39th New Zealand Parliament

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39th Parliament of New Zealand
38th Parliament 40th Parliament
Parliament House, Wellington, New Zealand (50).JPG
Term 16 May 1979 – 23 October 1981
Election New Zealand general election, 1978
Government Third National Government
House of Representatives
New Zealand 39th Parliament.png
Members 92
Speaker of the House Richard Harrison
Leader of the House David Thomson
Prime Minister Robert Muldoon
Leader of the Opposition Bill Rowling
Monarch HM Elizabeth II
Governor-General HE The Hon. Sir David Beattie from 6 November 1980
––HE Rt Hon. Sir Keith Holyoake until 25 October 1980
1st 16 May 1979 – 14 December 1979
2nd 15 May 1980 – 12 December 1980
3rd 28 May 1981 – 23 October 1981

The 39th New Zealand Parliament was a term of the Parliament of New Zealand which began with the general election held on 25 November 1978, and finished with the general election held on 28 November 1981. The dates of the Muldoon Ministry were from 13 December 1978 to 11 December 1981.

The Prime Minister, Robert Muldoon of the National Party, led the Third National Government from 1975 to 1984.

Overview of seats

The table below shows the number of MPs in each party following the 1978 election and at dissolution:

Affiliation Members
At 1978 election At dissolution
National 51 50
Government total
Labour 40 40
Social Credit 1 2
Opposition total 41 42
92 92
Working Government majority 10 8


  • The Working Government majority is calculated as all Government MPs less all other parties.

Initial composition of the 39th Parliament

The tables below shows the results of the 1978 general election:


 National    Labour    Social Credit  

Electorate results for the New Zealand general election, 1978
Electorate Incumbent Winner Majority Runner up
General electorates
Albany New electorate Don McKinnon 1,159 David Rankin
Ashburton New electorate Rob Talbot 3.005 John Srhoy
Auckland Central Richard Prebble 5,284 Mrs M T Cole
Avon Mary Batchelor 8,215 T P George
Awarua Rex Austin 1,450 Bill Devine
Bay of Islands New electorate Neill Austin 1,682 W G McPherson
Birkenhead Jim McLay 2,534 Rex Stanton
Christchurch Central Bruce Barclay 5,947 M G Clucas
Clutha Peter Gordon Robin Gray 1,427 F A O'Connell
Dunedin Central Brian MacDonell 3,413 M B Ablett
Dunedin North Richard Walls Stan Rodger 2,850 Richard Walls
East Cape New electorate Duncan MacIntyre 2,533 O P Drabble
East Coast Bays Frank Gill 1,566 Mrs C Hicks
Eastern Hutt New electorate Trevor Young 5,373 Rosemary Young
Eden Aussie Malcolm 648 John Hinchcliff
Fendalton New electorate Eric Holland 1,956 David Close[1]
Gisborne Bob Bell 213 Allan Wallbank
Hamilton East Ian Shearer 1,361 Lois Welch
Hamilton West Mike Minogue 1,006 Dorothy Jelicich
Hastings Robert Fenton David Butcher 334 Robert Fenton
Hauraki New electorate Leo Schultz 2,019 Gordon Miller
Hawkes Bay Richard Harrison 1,908 Mike Cullen
Helensville New electorate Dail Jones 1,199 Jack Elder
Heretaunga Ron Bailey 2,744 John Ward
Horowhenua New electorate Geoff Thompson 744 A C Eyles
Hunua New electorate Winston Peters 192 Malcolm Douglas[nb 1]
Invercargill Norman Jones 256 Aubrey Begg
Island Bay Gerald O'Brien Frank O'Flynn 650 Bill Nathan[nb 2]
Kaimai New electorate Bruce Townshend 3,476 Douglas Conway
Kaipara New electorate Peter Wilkinson 520 Nevern McConachy[2]
Kapiti Barry Brill 23 Margaret Shields[nb 3]
King Country Jim Bolger 2,770 Leo Menefy
Lyttelton Colleen Dewe Ann Hercus 1,423 Colleen Dewe
Manawatu Allan McCready Michael Cox 2,913 Trevor de Cleene
Mangere David Lange 6,263 Peter Saunders
Manurewa Merv Wellington Roger Douglas 2,467 Peter O'Brien
Marlborough Edward Latter Doug Kidd 323 Ian Brooks
Matamata New electorate Jack Luxton 4,407 David Mawdsley
Miramar Bill Young 315 Bill Jeffries
Mt Albert Warren Freer 2,861 Frank Ryan
Napier Gordon Christie 2,927 Kevin Rose
Nelson Mel Courtney 2,239 Peter Malone
New Lynn Jonathan Hunt 4,390 Mrs J F Bridges
New Plymouth Tony Friedlander 112 Dennis Duggan
North Shore George Gair 4,650 G A T Leckey
Onehunga Frank Rogers 1,417 Barrie Hutchinson
Ohariu New electorate Hugh Templeton 1,958 Helene Ritchie
Otago New electorate Warren Cooper 3,722 R J Rutherford
Otahuhu Bob Tizard 4,762 Ah Chee
Pahiatua John Falloon 6,675 P M A Hills
Pakuranga Gavin Downie Pat Hunt 2,111 Elsa J. Smith
Palmerston North John Lithgow Joe Walding 2,736 John Lithgow
Papakura New electorate Merv Wellington 3,622 Geoff Braybrooke
Papanui Bert Walker Mike Moore 3,289 Bert Walker
Papatoetoe New electorate Eddie Isbey 1,511 C. Bidois
Pencarrow New electorate Fraser Colman 3,649 Brett Newell
Porirua Gerard Wall 3,657 A H C Perry
Rangiora Derek Quigley 1,145 D S McKenzie
Rangiriri New electorate Bill Birch 2,276 R F McKee
Rangitikei Bruce Beetham 2,853 Les Gandar
Remuera Allan Highet 5,771 Lee Goffin
Roskill Arthur Faulkner 1,671 John Banks
Rotorua Harry Lapwood Paul East 1,020 Peter Tapsell
St Albans Roger Drayton David Caygill 3,679 Neil Russell
St Kilda William Fraser 2,959 Graeme Laing
Selwyn New electorate Colin McLachlan 1,232 William Woods
Sydenham John Kirk 7,040 Ian Wilson
Tamaki Robert Muldoon 6,310 Audie Cooke-Pennefather
Taranaki New electorate David Thomson 4,573 K A Tracey
Tarawera New electorate Ian Mclean 2,022 John Joseph Stewart
Tasman Bill Rowling 1,794 Ruth Richardson
Taupo Ray La Varis Jack Ridley 609 Lesley A Miller[3]
Tauranga Keith Allen 3,318 Paul Hills
Te Atatu Michael Bassett 2,819 W R Cross
Timaru Basil Arthur 2,183 W S Penno
Waikato Lance Adams-Schneider 5,063 B G West[4]
Waipa New electorate Marilyn Waring 4,906 John Kilbride
Wairarapa Ben Couch 837 Allan Levett
Waitakere New electorate Ralph Maxwell 2,016 W R McD Haresnape
Waitaki New electorate Jonathan Elworthy 1,315 W R Laney
Waitotara New electorate Venn Young 4,109 Mrs E H Charteris
Wallace Brian Talboys 5,324 Jim Thomson
Wanganui Russell Marshall 3,102 J G Rowan
Wellington Central Ken Comber 916 Neville Pickering
West Coast Paddy Blanchfield Kerry Burke 5,647 G K A Ferguson
Western Hutt Brian Lambert John Terris 168 Brian Lambert
Whangarei John Elliott 1,176 Colin Moyle
Yaldhurst New electorate Mick Connelly 1,638 David Watson
Māori electorates
Eastern Maori Paraone Reweti 7,400 M Searancke
Northern Maori Matiu Rata 4,844 H Te K Toia
Southern Maori Whetu Tirikatene-Sullivan 9,180 C P Maitai
Western Maori Koro Wētere 9,719 Gordon Piherria

