The Hutt by-election of 1968 was a by-election for the electorate of Hutt on 3 August 1968 during the 35th New Zealand Parliament.

1968 Hutt by-election

← 1966 general 3 August 1968 (1968-08-03) 1969 general →
Turnout12,488 (68.04%)
Candidate Trevor Young John Kennedy-Good
Party Labour National
Popular vote 5,968 4,576
Percentage 47.79 36.64

MP before election

Sir Walter Nash

Elected MP

Trevor Young

The by-election resulted from the death of the previous member and former prime minister Sir Walter Nash on 4 June 1968. The contest was won by Trevor Young, also of the Labour Party. The National candidate was John Kennedy-Good, a future Mayor of Lower Hutt, who had stood for National in the previous general election.



Sir Walter Nash had represented the electorate since 1929 and was still MP at the age of 86 before dying after suffering a heart attack on 4 June 1968.[1] Nash had already announced he intended to retire at the end of the parliamentary term and Trevor Young had already been selected as his successor in the seat to contest 1969 general election.[2]



The Labour Party chose Trevor Young as their candidate. Young, a longtime Labour member, had been a Lower Hutt City Councillor since 1947. As Nash was intending to retire at the upcoming general election in 1969 Labour had already selected Young as the candidate to replace him several months earlier.[3]


John Kennedy-Good was selected as the candidate of the National Party. He had been a member of the Lower Hutt City Council since 1962 and had stood in Hutt for National at the previous election in 1966.[4]

Social Credit

The Social Credit Party selected Tom Weal, a teacher at St Peter's College, Auckland, as their candidate. He contested the Mount Albert seat in 1966.[5]


Nick Ursin, a local insurance officer, stood as an independent.[6]



There were allegations made of bias in television coverage of the election. John Mathison, Labour MP for Avon, made a speech in parliament where he criticised the state-owned and operated New Zealand Broadcasting Corporation (NZBC) running a nationwide news programme featuring coverage of Prime Minister Keith Holyoake and the National candidate John Kennedy-Good. However, the programme did not feature any footage of Leader of the Opposition Norman Kirk and Labour candidate Trevor Young who held a meeting on that same day. Holyoake rejected the criticism and stated that the NZBC were under time constraints, which led them to omit filming the Labour meeting. Social Credit leader Vernon Cracknell was critical of the failure of the media to cover the Social Credit campaign, stating he believed they should be allotted the same attention that the two main parties were.[7][8]



The following table gives the election results:

1968 Hutt by-election[9]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Labour Trevor Young 5,968 47.79
National John Kennedy-Good 4,576 36.64 −2.24
Social Credit Tom Weal 1,649 5.18
Independent Nick Ursin 295 2.36
Majority 1,392 11.15
Turnout 12,488 68.04 −18.74
Registered electors 18,354
Labour hold Swing



Young held the seat until its abolition in 1978. He then represented the seat of Eastern Hutt until 1990 when he retired.[10]


  1. ^ Gustafson, Barry. "Nash, Walter". Dictionary of New Zealand Biography. Ministry for Culture and Heritage. Retrieved 26 August 2013.
  2. ^ "By-election is Necessitated". The Evening Post. 5 June 1968.
  3. ^ "Labour's Choice - Candidate For Hutt". The Press. Vol. CVIII, no. 31657. 18 April 1968. p. 30.
  4. ^ "National Party Candidate". The Press. Vol. CVIII, no. 31712. 22 June 1968. p. 36.
  5. ^ "Social Credit Candidate". The Press. Vol. CVIII, no. 31714. 25 June 1968. p. 26.
  6. ^ "Independent To Stand". The Press. Vol. CVIII, no. 31729. 12 July 1968. p. 12.
  7. ^ "TV Bias over Hutt Election Alleged". The Evening Post. 2 August 1968.
  8. ^ "By-election Cover by Television Not Unfair - PM". The Evening Post. 2 August 1968. p. 11.
  9. ^ Norton 1988, pp. 251.
  10. ^ McLennan, Rosemary (18 May 2012). "Hundreds farewell Hutt MP Trevor Young". The Hutt News. Retrieved 27 May 2012.


  • Norton, Clifford (1988). New Zealand Parliamentary Election Results 1946–1987: Occasional Publications No 1, Department of Political Science. Wellington: Victoria University of Wellington. p. 251. 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.