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Sir William Nosworthy KCMG (18 October 1867 – 26 September 1946) was a New Zealand politician. He briefly served as Minister of Finance and then Minister of External Affairs in the Reform Government.

Sir William Nosworthy

William Nosworthy.jpg
8th Minister of Agriculture
In office
4 September 1919 – 21 January 1926
Prime MinisterMassey, Bell, Coates
Preceded byWilliam MacDonald
Succeeded byOswald Hawken
23rd Minister of Finance
In office
14 May 1925 – 24 May 1926
Prime MinisterBell, Coates
Preceded byWilliam Massey
Succeeded byWilliam Downie Stewart
4th Minister of Foreign Affairs
In office
24 May 1926 – 24 August 1928
Prime MinisterGordon Coates
Preceded byFrancis Bell
Succeeded byGordon Coates
Member of the New Zealand Parliament
for Ashburton
In office
Preceded byJohn McLachlan
Succeeded byelectorate abolished
Personal details
Born(1867-10-18)18 October 1867
Christchurch, New Zealand
Died26 September 1946(1946-09-26) (aged 78)
Ashburton, New Zealand
Political partyReform


New Zealand Parliament
Years Term Electorate Party
1908–1909 18th Ashburton Independent
1909–1911 Changed allegiance to: Reform
1911–1914 19th Ashburton Reform
1914–1919 20th Ashburton Reform
1919–1922 21st Ashburton Reform
1922–1925 22nd Ashburton Reform
1925–1928 23rd Ashburton Reform

Nosworthy stood in the Ashburton electorate in the 1908 election. The Second Ballot Act was in force and on election night, he was in third place behind David Jones. Nosworthy encouraged his supporters to vote for Jones in the second ballot. After a recount, the situation was reversed (Nosworthy was 30 votes ahead) and Jones advertised for his supporters to vote for Nosworthy, and indeed, Nosworthy was successful in the second ballot.[1][2]

Nosworthy held this electorate until his retirement at the 1928 election, serving through six terms of Parliament.[2]

He was first appointed to Cabinet in 1919, being appointed Minister of Agriculture (1919–1925) and then Minister of Immigration (1920–1925) by William Massey.[3] When Massey died in 1925, Nosworthy gained the more important role of Minister of Finance in the interim government of Francis Bell.[4]

Nosworthy contested the leadership race to succeed Massey, but was defeated by Gordon Coates. He continued to serve as Minister of Finance until the following year, when he was given the External Affairs portfolio instead (1926–1928). He held this position until his retirement from politics in 1928.[5][6]

He was appointed a Knight Commander of the Order of St Michael and St George in 1929[7] and was awarded the King George V Silver Jubilee Medal in 1935.[8]


  1. ^ "The Ashburton Seat". The Press. LXIV (13278). 20 November 1908. p. 6. Retrieved 23 November 2013.
  2. ^ a b Wilson 1985, p. 223.
  3. ^ Wilson 1985, p. 77.
  4. ^ Wilson 1985, p. 78.
  5. ^ Wilson 1985, p. 79.
  6. ^ New Zealand Parliamentary Debates, Vols 211-219 (1926-1928).
  7. ^ "No. 33472". The London Gazette (Supplement). 1 March 1929. p. 1439.
  8. ^ "Official jubilee medals". The Evening Post. CXIX (105). 6 May 1935. p. 4. Retrieved 17 November 2013.


  • Wilson, James Oakley (1985) [First ed. published 1913]. New Zealand Parliamentary Record, 1840–1984 (4th ed.). Wellington: V.R. Ward, Govt. Printer. OCLC 154283103.
Political offices
Preceded by
James Parr
and Minister of Telegraphs

Succeeded by
James Donald
New Zealand Parliament
Preceded by
John McLachlan
Member of Parliament for Ashburton
In abeyance
Title next held by
Richard Geoffrey Gerard