P. H. Matthews

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Pressly Hemingway Matthews (21 February 1903 – 25 September 1967) was a New Zealand politician and the second leader (1960–1963) of New Zealand's Social Credit Party.

He became leader in 1960 for the 1960 general election but the campaign opening was a disaster as he altered his address just before the opening meeting, and three candidates missed the nomination deadline. He was replaced by Vernon Cracknell in 1963. Zavos describes Mr Presley (sic) Mattthews as an obscure (even to Social Crediters) leader.

Matthews had been a broadcasting technician and unionist in Auckland; he was first president (1934) of the Radio Workers Union and worker’s representative on the Arbitration Court. He was also a local activist in Orakei, and had been in the Labour Party for many years until he resigned in 1939.

About 1951 he moved to Takaka to farm, and formed a branch of Social Credit. He died in Takaka in 1967, aged 64.


  • Who’s Who in New Zealand (7th edition, 1961)
  • Crusade: Social Credit’s drive for power by Spiro Zavos, page 81 (1981, INL Print, Lower Hutt) ISBN 0-86464-025-0
  • Buller electoral roll 1957: Matthews, Pressly Hemingway, Central Takaka, company director.