Joseph Gordon Coates
|21st Prime Minister of New Zealand|
30 May 1925 –10 December 1928
|Preceded by||Francis Bell|
|Succeeded by||Joseph Ward|
|Member of the New Zealand Parliament |
|Preceded by||John Stallworthy|
|Succeeded by||Clifton Webb|
|Born||3 February 1878|
Hukatere, New Zealand
|Died||27 May 1943 65) (aged|
Wellington, New Zealand
Marjorie Grace Coles(m. 1914)
|Awards||MC and bar|
|Allegiance||New Zealand Army|
|Years of service||1916–18|
|Battles/wars||World War I|
Joseph Gordon Coates MC* PC (3 February 1878 – 27 May 1943) served as the 21st Prime Minister of New Zealand from 1925 to 1928. He was the third successive Reform prime minister since 1912.
Her Majesty's Most Honourable Privy Council, usually known simply as the Privy Council of the United Kingdom or just the Privy Council, is a formal body of advisers to the Sovereign of the United Kingdom. Its membership mainly comprises senior politicians who are current or former members of either the House of Commons or the House of Lords.
The Reform Party, formally the New Zealand Political Reform League, was New Zealand's second major political party, having been founded as a conservative response to the original Liberal Party. It was in government between 1912 and 1928, and later formed a coalition with the United Party, and then merged with United to form the modern National Party.
Coates was a farmer before becoming a Member of Parliament, and he maintained a focus on farming interests throughout his political career. He was elected to Parliament in 1911, when he stood as an independent candidate. After distinguished service during World War I, he was appointed as Minister of Justice and Postmaster-General in the Reform government of William Massey (1919); he served as Minister of Public Works (1920–26) and Native Affairs (1921–28) and became prime minister in 1925 on Massey’s death.
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.
The New Zealand general election of 1911 was held on Thursday, 7 and 14 December in the general electorates, and on Tuesday, 19 December in the Māori electorates to elect a total of 80 MPs to the 18th session of the New Zealand Parliament. A total number of 590,042 (83.5%) voters turned out to vote. In two seats there was only one candidate.
The Minister of Justice is a minister in the government of New Zealand. The minister has responsibility for the formulation of justice policy and for the administration of law courts.
Defeated in the elections of 1928, Coates returned to government in 1931 as the key figure in the coalition government of George Forbes. Serving as Minister of Public Works (1931–33) and of Finance (1933–35), he instituted rigorous policies to combat the economic depression of the 1930s. He became a member of Peter Fraser's War Administration from 1940, serving as Minister of Armed Forces and War Co-ordination until his death.
The New Zealand general election of 1928 was held on 13 and 14 November in the Māori and European electorates, respectively, to elect 80 MPs to the 23rd session of the New Zealand Parliament.
George William Forbes was a New Zealand politician who served as the 22nd Prime Minister of New Zealand from 28 May 1930 to 6 December 1935.
The Minister of Finance, originally known as Colonial Treasurer, is a senior figure within the Government of New Zealand and head of the New Zealand Treasury. The position is often considered to be the most important cabinet post after that of the Prime Minister. The Minister of Finance is responsible for producing an annual New Zealand budget outlining the government's proposed expenditure.
Born at Ruatunain Hukatere in Kaipara Harbour, New Zealand, where his family ran a farm, Coates took on significant responsibility at a relatively early age because his father suffered from bipolar disorder. He received a basic education at a local school, and his well-educated mother also tutored him. He became an accomplished horseman, although an accident left him with a bad leg for the rest of his life. The large Māori population of the area meant that Coates grew up proficient in the Māori language. Gossip suggests that before his marriage, Coates had two children by a Māori woman. He allegedly became engaged to Eva Ingall, a teacher, but her father forbade marriage on the grounds that the illness of Coates' father might prove hereditary. Eventually, on 4 August 1914, he married Marguerite Grace Coles, better known as Marjorie Grace Coles, by whom he had five daughters.
Ruatuna in Matakohe, New Zealand is a house built from kauri timber in 1877 overlooking the Kaipara Harbour. The house is the birthplace of Gordon Coates (1878–1943) who served as Prime Minister of New Zealand from 1925 to 1928. Ruatuna was registered by the New Zealand Historic Places Trust on 23 June 1983 and has registration number 7. The building has a category I listing.
Kaipara Harbour is a large enclosed harbour estuary complex on the north western side of the North Island of New Zealand. The northern part of the harbour is administered by the Kaipara District and the southern part is administered by the Auckland Council. The local Māori tribe is Ngāti Whātua.
In philosophy, moral responsibility is the status of morally deserving praise, blame, reward, or punishment for an act or omission performed or neglected in accordance with one's moral obligations. Deciding what counts as "morally obligatory" is a principal concern of ethics.
|New Zealand Parliament|
|1936–1938||Changed allegiance to:||National|
|1942–1943||Changed allegiance to:||Independent|
While farming in Auckland, Coates became active in farmers' organisations. He first became involved in politics through the Otamatea County Council, to which he won election in 1905. Later, from 1913 to 1916, he served as the Council's chairman. He had previously distinguished himself as commander of the Otamatea Mounted Rifle Volunteers, and had a good local reputation. In the 1911 election, Coates won the Kaipara seat, having stood as an independent candidate aligned with the Liberal Party. In Parliament he generally voted with the Liberals, and formed part of the group that allowed Joseph Ward to keep his position as Prime Minister. When Ward resigned and Thomas Mackenzie replaced him, Coates declined the offer of a ministerial position.
