Ernest Corbett

Last updated

The Honourable
Ernest Corbett
Ernest Corbett.jpg
27th Minister of Māori Affairs
In office
13 December 1949 26 September 1957
Prime Minister Sidney Holland
Keith Holyoake
Preceded by Peter Fraser
Succeeded by Keith Holyoake
Member of the New Zealand Parliament
for Egmont
In office
1943  26 September 1957
Succeeded by William Sheat
Personal details
Born(1898-05-07)7 May 1898
Okato, Taranaki
Died 15 June 1968(1968-06-15) (aged 70)
New Plymouth, Taranaki
Political party National
Spouse(s) Doris Eileen Sharp (m. 1923)
Children Two sons

Ernest Bowyer Corbett (7 May 1898 – 15 June 1968) was a New Zealand National Party politician.

New Zealand National Party Major New Zealand political 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.



New Zealand Parliament
Years Term Electorate Party
1943 1946 27th Egmont National
1946 1949 28th Egmont National
1949 1951 29th Egmont National
1951 1954 30th Egmont National
1954 1957 31st Egmont National

He held the Egmont electorate from 1943 to 1957. [1] He was Minister of Māori Affairs, Minister of Lands and Minister of Forests in the First National Government. [2] As Māori Affairs Minister he worked closely with Māori statesman Āpirana Ngata, and spent much of his time implementing "Ngata’s policies". [3]

Egmont is a former New Zealand electorate, in south Taranaki. It existed from 1871 to 1978.

The First National Government of New Zealand was the government of New Zealand from 1949 to 1957. It was a conservative government best remembered for its role in the 1951 waterfront dispute. It also began the repositioning of New Zealand in the cold war environment. Although New Zealand continued to assist Britain in situations such as the Malayan Emergency, it now became connected to Australia and the United States through the ANZUS agreement.

Māori people Indigenous Polynesian people of New Zealand

The Māori are the indigenous Polynesian people of New Zealand. Māori originated with settlers from eastern Polynesia, who arrived in New Zealand in several waves of canoe voyages some time between 1250 and 1300. Over several centuries in isolation, the Polynesian settlers developed a unique culture, with their own language, a rich mythology, and distinctive crafts and performing arts. Early Māori formed tribal groups based on eastern Polynesian social customs and organisation. Horticulture flourished using plants they introduced; later, a prominent warrior culture emerged.

Corbett fell ill and, according to Wilson (1985), retired at the end of the parliamentary term on 29 October 1957, [1] or, according to his biographer, in September 1957, [3] shortly before his government's defeat. He died on 15 June 1968. [3]

In April 2010 it was alleged by Muru Walters that in 1956 Corbett told the Māori All Blacks to deliberately lose to the Springboks "for the future of rugby" however several other players in the team contradict Walters accusation and state Corbett never asked them to deliberately throw the game. The Māori team lost 37–0. This was followed by Walters calling for the government to apologise for the way it treated Māori rugby players. [4]

Māori All Blacks rugby union team

The Māori All Blacks, previously called the New Zealand Māori, are a rugby union team from New Zealand. A representative team of the New Zealand Rugby Union, a prerequisite for playing in the team is that the player has Māori whakapapa (genealogy). In the past this rule was not strictly applied; non–Māori players who looked Māori were often selected in the team. These included a few Pacific island players and a couple of African descent. Today all players have their ancestry verified before selection in the team.

South Africa national rugby union team national sports team

The South Africa national rugby union team, commonly known as the Springboks, is governed by the South African Rugby Union. The Springboks play in green and gold jerseys with white shorts, and their emblems are the Springbok and the King Protea. The team has been representing South Africa in international rugby union since 30 July 1891, when they played their first test match against a British Isles touring team.


  1. 1 2 Wilson 1985, p. 190.
  2. Wilson 1985.
  3. 1 2 3 Butterworth, Graham. "Corbett, Ernest Bowyer". Dictionary of New Zealand Biography . Ministry for Culture and Heritage . Retrieved 14 April 2010.
  4. "Rugby: Maori told to throw match against Boks". The New Zealand Herald . 13 April 2010. Retrieved 14 April 2010.

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New Zealand Parliament
Preceded by
Charles Wilkinson
Member of Parliament for Egmont
Succeeded by
William Sheat
Political offices
Preceded by
Peter Fraser
Minister of Māori Affairs
Succeeded by
Keith Holyoake