|1st Deputy Leader of the Labour Party|
27 August 1919 –7 February 1923
|Succeeded by||Michael Joseph Savage|
|1st President of the Labour Party|
7 July 1916 –9 July 1917
|Vice President||Andrew Walker|
|Succeeded by||Andrew Walker|
|Member of the New Zealand Parliament |
16 December 1913 –2 August 1933
|Preceded by||George Laurenson|
|Succeeded by||Elizabeth McCombs|
|Born||9 December 1873|
County Leitrim, Ireland
|Died||2 August 1933 59) (aged|
| Social Democrat |
|Spouse(s)||Elizabeth McCombs (married 1903)|
|Children||Four (two of which were adopted), incl. Terry McCombs|
James (Jimmy) McCombs (9 December 1873 – 2 August 1933) was a New Zealand Member of Parliament for Lyttelton.
McCombs was born in Treanmore, Mohill, County Leitrim, Ireland,the elder child of George McCombs, a farmer, and his wife, Kate Rourke. He came to New Zealand with his parents in 1876 as a three-year-old. He was educated at Sydenham School and Christchurch East School. Initially he intended to join the ministry of the Anglican Church but later decided to cease theological studies and give his time to social work instead. He still remained involved in the Anglican Church and was an active member of the Church of England Men's Society and, inspired by his religious beliefs, he became a prohibitionist and would become a leading member of the prohibitionist movement in Canterbury. He believed that the aims of the Christian Socialism in which he believed were better expressed via community and political activities.
Through his community work McCombs met the like-minded Elizabeth Henderson. Henderson was the president of the Young People's No License League of which McCombs became a committee member of. On 25 June 1903 the two married and would have a son and daughter together.
McCombs became a successful businessman, owning and operating a drapery in Christchurch.He became a trade unionist and was elected president of the Drapers' Assistants Union. Regarded as a moderate among the union movement, he was regarded by liberal newspapers as representing "sane labour". McCombs also spent time speculating in property. In several areas in and around Christchurch he bought and sold land, the transactions that were not always profitable however and gradually the grounds of his family home in Fendalton were subdivided and sold to repay debts.
McCombs was involved in the temperance movement (with Tommy Taylor), the Progressive Liberal Association (with Harry Ell) and was a friend of George Laurenson. He became a member of the Liberal Party and in the 1890s he organised election campaigns for both Taylor and Ell.McCombs served on the Christchurch City Council between 1913 and 1917 and again from 1931 until 1933. During his second spell on the council (where Labour had a majority) McCombs chaired the finance committee. He reduced rates and protected council employees from any further wage cuts in an attempt to both dampen unemployment and stimulate the economy of the city. Neither outcome was successfully achieved however.
McCombs twice stood for Mayor of Christchurch. He contested the 1917 mayoral election against the incumbent, Henry Holland, along the lines of win-the-war (Holland) and anti-conscription (McCombs). The result was a crushing defeat of McCombs; Holland received 12,177 votes and McCombs received 5,381.Holland retired from the mayoralty in 1919; the election was contested by three candidates: Henry Thacker, John Joseph Dougall (Mayor of Christchurch 1911–1912) and McCombs (who at that time was MP for Lyttelton). Thacker won the contest, and McCombs came last.
|New Zealand Parliament|
|1913 –1914||18th||Lyttelton||Social Democrat|
|1914 –1916||19th||Lyttelton||Social Democrat|
|1916||Changed allegiance to:||Labour|
|1917||Changed allegiance to:||Independent Labour|
|1918–1919||Changed allegiance to:||Labour|
In the 1908 election, McCombs stood in Christchurch Eastas an Independent Liberal candidate; at the 1911 contest for Avon he was a Liberal-Labour candidate polling 2,817 votes to the official Labour candidate's 798 on the first ballot. In the second ballot he was endorsed as the official Labour candidate, but lost to George Warren Russell.
James McCombs represented the Lyttelton electorate for 20 years from the 1913 by-election (following the death of George Laurenson). McCombs found it difficult to support a family and maintain homes in Wellington and Christchurch on a MP's salary of £8.10.0 a week. Once when rushing to get the ferry home, his suitcase flew open and several rolls of toilet paper fell out. Subsequently, Parliament got toilet paper in paper squares instead of rolls.
McCombs was part of the committee which drafted the founding constitution and programme of the New Zealand Labour Party in 1916. He then became inaugural president of the Labour Party.The following year, he resigned the presidency and his membership of the Labour Party over the state control of liquor issue. After rejoining the party in 1918, McCombs served as Labour's deputy leader from 1919 until 1923. When Labour's caucus leader Alfred Hindmarsh died during the Influenza epidemic, Labour's leadership was open. McCombs made claim to the title but was opposed by the more militant Harry Holland. The caucus held an election to decide between the two. The result was a tie. After drawing lots, Holland was successful. During the 1920s McCombs with Dan Sullivan led the opposition to Harry Holland within the Parliamentary Labour Party caucus attempting several leadership challenges, all of which were unsuccessful.
After the confusion following the 1922 general election McCombs was nominated by Holland (partly for political reasons) for the role of speaker, though lost to Reform's candidate Charles Statham 61 votes to 17.The 1925 general election was contested by Melville Lyons and the incumbent, McCombs. The original count resulted in a tie of 4,900 votes each. The returning officer gave his casting vote to Lyons and declared him elected. A recount was demanded, and on 3 December 1925, an amended result of 4,890 votes for Lyons and 4,884 votes for McCombs was determined, with the differences in the counts explained by counting informal votes in a different way. Lyons' election was declared void on 13 March 1926, and McCombs was restored as the holder of the electorate.
