Langstone was born in Bulls in 1881. 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. He was involved with setting up the left-wing Maoriland Worker in 1910.
|Parliament of New Zealand|
Langstone first contested the Waimarino electorate in the 1919 election, but was beaten by the incumbent, Robert William Smith of the Liberal Party. 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. He then held the Roskill electorate from 1946 to 1949. He was Minister of Lands (1935–1942), Commissioner of State Forests (1935–1942), Minister of External Affairs (1940–1942), Native Minister (1940–1942), and Minister for the Cook Islands (1940–1942). In 1942 he became High Commissioner to Canada. Langstone was President of the New Zealand Labour Party from 1933 to 1934. In 1935, he was awarded the King George V Silver Jubilee Medal.
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.
In 1949 Langstone resigned from the Labour Party over the issue of peacetime conscription. Later that year he stood in the Roskill electorate as an Independent but was defeated. In 1957 and 1960 he stood for Social Credit in Roskill.
Langstone died in 1969.
- 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)
- Gustafson 1980, p. 159.
- Hobbs 1967, pp. 126,127.
- The New Zealand Official Year-Book. Government Printer. 1920. Retrieved 2 August 2013.
- "The Polling". Otago Daily Times (17811). 18 December 1919. p. 6. Retrieved 15 November 2013.
- Wilson 1985, p. 211.
- New Zealand Parliamentary Debates, Vol. 260-261 (1940-1942).
- Wilson 1985, pp. 82f.
- "Official jubilee medals". The Evening Post. 6 May 1935. p. 4. Retrieved 15 November 2013.
- Gustafson, Barry (1980). Labour's path to political independence: The Origins and Establishment of the New Zealand Labour Party, 1900–19. Auckland, New Zealand: Auckland University Press. ISBN 0-19-647986-X.
- Wilson, James Oakley (1985) [First published in 1913]. New Zealand Parliamentary Record, 1840–1984 (4th ed.). Wellington: V.R. Ward, Govt. Printer. OCLC 154283103.
|New Zealand Parliament|
Robert William Smith
|Member of Parliament for Waimarino
Robert William Smith
Arthur Shapton Richards
|Member of Parliament for Roskill
|Party political offices|
|President of the Labour Party