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Arthur James Faulkner (20 November 1921 – 15 May 1985) was a New Zealand politician of the Labour Party.

Arthur Faulkner
Arthur Faulkner.jpg
24th President of the Labour Party
In office
LeaderBill Rowling
Preceded byCharles Bennett
Succeeded byJim Anderton
25th Minister of Defence
In office
8 December 1972 – 10 September 1974
Prime MinisterNorman Kirk
Preceded byAllan McCready
Succeeded byBill Fraser
Member of the New Zealand Parliament
for Roskill
In office
1957 – 1981
Preceded byJohn Rae
Succeeded byPhil Goff
Personal details
Born(1921-11-20)20 November 1921[1]
Grey Lynn, Auckland, New Zealand
Died15 May 1985(1985-05-15) (aged 63)
Political partyLabour
Spouse(s)May Cox (married 1945)

Member of ParliamentEdit

New Zealand Parliament
Years Term Electorate Party
1957–1960 32nd Roskill Labour
1960–1963 33rd Roskill Labour
1963–1966 34th Roskill Labour
1966–1969 35th Roskill Labour
1969–1972 36th Roskill Labour
1972–1975 37th Roskill Labour
1975–1978 38th Roskill Labour
1978–1981 39th Roskill Labour

Faulkner stood unsuccessfully for the Franklin electorate in 1951 and the North Shore electorate in 1954.[2]

He then stood for and won the Roskill electorate in 1957, and held the seat to 1981, when he retired.

When United States Vice President Spiro Agnew visited Wellington in mid-January 1970, Faulkner along with several other Labour Members of Parliament including Bob Tizard, Jonathan Hunt, and Martyn Finlay boycotted the state dinner to protest American policy in Vietnam. However, other Labour MPs including Opposition Leader Norman Kirk attended the function which dealt with the Nixon Doctrine.[3]

He was a Cabinet Minister, and was Minister of Defence from 1972 to 1974 in the Third Labour Government. He stood for deputy to Bill Rowling in 1974. He was popular in caucus, but both Ron Barclay and Warren Freer saw him as indecisive and not leadership material. As Barclay learned that Faulkner could win on the first ballot, he got Freer to stand for deputy to split the vote, and Bob Tizard won on the fourth ballot.[4]

He was President of the Labour Party from 1976 to 1978.

Personal lifeEdit

He married May Cox in 1945, and they had 2 sons and 3 daughters.


  1. ^ Europa Publications Limited (1980). Who's Who, International. Europa Publications Limited. ISBN 9780905118482. Retrieved 13 December 2014.
  2. ^ 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.
  3. ^ Rabel, Roberto (2005). New Zealand and the Vietnam War: Politics and Diplomacy. Auckland: Auckland University Press. pp. 299–300. ISBN 1-86940-340-1.
  4. ^ Freer, Warren W (2004). A Lifetime in Politics: the memoirs of Warren Freer. Wellington: Victoria University Press. pp. 197–199. ISBN 0-86473-478-6.
  • Petersen, G. C. (ed.) (1961), Who's Who in New Zealand (7th ed.), Wellington, [N.Z.]: A.H. & A.W. ReedCS1 maint: extra text: authors list (link)
  • Wilson, James Oakley (1985) [First published in 1913]. New Zealand Parliamentary Record, 1840–1984 (4th ed.). Wellington: V.R. Ward, Govt. Printer. OCLC 154283103.
Party political offices
Preceded by
Charles Bennett
President of the Labour Party
Succeeded by
Jim Anderton
Political offices
Preceded by
Allan McCready
Minister of Defence
Succeeded by
Bill Fraser
New Zealand Parliament
Preceded by
John Rae
Member of Parliament for Roskill
Succeeded by
Phil Goff