|27th Mayor of Hamilton|
May 1976 –October 1977
|Preceded by||Michael John Minogue|
|Succeeded by||Ross Jansen|
|5th Leader of the Social Credit Party|
|Deputy|| Les Hunter (1972–77)|
Jeremy Dwyer (1977–81)
Gary Knapp (1981–85)
|Preceded by||John O'Brien|
|Succeeded by||Office abolished|
|1st Leader of the Democratic Party|
|Preceded by||Office created|
|Succeeded by||Neil Morrison|
|Member of the New Zealand Parliament |
1978 – 1984
|Preceded by||Sir Roy Jack|
|Succeeded by||Denis Marshall|
|Born||16 February 1936|
New Plymouth, New Zealand
|Died||3 May 1997 61) (aged|
Palmerston North, New Zealand
|Political party||Social Credit|
Bruce Craig Beetham QSO (16 February 1936 – 3 May 1997) was an academic and politician from New Zealand, whose career spanned the 1970s and early 1980s.
A lecturer at Hamilton's University of Waikato and at the Hamilton Teachers' Training College, he was elected leader of the Social Credit Political League (which he had joined in 1969) in 1972, at a time when the party was in disarray and many were questioning its chances of survival. A brilliant organiser and an electrifying speaker,Beetham succeeded in rebuilding the party, and by the late 1970s it was challenging the stranglehold on the two-party system of the long-dominant National and Labour parties.
Hamilton is a city in the North Island of New Zealand. It is the seat and most populous city of the Waikato region, with a territorial population of 169,300, the country's fourth most-populous city. Encompassing a land area of about 110 km2 (42 sq mi) on the banks of the Waikato River, Hamilton is part of the wider Hamilton Urban Area, which also encompasses the nearby towns of Ngaruawahia, Te Awamutu and Cambridge.
The University of Waikato, informally Waikato University, is a comprehensive university in Hamilton, New Zealand. The university was established in 1964, and has a satellite campus located in Tauranga.
The New Zealand Social Credit Party was a political party which served as the country's "third party" from the 1950s through into the 1980s. The party held a number of seats in the New Zealand House of Representatives, although never more than two at a time. It has since renamed itself the New Zealand Democratic Party, and was for a time part of the Alliance.
Born in New Plymouth on 16 February 1936,Beetham attended New Plymouth Boys' High School from 1951–1955. He then went on to the Auckland Secondary Teachers College where he eventually acquired a BA (honours) in History and later an MA. Beetham joined the then Social Credit Political League, during the 1969 general election campaign, after attending a talk by Don Bethune the Social Credit candidate for Hamilton West. Later, Beetham was elected as one of the vice presidents of the party in 1971. Also in 1971 he ran his first election campaign, an unsuccessfully attempt for a position as a Hamilton City Councillor. His rapid rise in the Social Credit ranks was complete when he was elected Leader in 1972. At 36 he became the youngest leader of a political party in New Zealand's history. He presided over Social Credit's 1972 and 1975 election campaigns, in which they failed to get any members elected.
New Plymouth is the major city of the Taranaki Region on the west coast of the North Island of New Zealand. It is named after the English city of Plymouth from where the first English settlers migrated. The New Plymouth District, which includes New Plymouth City and several smaller towns, is the 10th largest district in New Zealand, and has a population of 74,184 – about two-thirds of the total population of the Taranaki Region and 1.7% of New Zealand's population. This includes New Plymouth City (58,300), Waitara (6,483), Inglewood (3,380), Oakura (1,359), Okato (561) and Urenui (429).
New Plymouth Boys' High School is a single-sex boys' state secondary school in New Plymouth, Taranaki, New Zealand.
The 1969 New Zealand general election was a nationwide vote to determine the shape of Parliament's 36th term. It saw the Second National Government headed by Prime Minister Keith Holyoake of the National Party win a fourth consecutive term.
In 1976, Beetham was elected Mayor of Hamilton in a byelection to replace Mike Minogue, who had resigned to take up a seat in Parliament.One of his early ideas as Mayor was to finance municipal projects with interest-free "rates vouchers", but the council, dominated by his opponents, passed a 20 percent rates increase instead. His frustrations caused by political gridlock, as well as the difficulty of simultaneously leading a national political party while serving as a Mayor (a post generally expected to be apolitical in New Zealand), were factors in his decision not to seek a second term as Mayor in 1977. Ross Jansen succeeded him.
The Mayor of Hamilton, New Zealand is the head of the municipal government of Hamilton, New Zealand, and presides over the Hamilton City Council.
