23rd New Zealand Parliament

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23rd Parliament of New Zealand
22nd Parliament 24th Parliament
Parliament House, Wellington, New Zealand (50).JPG
Term 4 December 1928 – 11 November 1931
Election New Zealand general election, 1928
Government United Government
House of Representatives
New Zealand 23rd Parliament.png
Members 80
Speaker of the House Charles Statham
Prime Minister George Forbes
––Joseph Ward until 28 May 1930
Leader of the Opposition Harry Holland
––Gordon Coates until 22 September 1931
Legislative Council
Members 41 (at start)
35 (at end)
Speaker of the Council Sir Walter Carncross
Leader of the Council Sir Thomas Sidey
Monarch HM George V
Governor-General HE Rt. Hon. THe Lord Bledisloe from 19 March 1930
––HE Gen. Sir Charles Fergusson until 8 February 1930

The 23rd New Zealand Parliament was a term of the New Zealand Parliament. It was elected at the 1928 general election in November of that year.

1928 general election

The 1928 general election was held on Tuesday, 13 November in the Māori electorates and on Wednesday, 14 November in the general electorates, respectively.[1] A total of 80 MPs were elected; 47 represented North Island electorates, 29 represented South Island electorates, and the remaining four represented Māori electorates.[2] 844,633 voters were enrolled and the official turnout at the election was 88.1%.[1]

Electoral boundaries

New Zealand Electorates 1928.png


The 23rd Parliament sat for five sessions (there were two sessions in 1931), and was prorogued on 12 November 1931.[3]

Session Opened Adjouned
first 4 December 1928 14 December 1928
second 27 June 1929 9 November 1929
third 26 June 1930 25 October 1930
fourth 11 March 1931 28 April 1931
fifth 25 June 1931 11 November 1931

Party standings

Start of Parliament

Party Leader(s) Seats at start
United Party Sir Joseph Ward 27
Reform Party Gordon Coates 27
Labour Party Harry Holland 19
Country Party Harold Rushworth 1
Independents 6

End of Parliament

Party Leader(s) Seats at end
Reform Party Gordon Coates 27
United Party George Forbes 26
Labour Party Harry Holland 20
Country Party Harold Rushworth 1
Independents 6


The Coates Ministry led by Gordon Coates of the Reform Party had come to power in May 1925.[4] The Reform Party lost the 1928 election, suffering a humiliating defeat, dropping from 55 seats in 1925 to 28 only three years later. Parliament was called shortly after the election, Coates lost a no confidence vote and resigned as Prime Minister.[5]

Joseph Ward formed the second Ward Ministry on 10 December 1928 as leader of the United Party, a successor of the Liberal Party.[6][7] Ward was an unwell man at this stage in life and suffered several heart attacks. In May 1930, he was pressured by his colleagues to resign as Prime Minister.[7]

Ward was succeeded by George Forbes, again of the United Party. The Forbes Ministry was in place until September 1931. During the difficult times of the Great Depression, Forbes wanted to form a grand coalition with the Labour Party and the Reform Party. Labour refused, but Reform went into a coalition government with United from September 1931.[8]


Members of the House of Representatives, Parliament of New Zealand, 1928-1931.

Initial MPs


 United    Reform    Labour    Country Party        Liberal–Labour  Ratana    Independent  

Electorate results for the New Zealand general election, 1928[9]

