Arthur Shapton Richards

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Arthur Shapton Richards
Arthur Shapton Richards 1935.png
Member of the New Zealand Parliament
for Roskill
In office
2 December 1931 – 27 November 1946
Preceded byGeorge Munns
Succeeded byFrank Langstone
Member of the New Zealand Parliament
for Mount Albert
In office
27 November 1946 – 5 August 1947
Succeeded byWarren Freer
Personal details
Reading, Berkshire, England
Died5 August 1947
New Zealand
Political partyLabour
Spouse(s)Elizabeth Warneford

Arthur Shapton Richards (1877 – 5 August 1947) was a New Zealand politician of the Labour Party.


Early life[edit]

He was born in Reading, Berkshire, England and came to New Zealand in 1894, first at Gisborne and then Poverty Bay where he worked on sheep farms. In 1903 he married Elizabeth Warneford. He briefly moved to Wanganui in 1908 where he founded Wanganui Branch of New Zealand Socialist Party before returning to Gisborne where he became President of East Coast Trades Council and was also Secretary of Gisborne Hotel Workers' Union from 1911 to 1917. He was Gisborne Drivers' Union delegate to the 1913 Unity Congress. In 1922 he moved to Auckland.[1]

Political career[edit]

New Zealand Parliament
Years Term Electorate Party
1931–1935 24th Roskill Labour
1935–1938 25th Roskill Labour
1938–1943 26th Roskill Labour
1943–1946 27th Roskill Labour
1946–1947 28th Mount Albert Labour

Richards unsuccessfully stood for the Auckland City Council on a Labour ticket in the 1923 local elections.[2]

He stood unsuccessfully in the Hamilton electorate in 1922, Marsden in 1925,[3] and Roskill in 1928.[4] He contested Roskill again at the subsequent general election in 1931 and this time, he was successful. He held Roskill until 1946, when he successfully transferred to the "safe" (for Labour) Mount Albert electorate in the 1946 general election.

Following an electoral redistribution the Roskill electorate remained, but 75% of its area became the new Mount Albert electorate. Consequently Richards thought that Mount Albert would be the more suitable electorate for him to represent. He won selection over Martyn Finlay, Tom Skinner and Frank Langstone (Langstone would in turn replace Richards in Roskill).[5] He died in office on 5 August 1947.[6] His death caused the 1947 by-election, which was won by Warren Freer.[7]

He was the senior Government whip from 1942 until his death, and was succeeded in that position by his deputy, Robert Macfarlane.[8]

He was awarded the King George V Silver Jubilee Medal in 1935.[9]


  1. ^ Gustafson 1986, p. 295.
  2. ^ "Electoral". LX (18387). The New Zealand Herald. 1 May 1923. p. 4. Retrieved 12 September 2018.
  3. ^ The General Election, 1925. Government Printer. 1926. p. 1. Retrieved 20 November 2014.
  4. ^ "The Next Parliament". The New Zealand Herald. LXVIII (21046). 3 December 1931. p. 11. Retrieved 25 December 2014.
  5. ^ Verran, David (2004). "Bank Nationalisation and Conscription, 1944 -1949". Retrieved 17 August 2019.
  6. ^ Wilson 1985, p. 230.
  7. ^ Wilson 1985, p. 198.
  8. ^ Wilson 1985, pp. 280–281.
  9. ^ "Official jubilee medals". The Evening Post. CXIX (105). 6 May 1935. p. 4. Retrieved 4 June 2014.


New Zealand Parliament
Preceded by
George Munns
Member of Parliament for Roskill
Succeeded by
Frank Langstone
New constituency Member of Parliament for Mount Albert
Succeeded by
Warren Freer
Party political offices
Preceded by
James O'Brien
Senior Whip of the Labour Party
Succeeded by
Robert Macfarlane