Michael Reardon (activist)

Michael John Reardon (11 April 1876 – 24 August 1945) was a New Zealand political activist.

Michael Reardon.


Early lifeEdit

Reardon was born at Waikouaiti in 1876 and was educated there.[1] He became a blacksmith and later a freezing worker.[2]

Union involvementEdit

He moved to Wellington in 1906 and was appointed Secretary of the General Labourers' Union in 1906, a position he held until 1918. He was president of the Wellington Trades and Labour Council from 1912 to 1913 and again from 1915 to 1916. During World War I he supported conscription, unlike most labour activists. He helped form the Wellington branch of the Workers' Educational Association (WEA) in 1915 and was a key figure in the Self-determination for Ireland League 1920–1921. Later, Reardon was Secretary Wellington Retail Fruit Trade Association.[1]

He was appointed information officer for New Zealand at the 1924 British Empire Exhibition. He was deputy-chairman of the Repatriation Board in 1919–1921. In 1936 he was appointed Conciliation Commissioner a position he held until 1943.[2]

Political activityEdit

In 1902 he stood as a Liberal-Labour candidate in Rangitikei and in 1911 as the Labour candidate for Hutt.[3][4] In 1918 he sought the Labour nomination for the Wellington Central by-election, but lost to Peter Fraser.[5] Later that year he was nominated by the Wellington Trade's and Labour Council for the Labour nomination in the Wellington South by-election, but was defeated by Bob Semple.[6]

Reardon was a Labour Party candidate in several Wellington municipal elections in 1907, 1909, 1910, 1911, 1913 and 1935. While usually polling respectably he never won a seat.

Later life and deathEdit

He died in Wellington on 24 August 1945, predeceased by his wife and son.[2]


  1. ^ a b Gustafson 1980, p. 165.
  2. ^ a b c "Obituary". The Evening Post. Vol. CXL, no. 48. 25 August 1945. p. 8. Retrieved 21 November 2013.
  3. ^ The General Election, 1902. National Library. 1903. p. 1. Retrieved 4 December 2014.
  4. ^ "The General Election, 1911". National Library. 1912. pp. 1–14. Retrieved 1 August 2013.
  5. ^ "Wellington Central by-election". The Press. Vol. LIV, no. 16317. 14 September 1918. p. 9. Retrieved 1 July 2018.
  6. ^ "By-election". New Zealand Times. Vol. XLIII, no. 10147. 9 December 1918. p. 4. Retrieved 18 January 2018.