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1954 general electionEdit

The 1954 general election was held on Saturday, 13 November.[1] A total of 80 MPs were elected; 50 represented North Island electorates, 26 represented South Island electorates, and the remaining four represented Māori electorates; this was a gain of one electorate for the North Island from the South Island since the 1951 election.[2] 1,209,670 voters were enrolled and the official turnout at the election was 91.4%.[1]


The 31st Parliament sat for three sessions, and was prorogued on 25 October 1957.[3]

Session Opened Adjouned
first 22 March 1955 28 October 1955
second 4 April 1956 26 October 1956
third 11 June 1957 25 October 1957


The National Party under Sidney Holland had been in power since the 1949 election, and Holland remained in charge until 1957, when he stepped down due to ill health in September 1957 some two months prior to the 1957 election. Holland was succeeded by Keith Holyoake, but the Labour Party narrowly defeated National at the 1957 election, and the government changed in mid-December of that year.[4]

Overview of seatsEdit

The table below shows the number of MPs in each party following the 1954 election and at dissolution:

Affiliation Members
At 1954 election At dissolution
National Government 45 45
Labour Opposition 35 35
80 80
Working Government majority 10 10


  • The Working Government majority is calculated as all Government MPs less all other parties.

Initial composition of the 31st ParliamentEdit

The table below shows the results of the 1954 general election:


 National    Labour    Independent    Social Credit  

Electorate results for the 1954 New Zealand general election[5]

Electorate Incumbent Winner Majority Runner up
General electorates
Ashburton Richard Gerard 2,292 G Glassey
Auckland Central Bill Anderton 4,093 John Weir Stewart
Avon John Mathison 4,955 A N Stone
Awarua George Herron 3,172 J P Wyatt
Bay of Plenty Bill Sullivan 3,062 Thomas Godfrey Santon
Buller Jerry Skinner 3,348 D M Carson
Central Otago William Bodkin John George 2,074 Peter John Scott
Christchurch Central Robert Macfarlane 3,395 Oliver G. Moody
Clutha James Roy 1,490 T A Rodgers
Dunedin Central Phil Connolly 330 Marcus Anderson
Dunedin North Ethel McMillan 2,791 Helen Black[6]
Eden Wilfred Fortune Duncan Rae 8 John Stewart[nb 1]
Egmont Ernest Corbett 2,977 Roy Evans[7]
Fendalton Sidney Holland 3,004 R H McDonald
Franklin Jack Massey 4,587 Percival Peacock
Gisborne Harry Dudfield Reginald Keeling 521 Harry Dudfield
Grey Lynn Fred Hackett 4,807 Thomas McGowan
Hamilton Hilda Ross 1,430 Ben Waters
Hastings Sydney Jones Ted Keating 252 Sydney Jones
Hauraki Andrew Sutherland Arthur Kinsella 2,659 Brevat William Dynes
Hawkes Bay Cyril Harker 3,109 A Stafford
Heretaunga New electorate Phil Holloway 5,058 Allan McCready
Hobson Sidney Smith 2,584 Cecil William Elvidge
Hurunui William Gillespie 2,395 Norman Kirk
Hutt Walter Nash 3,681 Clevedon Costello
Invercargill Ralph Hanan 943 William Denham
Island Bay Robert McKeen Arnold Nordmeyer 3,824 John Maurice Whitta
Karori Charles Bowden Jack Marshall 1,811 Jim Bateman
Lyttelton Harry Lake 24 Tom McGuigan
Manawatu Matthew Oram 2,228 Patrick Kelliher
Manukau New electorate Leon Götz 3,072 Cyril Stamp
Marlborough Tom Shand 1,635 G A Turner
Marsden Alfred Murdoch Donald McKay 872 Mervyn Allan Hosking
Miramar Bob Semple Bill Fox 1,527 Robert John McConnell
Mornington Wally Hudson 3,886 Walter MacDougall
Mt Albert Warren Freer 3,226 Robert Muldoon
Napier Peter Tait Jim Edwards 720 Peter Tait
Nelson Edgar Neale 717 Stanley Whitehead
New Plymouth Ernest Aderman 1,178 C R Parkes
North Shore Dean Eyre 1,395 Arthur Faulkner
Oamaru Thomas Hayman 1,358 J H Rapson
Onehunga Hugh Watt 4,389 Alfred E. Allen
Onslow Henry May 519 Wilfred Fortune
Otahuhu Leon Götz James Deas 1,806 Leonard Bradley
Otaki James Maher 963 Ernest Langford
Pahiatua Keith Holyoake 3,519 R Bell
Palmerston North Blair Tennent Philip Skoglund 346 Blair Tennant
Patea William Sheat Roy Jack 662 Benjamin R. Winchcombe
Petone Mick Moohan 4,211 Fanny Elizabeth Soward
Ponsonby Ritchie Macdonald 3,948 Harold Barry
Raglan Hallyburton Johnstone 857 James Harrison Wilson
Rangitikei Edward Gordon Norman Shelton 2,679 Stephen Malcolm Roberton
Remuera Ronald Algie 3,544 Bob Tizard
Riccarton Angus McLagan 4,343 Balfour Grieve Dingwall
Rodney Clifton Webb Jack Scott 3,270 Arthur Hellyn
Roskill John Rae 1,652 Elizabeth Morris
Rotorua New electorate Ray Boord 822 Percy Allen
St Albans Jack Watts 608 Mick Connelly
St Kilda Jim Barnes 114 Fred Jones
Selwyn John McAlpine 2,521 D Clinton
Stratford New electorate Thomas Murray 2,966 Brian Edgar Richmond
Sydenham Mabel Howard 5,560 Alma Schumacher
Tamaki Eric Halstead 1,986 Pat Curran
Tauranga George Walsh 3,448 Oliver Liddell
Timaru Clyde Carr 1,423 V W Wilson
Waikato Geoffrey Sim 4,698 Albert Clifford Tucker
Waimate (vacant)[nb 2] Alfred Davey 1,438 Neville Pickering
Waipa New electorate William Goosman 4,435 Harold Francis Gallagher
Wairarapa Bert Cooksley 1,691 Bob Wilkie[9]
Waitakere Rex Mason 3,424 Jim McAllister
Waitemata New electorate Norman King 387 Hubert Morrison
Waitomo Walter Broadfoot David Seath 1,480 Vic Haines
Wallace Tom Macdonald 4,466 J W Cleary
Wanganui Joe Cotterill 305 J S Rumbold
Wellington Central Charles Chapman Frank Kitts 627 Allan Highet
Westland Jim Kent 3,605 Mark Wallace
Māori electorates
Eastern Maori Tiaki Omana 3,094 Claude Anaru[10]
Northern Maori Tapihana Paikea 4,435 H. T. Waetford
Southern Maori Eruera Tirikatene 2,864 Turi Carroll
Western Maori Iriaka Matiu Ratana 6,637 William Rakeipoho Bennett[11]
Table footnotes
  1. ^ John Stewart was first on election night, but lost when special votes were included
  2. ^ David Campbell Kidd, the National Party MP for Waimate, died less than two months before the election, leaving his seat vacant.[8]