Electorate Incumbent Winner Majority Runner up
General electorates
Auckland Central Bill Parry 3,024 William Hewitt
Auckland East John A. Lee James Donald 37 John A. Lee
Auckland Suburbs New electorate Rex Mason 1,098 Sir James Gunson
Auckland West Michael Joseph Savage 1,341 Richard Speirs
Avon Dan Sullivan 3,845 George Thomas Baker[10]
Awarua John Hamilton Philip De La Perrelle 1,005 John Hamilton
Bay of Islands Allen Bell Harold Rushworth 2 Allen Bell
Bay of Plenty Kenneth Williams 1,867 Alexander Moncur
Buller Harry Holland 3,617 Dugald Macdonald Robertson[11]
Central Otago New electorate William Bodkin 653 J. Ritchie
Chalmers James M. Dickson Alfred Ansell 619 Norman Hartley Campbell
Christchurch East Tim Armstrong 2,260 Denis Franklyn Dennehy[12]
Christchurch North Henry Holland 1,892 Ernest Andrews
Christchurch South Ted Howard 433 Charles Samuel "Charlie" McCully[13]
Clutha Fred Waite 523 Joseph Stephens[14]
Dunedin Central Sir Charles Statham 1,771 J. Robinson
Dunedin North Harold Tapley Jim Munro 1,231 Harold Tapley
Dunedin South Thomas Sidey William Taverner 33 R.W. Hall
Dunedin West Downie Stewart 1,277 C.M. Moss
Eden Rex Mason Arthur Stallworthy 2,436 Vivian Potter
Egmont Oswald Hawken Charles Wilkinson 1,286 Oswald Hawken
Franklin Ewen McLennan Jack Massey 134 Harry Mellsop
Gisborne Douglas Lysnar Douglas Lysnar (Ind R) 346 David Coleman
Grey Lynn Fred Bartram John Fletcher 64 Fred Bartram
Hamilton Alexander Young 1,073 Samuel Charles Gale Lye[15]
Hauraki New electorate Arthur Hall 891 Ebenezer Allan
Hawke's Bay Hugh Campbell 690 Jack Lyon[16]
Hurunui George Forbes 1,839 L.R.C. Macfarlane
Hutt Thomas Wilford 1,305 Walter Nash
Invercargill Sir Joseph Ward, Bt. 3,178 Morell Macalister (Ind R)
Kaiapoi David Buddo Richard Hawke 96 James Arthur Flesher
Kaipara Gordon Coates 2,475 J.G. Barclay
Lyttelton James McCombs 1,867 John Beanland
Manawatu Joseph Linklater 1,466 P.J. Small
Manukau Bill Jordan 3,659 Walter Kells-Mason
Marsden William Jones Alfred Murdoch 450 William Jones
Masterton George Sykes 1,238 J.W. Thompson
Mataura George Anderson David McDougall 62 George Anderson
Mid-Canterbury New electorate David Jones 55 Jeremiah Connolly
Motueka Richard Hudson George Black 613 Richard Hudson
Napier John Mason Bill Barnard 418 John Mason
Nelson Harry Atmore 2,309 F.W.O. Smith
New Plymouth New electorate Sydney Smith 1,467 Charles Bellringer
Oamaru Ernest Lee John Macpherson 337 Ernest Lee
Oroua John Eliott John Cobbe 732 John Eliott
Otaki William Field 813 Archibald Burnett Sievwright
Pahiatua Alfred Ransom 922 Harold Smith
Palmerston Jimmy Nash 2,350 Walter Bromley
Parnell James S. Dickson Harry Jenkins 849 James S. Dickson
Patea Harold Dickie 182 James Douglas Hislop[17]
Raglan Lee Martin 1,041 W. Seavill
Rangitikei William Glenn James Hogan 1,234 William Glenn
Riccarton Herbert Kyle 45 Archibald Albany McLachlan[12]
Roskill Vivian Potter George Munns 2,344 Arthur Richards
Rotorua Frank Hockly Cecil Clinkard 200 Frank Hockly
Stratford Edward Walter William Polson 982 Edward Walter
Tauranga Charles MacMillan 678 D.C. Chalmers
Temuka Thomas Burnett 86 Thomas Herbert Langford
Thames Thomas Rhodes Albert Samuel 1,302 J.S. Montgomerie
Timaru Frank Rolleston Clyde Carr 467 Frank Rolleston
Waikato Stewart Reid Frederick Lye 86 Stewart Reid
Waimarino Robert Smith Frank Langstone 985 Robert Smith
Waipawa Sir George Hunter 1,860 Ernest Albert Goodger[18]
Wairarapa Alexander McLeod Thomas McDonald 566 Alexander McLeod
Wairau William Girling Edward Healy 292 William Girling
Waitaki John Bitchener 1,202 Frederick Cooke
Waitemata Alexander Harris 315 Reginald Greville
Waitomo John Rolleston Walter Broadfoot 532 John Rolleston
Wallace Adam Hamilton 20 Walter Taylor
Wanganui Bill Veitch 2,137 Bill Rogers
Wellington Central Peter Fraser 3,458 Andrew Sloane
Wellington East Thomas Forsyth Bob Semple 966 Thomas Forsyth
Wellington North Sir John Luke Charles Chapman 47 Sir John Luke
Wellington South Robert McKeen 2,953 Martin Luckie
Wellington Suburbs Robert Wright 1,985 Tom Brindle
Westland Tom Seddon James O'Brien 185 Tom Seddon
Māori electorates
Eastern Maori Sir Āpirana Ngata 3,104 Pita Moko
Northern Maori Taurekareka Henare 880 Paraire Karaka Paikea
Southern Maori Henare Uru Tuiti Makitanara 1 Eruera Tirikatene
Western Maori Sir Māui Pōmare 1,599 Toko Ratana

