Bob Bell (politician)

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Robert Linfield Bell (23 August 1929 – 16 November 2011) was a New Zealand politician of the National Party. He had a farming background and represented the Gisborne electorate in Parliament from 1975 until his defeat in 1984.

Early life[edit]

Bell was born in Blenheim in 1929. His father was Alex Linfield Bell.[1] He received his education at Christchurch Boys' High School, Horowhenua College, and Feilding Agricultural High School. He graduated from Lincoln College in 1951 with a diploma in valuation and farm management.[1][2] In 1954, he married Anne Wilkinson, the daughter of John Arthur Wilkinson, and they were to have two daughters and one son.[1]

Professional life and community involvement[edit]

He was a farm appraiser for six years, followed by seven years as the GisborneEast Coast representative of London Wood Brokers (NZ) Ltd. For ten years after that, he was a farm management consultant and valuer. Bell was a director of Gisborne Holdings Ltd.[1]

Bell was a counsellor for the Gisborne Budgetary Advisory Service, a committee member of the Poverty Bay A & P Association, and a director of the YMCA in Gisborne.[1]

Political career[edit]

New Zealand Parliament
Years Term Electorate Party
1975–1978 38th Gisborne National
1978–1981 39th Gisborne National
1981–1984 40th Gisborne National

Bell joined the National Party in 1958, and was chair of the Kaiti branch from 1962 to 1978.[2] He represented the Gisborne electorate in Parliament from 1975 to 1984,[3] when he was defeated by Allan Wallbank.[4] Bell was part of the small group of National MPs that stopped Robert Muldoon driving home drunk on the night that he had called the 1984 snap election.[5]


Bell died on 16 November 2011 in Tauranga, aged 82.[6][7]


  1. ^ a b c d e Traue, James Edward (1978). Who's Who in New Zealand, 1978 (11th ed.). Wellington: Reed Publishing. p. 47. 
  2. ^ a b Gustafson 1986, p. 299.
  3. ^ Wilson 1985, p. 183.
  4. ^ Wilson 1985, p. 243.
  5. ^ Young, Audrey (30 June 2000). "Tyre let down so drunk PM could not drive car". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 14 May 2017. 
  6. ^ "Bell, Robert (Bob) Linfield". Sunlive. 23 November 2012. Retrieved 5 October 2012. 
  7. ^ "Obituaries — Allan Frederick Peachey, Robert Linfield Bell, Manu Alamein Kopu". New Zealand Parliament. Retrieved 5 October 2012. 


  • Gustafson, Barry (1986). The First 50 Years : A History of the New Zealand National Party. Auckland: Reed Methuen. ISBN 0-474-00177-6. 
  • 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
Trevor Davey
Member of Parliament for Gisborne
Succeeded by
Allan Wallbank