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William MacDonald (New Zealand politician)

William Donald Stuart MacDonald (1862 – 31 August 1920) was a New Zealand politician, Cabinet Minister, and briefly Leader of the Opposition.

William MacDonald

William Donald Stuart Macdonald, circa 1910.jpg
William MacDonald in ca 1910
7th Leader of the Opposition
In office
21 January 1920 – 31 August 1920
DeputyThomas Wilford
Preceded byJoseph Ward
Succeeded byThomas Wilford
Member of the New Zealand Parliament
for Bay of Plenty
In office
17 November 1908 – 31 August 1920
Preceded byWilliam Herries
Succeeded byKenneth Williams
Personal details
Died31 August 1920
Political partyLiberal

Early lifeEdit

MacDonald was born in Victoria in 1862. He emigrated to Poverty Bay in New Zealand in 1882. He managed several sheep stations during his career.[1]

Member of ParliamentEdit

New Zealand Parliament
Years Term Electorate Party
1908–1911 17th Bay of Plenty Liberal
1911–1914 18th Bay of Plenty Liberal
1914–1919 19th Bay of Plenty Liberal
1919–1920 20th Bay of Plenty Liberal

He was Member of the House of Representatives for the Bay of Plenty from 1908 to 1920. He served as Minister of Public Works and Minister of Māori Affairs in the short lived 1912 cabinet of Thomas Mackenzie. He also served in the wartime (1915–19) National cabinet as Minister of Agriculture, Minister of Mines and Minister in Charge of the Legislative, Public Buildings, Inspection of Machinery, State Fire and Accident Insurance Departments.[2]

In 1919, following Joseph Ward's failure to gain re-election, MacDonald was elected leader of the Liberal Party.[3] He filled that role until his death in 1920.


MacDonald died suddenly in his Kelburn home of a heart attack aged 56. He left a widow, two sons and three daughters.[4]

Further readingEdit

  • MacDonald, William Donald Stuart (1914). "Liberal campaign: speech delivered by Mr. W.D.S. Macdonald, M.P. for Bay of Plenty, at Te Karaka, May 7th, 1914". Gisborne, [N.Z.]: Printed at the Herald Office. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  • Reprinted from the Poverty Bay Herald, Friday May 8th, 1914, p.2.


  1. ^ Mackay, Joseph Angus (1949). Historic Poverty Bay and the East Coast, N.I., N.Z.. Gisborne, [N.Z.]: Joseph Angus Mackay. pp. 358–359.
  2. ^ Wilson, James Oakley (1985) [First ed. published 1913]. New Zealand Parliamentary Record, 1840–1984 (4th ed.). Wellington: V.R. Ward, Govt. Printer. pp. 76, 214. OCLC 154283103.
  3. ^ "The Liberal Leadership". Patea Mail. 23 January 1920. p. 3. Retrieved 8 August 2016.
  4. ^ "Obituary". Hawera & Normanby Star. 1 September 1920. p. 4. Retrieved 8 August 2016.

External linksEdit

Political offices
Preceded by
Joseph Ward
Leader of the Opposition
Succeeded by
Thomas Wilford
New Zealand Parliament
Preceded by
William Herries
Member of Parliament for Bay of Plenty
Succeeded by
Kenneth Williams
Party political offices
Preceded by
Joseph Ward
Leader of the Liberal Party
Succeeded by
Thomas Wilford
Preceded by
George Laurenson
Senior Whip of the Liberal Party
Succeeded by
George Forbes