Michael John Minogue was a National Party politician, lawyer and mayor.
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.
In 1977, Beetham was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Silver Jubilee Medal.
The Queen Elizabeth II Silver Jubilee Medal was a commemorative medal created in 1977 to mark the twenty-fifth anniversary of Elizabeth II's accession in the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. The medal was physically identical in all realms where it was awarded, save for Canada, where it contained unique elements. As an internationally distributed award, the Queen Elizabeth II Silver Jubilee Medal holds a different place in each country's order of precedence for honours.
|New Zealand Parliament|
|1978 –1981||39th||Rangitikei||Social Credit|
|1981 –1984||40th||Rangitikei||Social Credit|
On 18 February 1978, Beetham won election to Parliament in a by-election for the Rangitikei electorate, to fill a vacancy caused by the death of its long-time member, the Parliamentary Speaker, Sir Roy Jack.He retained the seat in the general election later that year, and the Social Credit Political League polled 16 percent of the vote nationwide, its best result to date. In the 1981 election, the party polled just over 20 percent – the best showing for a third party since the 1920s, but fell short of its goal of holding the balance of power; its support was too evenly spread to translate into more than a couple of seats under the First-past-the-post electoral system in use at that time. The party, and Beetham himself, strongly promoted a form of proportional representation, but this was not adopted till many years later. However this saw the addition of Gary Knapp as a second Social Credit MP, meaning the party could make more of an impact inside Parliament itself.
Rangitīkei is a New Zealand parliamentary electorate, returning one Member of Parliament to the New Zealand House of Representatives. The current MP for Rangitīkei is Ian McKelvie of the National Party. He has held this position since 2011.
Sir Roy Emile Jack was a New Zealand politician of the National Party. He was a cabinet minister and Speaker of the House of Representatives.
The 1978 New Zealand general election was a nationwide vote to elect the 39th New Zealand Parliament. It saw the governing National Party, led by Robert Muldoon, retain office, but the opposition Labour Party won the largest share of the vote. Reorganisation of the enrolment system caused major problems with the electoral rolls, which left a legacy of unreliable information about voting levels in this election.
In line with his party's policies, Beetham attempted to organise a barter trade deal with Fiji. Prime Minister Robert Muldoon vetoed the deal.[ citation needed ]
A number of factors resulted in a sharp drop in support for the Social Credit Party in the general election of 1984. One of these factors was Beetham's ill health. A major heart attack in 1983 curtailed his activities for much of that year and early 1984, and his disappearance from the public view made it possible for a new political party, the New Zealand Party (founded by millionaire businessman Bob Jones) to fill the vacuum. This party succeeded in attracting much of the protest vote that Social Credit had previously enjoyed. Another major factor was Beetham's support for the construction of the Clyde Dam, which was part of Prime Minister Robert Muldoon's controversial Think Big policy, and strongly opposed by Social Credit's rank and file.
Beetham lost his Rangitikei seat in 1984, mainly because of electoral boundary changes; suspicions have lingered since that the redistribution may have been politically motivated. (See: Gerrymander).
In 1986, Beetham lost the leadership of the party to Neil Morrison who had been elected an MP in 1984. The new leader, on the night he was elected, implied in a TV interview that the Social Credit national dividend policy was out of date and would be dropped. This was in response to a question from the interviewer, which he might not have listened to carefully. The next day Mr Beetham said he was considering resigning because the new leadership was rejecting basic Social Credit philosophy. This promoted Morrison to publicly retract his comments, and affirm that of course the national dividend would be retained as an important part of Social Credit policy.
Beetham remained active in politics despite losing the leadership. He contested his old seat under the party's new name (New Zealand Democratic Party) in 1987; in 1990 he broke away from the Democrats and assumed leadership of a new party, under the old Social Credit banner; in 1992, he attempted to put together a coalition of centrist parties, the New Zealand Centre Coalition, but was overtaken by the course of events as numerous new parties were formed around that time and crowded out the political spectrum.
His last electoral campaign was in 1996 as an independent candidate for his old Rangitikei electorate. Although placed fifth, he received almost 3,400 votes, which is a reasonable result for an independent.
In the 1988 New Year Honours, Beetham was made a Companion of the Queen's Service Order for public services,and in 1990 he was awarded the New Zealand 1990 Commemoration Medal.
