Minister of Defence (New Zealand)

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The Minister of Defence is a minister in the government of New Zealand with responsibility for the New Zealand armed forces and the Ministry of Defence.

The present Minister is Jonathan Coleman, a member of the National Party.

History[edit]

Initially, military affairs in New Zealand were controlled by the British colonial authorities, without input from Parliament, and there was no Minister of Defence as such. However, senior military officers did serve as members of the Executive Council. Three such appointments were made: Lieutenant Colonel Robert Wynyard, Major General Thomas Simson Pratt, and Lieutenant General Duncan Alexander Cameron.

In 1863, under the premiership of Alfred Domett, a Minister for Colonial Defence was appointed. Reader Wood, a former militia officer, became the first Minister. This post continued to exist with only brief interruption until Edward Stafford's short-lived premiership of 1872, in which no defence minister was appointed. As a consequence of the land wars, the defence portfolio was considered closely linked to the post of Minister of Native Affairs — on occasion, the latter post was formally titled "Minister of Native Affairs and Defence". It was not until the premiership of Robert Stout in 1884 that a separate Minister of Defence was formally appointed, and not until 1887 that the post was given to someone who was not simultaneously Minister of Native Affairs.

During World War II, the post was supplemented by several others — a Minister of National Service (conscription), a Minister of Supply and Munitions, a Minister in Charge of War Expenditure, and a Minister of Armed Forces and War Co-ordination. All were part of the special War Cabinet, but only the first was a member of the regular domestic Cabinet.

List of Defence Ministers[edit]

Name PM Served Took Office Left Office Party
1 Reader Wood Domett 22 July 1862 30 October 1863 None
2 Harry Atkinson Weld 24 November 1864 16 October 1865 None
3 Theodore Haultain Stafford 31 October 1865 28 June 1869 None
4 Donald McLean Fox 28 June 1869 10 September 1872 None
1872 - 1884: No separate appointments, although John Bryce twice held office as "Minister of Native Affairs and Defence"
5 John Ballance, 1st time Stout 16 July 1884 28 July 1884 None
John Ballance, 2nd time Stout 3 September 1884 8 October 1887 None
6 Thomas Fergus Atkinson 8 October 1884 17 October 1889 None
7 William Russell Atkinson 17 October 1889 24 January 1891 None
8 Richard Seddon, 1st time Ballance, himself 24 January 1891 22 June 1896 Liberal
9 Thomas Thompson Seddon 22 June 1898 23 January 1900 Liberal
Richard Seddon, 2nd time himself 23 January 1900 10 June 1906 Liberal
10 Albert Pitt Hall-Jones, Ward 21 June 1906 18 November 1906 Liberal
11 Joseph Ward himself 23 November 1906 28 March 1912 Liberal
12 Arthur Myers Mackenzie 28 March 1912 10 July 1912 Liberal
13 James Allen Massey 10 July 1912 28 April 1920 Reform
14 Heaton Rhodes Massey, Coates 21 July 1920 18 January 1926 Reform
15 Frank Rolleston Coates 18 January 1926 26 November 1928 Reform
16 William Downie Stewart Coates 28 November 1928 10 December 1928 Reform
17 Thomas Wilford Ward 10 December 1928 10 December 1929 United
18 John Cobbe Ward, Forbes 18 December 1929 6 December 1935 United
19 Fred Jones Savage, Fraser 6 December 1935 13 December 1949 Labour
20 Tom Macdonald Holland, Holyoake 13 December 1949 26 September 1957 National
21 Dean Eyre, 1st time Holyoake 26 September 1957 12 December 1957 National
22 Philip Connolly Nash 12 December 1957 12 December 1960 Labour
Dean Eyre, 2nd time Holyoake 12 December 1960 12 December 1966 National
23 David Thomson, 1st time Holyoake 12 December 1966 9 February 1972 National
24 Allan McCready, 1st time Marshall 9 February 1972 8 December 1972 National
25 Arthur Faulkner Kirk 8 December 1972 10 September 1974 Labour
26 William Fraser Rowling 10 September 1974 12 December 1975 Labour
Allan McCready, 2nd time Muldoon 12 December 1975 13 December 1978 National
27 Frank Gill Muldoon 13 December 1978 21 August 1980 National
David Thomson, 2nd time Muldoon 28 August 1980 26 July 1984 National
28 Frank O'Flynn Lange 26 July 1984 24 July 1987 Labour
29 Bob Tizard Lange, Palmer 24 July 1987 9 February 1990 Labour
30 Peter Tapsell Palmer, Moore 9 February 1990 2 November 1990 Labour
31 Warren Cooper Bolger 2 November 1990 1 March 1996 National
32 Paul East Bolger 1 March 1996 5 December 1997 National
33 Max Bradford Shipley 5 December 1997 5 December 1999 National
34 Mark Burton Clark 5 December 1999 12 October 2005 Labour
35 Phil Goff Clark 12 October 2005 19 November 2008 Labour
36 Wayne Mapp Key 19 November 2008 2011 National
37 Jonathan Coleman Key 2011 Incumbent National

See also[edit]

External links[edit]