Social Credit-NZ

Last updated
Social Credit-NZ
Founder Bruce Beetham
Founded17 July 1988
Dissolved25 January 1993;28 years ago (1993-01-25)
Split from New Zealand Democratic Party
Merged intoNew Zealand Coalition
Ideology Social credit
Political position Centre-left

The Social Credit-NZ party was a political party in New Zealand which split from the New Zealand Democratic Party in 1988.



In 1986 the Social Credit Party changed its name to the Democratic Party. Many activists in the party were uneasy with the rebranding, fearing that the party would jettison the social credit monetary policies that had always been central to the party since its creation in 1953.

In July 1988 former Social Credit Party leader Bruce Beetham established Social Credit-NZ after coming to the belief that the Democratic Party was no longer a true social credit based party. Beetham and party president Alan Shaw said the new party would offer an alternative to interventionist and free-market policies by resurrecting original social credit economic ideas. At its launch the party said it intended to contest every electorate at the 1990 election and already had 45 members lined up to contest electorates. [1] Few rated the party as having much chance of electoral success and media were quick to compare it with the New Democratic Party, a previous splinter social credit party in 1972, which quickly vanished. [2] At the 1990 election the party fielded 68 candidates and won 17,897 votes, only 0.98% of the total compared to the Democrats' 30,455 (1.67%). [3]

In March 1991 Beetham retired from the leadership of the party. He was replaced by Martin Hine, an Auckland lawyer, who had been a Social Credit candidate in Auckland Central and Napier in 1978 and 1981 respectively. Beetham remained the party spokesperson on finance. Shaw also resigned as president and was replaced with Heather Maloney. [4] As leader Hine attempted to conciliate with the Democrats, even going as far as to join the Democratic Party to negotiate a merger. His application for membership was treated with suspicion by the Democrats however. [5] Hine resigned as leader after just nine months; he announced his resignation on 13 November 1991, called for reunification with the Democrats and announced he would remain a member only of the Democrats. [6] Beetham resumed the leadership of the party which continued on as more of pressure group organisation dedicated to furthering Social Credit monetary aims and financial principles. [7]

Eventually the remaining members of the party ended up as part of a supposedly centrist party known as the New Zealand Coalition after joining together with the remnants of the New Zealand Party and the United NZ Party. [8]

In 2018 the Democratic Party changed its name back to the Social Credit Party. [9]

Electoral results

ElectionCandidates# of seats wonTotal votes % of popular vote
0 / 80

The party also fielded a candidate at the 1992 Tamaki by-election, Colin Maloney, who won 34 votes (0.2%). [10]

See also

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  1. "Beetham Revives Socred Party". The New Zealand Herald . 18 July 1988. p. 2.
  2. "New Fling at Social Credit". The New Zealand Herald . 19 July 1988. p. 8.
  3. "New Zealand Elections 1972–1993". New Zealand Election Study. Retrieved 17 December 2011.
  4. "New leader for party". The New Zealand Herald . 19 March 1991. p. 5.
  5. Holland, Michael (7 November 1991). "Green and golds turn purple". The New Zealand Herald . p. 1.
  6. Rapson, Bevan (14 November 1991). "Hine quits Social Credit Party". The New Zealand Herald . p. 3.
  7. Saunders, John (5 May 1997). "Bruce Beetham a great loss to community". The Evening Standard . p. 1.
  8. "Three parties join forces". The New Zealand Herald . 22 January 1993. p. 5.
  9. "Party Changes Name and Elects New Leader". Democrats for Social Credit. 17 June 2018. Retrieved 10 July 2018.
  10. Voting Statistics for the Electoral Referendum Held on 19 September 1992, The Tamaki By-Election Held on 15 February 1992. Electoral Commission (New Zealand).