New Zealand general election, 1960

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New Zealand general election, 1960
New Zealand
1957 ←
26 November 1960 (1960-11-26) → 1963

All 80 seats in the New Zealand Parliament
41 seats were needed for a majority
Turnout 1,170,503 (89.8%)
  First party Second party
  Keith Holyoake (1960).jpg Walter Nash (ca 1940s).jpg
Leader Keith Holyoake Walter Nash
Party National Labour
Leader since 1957 1951
Leader's seat Pahiatua Hutt
Last election 39 seats, 44.2% 41 seats, 48.3%
Seats won 46 34
Seat change Increase 7 Decrease 7
Popular vote 557,046 508,179
Percentage 47.6% 43.4%
Swing Increase 3.4% Decrease 4.9%

Prime Minister before election

Walter Nash

Elected Prime Minister

Keith Holyoake

The 1960 New Zealand general election was a nationwide vote to determine the shape of the New Zealand Parliament's 33rd term. It saw the governing Labour Party defeated by the National Party, putting an end to the short second Labour government.


The Labour Party had won the 1957 elections by a narrow margin, beginning New Zealand's second period of Labour government. However, the new administration soon lost its narrow lead in public opinion, with its financial policies being the principal cause of dissatisfaction. The so-called "Black Budget", introduced by Arnold Nordmeyer, increased taxes substantially, with particularly large increases for alcohol and tobacco taxes; Labour became widely seen as both miserly and puritanical. The government defended its tax increases as a necessary measure to avert a balance of payments crisis, but the opposition, led by Keith Holyoake, made substantial gains out of the issue.

The election[edit]

The date for the main 1960 elections was 26 November. 1,310,742 people were registered to vote, and turnout was 89.8%. This turnout was slightly lower than what had been recorded in the previous elections. The number of seats being contested was 80, a number which had been fixed since 1902.


The 1960 election saw the governing Labour Party defeated by a twelve-seat margin. It had previously held a two-seat majority. Labour won a total of 34 seats, while the National Party won 46.[1] In the popular vote, Labour won 43.42% to National's 47.59%,[2] becoming the second National government.

The Social Credit Party won 8.62% of the vote, but no seats.[3] Three of their candidates missed the nomination deadline, and the opening address of the party leader P. H. Matthews was not noteworthy.

Three new National members of parliament were called the Young Turks: Peter Gordon, Duncan MacIntyre and Rob Muldoon.[4] The other new National MPs were Esme Tombleson, Bill Brown, Harry Lapwood, Logan Sloane, Bert Walker, and Dan Riddiford.[5]

Election results
Party Total votes Percentage Seats won Change
National 557,046 47.6 46 +7
Labour 508,179 43.4 34 -7
Social Credit 100,905 8.6 - ±0
Communist 2,423 0.2 - ±0
Others 1,950 0.2 - ±0
Total 1,170,503 80

Votes summary[edit]

Popular Vote
Social Credit
Parliament seats

The (incomplete) table below shows the results of the 1960 general election:


 National    Labour    Social Credit  

Electorate results for the New Zealand general election, 1960[6]
Electorate Incumbent Winner Majority Runner up
General electorates
Ashburton Richard Gerard 2,558 G Glassey
Auckland Central Bill Anderton Norman Douglas
Avon John Mathison
Awarua Gordon Grieve
Bay of Plenty Percy Allen
Buller Clarence Skinner
Christchurch Central Robert Macfarlane
Clutha James Roy Peter Gordon
Dunedin Central Philip Connolly
Dunedin North Ethel McMillan
Eden Duncan Rae John Rae
Egmont William Sheat
Fendalton Jack Watts Harry Lake 2,722 Bill Rowling
Franklin Alfred E. Allen
Gisborne Reginald Keeling Esme Tombleson
Grey Lynn Fred Hackett
Hamilton Lance Adams-Schneider 2,583 Basil Arthur
Hastings Edwin Keating Duncan MacIntyre
Hauraki Arthur Kinsella 2,635 A C Tucker
Hawkes Bay Cyril Harker
Heretaunga Phil Holloway Ron Bailey
Hobson Sidney Walter Smith Logan Sloane 1,401 Vernon Cracknell
Hurunui William Gillespie
Hutt Walter Nash
Invercargill Ralph Hanan
Island Bay Arnold Nordmeyer
Karori Jack Marshall
Lyttelton Norman Kirk
Manawatu Blair Tennent
Manukau Leon Götz
Marlborough Tom Shand
Marsden Donald McKay
Miramar Bill Fox
Mornington Walter Hudson
Mount Albert Warren Freer
Napier Jim Edwards
Nelson Stanley Whitehead
New Plymouth Ernest Aderman

