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Ritchie Macdonald OBE JP (8 September 1895 – 14 March 1987) was a New Zealand politician of the Labour Party.

Ritchie Macdonald

Ritchie Macdonald.jpg
Member of the New Zealand Parliament
for Grey Lynn
In office
30 November 1963 – 29 November 1969
Preceded byReginald Keeling
Succeeded byEddie Isbey
Member of the New Zealand Parliament
for Ponsonby
In office
27 November 1946 – 30 November 1963
Preceded byseat established
Succeeded byseat abolished
Personal details
Born8 September 1895
Died14 March 1987
Auckland, New Zealand
Political partyLabour
Spouse(s)Gertrude Wilson


Early life and careerEdit

He was born in Scotland. In 1930 he married Gertrude Wilson. After farming in the Waikato, he worked at the Otahuhu Railway Workshops and became a secretary for the local branch of the New Zealand Railways Union.[1]

Political careerEdit

New Zealand Parliament
Years Term Electorate Party
1946–1949 28th Ponsonby Labour
1949–1951 29th Ponsonby Labour
1951–1954 30th Ponsonby Labour
1954–1957 31st Ponsonby Labour
1957–1960 32nd Ponsonby Labour
1960–1963 33rd Ponsonby Labour
1963–1966 34th Grey Lynn Labour
1966–1969 35th Grey Lynn Labour

He represented the Ponsonby electorate from 1946 to 1963, and then the Grey Lynn electorate from 1963 to 1969, when he retired.[2]

Union secretary Tom Skinner was resentful of the fact that Macdonald had won the nomination for the safe seat of Ponsonby whilst he had been allocated the more marginal seat of Tamaki.[3] From 1958 to 1966 Macdonald was Labour's junior whip.[4]

Macdonald was skilled at engaging with labourers and factory workers more effectively than most of his more intellectual caucus colleagues who considered him a lightweight, but Warren Freer said that he possessed a "common touch".[5]

The then Mayor of Auckland Sir Dove-Myer Robinson said about him when he retired: "His is the old style of personal assistance. The majority of modern politicians do not know what that means."[1]

Robert Chapman said that the Parliamentary superannuation scheme (introduced in 1946) .... encouraged thoughts of retirement even among Labour's sempiternal back-benchers for, after all, Ritchie Macdonald did retire, not die, in the end.[6]

Later life and deathEdit

In 1970, Macdonald was appointed a member of the board of trustees of the Auckland Savings Bank.[1] In the 1973 Queen's Birthday Honours, he was appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire, for services to the community.[7]

Macdonald died at his home in One Tree Hill on 14 March 1987, aged 91, and his body was cremated at Purewa Crematorium.[1][8]


  1. ^ a b c d "Old-style MP Dies". The New Zealand Herald. Auckland. 17 March 1987. p. 3.
  2. ^ Wilson 1985, pp. 214.
  3. ^ Freer 2004, pp. 33-4.
  4. ^ Wilson 1985, pp. 281.
  5. ^ Freer 2004, p. 235.
  6. ^ New Zealand Politics and Social Patterns: selected works by Robert Chapman; page 266 (1999, Victoria University Press, Wellington) ISBN 0-86473-361-5
  7. ^ "No. 45985". The London Gazette (2nd supplement). 2 June 1973. p. 6508.
  8. ^ "Burial & cremation search". Purewa Cemetery and Crematorium. Retrieved 23 July 2019.


  • Wilson, James Oakley (1985) [1913]. New Zealand Parliamentary Record, 1840–1984 (4th ed.). Wellington: V.R. Ward, Govt. Printer. OCLC 154283103.
  • Freer, Warren (2004). A Lifetime in Politics: the memoirs of Warren Freer. Wellington: Victoria University Press. ISBN 0-86473-478-6.
New Zealand Parliament
Preceded by
Reginald Keeling
Member of Parliament for Grey Lynn
Succeeded by
Eddie Isbey
New constituency Member of Parliament for Ponsonby
Constituency abolished