Open main menu

The Waitemata by-election was held on 19 July 1941 was caused by the death of Jack Lyon during the term of the 26th New Zealand Parliament. Mary Dreaver of the Labour Party won the by-election; she was the third woman elected to the House of Representatives.

1941 Waitemata by-election

← 1938 general 19 July 1941 1943 general →
  Mary Dreaver, 1940's.JPG No image.png Norman Vazey Douglas.jpg
Candidate Mary Dreaver William Darlow Norman Douglas
Party Labour Independent National Democratic Labour
Popular vote 4,092 3,690 909

MP before election

Jack Lyon

Elected MP

Mary Dreaver

Background and candidatesEdit

Mary Dreaver was chosen as the Labour Party candidate. Previously, she had unsuccessfully sought Labour nomination for the 1930 by-election in the Parnell electorate and Grey Lynn electorate in 1931.[1] In the 1938 election she stood for Labour in Remuera, coming second.[2]

The National Party chose not to stand an official candidate for the by-election. However, William Brockway Darlow entered the contest as an "independent" National candidate. He was subsequently endorsed by the National Party for the next general election scheduled to take place later that year, but was postponed until 1943 due to World War II.[3] Darlow had previously contested the seat in 1931 for the United Party, one of National's predecessors.[4]

Former Auckland City Councilor Norman Douglas stood for the Labour splinter group, the Democratic Labour Party (DLP). As was predicted, the inclusion of a Democratic Labour candidate split Labour's vote. He was president of the DLP's Grey Lynn branch, secretary of the district council and a member of the DLP national executive.[5]


The following table contains the election results:

1941 Waitemata by-election[6][7]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Labour Mary Dreaver 4,092 44.64
Independent National William Brockway Darlow 3,690 40.26
Democratic Labour Norman Douglas 909 9.91
Independent Peter Robertson Gardner 400 4.36
Independent Henry Thomas Head 74 0.80
Majority 402 4.38
Turnout 9,165

Dreaver became the third woman to enter New Zealand's House of Representatives. She was defeated in the next (1943) general election, by the National Party candidate, Henry Thorne Morton.[8]


  1. ^ "Labour Candidate". CIX (79). The Evening Post. 3 April 1930. p. 10. Retrieved 11 August 2013.
  2. ^ Laracy, Hugh. "Dreaver, Mary Manson". Dictionary of New Zealand Biography. Ministry for Culture and Heritage. Retrieved 22 July 2012.
  3. ^ "General Election". Evening Post. CXXXII (59). 6 September 1941. p. 11. Retrieved 25 April 2016.
  4. ^ "Parliamentary Elections". Auckland Star. LXII (275). 20 November 1931. p. 5. Retrieved 5 December 2014.
  5. ^ Hudson, Switzer. "Douglas, Norman Vazey". Dictionary of New Zealand Biography. Ministry for Culture and Heritage. Retrieved 4 April 2011.
  6. ^ "Waitemata Election". Dunstan Times. 21 July 1941. p. 5. Retrieved 25 April 2016.
  7. ^ "Notice of Nominations Received and Polling Places Appointed". The New Zealand Herald. LXXVIII (24011). 8 July 1941. p. 12. Retrieved 24 April 2016.
  8. ^ Wilson 1985, pp. 193, 221.


  • Wilson, James Oakley (1985) [1913]. New Zealand Parliamentary Record, 1840–1984 (4th ed.). Wellington: V.R. Ward, Govt. Printer. OCLC 154283103.