Bruce Beetham was known as a liberal on human rights, a conservative on moral and social issues, and a pragmatist on economic matters. His humanistic approach has been attributed to his childhood admiration of Labour Party Prime Minister Michael Joseph Savage, while growing up in the Great Depression.He disliked confrontation, preferring to work for consensus in decision-making. He was married twice, and had four children. A resident of Marton, he died of heart failure in 1997 at the age of 61 in Palmerston North Hospital.
| Mayor of Hamilton |
|New Zealand Parliament|
Sir Roy Jack
| Member of Parliament for Rangitikei |
|Party political offices|
| Leader of the Social Credit Party |
|New political party|| Leader of the Democratic Party |
The New Zealand National Party, shortened to National or the Nats, is a centre-right political party in New Zealand. It is one of two major parties that dominate contemporary New Zealand politics, alongside its traditional rival, the New Zealand Labour Party.
The New Zealand Democratic Party for Social Credit is a small leftist political party in New Zealand whose policies are based on the ideas of social credit. The party has been known as the Social Credit Political League, the Social Credit Party and the New Zealand Democratic Party and was part of the Alliance for a time.
The 1987 New Zealand general election was a nationwide vote to determine the shape of the 42nd sitting of the New Zealand Parliament. The governing New Zealand Labour Party, led by Prime Minister David Lange, was re-elected for a second term, although the Opposition National Party made gains. The election also saw the elimination of the Democratic Party from Parliament, leaving Labour and National as the only parties represented.
The 1984 New Zealand general election was a nationwide vote to determine the shape of the 41st New Zealand Parliament. It marked the beginning of the Fourth Labour Government, with David Lange's Labour Party defeating the long-serving Prime Minister, Robert Muldoon, of the National Party. It was also the last election in which the Social Credit Party won seats as an independent entity. The election was also the only one in which the New Zealand Party, a protest party, played any substantial role.
The New Zealand Party operated as a political party in New Zealand from 1983 to about 1986. Established by millionaire property tycoon Bob Jones, the party promoted economic liberalisation—it was the first political party to promote free market reforms. It failed to win any seats in Parliament, but it purportedly played a role in causing the defeat of Robert Muldoon's National government in the 1984 election by splitting the vote.
The 1981 New Zealand general election, held on 28 November 1981, was a nationwide vote to determine the shape of the 40th New Zealand Parliament. It saw the governing National Party, led by Robert Muldoon, win a third term in office, but the opposition Labour Party, led by Bill Rowling, won the largest share of the votes cast.
The 1975 New Zealand general election was held on 29 November to elect MPs to the 38th session of the New Zealand Parliament. It was the first general election in New Zealand where 18- to 20-year-olds and all permanent residents of New Zealand were eligible to vote, although only citizens were able to be elected.
The New Zealand general election of 1972 was held on 25 November to elect MPs to the 37th session of the New Zealand Parliament. The Labour Party, led by Norman Kirk, defeated the governing National Party.
The Rangitikei District is a territorial authority located primarily in the Manawatu-Whanganui Region in the North Island of New Zealand, although a small part, the town of Ngamatea, lies in the Hawke's Bay Region. It is located in the southwest of the island, and follows the catchment area of the Rangitikei River.
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.
John Bernard O'Brien was a political candidate and party leader of Social Credit in New Zealand.
The Rangitikei by-election of 1978 was a by-election in the New Zealand electorate of Rangitikei, a predominantly rural district in the middle of New Zealand's North Island. The by-election occurred on 18 February 1978, and was precipitated by the death of sitting National Party member of parliament Sir Roy Jack in December 1977.
Rātana pā, or Ratana Community, is a town in the North Island of New Zealand, near Whanganui and Marton in the Manawatu-Wanganui Region, which developed around the Rātana church there. It is a site of pilgrimage for the Maori followers of the Rātana faith. Due to the importance of the Rātana movement in New Zealand politics, leading New Zealand politicians often attend annual gatherings at Rātana pā.
Neil Joseph Morrison was a New Zealand politician of the Social Credit Party.
Leslie Walter (Les) Gandar was a New Zealand politician of the National Party.
Ruahine is a former New Zealand parliamentary electorate, from 1972 to 1978.
Ngamatea is a meshblock located in the northeastern part of Rangitikei District of the Hawke's Bay region of New Zealand's North Island. It is unique in being located in the Hawke's Bay region despite being part of the Rangitikei District, which is almost entirely located in the Manawatu-Wanganui region. It has an area of 610.54 km², 13.63% of the total area of Rangitikei. According to the 2013 census, it had a population of 27 inhabitants.