Second National Government of New Zealand

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Second National Government

The Second National Government of New Zealand (also known as the Holyoake Government, after head of government Keith Holyoake) was the government of New Zealand from 1960 to 1972. It was a conservative government which sought mainly to preserve the economic prosperity and general stability of the early 1960s. It was one of New Zealand's longest-serving governments.

A head of government is a generic term used for either the highest or second highest official in the executive branch of a sovereign state, a federated state, or a self-governing colony, who often presides over a cabinet, a group of ministers or secretaries who lead executive departments. The term "head of government" is often differentiated from the term "head of state", as they may be separate positions, individuals, or roles depending on the country.

Keith Holyoake 20th-century Viceroy, Prime Minister of New Zealand, politician

Sir Keith Jacka Holyoake was the 26th Prime Minister of New Zealand, serving for a brief period in 1957 and then from 1960 to 1972, and also the 13th Governor-General of New Zealand, serving from 1977 to 1980. He is the only New Zealand politician to date to have held both positions.


Significant policies

Economic policy

A trade union, also called a labour union or labor union (US), is an organization of workers who have come together to achieve many common goals, such as protecting the integrity of their trade, improving safety standards, and attaining better wages, benefits, and working conditions through the increased bargaining power wielded by the creation of a monopoly of the workers. The trade union, through its leadership, bargains with the employer on behalf of union members and negotiates labour contracts with employers. The most common purpose of these associations or unions is "maintaining or improving the conditions of their employment". This may include the negotiation of wages, work rules, complaint procedures, rules governing hiring, firing and promotion of workers, benefits, workplace safety and policies.

European Economic Community international organisation created by the Treaty of Rome of 1957

The European Economic Community (EEC) was a regional organisation which aimed to bring about economic integration among its member states. It was created by the Treaty of Rome of 1957. Upon the formation of the European Union (EU) in 1993, the EEC was incorporated and renamed as the European Community (EC). In 2009 the EC's institutions were absorbed into the EU's wider framework and the community ceased to exist.

Treaty of Waitangi and Maori policy

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.

Cultural assimilation is the process in which a minority group or culture comes to resemble those of a dominant group. The term is used to refer to both individuals and groups; the latter case can refer to a range of social groups, including ethnic minorities, immigrants, indigenous peoples, and other marginalized groups such as sexual minorities who adapt to being culturally dominated by another societal group.

Pākehā is a Māori-language term for New Zealanders of European descent. The term has also recently come to refer inclusively either to fair-skinned persons, or to any non-Māori New Zealander. Papa'a has a similar meaning in Cook Islands Māori.


Capital punishment in New Zealand first appeared in a codified form when it became a British territory in 1840, and was first employed in 1842. It was last used in 1957, abolished for murder in 1961, and abolished altogether, including for treason, in 1989. During the period that it was in effect, 85 people were executed.

Ralph Hanan New Zealand politician

Josiah Ralph Hanan, known as Ralph Hanan, was a New Zealand politician of the National Party. He was Mayor of Invercargill and then represented the Invercargill electorate in Parliament, following in his uncle Josiah Hanan's footsteps. He served in World War II and his injuries ultimately caused his death at age 60. He is best remembered for the abolition of the death penalty, which had been suspended by the Labour Party, but which National was to reintroduce. As Minister of Justice, it was Hanan's role to introduce the legislation to Parliament, but he convinced enough of his party colleagues to vote with the opposition and thus abolished the death penalty in New Zealand.

Minister of Justice (New Zealand) Minister of Justice in New Zealand

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.

Foreign affairs

Malaysia Federal constitutional monarchy in Southeast Asia

Malaysia is a country in Southeast Asia. The federal constitutional monarchy consists of 13 states and three federal territories, separated by the South China Sea into two similarly sized regions, Peninsular Malaysia and East Malaysia. Peninsular Malaysia shares a land and maritime border with Thailand in the north and maritime borders with Singapore in the south, Vietnam in the northeast, and Indonesia in the west. East Malaysia shares land and maritime borders with Brunei and Indonesia and a maritime border with the Philippines and Vietnam. Kuala Lumpur is the national capital and largest city while Putrajaya is the seat of federal government. With a population of over 30 million, Malaysia is the world's 44th most populous country. The southernmost point of continental Eurasia, Tanjung Piai, is in Malaysia. In the tropics, Malaysia is one of 17 megadiverse countries, with large numbers of endemic species.

New Zealand in the Vietnam War

New Zealand's involvement in the Vietnam War was highly controversial, sparking widespread protest at home from anti-Vietnam War movements modelled on their American counterparts. This conflict was also the first in which New Zealand did not fight alongside the United Kingdom, instead following the loyalties of the ANZUS Pact.


Governor-General of New Zealand representative of the monarch of New Zealand

The Governor-General of New Zealand is the viceregal representative of the monarch of New Zealand, currently Queen Elizabeth II. As the Queen is shared equally with the 15 other Commonwealth realms, and resides in the United Kingdom, she, on the advice of her prime minister, appoints a governor-general to carry out most of her constitutional and ceremonial duties within the Realm of New Zealand. Once in office, the governor-general maintains direct contact with the Queen, wherever she may be at the time.