Politics refers to a set of activities associated with the governance of a country, or an area. It involves making decisions that apply to members of a group.
Reputation or image of a social entity is an opinion about that entity, typically as a result of social evaluation on a set of criteria.
Kaipara is a former New Zealand parliamentary electorate north of Auckland that existed from 1902 to 1946, and from 1978 to 1996.
Gradually, however, Coates distanced himself from the Liberal Party — primarily because of his strong belief in freehold for farmers, which the Liberals generally opposed. Coates had developed this belief due to his own experience with leasehold on his family's farm. When a vote of no confidence took place in 1912, Coates voted against the Liberals, helping the opposition Reform Party come to power. By 1914, Coates had formally joined Reform. He did not, however, act as a particularly partisan member, and made friends with politicians of many different political shades. His political activities focused primarily on improving services for the Far North.
In English law, a fee simple or fee simple absolute is an estate in land, a form of freehold ownership. It is a way that real estate and land may be owned in common law countries, and is the highest possible ownership interest that can be held in real property. Allodial title is reserved to governments under a civil law structure. The rights of the fee simple owner are limited by government powers of taxation, compulsory purchase, police power, and escheat, and it could also be limited further by certain encumbrances or conditions in the deed, such as, for example, a condition that required the land to be used as a public park, with a reversion interest in the grantor if the condition fails; this is a fee simple conditional.
A motion of no-confidence, alternatively vote of no confidence, or (unsuccessful) confidence motion, is a statement or vote which states that a person in a position of responsibility is no longer deemed fit to hold that position, perhaps because they are inadequate in some respect, are failing to carry out obligations, or are making decisions that other members feel detrimental. As a parliamentary motion, it demonstrates to the head of state that the elected parliament no longer has confidence in the appointed government. If a no confidence motion is passed against an individual minister they have to give their resignation along with the entire council of ministers.
The Far North District is the northernmost territorial authority district of New Zealand, consisting of the northern part of the Northland Peninsula in the North Island. It stretches from North Cape and Cape Reinga in the north, down to the Bay of Islands, the Hokianga and the town of Kaikohe.
At the outbreak of World War I, Coates attempted to enlist for active service, but the Prime Minister, William Massey, dissuaded him from doing so by — the Reform Party had only a tenuous majority. In November 1916, however, Coates finally gained permission to join up — he served with considerable distinction, winning a Military Cross and bar. When he returned to New Zealand, many saw him as a hero, and on 2 September 1919 Massey appointed him to Cabinet as Minister of Justice, Postmaster-General, and Minister of Telegraphs. He later became Minister of Public Works and Minister of Railways. From March 1921, Coates served as Minister of Native Affairs, where his knowledge of Māori proved a useful asset. He became a friend of Āpirana Ngata, and worked with him to help address Māori concerns.
Coates' prominence gradually increased to the point where people saw him as a natural successor to Massey. When Massey died on 10 May 1925, Francis Bell became Prime Minister on an interim basis while the Party debated its leadership. On 30 May 1925 Coates became Prime Minister, having defeated William Nosworthy in a caucus ballot.
Coates premiership was marked by an intention to develop the rural economy of New Zealand, from which he stemmed. To this goal, he dedicated a number of projects, such as the construction of the Kopu Bridge in the Coromandel Peninsula, which gave the local farmers better road access,and approving the construction of a Rotorua-Taupo railway which had long been sought after by settlers living between Rotorua and Taupo to open up the district.
As the Great Depression loomed and New Zealand's economy began to deteriorate, Coates and the Reform Party attracted considerable criticism. Albert Davy departed the party to help establish a Liberal revival known as the United Party. In the 1928 general election Reform and United Party won an equal number of parliamentary seats. With the backing of the Labour Party, United formed a government, and Coates lost the premiership.
In 1931, the Labour Party withdrew its support from United, protesting about various economic measures which it regarded as hostile to workers. Coates and the Reform Party subsequently agreed to form a coalition with United, preventing a general election in which Labour might have made significant gains. United's leader, George Forbes, remained Prime Minister, but Coates and his Reform Party colleagues gained a number of significant posts. William Downie Stewart, Jr., Coates' colleague, became Minister of Finance.
In the 1931 general election the United-Reform Coalition remained in power, although Labour increased its share of the vote. Economic problems persisted, however, and unemployment continued to rise. Coates quarrelled with William Downie Stewart, Jr. over the government's response, and Coates himself became Minister of Finance. The Prime Minister, George Forbes, became increasingly apathetic and disillusioned, and increasingly Coates ran the government. Talk persisted about the emotional state of Coates himself — rumours[ citation needed ] depicted him as drinking heavily.
