Deputy Leader of the New Zealand Labour Party

The Deputy Leader of the Labour Party is the second-most senior politician within the Labour Party in New Zealand. The officeholder deputises for the Leader of the Labour Party at party-specific events. Unlike other political party leaders, the Labour Party's Leader does not have the power to dismiss or appoint their Deputy; both the Leader and Deputy Leader are elected. In all cases where the leadership is vacant, the Deputy Leader shall also serve as Acting Leader until a new leadership election.[1] When the Labour Party forms the Official Opposition the Deputy Leader typically serves as Deputy Leader of the Opposition. When Labour forms the government the deputy leader is automatically given a seat in cabinet.

Deputy Leader of the Labour Party
Kelvin Davis.jpg
Incumbent
Kelvin Davis

since 1 August 2017
Term lengthNo fixed term
Inaugural holderJames McCombs
Formation27 August 1919

Kelvin Davis is the current Deputy Leader, elected on 1 August 2017.[2]

HistoryEdit

The position of Deputy Leader of the Labour Party was created in 1919, three years after the party's creation. The first holder, James McCombs, was bestowed the role after he lost the draw of lots to Harry Holland in the leadership election that year.[3] It was not until 1974 that the first deputy to have been born in New Zealand, Bob Tizard. Prior to this, three deputy leaders had been born in Australia, two in England and one each in Ireland and Scotland. The Labour Party's longest-serving deputy leader, having served for 11 years, 4 months and 12 days between 1963 and 1974, was Hugh Watt.

To date, a total of seven Deputy Leaders have gone on to become the elected leader of the Labour Party (Savage, Fraser, Nash, Lange, Palmer and Clark). Two Deputy Leaders have died in office (Skinner and Hackett).

List of deputy leadersEdit

The following is a complete list of Labour Party deputy leaders. Some deputies served concurrently as acting party leader.

No. Leader
(Birth–Death)
Portrait Electorate Term of Office Leader
1 James McCombs
(1873–1933)
  Lyttelton 27 August 1919 February 1923 Holland
2 Michael Joseph Savage
(1872–1940)
  Auckland West February 1923 12 October 1933
3 Peter Fraser
(1884–1950)
  Wellington Central 12 October 1933 1 April 1940 Savage
4 Walter Nash
(1882–1968)
  Hutt 1 April 1940 17 January 1951 Fraser
5 Jerry Skinner
(1900–1962)
  Buller 17 January 1951 26 April 1962† Nash
6 Fred Hackett
(1901–1963)
  Grey Lynn 7 June 1962 19 March 1963†
7 Hugh Watt
(1912–1980)
  Onehunga 29 April 1963 6 September 1974 Nordmeyer
Kirk
8 Bob Tizard
(1924–2016)
  Otahuhu 10 September 1974 1 November 1979 Rowling
9 David Lange
(1942–2005)
  Mangere 1 November 1979 3 February 1983
10 Geoffrey Palmer
(1942–)
  Christchurch Central 3 February 1983 8 August 1989 Lange
11 Helen Clark
(1950–)
  Mount Albert 8 August 1989 1 December 1993 Palmer
Moore
12 David Caygill
(1948–)
  St Albans 1 December 1993 12 October 1996 Clark
13 Michael Cullen
(1945–)
  Dunedin South 12 October 1996 19 November 2008
14 Annette King
(1947–)
  Rongotai 19 November 2008 13 December 2011 Goff
15 Grant Robertson
(1971–)
  Wellington Central 13 December 2011 15 September 2013 Shearer
16 David Parker
(1960–)
  List 15 September 2013 18 November 2014 Cunliffe
(14) Annette King
(1947–)
  Rongotai 18 November 2014 7 March 2017 Little
17 Jacinda Ardern
(1980–)
  Mount Albert 7 March 2017 1 August 2017
18 Kelvin Davis
(1967–)
  Te Tai Tokerau 1 August 2017 incumbent Ardern

Living former deputy leadersEdit

There are four living former deputy leaders. The most recent deputy leader to die was Bob Tizard (1974-1979) on 28 January 2016.[4]

Leader Term of office Date of birth
Sir Geoffrey Palmer 1983–1989 (1942-04-21) 21 April 1942 (age 77)
Helen Clark 1989–1993 (1950-02-26) 26 February 1950 (age 70)
David Caygill 1993–1996 (1948-11-15) 15 November 1948 (age 71)
Sir Michael Cullen 1996–2008 (1945-02-05) 5 February 1945 (age 75)
Dame Annette King 2008–2011 (1947-09-13) 13 September 1947 (age 72)
2014–2017
Grant Robertson 2011–2013 (1971-10-30) 30 October 1971 (age 48)
David Parker 2013–2014 1960 (age 59–60)
Jacinda Ardern 2017 (1980-07-26) 26 July 1980 (age 39)

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Constitution and Rules" (PDF). New Zealand Labour Party. 2016.
  2. ^ Collins, Mikaela; de Graaf, Peter (2 August 2017). "Te Tai Tokerau's Kelvin Davis made deputy Labour leader". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 29 April 2018.
  3. ^ Garner, Jean. "McCombs, James". Dictionary of New Zealand Biography. Ministry for Culture and Heritage. Retrieved 28 January 2011.
  4. ^ "Former deputy Prime Minister Bob Tizard dies age 91". The New Zealand Herald. 28 January 2016. Retrieved 28 January 2016.