Arthur Porritt, Baron Porritt Viceroy, physician, athlete

Colonel Arthur Espie Porritt, Baron Porritt, was a New Zealand physician, military surgeon, statesman and athlete. He won a bronze medal at the 1924 Summer Olympics in the 100 m sprint. He served as the 11th Governor-General of New Zealand from 1967 to 1972.

Denis Blundell 12th Governor-General of New Zealand from 1972 to 1977

Sir Edward Denis Blundell, was a New Zealand lawyer, cricketer, diplomat, and the 12th Governor-General of New Zealand from 1972 to 1977.


The key issue of the 1960 election was the 'Black Budget' of 1958, in which the Labour government had raised taxes on alcohol, petrol and cigarettes. Although the government argued that it was necessary to address a balance of payments crisis, National continually attacked the government for it, and most historians consider that it lost Labour the election after only one term in office. Another, less important factor, may have been the age of Labour's leadership. Prime Minister Walter Nash was 78 in 1960, and had been Finance Minister in the first Labour government 25 years earlier. Voters probably considered him and many of his team old and out of touch in contrast with National leader Keith Holyoake, who in 1960 was only in his mid 50s.

The phrase Young Turk was used by Ian Templeton to describe three of the new National MPs elected in 1960, Peter Gordon, Duncan MacIntyre and Robert Muldoon. The description stuck (Zavos).

The 1963 election

In many ways the 1963 election was a re-run of the 1960 election. No new major issues had arisen, and Labour continued to be damaged by the 'Black Budget' of 1958. Although five years had passed since the budget, its architect, Arnold Nordmeyer, was now Labour Party leader following the retirement of Nash earlier in 1963. Voters continued to associate Nordmeyer, and therefore the party, with the unpopular budget. It is normal for governments to lose some support during their term, but National's share of the popular vote was only 0.5% less than in 1960, and it lost only one seat, retaining a majority of 10.

The 1966 election

Shortly before the 1966 election, Labour had replaced Nordmeyer as leader with Norman Kirk, but Kirk had insufficient time to consolidate his position and the party was damaged by this and division over economic policy. The main difference between the parties in terms of policy was commitment to the Vietnam War. The National government had committed a small number of troops, seeing support for American wars as a necessary payment for America's commitment (through the ANZUS pact) to protect New Zealand. Labour was opposed to New Zealand involvement in the war and made troop recall a major platform. However the strongest anti-war sentiment was probably amongst young people, and at this stage the voting age was 21. The election resulted in National losing 3.5% of the popular vote, and one seat, to Social Credit. This marked the first time since 1943 that a seat had been won by a party other than Labour or National.

The 1969 election

Before the 1969 election the voting age was lowered from 21 to 20, and the number of electorates was increased from 80 to 84, to reflect population growth. These changes seem to have benefited National, as its share of the popular vote rose by 1.6% and it regained the seat it had lost (Hobson) to Social Credit. This is a rare example of a government increasing its share of the vote while in power.


Like Labour in 1960, National in 1972 appeared old, worn-out and out of touch. Holyoake's retirement in favour of deputy Jack Marshall did little to revitalise the party, as Marshall lacked the charisma of Labour leader Norman Kirk. The government was defeated less on any particular policy than on a general feeling that, as Labour's campaign material put it, it was time for a change.

Election results

ElectionParliamentSeatsTotal votesPercentageGain (loss)Seats wonChangeMajority
1960 33rd 801,170,50347.6%+3.4%46+712
1963 34th 801,198,04547.1%-0.5%45-110
1966 35th 801,205,09543.6%-3.5%44-18
1969 36th 8445.2%+1.6%45+16
1972 37th 8741.5%-7%32-13-

Prime ministers

Keith Holyoake was Prime Minister for almost the entire term of this government, from 12 December 1960 until 7 February 1972 when he resigned. He was replaced by Jack Marshall, with the terms of other ministers commencing on 9 February 1972. The Marshall Ministry stepped down on 8 December 1972.

Cabinet Ministers

Deputy Prime Minister Jack Marshall 1960–1972
Robert Muldoon 1972
Attorney-General Ralph Hanan 1960–1969
Jack Marshall 1969–1971
Dan Riddiford 1971–1972
Roy Jack 1972
Minister of Defence Dean Eyre 1960–1966
David Thomson 1966–1972
Allan McCready 1972
Minister of Education Blair Tennent 1960–1963
Arthur Kinsella 1963–1969
Brian Talboys 1969–1972
Herbert Pickering 1972
Minister of Finance Harry Lake 1960–1967
Robert Muldoon 1967–1972
Minister of Foreign Affairs Keith Holyoake 1960–1972
Jack Marshall 1972
Minister of Health Norman Shelton 1960–1962
Donald McKay 1962–1972
Lance Adams-Schneider 1972
Minister of Justice Ralph Hanan 1960–1969
Dan Riddiford 1969–1972
Minister of Māori Affairs Ralph Hanan 1960–1969
Duncan MacIntyre 1969–1972
Minister of Railways John McAlpine 1960–1966
Peter Gordon 1966–1972

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  1. 1 2 3 4 Pragmatism and Progress: Social Security in the Seventies by Brian Easton
  2. Joseph, A.E.; Phillips, D.R. (1984). Accessibility and Utilization: Geographical Perspectives on Health Care Delivery. SAGE Publications. p. 77. ISBN   9780063182769 . Retrieved 27 August 2015.

See also