By-elections during 31st ParliamentEdit

There were a number of changes during the term of the 31st Parliament.

Electorate and by-election Date Incumbent Cause Winner
Riccarton 1956 27 October Angus McLagan Death Mick Connelly
Bay of Plenty 1957 6 April Bill Sullivan Resignation Percy Allen


  1. ^ a b "General elections 1853–2005 - dates & turnout". Elections New Zealand. Archived from the original on 27 May 2010. Retrieved 2 December 2012.
  2. ^ Wilson 1985, p. 173.
  3. ^ Wilson 1985, p. 142.
  4. ^ Wilson 1985, pp. 86–88.
  5. ^ Norton 1988, pp. ?.
  6. ^ Norton 1988, p. 214.
  7. ^ Norton 1988, p. 222.
  8. ^ Wilson 1985, p. 210.
  9. ^ Espiner, Guyon (3 March 2012). "Profile: Labour deputy Grant Robertson". New Zealand Listener. Retrieved 26 September 2014.
  10. ^ Gustafson 1986, p. 353.
  11. ^ Gustafson 1986, p. 355.


  • Gustafson, Barry (1986). The First 50 Years : A History of the New Zealand National Party. Auckland: Reed Methuen. ISBN 0-474-00177-6.
  • Norton, Clifford (1988). New Zealand Parliamentary Election Results 1946–1987: Occasional Publications No 1, Department of Political Science. Wellington: Victoria University of Wellington. ISBN 0-475-11200-8.
  • Wilson, James Oakley (1985) [First ed. published 1913]. New Zealand Parliamentary Record, 1840–1984 (4th ed.). Wellington: V.R. Ward, Govt. Printer. OCLC 154283103.