Andrew Walker (politician)

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Andrew Walker
Andrew Walker, 1919.jpg
2nd President of the Labour Party
In office
Vice President Michael Joseph Savage
Leader Alfred Hindmarsh
Preceded by James McCombs
Succeeded by Tom Paul
Member of the New Zealand Parliament
for Dunedin North
In office
Preceded by George M. Thomson
Succeeded by Edward Kellett
Personal details
Born 1855
North Berwick, Scotland
Died 10 July 1934
Lower Hutt, New Zealand
Political party United Labour Party (1912–1916)
Labour (1916–1934)

Andrew Walker (1855 – 10 July 1934) was a New Zealand politician of the United Labour Party and then the Labour Party from Dunedin.

Early life

Walker was born in North Berwick, Scotland in 1855.[1] He came to New Zealand in 1860.[2] He attended school in Dunedin's Union Street, where Robert Stout was one of his teachers. He left school aged 14 to learn the trade of printing at the Evening Star. He became a prominent union leader.[1] Walker made a name for himself serving as the secretary of the Otago Typographical Union where he acted as a mentor to younger members such as Kenneth McLean Baxter, leaving them with lasting commitments to the labour movement.[3] He was also a Baptist dean and treasurer of Hanover Street Baptist Church.[4]

Political career

New Zealand Parliament
Years Term Electorate Party
1914–1916 19th Dunedin North United Labour
1916–1919 Changed allegiance to: Labour

He represented the Dunedin North electorate in Parliament from 1914 to 1919, when he was defeated by an Independent Labour candidate Edward Kellett.[5] Walker was a protégé of Labour movement organizer Tom Paul, who did not contest a seat himself in the election, as he sat on the Legislative council, but must have felt vindicated after Walker's success.[6]

In 1914 he won election, with Alfred Hindmarsh and Bill Veitch as the remnant of the United Labour Party,[7] and in 1916 the remnant and the Social Democratic Party combined to form the Labour Party (NZLP).

Walker drew up the 1916 constitution and was the first secretary of the Labour Party caucus.[8] He was the President of the NZLP but resigned in 1917 over the State Control issue, as he was a staunch prohibitionist. Between 1916 and 1919 he served as the Labour Party's whip.[9] At the 1919 election, Walker was opposed by an "Independent" Labour candidate, Edward Kellett, for Dunedin North in a straight contest and Walker was defeated.[5]

Later life

Walker retired to Wellington where some of his family lived. For some years, he lived in Fairview Crescent in Kelburn. For his last two years, he lived at 13 Melling Road in Lower Hutt with his daughter and son-in-law. He died at the Lower Hutt residence on 10 July 1934.[1] and was buried at Taita Cemetery.[10] He was survived by his wife and two daughters; another daughter had died in 1919.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d "Mr Andrew Walker". Evening Post. CXVIII (8). 10 July 1934. p. 9. Retrieved 10 September 2013. 
  2. ^ Gustafson 1980, p. 168.
  3. ^ Taylor, Kerry. "Baxter, Kenneth McLean - Biography". Dictionary of New Zealand Biography. Ministry for Culture and Heritage. Retrieved 26 October 2015. 
  4. ^ Gustafson 1980, pp. 168–169.
  5. ^ a b Wilson 1985, pp. 210, 243.
  6. ^ Olssen, Erik. "Paul, John Thomas - Biography". Dictionary of New Zealand Biography. Ministry for Culture and Heritage. Retrieved 26 October 2015. 
  7. ^ Wilson 1985, pp. 205, 242.
  8. ^ Paul 1946, pp. 192.
  9. ^ "Labour Group". Ashburton Guardian. XL (9895). 28 August 1919. p. 5. Retrieved 10 September 2013. 
  10. ^ "Cemetery register". Hutt City Council. Retrieved 23 April 2016. 


  • Gustafson, Barry (1980). Labour's path to political independence: the origins and establishment of the NZ Labour Party 1900–1919. Auckland, New Zealand: Auckland University Press. ISBN 0-19-647986-X. 
  • Paul, J.T. (1946). Humanism in Politics: New Zealand Labour Party in Retrospect. Wellington, NZ: New Zealand Worker Printing and Publishing. 
  • Wilson, James Oakley (1985) [First ed. published 1913]. New Zealand Parliamentary Record, 1840–1984 (4th ed.). Wellington: V.R. Ward, Govt. Printer. OCLC 154283103. 
New Zealand Parliament
Preceded by
George M. Thomson
Member of Parliament for Dunedin North
Succeeded by
Edward Kellett
Party political offices
Preceded by
James McCombs
President of the Labour Party
Succeeded by
Tom Paul
Preceded by
position created
Senior Whip of the Labour Party
Succeeded by
James McCombs
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