New Zealand Legislative Council.
Sir James Alexander Young, known as Alexander Young, was a New Zealand politician of the Reform Party.
James McGowan was a New Zealand politician of the Liberal Party.
Waikato is an electorate in the New Zealand Parliament. A Waikato electorate was first created in 1871 and an electorate by this name has existed from 1871 to 1963, 1969 to 1996, and 2008 to the present, though exact borders have often changed.
Eden, a former New Zealand parliamentary electorate, lay in the general area of the suburb of Mount Eden in the city of Auckland.
Kaiapoi was a rural New Zealand electorate, north of Christchurch in the Canterbury region of New Zealand from 1861 to 1946. It was represented by twelve Members of Parliament.
Sir William Fraser was an Independent Conservative then Reform Party member of parliament in New Zealand.
Vernon Herbert Reed was a Liberal Party and from 1912 a Reform Party member of parliament in New Zealand. He was later a member of the Legislative Council.
Mount Ida is a former parliamentary electorate in the Otago region of New Zealand, from 1871 to 1893, and then from 1902 to 1908.
James Job Holland was a Liberal Party Member of Parliament in Auckland, New Zealand, and the mayor of Auckland from 1893 to 1896.
The 11th New Zealand Parliament was a term of the Parliament of New Zealand.
The 18th New Zealand Parliament was a term of the New Zealand Parliament. It was elected at the 1911 general election in December of that year.
The 23rd New Zealand Parliament was a term of the New Zealand Parliament. It was elected at the 1928 general election in November of that year.