The 1931 election had a close result, with McCombs just 32 votes ahead of the Reform Party candidate, Christchurch civil engineer Frederick Willie Freeman.
McCombs held the electorate until 1933, when he died in office.The electorate was then held by his wife Elizabeth McCombs from 1933 to 1935, and his son Terry McCombs from 1935 to 1951.
He died at Christchurch on 2 August 1933 from heart failure,and was buried in Waimairi Cemetery.
Elizabeth Reid McCombs was a New Zealand politician of the Labour Party who in 1933 became the first woman elected to the New Zealand Parliament. New Zealand women gained the right to vote in 1893, though were not allowed to stand for the House of Representatives until the election of 1919. McCombs had previously contested elections in 1928 and 1931.
The 24th New Zealand Parliament was a term of the New Zealand Parliament. It opened on 23 February 1932, following the 1931 election. It was dissolved on 1 November 1935 in preparation for the 1935 election. The 24th Parliament was extended by one year because the 1935 election was held later than anticipated due to the ongoing depression, similarly the 1919, and the 1943 elections were held two years late, having been postponed during World War I and World War II respectively.
The New Zealand general election of 1905 was held on Wednesday, 6 December in the general electorates, and on Wednesday, 20 December in the Māori electorates to elect a total of 80 MPs to the 16th session of the New Zealand Parliament. A total number of 412,702 voters turned out, with 396,657 voting in the European electorates.
The New Zealand general election of 1925 was held 4 November to elect a total of 80 MPs to the 22nd session of the New Zealand Parliament. A total number of 678,877 (90.02%) voters turned out to vote. In one seat there was only one candidate.
Henry Holland was a New Zealand politician of the Reform Party, and Mayor of Christchurch from 1912 to 1919.
Thomas Edward Taylor was a Christchurch mayor, New Zealand Member of Parliament, businessman and prohibitionist.
Daniel Giles Sullivan was a New Zealand Member of Parliament, Cabinet Minister and Mayor of Christchurch.
Christchurch East, originally called Christchurch City East, is a current New Zealand parliamentary electorate. It was first created for the 1871 election and was abolished for two period, from 1875–1905 and again from 1946–1996. It was last created for the introduction of the MMP voting system for the 1996 election. The current MP is Poto Williams, a member of the New Zealand Labour Party who was first elected in the 2013 Christchurch East by-election.
George Laurenson was a New Zealand Member of Parliament for Lyttelton in the South Island.
Henry Thomas Joynt Thacker was a doctor, New Zealand Member of Parliament and Mayor of Christchurch.
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.
Lyttelton is a former New Zealand parliamentary electorate. It existed from 1853 to 1890, and again from 1893 to 1996, when it was replaced by the Banks Peninsula electorate.
The 22nd New Zealand Parliament was a term of the New Zealand Parliament. Its composition was determined by the 1925 election, and it sat until the 1928 election.
Melville Edwin Lyons, sometimes called Tiny, was briefly a Reform Party Member of Parliament in New Zealand until his election was declared void. A journalist by trade, he became involved in local politics in Christchurch after having served in WWI. He was Deputy Mayor of Christchurch for six years under mayor Ernest Andrews.
The Lyttelton by-election of 1933 was a by-election held during the 24th New Zealand Parliament in the Christchurch electorate of Lyttelton. It is notable for being won by Elizabeth McCombs of the New Zealand Labour Party, who became the first woman to be elected to the New Zealand Parliament. This by-election was therefore seen as a milestone in Women's suffrage in New Zealand.
The 1935 Lyttelton by-election was a by-election held on 24 July 1935 during the 24th New Zealand Parliament in the Lyttelton electorate. The electorate was won by Terry McCombs of the New Zealand Labour Party, succeeding his mother.
The 1943 Christchurch East by-election held on 6 February was caused by the death of Tim Armstrong during the term of the 26th New Zealand Parliament. The by-election in the Christchurch East electorate was contested by five candidates, including representatives from the Labour Party, the Labour breakaway party Democratic Labour Party and the National Party. The election was won by the Labour candidate, Mabel Howard, and started her long parliamentary career, which included her becoming the first female cabinet minister in 1947.
The Fendalton by-election of 1967 was a by-election for the electorate of Fendalton on 15 April 1967 during the 35th New Zealand Parliament.
The Christchurch mayoral by-election in 1936 was triggered by the resignation of the incumbent, Dan Sullivan, who had been appointed cabinet minister after the Labour Party winning the general election in November 1935. The election was won by John Beanland of the Citizens' Association, who narrowly beat the Labour candidate.
The 1938 Christchurch City mayoral election was held on 11 May. The incumbent, John Beanland of the Citizens' Association, failed to get the nomination by his party and the surgeon Dr. John Guthrie was nominated instead. The Labour Party nominated Robert Macfarlane. Both the Labour and conservative candidate had been members of Christchurch City Council for some years. Macfarlane narrowly won the mayoralty.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to James McCombs .|
|New Zealand Parliament|
| Member of Parliament for Lyttelton |
|Party political offices|
|New political party|| President of the Labour Party |
| Senior Whip of the Labour Party |
|New title|| Deputy-Leader of the Labour Party |
Michael Joseph Savage