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William Theophilus Anderton (16 March 1891 – 20 January 1966) was a New Zealand politician of the Labour Party. He served as Minister of Transport in the second Labour Government, from 1957 to 1960.

Bill Anderton
Bill Anderton 1958.jpg
16th Minister of Internal Affairs
In office
12 December 1957 – 12 December 1960
Prime MinisterWalter Nash
Preceded bySidney Walter Smith
Succeeded byLeon Götz
Member of the New Zealand Parliament
for Eden
In office
27 November 1935 – 27 November 1946
Preceded byArthur Stallworthy
Succeeded byWilfred Fortune
Member of the New Zealand Parliament
for Auckland Central
In office
27 November 1946 – 12 December 1960
Preceded byBill Parry
Succeeded byNorman Douglas
Personal details
William Theophilus Anderton

(1891-03-16)16 March 1891
West Bromwich, Staffordshire, England
Died20 January 1966(1966-01-20) (aged 74)
Orakei, Auckland, New Zealand
Political partyLabour
Annie Gertrude Mason (m. 1913)
RelationsNorman Douglas (son-in-law)
Malcolm Douglas (grandson)
Roger Douglas (grandson)
ChildrenTwo daughters, one son
Military service
AllegianceBritish Army
Branch/serviceRoyal Artillery
Battles/warsWorld War I

Early lifeEdit

Anderton was born in West Bromwich, Staffordshire, England. He married Annie Gertrude Mason in 1913, and they had two daughters and one son. He served in the British Army (Royal Artillery) in World War I. The family arrived in New Zealand in 1921 and settled in Christchurch for a year, before moving to Auckland.[1]

Political careerEdit

New Zealand Parliament
Years Term Electorate Party
1935–1938 26th Eden Labour
1938–1943 28th Eden Labour
1943–1946 27th Eden Labour
1946–1949 28th Auckland Central Labour
1949–1951 29th Auckland Central Labour
1951–1954 30th Auckland Central Labour
1954–1957 31st Auckland Central Labour
1957–1960 32nd Auckland Central Labour

In 1933 Anderton was elected to the Auckland City Council on a Labour Party ticket.[2] He was re-elected in both 1935 and 1938 but was defeated in 1941. In 1944 he was Labour's candidate for Mayor of Auckland City, but was defeated by John Allum in an election which saw all Labour candidates defeated.[3]

Anderton was one of five candidates for the Eden electorate in the 1931 election, and came second after the incumbent, Arthur Stallworthy of the United Party.[4] He represented the Eden electorate from 1935 to 1946, and then the Auckland Central electorate from 1946 to 1960, when he retired.[5]

In 1947 Anderton was one of three Labour MPs who supported Frank Langstone's contentious proposal that the government make the state-owned Bank of New Zealand the sole legal issuer of bank credit over loans and overdrafts in an attempt to secure state control over the means of exchange. The proposal was rejected as too radical however.[6]

Anderton was an agitator against the leadership of Walter Nash during Labour's spell in opposition in the 1950s. He was one of the main instigators of the challenge to Nash in June 1954, which was unsuccessful. As a result, Anderton together with Phil Connolly and Arnold Nordmeyer were called before Labour's National Executive and given warnings about the threat of divisiveness to the party.[7]

He was appointed as Minister of Internal Affairs from 1957 to 1960 in the Second Labour Government.[8]

Private lifeEdit

Anderton was the father-in-law of Labour MP Norman Douglas. Two of his grandchildren, brothers Malcolm and Roger Douglas, also became MPs.

He died in the Auckland suburb of Orakei in 1966.[1]


  1. ^ a b Hudson, Switzer (22 June 2007). "Anderton, William Theophilus 1891-1966". Dictionary of New Zealand Biography. Retrieved 24 August 2010.
  2. ^ "City Council Contest". LXX (21482). The New Zealand Herald. 4 May 1933. p. 11. Retrieved 10 May 2017.
  3. ^ "Local Body Elections". LXXV (136). Auckland Star. 10 June 1944. p. 9. Retrieved 10 May 2017.
  4. ^ "Election Results". Auckland Star. LXII (290). 8 December 1931. p. 3. Retrieved 1 November 2014.
  5. ^ Wilson 1985, p. 180.
  6. ^ Verran, David (2004). "Bank Nationalisation and Conscription, 1944 -1949". Retrieved 17 August 2019.
  7. ^ Logan 2008, p. 281.
  8. ^ Wilson 1985.


  • Wilson, James Oakley (1985) [First published in 1913]. New Zealand Parliamentary Record, 1840–1984 (4th ed.). Wellington: V.R. Ward, Govt. Printer. OCLC 154283103.
  • Logan, Mary (2008). Nordy, Arnold Nordmeyer a political biography. Wellington: Steele Roberts Publishers. ISBN 978-1-877448-33-1.
Political offices
Preceded by
Sidney Walter Smith
Minister of Internal Affairs
Succeeded by
Leon Götz
New Zealand Parliament
Preceded by
Arthur Stallworthy
Member of Parliament for Eden
Succeeded by
Wilfred Fortune
Preceded by
Bill Parry
Member of Parliament for Auckland Central
Succeeded by
Norman Douglas