Leader of the New Zealand Labour Party
|Leader of the Labour Party|
|Inaugural holder||Alfred Hindmarsh|
|Formation||7 July 1916|
|Website||Labour Party profile|
The Leader of the Labour Party is the highest ranked politician within the Labour Party in New Zealand. The officeholder serves as the parliamentary leader and leading spokesperson of the party. Since 1 August 2017, the office has been held by Jacinda Ardern, who is the MP for Mount Albert.
The post of Leader of the Labour Party was officially created upon the party's inception in 1916, though the title "Leader" was often substituted and/or complimented with the title "Chairman". In 1935, Michael Joseph Savage became the first ever Labour Prime Minister, following a landslide victory. In 1963, Arnold Nordmeyer became the first Leader of the Labour Party to have been born in New Zealand. Prior to this, three Leaders had been born in Australia and one each in England and Scotland. The most electorally successful Labour Leader to date is Helen Clark, who won three elections in 1999, 2002 and 2005. Clark is also the Labour Party's longest-serving leader, having served for 14 years, 346 days between 1993 and 2008. Peter Fraser is the longest-serving Labour Prime Minister, serving 9 years, 261 days between 1940 and 1949.
A new leader is elected whenever a vacancy arises, whether due to resignation, incapacitation, or following a motion of no confidence by the parliamentary caucus. A shortlist of candidates is nominated from within the caucus. When the position is contested, the Leader is elected in a vote split among the party's caucus, party members and party affiliates (unions) in a 40/40/20 split respectively. Prior to 2013, the Leader was elected solely by the caucus (this practice remains for the Deputy Leadership). No later than three months following a general election, there must be a caucus vote to endorse the Leader; if the Leader fails to receive endorsement then an election is triggered.
When the Labour Party forms the Parliamentary Opposition, the Leader of the Party usually acts as the Leader of the Opposition, and chairs a Shadow Cabinet. Concordantly, when the party is in Government, as it currently is, the Leader generally becomes the Prime Minister of New Zealand.
Unique to Labour, the party's caucus possesses the right to elect MPs to Cabinet, rather than the Leader choosing them. The practice began following the 1940 leadership election. Michael Joseph Savage was the only leader to solely appoint his own cabinet following the election victories in 1935 and 1938.
List of leaders
The following is a complete list of Labour Party leaders (including Acting Leaders):
|Portrait||Electorate||Term Began||Term Ended||Time in Office||Position||Prime Minister|
|Wellington South||7 July 1916||13 November 1918†||2 years, 4 months and 6 days||—||Massey|
|27 August 1919||8 October 1933†||14 years, 1 month and 11 days||—|
|Junior coalition partner
|3||Michael Joseph Savage
|Auckland West||12 October 1933||27 March 1940†||6 years, 5 months and 15 days||LO 1933–1935|
|Wellington Central (1918–46)
|1 April 1940||12 December 1950†||10 years, 8 months and 11 days||PM 1940–1949||Fraser|
|Hutt||17 January 1951||31 March 1963||12 years, 2 months and 14 days||LO 1951–1957|
|Island Bay||1 April 1963||16 December 1965||2 years, 8 months and 15 days||LO 1963–1965|
|16 December 1965||31 August 1974†||8 years, 8 months and 15 days||LO 1965–1972|
|-||Hugh Watt(note 1)
|Onehunga||31 August 1974||6 September 1974||7 days||PM 1974||Watt|
|Tasman||6 September 1974||3 February 1983||8 years, 4 months and 28 days||PM 1974–1975||Rowling|
|Mangere||3 February 1983||8 August 1989||6 years, 6 months and 5 days||LO 1983–1984|
|Christchurch Central||8 August 1989||4 September 1990||1 year and 27 days||PM 1989–1990||Palmer|
|Christchurch North||4 September 1990||1 December 1993||3 years, 2 months and 27 days||PM 1990||Moore|
|Mount Albert||1 December 1993||19 November 2008||14 years, 11 months and 18 days||LO 1993–1999|
|Mount Roskill||19 November 2008||13 December 2011||3 years and 24 days||LO 2008–2011||Key|
|Mount Albert||13 December 2011||15 September 2013||1 year, 9 months and 2 days||LO 2011–2013|
|New Lynn||15 September 2013||30 September 2014||1 year and 15 days||LO 2013–2014|
|-||David Parker(note 1)
|List MP||30 September 2014||18 November 2014||1 month and 19 days||LO 2014|
|List MP||18 November 2014||1 August 2017||2 years, 8 months and 14 days||LO 2014–2017|
|Mount Albert||1 August 2017||Incumbent||1 year, 46 days||LO 2017|
note 1: Deputy leaders who assumed the role of party leader temporarily because of the death or resignation of the incumbent, serving until the election of a new leader.
- Trevett, Claire (1 August 2017). "Jacinda Ardern elected as new Labour leader". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 1 August 2017.
- Audrey Young (12 February 2008). "Clark beats record of longest-serving Labour leader – probably". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 12 February 2008.
- "Constitution and Rules" (PDF). New Zealand Labour Party. 2016. p. 92. Retrieved 6 May 2018.
- "Date confirmed for new Labour leader". The New Zealand Herald. APN News & Media. 23 August 2013. Retrieved 25 August 2013.
- Beaglehole, Tim. "Fraser, Peter". Dictionary of New Zealand Biography. Ministry for Culture and Heritage. Retrieved 11 December 2011.