Frank Langstone

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The Honourable
Frank Langstone
Frank Langstone.jpg
25th Minister of Native Affairs
In office
1 April 1940 – 21 December 1942
Prime Minister Peter Fraser
Preceded by Michael Joseph Savage
Succeeded by Rex Mason
11th President of the Labour Party
In office
Vice President Clyde Carr
Leader Michael Joseph Savage
Preceded by Rex Mason
Succeeded by Tim Armstrong
Personal details
Born 1881
Bulls, New Zealand
Died (aged 88)
New Zealand
Political party Labour (1916–1949)
Other political
Social Credit (1957-1969)

Frank Langstone (1881 – 15 June 1969) was a New Zealand Member of Parliament, Cabinet Minister and High Commissioner to Canada.

Early life[edit]

Langstone was born in Bulls in 1881.[1] He was a shearer and was involved in the Shearers' Union in the King Country. Later, he was the proprietor of a railway restaurant in Taumarunui, and a fish-and-chip shop.[2][1] He was involved with setting up the left-wing Maoriland Worker in 1910.

Political career[edit]

Parliament of New Zealand
Years Term Electorate Party
1922–1925 21st Waimarino Labour
1928–1931 23rd Waimarino Labour
1931–1935 24th Waimarino Labour
1935–1938 25th Waimarino Labour
1938–1943 26th Waimarino Labour
1943–1946 27th Waimarino Labour
1946–1949 28th Roskill Labour

Langstone first contested the Waimarino electorate in the 1919 election, but was beaten by the incumbent, Robert William Smith of the Liberal Party.[3][4] Langstone and Smith contested Waimarino at the 1922 election and this time, Langstone was successful. He held the electorate until 1925 and again from 1928 to 1946.[5] He then held the Roskill electorate from 1946 to 1949.[5] He was Minister of Lands (1935–1942), Commissioner of State Forests (1935–1942), Minister of External Affairs (1940–1942),[6] Native Minister (1940–1942), and Minister for the Cook Islands (1940–1942).[7] In 1942 he became High Commissioner to Canada.[1] Langstone was President of the New Zealand Labour Party from 1933 to 1934.[1] In 1935, he was awarded the King George V Silver Jubilee Medal.[8]

He was described as "a cheerful, shortish extrovert with a better brain than most people thought he had". As he was deaf, he was allowed to listen to debates in the chamber on a small radio with headphones. When a dull back-bencher was on, he was known to tune into livelier commercial stations, when he would beat time to the music with his hands.[2]

In 1949 Langstone resigned from the Labour Party over the issue of peacetime conscription.[1] Later that year he stood in the Roskill electorate as an Independent but was defeated; coming third with 1097 votes after Rae (National, 7372 votes) and Freeman (Labour, 5957 votes). In 1957 and 1960 he stood for Social Credit in Roskill.[1]


Langstone died on 15 June 1969, and his ashes were buried at Purewa Cemetery, Auckland.[9]

Further reading[edit]

  • Hobbs, Leslie (1967). The Thirty-Year Wonders. Christchurch: Whitcombe and Tombs. 
  • The 1949 General Election by S.E. Fraser (1967, MA Thesis-University of Otago, Dunedin)
  • The Last Years of the First Labour Government 1945-1949 by R. McLennan (1963, MA Thesis-University of Auckland, Auckland)
  • The Expulsion of John A. Lee and its Effects on the Development of the Labour Party by B.S. Taylor (1970, MA Thesis-University of Canterbury, Christchurch)


  1. ^ a b c d e f Gustafson 1980, p. 159.
  2. ^ a b Hobbs 1967, pp. 126,127.
  3. ^ The New Zealand Official Year-Book. Government Printer. 1920. Retrieved 2 August 2013. 
  4. ^ "The Polling". Otago Daily Times (17811). 18 December 1919. p. 6. Retrieved 15 November 2013. 
  5. ^ a b Wilson 1985, p. 211.
  6. ^ New Zealand Parliamentary Debates, Vol. 260-261 (1940-1942).
  7. ^ Wilson 1985, pp. 82f.
  8. ^ "Official jubilee medals". The Evening Post. 6 May 1935. p. 4. Retrieved 15 November 2013. 
  9. ^ "Burial & cremation details". Purewa Cemetery and Crematorium. Retrieved 3 April 2016. 


New Zealand Parliament
Preceded by
Robert William Smith
Member of Parliament for Waimarino
Succeeded by
Robert William Smith
Succeeded by
Paddy Kearins
Preceded by
Arthur Shapton Richards
Member of Parliament for Roskill
Succeeded by
John Rae
Party political offices
Preceded by
Bill Jordan
President of the Labour Party
Succeeded by
Tim Armstrong