North Shore Dean Eyre
Onehunga Hugh Watt
Onslow Henry May
Otago Central John George
Otahuhu James Deas
Otaki James Joseph Maher Allan McCready 2,044 T W Cameron
Pahiatua Keith Holyoake
Palmerston North Philip Skoglund Bill Brown
Patea Roy Jack
Petone Michael Moohan
Piako William Goosman
Ponsonby Ritchie Macdonald
Raglan Douglas Carter
Rangitikei Norman Shelton
Remuera Ronald Algie 6,109 Barry Gustafson
Riccarton Mick Connelly Deena V. Sergel [7]
Rodney Jack Scott 4,157 Phil Amos
Rotorua Ray Boord Harry Lapwood
Selwyn John McAlpine
Roskill Arthur Faulkner
St Albans Neville Pickering Bert Walker 298 Neville Pickering
St Kilda William Fraser
Stratford Thomas Murray
Sydenham Mabel Howard 4,793 Derek Quigley
Tamaki Bob Tizard Robert Muldoon Bob Tizard
Tauranga George Walsh
Timaru Clyde Carr
Waikato Geoffrey Sim
Waipa Hallyburton Johnstone
Wairarapa Bertie Cooksley
Waitakere Rex Mason
Waitaki Thomas Hayman
Waitemata Norman King
Waitomo David Seath
Wallace Brian Talboys
Wellington Central Frank Kitts Dan Riddiford
Westland James Begg Kent Paddy Blanchfield
Whanganui Joseph Cotterill George Spooner
Māori electorates
Eastern Maori Tiaki Omana 3,025 Arnold Reedy[8]
Northern Maori Tapihana Paikea 3,372 G R Harrison
Southern Maori Eruera Tirikatene 3,947 N W Tutaki
Western Maori Iriaka Matiu Ratana 4,666 Pei Te Hurinui Jones

Table footnotes:


  • The New Zealand Gazette "Members of the House of Representatives Elected - General Election" (20 December 1960) issue 84 page 2002.


  1. ^ Wilson 1985, p. 288.
  2. ^ Wilson 1985, p. 290.
  3. ^ Wilson 1985, pp. 288, 290.
  4. ^ "Obituary: Duncan MacIntyre". The New Zealand Herald. 16 June 2001. Retrieved 16 May 2010. 
  5. ^ Gustafson 1986, p. 85.
  6. ^ Norton 1988.
  7. ^ Gustafson 1986, p. 386.
  8. ^ Gustafson 1986, p. 383.


  • Chapman, R M; Jackson, W K; Mitchell, A V (1962). New Zealand Politics in Action: the 1960 General Election. London: Oxford University Press. 
  • Gustafson, Barry (1986). The First 50 Years : A History of the New Zealand National Party. Auckland: Reed Methuen. ISBN 0-474-00177-6. 
  • Norton, Clifford (1988). New Zealand Parliamentary Election Results 1946-1987: Occasional Publications No 1, Department of Political Science. Wellington: Victoria University of Wellington. ISBN 0-475-11200-8. 
  • Wilson, James Oakley (1985) [First ed. published 1913]. New Zealand Parliamentary Record, 1840–1984 (4th ed.). Wellington: V.R. Ward, Govt. Printer. OCLC 154283103.