New Zealand general election, 1963

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New Zealand general election, 1963
New Zealand
1960 ←
30 November 1963 (1963-11-30)
→ 1966

All 80 seats in the New Zealand Parliament
41 seats were needed for a majority
Turnout 1,196,631 (89.6%)
  First party Second party
  Keith Holyoake (1960).jpg Arnold Nordmeyer (1950).jpg
Leader Keith Holyoake Arnold Nordmeyer
Party National Labour
Leader since 1957 1963
Leader's seat Pahiatua Island Bay
Last election 46 seats, 47.6% 34 seats, 43.4%
Seats won 45 35
Seat change Decrease 1 Increase 1
Popular vote 563,875 524,066
Percentage 47.1% 43.7%
Swing Decrease 0.5% Increase 0.6%

Prime Minister before election

Keith Holyoake

Elected Prime Minister

Keith Holyoake

The 1963 New Zealand general election was a nationwide vote to determine the shape of New Zealand Parliament's 34th term. The results were almost identical to those of the previous election, and the governing National Party remained in office.


The 1960 election had been won by the National Party, beginning New Zealand's second period of National government. Keith Holyoake, who had briefly been Prime Minister at the end of the first period, returned to office. The elderly leader of the Labour Party, Walter Nash, had agreed to step down following his government's defeat, but disliked the prospect of being succeeded by his Minister of Finance, Arnold Nordmeyer. Nash instead backed first Clarence (Gerry) Skinner and then, after Skinner's death, Fred Hackett. In the end, however, Nordmeyer was victorious. Nordmeyer, however, was unpopular with the general public, being remembered with hostility for the tax hikes in his so-called 'Black Budget'. Labour struggled to overcome this negative perception of its leader, and was only partially successful.

The election[edit]

The date for the main 1963 elections was 30 November. 1,345,836 people were registered to vote, and turnout was 89.6%. This turnout was around average for the time. The number of seats being contested was 80, a number which had been fixed since 1902.

The following new (or reconstituted) electorates were introduced in 1963: Manurewa, New Lynn, Pakuranga, Porirua, Rangiora, Taupo and Waimarino.[1]


The 1963 election saw the governing National Party retain office by a ten-seat margin. It had previously held office by a twelve-seat margin. National won a total of forty-five seats, while the Labour Party won thirty-five. In the popular vote, National won 47.1% to Labour's 43.7%. The Social Credit Party won 7.9% of the vote, but no seats. Four of their candidates also missed the nomination deadline.

Party Leader Votes Percentage Seats won change
National Keith Holyoake 563,875 47.1% 45 -1
Labour Arnold Nordmeyer 524,066 43.7% 35 +1
Social Credit Vernon Cracknell 95,176 7.9% 0
Liberal Party 10,339 0.9% 0
Communist 3,167 0.3% 0
Others (including independents) 1,422 0.1 0
National re-elected 1,196,631 100% 80

The table below shows the results of the 1963 general election:


 National    Labour    Social Credit  

Electorate results for the New Zealand general election, 1963[2]
Electorate Incumbent Winner Majority Runner up
General electorates
Ashburton Richard Gerard 3,419 G Glassey (Labour)
Auckland Central Norman Douglas (N/A)
Avon John Mathison (N/A)
Awarua Gordon Grieve (N/A)
Bay of Plenty Percy Allen (N/A)
Buller Bill Rowling (N/A)
Christchurch Central Robert Macfarlane (N/A)
Clutha Peter Gordon (N/A)
Dunedin Central Philip Connolly Brian MacDonell (N/A)
Dunedin North Ethel McMillan (N/A)
Eden John Rae (N/A)
Egmont William Sheat (N/A)
Fendalton Harry Lake (N/A)
Franklin Alfred E. Allen (N/A)
Gisborne Esme Tombleson (N/A)
Grey Lynn Reginald Keeling Ritchie Macdonald (N/A)
Hamilton Lance Adams-Schneider (N/A)
Hastings Duncan MacIntyre (N/A)
Hauraki Arthur Kinsella 2,873 G L Broad (Labour)
Hawkes Bay Cyril Harker Richard Harrison (N/A)
Heretaunga Ron Bailey (N/A)
Hobson Logan Sloane 31 Vernon Cracknell (Social Credit)
Hutt Walter Nash (N/A)
Invercargill Ralph Hanan (N/A)
Island Bay Arnold Nordmeyer (N/A)
Karori Jack Marshall (N/A)
Lyttelton Norman Kirk (N/A)
Manawatu Blair Tennent (N/A)
Manukau Leon Götz Colin Moyle (N/A)
Manurewa (new electorate) Phil Amos Leon Götz
Marlborough Tom Shand (Labour)
Marsden Donald McKay (N/A)
Miramar Bill Fox (N/A)
Mt Albert Warren Freer (N/A)
Napier Jim Edwards (N/A)
Nelson Stanley Whitehead (N/A)
New Lynn (new electorate) Rex Mason
New Plymouth Ernest Aderman (N/A)
North Shore Dean Eyre (N/A)
Onehunga Hugh Watt (N/A)
Otago Central John George (N/A)
Otaki Allan McCready 3,014 G N McDonald (Labour)
Pahiatua Keith Holyoake (N/A)
Pakuranga (new electorate) Bob Tizard 2,015 R M Neville-White
Palmerston North Bill Brown (N/A)
Petone Michael Moohan (N/A)
Piako William Goosman Geoffrey Sim (N/A)
Porirua (new electorate) Henry May
Raglan Douglas Carter (N/A)
Rangiora (new electorate) Herbert Pickering
Rangitikei Norman Shelton (N/A)
Remuera Ronald Algie (N/A)
Riccarton Mick Connelly (N/A)
Rodney Jack Scott (N/A)
Roskill Arthur Faulkner (N/A)
Rotorua Harry Lapwood (N/A)
Selwyn John McAlpine (N/A)
St Albans Bert Walker (N/A)
St Kilda William Fraser (N/A)
Stratford Thomas Murray David Thomson (N/A)
Sydenham Mabel Howard 5,399 Derek Quigley (National)
Tamaki Robert Muldoon (N/A)
Taupo (new electorate) Rona Stevenson 275 A J Ingram
Tauranga George Walsh (N/A)
Timaru Basil Arthur (N/A)
Waimarino (new electorate) Roy Jack
Waipa Hallyburton Johnstone Leslie Munro (N/A)
Wairarapa Bertie Cooksley Haddon Donald 501 Jack Williams (Labour)
Waitaki Allan Dick (N/A)
Waitakere Rex Mason Martyn Finlay (N/A)
Waitemata Norman King (National)
Waitomo David Seath (N/A)
Wallace Brian Talboys (N/A)
Wanganui George Spooner (N/A)
Wellington Central Dan Riddiford (N/A)
Westland Paddy Blanchfield (N/A)
Māori electorates
Eastern Maori Tiaki Omana 2,566 H T Reedy (National)
Northern Maori Matiu Rata 2,123 James Henare (National)
Southern Maori Eruera Tirikatene 4,978 Ben Couch (National)
Western Maori Iriaka Matiu Ratana 5,096 Pei Te Hurinui Jones (National)

Table footnotes:


  1. ^ Norton 1988, pp. 7,8,9.
  2. ^ Norton 1988, pp. ?.
  • 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 published in 1913]. New Zealand Parliamentary Record, 1840–1984 (4th ed.). Wellington: V.R. Ward, Govt. Printer. OCLC 154283103.