Mark Fagan

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The Honourable
Mark Fagan
Mark Anthony Fagan.jpg
16th Speaker of the Legislative Council
In office
18 July 1939 – 31 December 1947
Preceded by Walter Carncross
Succeeded by Bernard Martin
Personal details
Born (1873-11-17)17 November 1873
Gaffneys Creek, Victoria, Australia
Died 31 December 1947(1947-12-31) (aged 74)
Petone, New Zealand
Political party Labour
Spouse(s) Monica Fagan
Children 3

Mark Anthony Fagan (17 November 1873 – 31 December 1947) was a New Zealand politician of the Labour Party and a union secretary. He was Speaker of the Legislative Council from 1939 until his death.


Early life[edit]

Fagan was born at Gaffneys Creek, Victoria, Australia in 1873, and went to school in Waratah, Tasmania until he was 10. He then worked in various Australian towns as a miner. By the time he came to New Zealand about 1900, he had split from his first wife. In the West Coast mining community he was the "voice of thoughtful militancy in the 'Red' federation" of Labour.[1] His second marriage was to Monica McKittrick (née Gardiner), a widow with three children whom he married on 10 September 1917 in Christchurch.[1]

Political career[edit]

Fagan as Speaker of the Legislative Council.

Fagan was expected by many to stand in the 1918 Grey by-election after the sitting member, Paddy Webb, was jailed for his vocal opposition to conscription, but the Labour Party hierarchy chose Harry Holland from Wellington instead based on the latter's strong showing in the Wellington North by-election a few months prior.[1][2] Fagan stood in the 1925 general election in the Motueka electorate, but was beaten by the incumbent, Richard Hudson of the Reform Party.[3] In 1928, he moved to Petone in the Hutt Valley and in the following year, he was the organiser for Walter Nash's successful Hutt by-election.[1] Fagan was on Labour’s National Executive from 1930.[1]

On 11 June 1930 he was appointed to the Legislative Council by the United Government, and at the end of each seven-year term, he was reappointed twice.[4] He was reappointed by the United-Reform Coalition on 11 June 1935, and was reappointed by the First Labour Government on 11 June 1944. He was Speaker from 18 July 1939 until his death.[5] He was a Minister without portfolio in the first Labour Government from 6 December 1935 until 18 July 1939,[6] and was acting Minister of Customs in 1939 when Walter Nash was overseas.[1]

In 1935, he was awarded the King George V Silver Jubilee Medal.[7]


His wife Monica died in 1932, being survived by three daughters from her first marriage.[1][8] He died in Petone, Wellington on 31 December 1947.[1] The Fagans are buried at Karori Cemetery.[9][10]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h Richardson, Len. "Fagan, Mark Anthony". Dictionary of New Zealand Biography. Ministry for Culture and Heritage. Retrieved 14 January 2012. 
  2. ^ O'Farrell, Patrick. "Holland, Henry Edmund - Biography". Dictionary of New Zealand Biography. Ministry for Culture and Heritage. Retrieved 9 January 2016. 
  3. ^ Skinner, W. A. G. (1926). The General Election, 1925. Government Printer. p. 4. Retrieved 13 February 2016. 
  4. ^ Scholefield 1950, p. 76.
  5. ^ Scholefield 1950, p. 88.
  6. ^ Scholefield 1950, p. 49.
  7. ^ "Official jubilee medals". Evening Post. 6 May 1935. p. 4. Retrieved 2 July 2013. 
  8. ^ "Monica Fagan (1873–1932)" (PDF). Hutt Valley Biographical Index and Genealogies website. Archived from the original (PDF) on 13 January 2015. Retrieved 29 July 2012. 
  9. ^ "Details". Wellington City Council. Retrieved 12 February 2016. 
  10. ^ "Details". Wellington City Council. Retrieved 12 February 2016. 


  • Scholefield, Guy (1950) [First ed. published 1913]. New Zealand Parliamentary Record, 1840–1949 (3rd ed.). Wellington: Govt. Printer. 
Political offices
Preceded by
Walter Carncross
Speaker of the New Zealand Legislative Council
Succeeded by
Bernard Martin