Gerald O'Brien

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John Gerald O’Brien (born 2 December 1924), known as Gerald O'Brien, is a former New Zealand politician of the Labour Party.


Parliament of New Zealand
Years Term Electorate Party
1969–1972 36th Island Bay Labour
1972–1975 37th Island Bay Labour
1975–1978 38th Island Bay Labour

O'Brien was born in Wellington and was in the RNZAF from 1943 to 1946.[citation needed]

In 1950 he was a Wellington City councillor, and suggested to Frank Kitts that he should stand on behalf of Labour for the mayor and council; Kitts was the highest-polling councillor, although he did not win the mayoralty until 1956.[1]

He represented the Island Bay electorate from 1969 to 1978. In 1974 O’Brien as party vice-president was on the panel to choose the successor to Norman Kirk in the Sydenham electorate. Initially the three electorate representatives wanted John Kirk and the three head office nominees wanted the party secretary John Wybrow. O'Brien switched his vote to John Kirk, who got the nod.[2]

In 1978 he was defeated as an independent candidate.[3] He was deselected for the seat by Labour after having court charges thrown out at a depositions hearing. In 1978, he ran against the official Labour candidate, Frank O'Flynn. He received some 3,700 votes at O'Flynn's expense, almost costing O'Flynn what had always been a Labour bastion.

In the 1981 election, the Social Credit Party invited him to stand for his old Island Bay electorate, but he declined.


  1. ^ Wellington:Biography of a city by Redmer Yska (Reed, Auckland, 2006) pages 168-169 ISBN 0-7900-1117-4
  2. ^ Grant, David (2014). The Mighty Totara: The life and times of Norman Kirk (p420). Auckland: Random House. ISBN 9781775535799. 
  3. ^ Wilson, James Oakley (1985) [First ed. published 1913]. New Zealand parliamentary record, 1840–1984 (4 ed.). Wellington: V.R. Ward, Govt. Printer. p. 223. OCLC 154283103. 
  • Rowling: the Man and the Myth by John Henderson (1981, Australia and New Zealand Books, Auckland) for details on O'Brien p. 167-The O'Brien Affair