Open main menu

Robert Macfarlane (New Zealand politician)

Sir Robert Mafeking Macfarlane KCMG (né Haynes, 17 May 1900 – 2 December 1981) was a New Zealand politician of the Labour Party. He was a Member of Parliament, served as Speaker of the House of Representatives and was a Mayor of Christchurch.

Sir Robert Macfarlane

Robert Mafeking Macfarlane.jpg
Robert Macfarlane in ca 1951
14th Speaker of the House of Representatives
In office
Prime MinisterWalter Nash
Preceded byMatthew Oram
Succeeded byRonald Algie
Member of the New Zealand Parliament
for Christchurch South
In office
Preceded byTed Howard
Succeeded byelectorate abolished
Member of the New Zealand Parliament
for Christchurch Central
In office
1946 – 1969
Preceded bynew electorate
Succeeded byBruce Barclay
37th Mayor of Christchurch
In office
Preceded byJohn Beanland
Succeeded byErnest Andrews
In office
Preceded byErnest Andrews
Succeeded byGeorge Manning
Personal details
Robert Mafeking Haynes

(1900-05-17)17 May 1900
Christchurch, New Zealand
Died2 December 1981(1981-12-02) (aged 81)
Political partyLabour
Louisa Jacobs (m. 1932)

Early lifeEdit

Macfarlane was born in Christchurch on 17 May 1900, the son of Emma Rose King Haynes.[1] In 1904, he took the surname Macfarlane after his mother married Hugh Macfarlane, a labourer.[1] He married Louisa Jacobs in 1932.[1]

Local body politicsEdit

Macfarlane was on the Christchurch City Council (1927–1929, 1936–1941, 1947–1959, and 1961–1981),[2] and was Mayor of Christchurch twice, from 1938 to 1941 and from 1950 to 1958.[3]

Member of ParliamentEdit

New Zealand Parliament
Years Term Electorate Party
1939–1943 26th Christchurch South Labour
1943–1946 27th Christchurch South Labour
1946–1949 28th Christchurch Central Labour
1949–1951 29th Christchurch Central Labour
1951–1954 30th Christchurch Central Labour
1954–1957 31st Christchurch Central Labour
1957–1960 32nd Christchurch Central Labour
1960–1963 33rd Christchurch Central Labour
1963–1966 34th Christchurch Central Labour
1966–1969 35th Christchurch Central Labour

Macfarlane entered Parliament in 1939 following a by-election, replacing Ted Howard (although Howard's daughter Mabel Howard had hoped to replace him following his death). He was the Member of Parliament for Christchurch South from 1939 to 1946, then for Christchurch Central from 1946 to 1969, when he retired.

From May 1947 until September 1947 he was the Labour Party's junior whip. He was subsequently Labour's senior whip from September 1947 until June 1951.[4]

Speaker of the House of RepresentativesEdit

He was the 14th Speaker of the House of Representatives, from 1958 to 1960.[5]


In the 1954 Queen's Birthday Honours, Macfarlane was appointed a Companion of the Order of St Michael and St George,[6] and in the 1974 New Year Honours he was elevated to Knight Commander of the same order.[7] In the 1985 New Year Honours, his wife, Louisa, Lady Macfarlane, was appointed a Companion of the Queen's Service Order for community service.[8]

Military serviceEdit

In World War II he served in the Middle East in the ASC of the 2nd New Zealand Expeditionary Force for 2½ years.


  1. ^ a b c Clark, Kath. "Macfarlane, Robert Mafeking". Dictionary of New Zealand Biography. Ministry for Culture and Heritage. Retrieved 1 August 2013.
  2. ^ "Councillors of the City of Christchurch". Christchurch: Christchurch City Council. Archived from the original on 20 July 2011. Retrieved 25 October 2013.
  3. ^ "Chairmen and mayors". Christchurch: Christchurch City Council. Retrieved 10 February 2010.
  4. ^ Wilson 1985, pp. 281.
  5. ^ Parliamentary Debates, Volume 443 p.136. Retrieved 12 May 2011
  6. ^ "Queen's Birthday Honours" (17 June 1954) 37 New Zealand Gazette 1006.
  7. ^ "No. 46163". The London Gazette (2nd supplement). 1 January 1974. p. 35.
  8. ^ "No. 49970". The London Gazette (2nd supplement). 31 December 1984. p. 2.

External linksEdit

New Zealand Parliament
Preceded by
Ted Howard
Member of Parliament for Christchurch South
Constituency abolished
New constituency Member of Parliament for Christchurch Central
Succeeded by
Bruce Barclay
Political offices
Preceded by
John Beanland
Mayor of Christchurch

Succeeded by
Ernest Andrews
Preceded by
Ernest Andrews
Succeeded by
George Manning
Preceded by
Matthew Oram
Speaker of the New Zealand House of Representatives
Succeeded by
Ronald Algie
Party political offices
Preceded by
Arthur Shapton Richards
Senior Whip of the Labour Party
Succeeded by
Philip Connolly