By-elections during 23rd Parliament

There were a number of changes during the term of the 23rd Parliament.

Electorate and by-election Date Incumbent Cause Winner
Bay of Islands 1929 10 April[19] Harold Rushworth Election declared void Harold Rushworth
Hutt 1929 18 December[20] Thomas Wilford Resignation Walter Nash
Parnell 1930 7 May[21] Harry Jenkins Resignation Bill Endean
Invercargill 1930 13 August[22] Joseph Ward Death Vincent Ward
Waipawa 1930 8 October[23] George Hunter Death Albert Jull
Western Maori 1930 8 October[24] Māui Pōmare Death Taite Te Tomo
Hauraki 1931 27 May[25] Arthur Hall Death Walter Massey


  1. ^ a b "General elections 1853–2005 - dates & turnout". Elections New Zealand. Archived from the original on 27 May 2010. Retrieved 10 December 2011.
  2. ^ Scholefield 1950, p. 90.
  3. ^ Scholefield 1950, p. 69.
  4. ^ Scholefield 1950, pp. 46–47.
  5. ^ Bassett, Michael. "Coates, Joseph Gordon 1878–1943". Dictionary of New Zealand Biography. Ministry for Culture and Heritage. Retrieved 10 December 2011.
  6. ^ Scholefield 1950, p. 47.
  7. ^ a b Bassett, Michael. "Ward, Joseph George 1856–1930". Dictionary of New Zealand Biography. Ministry for Culture and Heritage. Retrieved 10 December 2011.
  8. ^ Gardner, W. J. "Forbes, George William - Biography". Dictionary of New Zealand Biography. Ministry for Culture and Heritage. Retrieved 11 December 2011.
  9. ^ Skinner 1929, pp. 1–7.
  10. ^ "Electoral Notices". The Press. LXIV (19454). 30 October 1928. p. 15. Retrieved 1 December 2014.
  11. ^ "Robertson, Dugald Macdonald, fl 1909-1971 : Papers". National Library of New Zealand. Retrieved 20 December 2014.
  12. ^ a b "Christchurch Nominations". The Press. LXIV (19451). 26 October 1928. p. 14. Retrieved 20 December 2014.
  13. ^ "Straight Grained". New Zealand Truth (1197). 8 November 1928. p. 6. Retrieved 2 November 2014.
  14. ^ "Labour's Candidates". Maoriland Worker. 12 (299). 22 November 1922. p. 12. Retrieved 26 January 2014.
  15. ^ "Election Candidates". The New Zealand Herald. LXV (19939). 7 May 1928. p. 10. Retrieved 20 December 2014.
  16. ^ "Death in Action". The New Zealand Herald. LXXVIII (23984). 6 June 1941. p. 9. Retrieved 29 June 2014.
  17. ^ "Patea". The Evening Post. CVI (85). 19 October 1928. p. 11. Retrieved 1 December 2014.
  18. ^ "Personal Items". The Evening Post. CIX (72). 26 March 1930. p. 13. Retrieved 20 December 2014.
  19. ^ Scholefield 1950, p. 136.
  20. ^ Scholefield 1950, p. 128.
  21. ^ Scholefield 1950, p. 104.
  22. ^ Scholefield 1950, p. 146.
  23. ^ Scholefield 1950, p. 117.
  24. ^ Scholefield 1950, p. 144.
  25. ^ Scholefield 1950, p. 125.


  • Scholefield, Guy (1950) [First ed. published 1913]. New Zealand Parliamentary Record, 1840–1949 (3rd ed.). Wellington: Govt. Printer.
  • Skinner, W. A. G. (1929). The General Election, 1928. Government Printer. Retrieved 4 December 2013.
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