Ernest Richard Toop CBE JP (3 October 1895 – 14 November 1976) was a New Zealand politician and businessman.

Ernest Toop
Ernest Richard Toop.jpg
33rd Chair of Wellington Harbour Board
In office
Preceded byBrian Edwin Keiller
Succeeded byBarry Barton-Ginger
7th Deputy Mayor of Wellington
In office
MayorRobert Macalister
Preceded byWilliam Stevens
Succeeded byHarry Nankervis
Personal details
Born3 October 1895
Clifton, England
Died14 November 1976(1976-11-14) (aged 81)
Wellington, New Zealand
Political partyNational
Spouse(s)Vera Wright (m.1925)
Merle Gamble (m.1970)


Early lifeEdit

Ernest Richard Toop was born in 1895. He became a merchant in Wellington starting his own company, becoming the managing director of the firm of Toop and Neilson, Ltd. He was the president of the Island Bay branch of the Returned Services' Association.[1]

Political careerEdit

Toop stood as the National Party's candidate for the seat of Wellington South in the 1943 general election. He came runner-up to Labour's Robert McKeen.[2] Toop was first elected to the Wellington City Council in 1944 on the ticket of the right-leaning Citizens' Association.[3] He would remain a councillor until 1956. He served as the Deputy Mayor from 1953 to 1956 under Robert Macalister. In 1956 Toop was elected to the Wellington Harbour Board. He served on the board for the next 18 years including 5 years as the chair from 1961 to 1966.[4]

In 1953, Toop was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Coronation Medal.[5]

In 1956 Toop became embroiled in a selection controversy. Under the impression that incumbent mayor Robert Macalister was not intending to seek a third term as mayor, Toop applied to gain nomination as the Citizens' mayoral candidate. As the only applicant he was successful. However, Macalister had intended to run again and thought that he, as the incumbent, held automatic nomination. Undeterred, Macalister ran for mayor again in 1956 as an Independent which split the Citizens' vote enabling Labour's Frank Kitts to win the mayoralty.[6] Toop ran for mayor again in 1959 in a two-horse race against Kitts, but was again unsuccessful.[7]

Later life and deathEdit

In the 1965 New Year Honours, Toop was appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire, for services to local government.[8] He died in 1976, and was survived by his second wife.


  1. ^ "General Election". Evening Post. Vol. CXXXVI, no. 23. 27 July 1943. p. 3. Retrieved 29 October 2016.
  2. ^ "The General Election, 1943". National Library. 1944. pp. 1–12. Retrieved 2 January 2014.
  3. ^ "The City Council". Evening Post. Vol. CXXXII, no. 125. 29 May 1944. p. 7. Retrieved 29 October 2016.
  4. ^ Johnson, David (1996). "Members and Officers of the Wellington Harbour Board, Appendix 1". Wellington Harbour. Wellington Maritime Museum Trust. p. 475. ISBN 0958349800.
  5. ^ "Coronation Medal" (PDF). Supplement to the New Zealand Gazette. No. 37. 3 July 1953. pp. 1021–1035. Retrieved 20 March 2022.
  6. ^ Betts 1970, pp. 157.
  7. ^ Betts 1970, pp. 161.
  8. ^ "No. 43531". The London Gazette (3rd supplement). 1 January 1965. p. 44.


  • Betts, G.M. (1970). Betts on Wellington: A City and its Politics. Wellington: A. H. & A. W. Reed Ltd. ISBN 0-589-00469-7.
Political offices
Preceded by
William Stevens
Deputy Mayor of Wellington
Succeeded by
Harry Nankervis
Preceded by
Brian Edwin Keiller
Chair of Wellington Harbour Board
Succeeded by
Barry Barton-Ginger