Joe Walding

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Joseph Albert (Joe) Walding, QSO (18 June 1926 – 5 June 1985) was a New Zealand politician of the Labour Party. He represented the Palmerston North for several terms. After his retirement from Parliament, he became High Commissioner to the United Kingdom, but died within months of taking the post.

Early life[edit]

Walding was born in Christchurch in 1926. He went to school in that city. When he was 15, he joined the New Zealand Merchant Navy and later the British Merchant Navy. The impressions that he gained through the war shaped his outlook on life.[1] He became a carpenter after the war, working in the Wellington area.[1]

He married Eileen Walding (née Paul) of Feilding in 1950. They had six daughters.[1] After the marriage, the couple moved to Palmerston North. Walding joined his mother's catering business, Smith and Walding. Together with his brother Charlie, he developed the company into a successful venture. In 1957, Walding established Prepared Foods Co Ltd, a gourmet food and canning business with an export focus.[1]

Political career[edit]

Parliament of New Zealand
Years Term Electorate Party
1967–1969 35th Palmerston North Labour
1969–1972 36th Palmerston North Labour
1972–1975 37th Palmerston North Labour
1978–1981 39th Palmerston North Labour

Walding was first elected to Palmerston North City Council in 1959; councillors were already elected for three year terms at that time. He was re-elected in 1962 in 1965. Having been elected to Parliament in 1967, he did not stand for the City Council again in 1968.[1]

Following the sudden death of Bill Brown, Walding contested the resulting 1967 by-election against four others: Gordon Cruden (National Party), John O'Brien (Social Credit Party), Goldingham (Progress) and P. J. Wedderspoon (Democratic Labour).[1]

Walding represented the Palmerston North electorate from 1967 to 1975, when he was defeated by John Lithgow, and from 1978 to 1981.[2] Between 1972 and 1974, he was Minister of Overseas Trade, Minister for the Environment, and Minister of Recreation and Sport.[3] Six months prior to the 1981 election, he announced his retirement from Parliament.[1]

In late 1984, he was appointed High Commissioner to the United Kingdom. Three months after starting the position, he died on 5 June 1985 in London.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h Hancock, Mervyn (December 2005). "Joseph Albert Walding : Member of Parliament for Palmerston North 1967–1975 1978–1981" (PDF). Palmerston North Library. Retrieved 25 December 2011. 
  2. ^ Wilson 1985, p. 243.
  3. ^ Wilson 1985, p. 92.


  • 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
Duncan MacIntyre
Minister for the Environment
Succeeded by
Whetu Tirikatene-Sullivan
New Zealand Parliament
Preceded by
Bill Brown
Member of Parliament for Palmerston North
Succeeded by
John Lithgow
Preceded by
John Lithgow
Succeeded by
Trevor de Cleene
Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
Bill Young
High Commissioner of New Zealand to the United Kingdom
Succeeded by
Bryce Harland