Dan Sullivan (New Zealand politician)

Last updated

Dan Sullivan
Daniel Giles Sullivan (1941).jpg
Dan Sullivan in 1941
13th Minister of Railways
In office
26 November 1935 12 December 1941
Prime Minister Michael Joseph Savage
Peter Fraser
Preceded by George Forbes
Succeeded by Bob Semple
Member of the New Zealand Parliament
for Avon
In office
17 December 1919  8 April 1947
Preceded by George Warren Russell
Succeeded by John Mathison
35th Mayor of Christchurch
In office
Preceded by Rev. John Archer
Succeeded by John Beanland
Personal details
Born18 July 1882
Died8 April 1947(1947-04-08) (aged 64)
Lewisham Hospital, Wellington
NationalityNew Zealand
Political party Labour
Cabinet Cabinet of New Zealand

Daniel Giles Sullivan (18 July 1882 – 8 April 1947) was a New Zealand Member of Parliament, Cabinet Minister and Mayor of Christchurch.

A member of parliament (MP) is the representative of the voters to a parliament. In many countries with bicameral parliaments, this category includes specifically members of the lower house, as upper houses often have a different title. Member of Congress is an equivalent term in other jurisdictions.

Mayor of Christchurch head of the municipal government of Christchurch

The Mayor of Christchurch is the head of the municipal government of Christchurch, New Zealand, and presides over the Christchurch City Council. The mayor is directly elected using a First Past the Post electoral system. The current mayor, Lianne Dalziel, was first elected in the October 2013 mayoral election and was re-elected in October 2016. The current deputy mayor is Andrew Turner.


Early years

Born in Christchurch in 1882, Sullivan was President/Secretary of the Canterbury French Polishers Union and National Federation of Furniture Trades Unions.

Christchurch Metropolitan area in South Island, New Zealand

Christchurch is the largest city in the South Island of New Zealand and the seat of the Canterbury Region. The Christchurch urban area lies on the South Island's east coast, just north of Banks Peninsula. It is home to 404,500 residents, making it New Zealand's third-most populous city behind Auckland and Wellington. The Avon River flows through the centre of the city, with an urban park located along its banks. At the request of the Deans brothers — whose farm was the earliest European settlement in the area — the river was named after the River Avon in Scotland, which rises in the Ayrshire hills near to where their grandfather's farm was located.

Canterbury, New Zealand Region of New Zealand in South Island

Canterbury is a region of New Zealand, located in the central-eastern South Island. The region covers an area of 44,508 square kilometres (17,185 sq mi), and is home to a population of 624,000.

He was a councillor of the Christchurch City Council between 1915–1923 and 1925–1931, and Mayor of Christchurch 1931–1936. When Labour won the 1935 general election and Sullivan took on the heavy workload of a cabinet minister, he reluctantly resigned from the mayoralty in February 1936. [1] [2] [3] He was succeeded as mayor by John Beanland of the Citizens' Association. [4]

Christchurch City Council local government authority for Christchurch, Canterbury in New Zealand

The Christchurch City Council is the local government authority for Christchurch in New Zealand. It is a territorial authority elected to represent the 388,400 people of Christchurch. Since October 2013, the Mayor of Christchurch is Lianne Dalziel, who succeeded Bob Parker. The council currently consists of 16 councillors elected from sixteen wards, and is presided over by the Mayor, who is elected at large. The number of elected members and ward boundaries changed prior during the 2016 election.

John Beanland New Zealand mayor

John Walton Beanland was a building contractor and Mayor of Christchurch from 1936 to 1938.

Member of Parliament

New Zealand Parliament
1919 1922 20th Avon Labour
1922 1925 21st Avon Labour
1925 1928 22nd Avon Labour
1928 1931 23rd Avon Labour
1931 1935 24th Avon Labour
1935 1938 25th Avon Labour
1938 1943 26th Avon Labour
1943 1946 27th Avon Labour
1946 1947 28th Avon Labour

Sullivan first stood for Parliament in the 1908 election as a candidate for the Independent Political Labour League in the Avon electorate; he came fourth out of five candidates in the first ballot. [5] The 1908 election was won by George Warren Russell, who would later become a cabinet minister, and was in 1912 considered a possible successor of Joseph Ward as leader of the Liberal Party. [6] In the 1914 election, Sullivan came second out of three candidates in the same electorate, this time standing for the Social Democratic Party, the successor of the IPLL. [7] [8]

1908 New Zealand general election

The 1908 New Zealand general election was held on Tuesday, 17 November, 24 November and 1 December in the general electorates, and on Wednesday, 2 December in the Māori electorates to elect a total of 80 MPs to the 17th session of the New Zealand Parliament. A total number of 537,003 (79.8%) voters turned out to vote.

The Independent Political Labour League (IPLL) was a small New Zealand political party. It was the second organised political party to win a seat in the House of Representatives, and was a forerunner of the modern Labour Party.

Avon is a former New Zealand parliamentary electorate. It was created for the 1861 general election and existed until 1996. It was represented by 13 Members of Parliament and was held by Independents, Liberal Party or Labour Party representatives.

