1967 Fendalton by-election

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.

1967 Fendalton by-election

← 1966 general 15 April 1967 (1967-04-15) 1969 general →
Turnout15,213 (73.56%)
  Eric Holland crop.jpg Bruce Barclay, 1966.tif
Candidate Eric Holland Bruce Barclay
Party National Labour
Popular vote 7,024 6,738
Percentage 46.17 44.29

MP before election

Harry Lake

Elected MP

Eric Holland

It was held the same day as another by-election in Petone.[1]


The by-election resulted from the death of the previous member the Hon Harry Lake on 21 February 1967; Lake had been Minister of Finance since 1960, a rapid rise to an important ministerial post. He died suddenly of a heart attack aged 55 years.[2]



There were two candidates for the Labour Party nomination.[3]

Barclay was selected. He had contested Fendalton for Labour at both of the previous two general elections.[4] His father Jim Barclay was a Labour MP from 1935 to 1943 and his cousin Ron Barclay had been elected MP for New Plymouth in 1966.[3]


There were four nominees for the National Party candidacy.[5]

Holland was chosen as the National Party's candidate after winning a ballot of 180 party members from the electorate.[5] His father Sidney Holland had previously represented Fendalton from 1946 until 1957 and was Prime Minister from 1949 to 1957 when he retired.[6]

Social Credit

The Social Credit Party selected Joseph John Forster, an employee at the North Canterbury Hospital Board, as its candidate. Forster had contested Fendalton for Social Credit at the 1960 and 1966 elections.[7]


The Liberal Party also contemplated standing a candidate, though the party executive ultimately decided against it.[7]


The following table gives the election results:

1967 Fendalton by-election[4]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
National Eric Holland 7,024 46.17
Labour Bruce Barclay 6,738 44.29 +6.12
Social Credit John Forster 1,451 9.53 -0.93
Majority 286 1.87
Turnout 15,213 73.56 -12.15
Registered electors 20,681
National hold Swing

The by-election was won by Eric Holland, also of the National Party. Holland was the son of former prime minister Sidney Holland. Despite being a safe National seat, the election night results had a 67-vote majority to Labour's candidate Bruce Barclay, the shock result prompted Leader of the Opposition Norman Kirk to declare that National had lost its mandate to govern.[8] However after 1,300 special votes were counted National did manage to hold the seat by just 286 votes a swing of over 5% to Labour.[9]


  1. ^ "April 15 for two by-elections". The Evening Post. 3 March 1967.
  2. ^ "Minister of Finance Dies Aged 55". The New Zealand Herald. 22 February 1967. p. 1.
  3. ^ a b "Labour's Choice". The Press. Vol. CVI, no. 31, 324. 21 March 1967. p. 1.
  4. ^ a b Norton 1988, p. 224.
  5. ^ a b "National Candidate for Fendalton". The Press. Vol. CVI, no. 31, 323. 22 March 1967. p. 14.
  6. ^ Gustafson 1986, p. 321.
  7. ^ a b "Candidate for by-election". The Press. Vol. CVI, no. 31, 304. 25 February 1967. p. 1.
  8. ^ "NZ Voters Turn on Government". The Canberra Times. Vol. 41, no. 11, 665. 17 April 1967. p. 5.
  9. ^ Grant 2014, pp. 110.


  • Grant, David (2014). The Mighty Totara: The life and times of Norman Kirk. Auckland: Random House. ISBN 9781775535799.
  • Gustafson, Barry (1986). The First 50 Years: A History of the New Zealand National Party. Reed Methuen. ISBN 0474001776.
  • Norton, Clifford (1988). New Zealand Parliamentary Election Results 1946–1987: Occasional Publications No 1, Department of Political Science. Wellington: Victoria University of Wellington. p. 224. ISBN 0-475-11200-8.
  • Wood, G. A. (1996) [1987]. Ministers and Members in the New Zealand Parliament (2 ed.). Dunedin: University of Otago Press. p. 113. ISBN 1 877133 00 0.