1967 Petone by-election

The 1967 Petone by-election was a by-election for the electorate of Petone on 15 April 1967 during the 35th New Zealand Parliament. The by-election resulted from the death of the previous member the Hon Mick Moohan on 7 February 1967. The by-election was won by Fraser Colman, also of the Labour Party.

1967 Petone by-election

← 1966 general 15 April 1967 (1967-04-15) 1969 general →
Turnout12,977 (67.57%)
  Fraser Colman.jpg No image.png No image.png
Candidate Fraser Colman Dick Martin Colin Whitmill
Party Labour National Social Credit
Popular vote 7,086 4,003 1,888
Percentage 54.60 30.84 14.54

MP before election

Mick Moohan

Elected MP

Fraser Colman

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


All three of the main political parties in New Zealand fielded candidates to contest the seat. At the time Petone was an electoral hive of activity with the local parliamentary seat becoming the third concurrent by-election in the area. There were also by-elections occurring for the local Maori seat, Southern Maori, following the death of Sir Eruera Tirikatene and the Petone mayoralty after Mayor Ralph Love was disqualified on a technicality.[2]



Petone was a safe seat for Labour and therefore there were no shortage of nominees. At least 17 candidates came forward in the seat. The most prominent of whom were:[3]

Both Bill Fox (a former MP who had lost Miramar in an upset in 1966) and Gerald O'Brien (a Wellington City Councillor and chairman of the Wellington Labour Representation Committee) were approached to stand, but declined. Fox cited his desire to retire and already having arrangements to move to Otaki, whilst O'Brien indicated that the demands of running his business would be incompatible with a parliamentary candidature.[3]

Eventually Colman was selected to stand as Labour's candidate.[4]


Richard Maunsell "Dick" Martin of Eastbourne was selected to contest the seat for the National Party. Martin had stood in Petone for National unsuccessfully in the 1960 general election where he had reduced Moohan's majority.[1]

Social Credit

The Social Credit Party chose Colin James Whitmill, a civil servant working for the Ministry of Justice, as its candidate. Whitmill had contested Petone at the previous election.[5]


The following table gives the election results:

1967 Petone by-election[6]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour Fraser Colman 7,086 54.60
National Dick Martin 4,003 30.84
Social Credit Colin Whitmill 1,888 14.54 +2.43
Majority 3,083 23.75
Turnout 12,977 67.57 -20.17
Registered electors 19,203
Labour hold Swing


  1. ^ a b "April 15 for two by-elections". The Evening Post. 3 March 1967.
  2. ^ "Main Parties to Contest Election". The Evening Post. 9 February 1967. p. 14.
  3. ^ a b "Labour Contenders Not Lacking For Petone Seat". The Evening Post. 10 February 1967. p. 22.
  4. ^ "Mr F Coleman to Contest Petone Seat". The Evening Post. 17 February 1967. p. 8.
  5. ^ "S.C. Candidate for Petone By-election". The Evening Post. 17 February 1967. p. 8.
  6. ^ Norton 1988, p. 317.


  • Norton, Clifford (1988). New Zealand Parliamentary Election Results 1946–1987: Occasional Publications No 1, Department of Political Science. Wellington: Victoria University of Wellington. p. 317. 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.