In the 1919 election, Russell suffered a crushing defeat by Sullivan. As Minister of Public Health, Russell was held responsible by large parts of the population for New Zealand's unpreparedness for the 1918 flu epidemic. [6] Compared to the 1914 election, Sullivan's share of the vote increased by more than 27 percentage points. [7] [9] He represented the Avon electorate in the House of Representatives for 28 years from 1919 to 1947. [10] During the 1920s Sullivan and Jimmy McCombs led the opposition to Harry Holland within the Parliamentary Labour Party caucus. [1]

1919 New Zealand general election Election in New Zealand

The New Zealand general election of 1919 was held on Tuesday, 16 December in the Māori electorates, and on Wednesday, 17 December in the general electorates to elect a total of 80 MPs to the 20th session of the New Zealand Parliament. A total number of 560,673 (80.5%) voters turned out to vote.

Minister of Health (New Zealand) minister responsible for the New Zealand Ministry of Health and the District Health Boards

The Minister of Health, formerly styled Minister of Public Health, is a minister in the government of New Zealand with responsibility for the New Zealand Ministry of Health and the District Health Boards.

New Zealand House of Representatives Sole chamber of New Zealand Parliament

The New Zealand House of Representatives is a component of the New Zealand Parliament, along with the Sovereign. The House passes all laws, provides ministers to form a Cabinet, and supervises the work of the Government. It is also responsible for adopting the state's budgets and approving the state's accounts.

Sullivan was a significant Cabinet Minister in the First Labour Government of New Zealand: the Minister of Industries and Commerce between 1935–47, Minister of Railways from 1935 to 1941 and the high-profile wartime Minister of Supply and Munitions. He was also Acting Prime Minister from April to July 1944.

First Labour Government of New Zealand

The First Labour Government of New Zealand was the government of New Zealand from 1935 to 1949. Responsible for the realisation of a wide range of progressive social reforms during its time in office, it set the tone of New Zealand's economic and welfare policies until the 1980s, establishing a welfare state, a system of Keynesian economic management, and high levels of state intervention. The government came to power towards the end of, and as a result of, the Great Depression of the 1930s, and also governed the country throughout World War II.

The Minister of Industries and Commerce in New Zealand is a former cabinet position appointed by the Prime Minister to be in charge of matters of industrial and commercial growth and trade. In 1972 it was merged with the Trade portfolio.

Minister of Railways (New Zealand) New Zealand cabinet position

The Minister of Railways was the minister in the government responsible for the New Zealand Railways Department 1895–1981, the New Zealand Railways Corporation 1981–1993, and New Zealand Rail Limited 1990–1993. The portfolio was established in 1895, 15 years after the Railways Department was formed, and was abolished in 1993, when New Zealand Rail Limited was privatised. Today, KiwiRail is answerable to both the Minister of State Owned Enterprises, and the Minister of Transport.

In 1935, Sullivan was awarded the King George V Silver Jubilee Medal. [11]

Death and commemoration

Sullivan died on 8 April 1947. [1] Sullivan Avenue in the Christchurch suburb of Woolston was named in Sullivan's honour in 1929. [12] Sullivan Park in Avonside was named for him in 1948. [13]


  1. 1 2 3 Watson, James. "Sullivan, Daniel Giles". Dictionary of New Zealand Biography . Ministry for Culture and Heritage . Retrieved 22 February 2011.
  2. "By-Elections for Council". The Press . LXXI (21647). 4 December 1935. p. 10. Retrieved 20 May 2016.
  3. "Resignation in February". The Press . LXXII (21680). 14 January 1936. p. 8. Retrieved 20 May 2016.
  4. "The By-Election". The Press . LXXII (21730). 12 March 1936. p. 12. Retrieved 20 May 2016.
  5. AtoJs 1908 election 1909, p. 32.
  6. 1 2 Rice, Geoffrey W. "Russell, George Warren". Dictionary of New Zealand Biography . Ministry for Culture and Heritage . Retrieved 15 January 2014.
  7. 1 2 Hislop, J. (1915). The General Election, 1914. National Library. p. 21. Retrieved 24 April 2015.
  8. "The Avon Seat". The Star (11215). 22 October 1914. p. 8. Retrieved 23 April 2015.
  9. Hislop, J. (1921). The General Election, 1919. National Library. p. 4. Retrieved 24 April 2015.
  10. Wilson 1985, p. 237.
  11. "Official jubilee medals". Evening Post . CXIX (105). 6 May 1935. p. 4. Retrieved 18 March 2019.
  12. Harper, Margaret. "Christchurch Street Names S" (PDF). Christchurch City Libraries. p. 135. Retrieved 21 March 2010.
  13. Harper, Margaret (18 December 2013). "Christchurch Place Names N-Z" (PDF). Christchurch City Libraries. p. 92. Retrieved 16 February 2014.

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New Zealand Parliament
Preceded by
George Warren Russell
Member of Parliament for Avon
Succeeded by
John Mathison
Political offices
Preceded by
John Archer
Mayor of Christchurch
Succeeded by
John Beanland
Preceded by
George Forbes
Minister of Railways
Succeeded by
Bob Semple
Party political offices
Preceded by
James McCombs
Senior Whip of the Labour Party
Succeeded by
Bill Jordan