In 1935, he was awarded the King George V Silver Jubilee Medal.
In the 1935 general election the coalition suffered a major defeat, winning only 19 seats: Coates nearly lost Kaipara. The Labour Party, which had won 53 seats, formed its first government and Michael Joseph Savage became Prime Minister.
After the defeat of the coalition government, Coates withdrew from public attention to a large extent. He experienced a period of financial difficulty resulting from the sudden loss of income, but his situation improved when a group of friends presented him with a large sum of money as thanks for his long service.
When United and Reform merged to establish the National Party in May 1936, Coates sat as a National MP. Some of his supporters urged him to seek the party's leadership, but others within the party believed that both Coates and Forbes remained too closely associated with the country's economic problems, and that the new party needed fresh faces. Forbes supported Charles Wilkinson for the leadership, but Coates and his supporters rejected this choice, going so far as to threaten a re-establishment of the Reform Party if it went through. Eventually, Adam Hamilton, a former Reform member, won the leadership ballot by one vote.
With the outbreak of World War II, the Labour government invited both Coates and Adam Hamilton to join a special War Cabinet. Their acceptance created a rift between them and their National Party colleagues — the Party replaced Hamilton as leader over the issue, and relations between Coates and the new leader, Sidney Holland, deteriorated. Coates strongly believed partisanship misplaced during the war, and attempted to convince both Labour and National to work together. He expressed pleasure when the two parties established a joint War Administration, with the War Cabinet serving as its executive body. The War Administration quickly collapsed, with National choosing to resign. Coates and Adam Hamilton openly criticised National's decision, and the day after their resignation became effective,they rejoined the War Cabinet on the invitation by the Prime Minister, Peter Fraser. Coates thus became an Independent, and he decided that he would contest the next election as an independent National candidate, not as the National Party's officially-nominated candidate.
Coates' health, however, had begun to fail. He had smoked heavily for most of his life, and had also developed heart trouble. On 27 May 1943 he collapsed and died in his office in Wellington. The Labour Party eulogised him more strongly than did his National Party colleagues, although politicians from all sides of the House paid tribute to him.
Coates' style was lived on through his mentee Keith Holyoake, later Prime Minister himself (1957; 1960–72), who saw Coates as his political role model. Both held each other in mutual admiration and respect and held shared views on opposition to socialism and state control while supporting individual freedom and private enterprise.
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.
William Ferguson Massey, commonly known as Bill Massey, was an Irish-born politician in New Zealand 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.
The United Party of New Zealand, a party formed out of the remnants of the Liberal Party, formed a government between 1928 and 1935, and in 1936 merged with the Reform Party to establish the National Party.
In New Zealand, the Leader of the Opposition is the politician who commands the support of the Official Opposition. The Leader of the Opposition by convention leads the largest party not supporting the government: this is usually the parliamentary leader of the second largest caucus in the House of Representatives. In the debating chamber the Leader of the Opposition sits directly opposite the Prime Minister.
The 1931 New Zealand general election was a nationwide vote to determine the shape of the New Zealand Parliament's 24th term. It resulted in the newly formed coalition between the United Party and the Reform Party remaining in office as the United-Reform coalition Government, although the opposition Labour Party made some minor gains despite tallying more votes than any other single party.
Sir Joseph George Ward of Wellington, 1st Baronet, was a New Zealand politician who served as the 17th Prime Minister of New Zealand from 1906 to 1912 and from 1928 to 1930. He was a dominant figure in the Liberal and United ministries of the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
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The Reform Government of New Zealand was the government of New Zealand from 1912 to 1928. It is perhaps best remembered for its anti-trade union stance in the Waihi miners' strike of 1912 and a dockworkers' strike the following year. It also governed during World War I, during which a temporary coalition was formed with the Liberal Party.
The United–Reform coalition government of New Zealand was the government of New Zealand from 1931 to 1935. It was a coalition between two of the three major parties of the time, the United and Reform, formed to deal with the Great Depression which began in 1929. The Labour Party refused to join the coalition, as it believed that the only solution to the depression was socialism, which United and Reform did not support. Rather, they attempted to solve the country's economic problems by cutting public spending. This, the policy of making the unemployed do relief work for the unemployment benefit, and other cost-cutting policies, made the government the most unpopular of its era, and it was defeated in the 1935 election.
The 20th New Zealand Parliament was a term of the New Zealand Parliament. It was elected at the 1919 general election in December of that year.
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The Wellington North by-election of 1918 was a by-election held in the Wellington North electorate during the 19th New Zealand Parliament, on 12 February 1918. It was caused by the resignation of incumbent MP Alexander Herdman of the Reform Party, who was appointed as a judge of the Supreme Court, and was won by John Luke with a majority of 420.
This is a summary of the electoral history of Gordon Coates, Prime Minister of New Zealand (1925–28), Leader of the Reform Party (1925–36), Member of Parliament for Kaipara (1911–43).
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| Prime Minister of New Zealand |
| Minister of Justice |
and Minister of Telegraphs
| Minister of Railways |
William Burgoyne Taverner
|New Zealand Parliament|
| Member of Parliament for Kaipara |