Don McKay (politician)

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Sir Don McKay
Don McKay.jpg
20th Minister of Health
In office
24 January 1962 – 9 February 1972
Prime MinisterKeith Holyoake
Preceded byNorman Shelton
Succeeded byLance Adams-Schneider
11th Minister of Social Security
In office
24 January 1962 – 9 February 1972
Prime MinisterKeith Holyoake
Preceded byNorman Shelton
Succeeded byLance Adams-Schneider
Member of the New Zealand Parliament
for Marsden
In office
13 November 1954 – 25 November 1972
Preceded byAlfred Murdoch
Succeeded byConstituency abolished
Personal details
Born28 November 1908
Waipu, New Zealand
Died30 March 1988 (aged 79)
Waipu, New Zealand
Political partyNational
Spouse(s)Miriam Hilda Stehr
Children3

Sir Donald Norman McKay KCMG (28 November 1908 – 30 March 1988) was a New Zealand politician of the National Party. He was Minister of Health and Minister of Social Security in the Second National Government.

Biography[edit]

Early life and career[edit]

McKay was born in 1908 in Waipu.[1] He received his education from Whangarei Boys' High School and the University of Auckland. At Whangarei Boys' High School he was head prefect, captain of the first XI cricket team and captain of the first XV rugby team. Another student at the same school was future parliamentary colleague Jack Marshall who described McKay as his schoolboy hero.[2] He then became a farmer in Waipu.[1] He married Miriam Hilda Stehr in 1934 with whom he had 3 children.[citation needed]

Member of Parliament[edit]

New Zealand Parliament
Years Term Electorate Party
1954–1957 31st Marsden National
1957–1960 32nd Marsden National
1960–1963 33rd Marsden National
1963–1966 34th Marsden National
1966–1969 35th Marsden National
1969–1972 36th Marsden National

McKay joined the National Party and became the chairman of the Marsden electorate committee. In early 1954 the 77 year-old MP for Marsden Alfred Murdoch was challenged for the National nomination by William Rodney Lewin Vallance, the deputy mayor of Whangarei. Vallance won a postal ballot of members, an outcome which split the Marsden National Party membership into two opposing factions. After it emerged that Vallance was in trouble with his taxes he was in turn deselected and replaced by McKay. Vallance ran as an independent candidate and split the vote, almost costing National the seat.[3]

He represented the Marsden electorate in the Northland region from 1954, and he retired in 1972.[4] He was Minister of Health and Minister of Social Security in the Second National Government from 1962 to 1972 under Keith Holyoake.[5]

Following National's victory in 1960, Deputy Prime Minister Jack Marshall was unable to convince Keith Holyoake to include McKay in the cabinet. Holyoake thought that McKay had not sufficiently proved himself in the house, but later appointed him following a mid-term vacancy based on Marshall's endorsement.[2]

Later life and death[edit]

After retiring from Parliament he was elected a member of the Northland Harbour Board and served one term as its chairman.[1]

McKay was appointed a Knight Commander of the Order of St Michael and St George, for public services, in the 1978 Queen's Birthday Honours,[6] and died in 1988.

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Gustafson 1986, p. 329.
  2. ^ a b Marshall 1989, p. 6.
  3. ^ Gustafson 1986, p. 235.
  4. ^ Wilson 1985, p. 215.
  5. ^ Wilson 1985, p. 90.
  6. ^ "No. 47551". The London Gazette (3rd supplement). 3 June 1978. p. 6269.

References[edit]

  • Gustafson, Barry (1986). The First 50 Years : A History of the New Zealand National Party. Auckland: Reed Methuen. ISBN 0-474-00177-6.
  • Marshall, Jack (1989). John Marshall Memoirs Volume Two: 1960-1988. Auckland: Collins. ISBN 1-86950-003-2.
  • Wilson, James Oakley (1985) [First ed. published 1913]. New Zealand parliamentary record, 1840–1984 (4 ed.). Wellington: V.R. Ward, Govt. Printer. OCLC 154283103.
Political offices
Preceded by Minister of Health
1962–1972
Succeeded by
Minister of Social Security
1962–1972
New Zealand Parliament
Preceded by Member of Parliament for Marsden
1954–1972
Constituency abolished