Table footnotes:

  1. ^ The election of Malcolm Douglas in Hunua was overturned by the Electoral Court on 24 May 1979
  2. ^ Gerald O'Brien came third standing as Independent Labour
  3. ^ Margaret Shields had initially been declared the winner but she lost 83 votes in a magisterial recount

By-elections during 39th Parliament

There were a number of changes during the term of the 39th Parliament.

Electorate and by-election Date Incumbent Cause Winner
Christchurch Central 1979 18 August Bruce Barclay Death Geoffrey Palmer
Northern Maori 1980 7 June Matiu Rata Resignation Bruce Gregory
Onehunga 1980 7 June Frank Rogers Death Fred Gerbic
East Coast Bays 1980 6 September Frank Gill Appointed as Ambassador to US Gary Knapp

Summary of changes during term


  1. ^ Bohan 2004, p. 67.
  2. ^ Chapman 1999, p. 208.
  3. ^ Gustafson 1986, p. 284.
  4. ^ Norton 1988, p. 368.


  • Bohan, Edmund (2004). Burdon: a man of our time. Hazard Press. ISBN 978-1-877270-90-1. OCLC 62718931. Retrieved 20 June 2015. 
  • Chapman, Robert (1999). New Zealand Politics and Social Patterns: Selected Works. Victoria University Press. Retrieved 1 September 2015. 
  • Gustafson, Barry (1986). The First 50 Years : A History of the New Zealand National Party. Auckland: Reed Methuen. ISBN 0-474-00177-6. 
  • Wilson, James Oakley (1985) [First published in 1913]. New Zealand Parliamentary Record, 1840–1984 (4th ed.). Wellington: V.R. Ward, Govt. Printer. OCLC 154283103. 
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