Walter Carncross

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The Honourable
Walter Carncross
15th Speaker of the Legislative Council
In office
Preceded by Charles John Johnston
Succeeded by Mark Fagan
Personal details
Born 1855
Died 1940
Political party Liberal Party

Sir Walter Charles Frederick Carncross (1855 – 30 June 1940) was a New Zealand politician of the Liberal Party. He was a newspaper proprieter (Taieri Advocate & Eltham Argus).[1]


Parliament of New Zealand
Years Term Electorate Party
1890–1893 11th Taieri Liberal
1893–1896 12th Taieri Liberal
1896–1899 13th Taieri Liberal
1899–1902 14th Taieri Liberal

Carncross was born in Bendigo, Victoria, in 1855. He came to Dunedin with his parents when he was seven years old.

He married a daughter of R. Johnston in 1883.[2]

He represented the Taieri electorate from 1890 to 1902, when he retired.[3] He was opposed to women's suffrage and in 1891 deliberately moved an amendment that was intended to make the bill fail in the Legislative Council. His amendment was for women to become eligible to be voted into the House of Representatives. This infuriated the suffragette Catherine Fulton, who organised a protest at the 1893 election.[4]

He was appointed to the Legislative Council on 18 March 1903 by the Liberal Government, and at the expiry of his seven-year terms, he was reappointed five times; on 18 March 1910, on 17 March 1917 & 17 March 1924 by the Reform Government; 17 March 1931 by the United Government; and 16 March 1938 by the First Labour Government. His district was Taranaki, and then Eltham from 1917.

He served on the Council until his death.[5] He was elected Chairman of Committees on 6 July 1910 and served in this role until 1 November 1918,[6] when he became Speaker, succeeding the deceased Charles John Johnston. He remained Speaker until 18 July 1939, when he was succeeded by Labour's Mark Fagan during the time of the First Labour Government.[7]

Carncross was knighted in 1922.[7] In 1935, he was awarded the King George V Silver Jubilee Medal.[8] He died on 30 June 1940.[5]


  1. ^ The New Zealand Liberals: The Years of Power 1891-1912 p362 by David Hamer (1988, Auckland University Press) ISBN 1-86940-014-3
  2. ^ Cyclopedia Company Limited (1908). "Present Members Of The Legislative Council". The Cyclopedia of New Zealand : Taranaki, Hawke’s Bay & Wellington Provincial Districts. Christchurch: The Cyclopedia of New Zealand. Retrieved 30 July 2012. 
  3. ^ Wilson 1985, p. 188.
  4. ^ Entwisle, Rosemary. "Fulton, Catherine Henrietta Elliot - Biography". Dictionary of New Zealand Biography. Ministry for Culture and Heritage. Retrieved 29 July 2012. 
  5. ^ a b Wilson 1985, p. 151.
  6. ^ Wilson 1985, p. 169.
  7. ^ a b Wilson 1985, p. 168.
  8. ^ "Official jubilee medals". The Evening Post. 6 May 1935. p. 4. Retrieved 2 July 2013. 


  • Wilson, James Oakley (1985) [First ed. published 1913]. New Zealand Parliamentary Record, 1840–1984 (4th ed.). Wellington: V.R. Ward, Govt. Printer. OCLC 154283103. 
New Zealand Parliament
Preceded by
James Fulton
Member of Parliament for Taieri
Succeeded by
Donald Reid
Political offices
Preceded by
Richard Reeves
Chairman of Committees of the Legislative Council
Succeeded by
Oliver Samuel
Preceded by
Charles John Johnston
Speaker of the New Zealand Legislative Council
Succeeded by
Mark Fagan