Ralph Maxwell (politician)

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Ralph Kerr Maxwell MBE JP (20 March 1934 – 25 March 2012) was a New Zealand politician of the Labour Party. After his parliamentary career, he joined New Zealand First.[1]

Early life and family[edit]

Maxwell was born in 1934. He married Frances Maxwell in circa 1963 and they had three children.[2]

Political career[edit]

New Zealand Parliament
Years Term Electorate Party
1978–1981 39th Waitakere Labour
1981–1984 40th Waitakere Labour
1984–1987 41st Waitakere Labour
1987–1990 42nd Titirangi Labour

Maxwell had a high profile as chairman of the Portage Licensing Trust,[2][3] one of two Licensing Trusts in West Auckland.[4] When Maxwell stood for Parliament in the Waitakere electorate in 1978 for the Labour Party, he was successful.[5] He represented the Waitakere electorate for three parliamentary terms, and when it was abolished for the 1987 election, he successfully stood in the Titirangi electorate instead.[6] In the 1990 election, he was defeated by Marie Hasler, one of a number of losses contributing to the fall of the Fourth Labour Government.[2]

Maxwell had a keen interest in agriculture and worked closely with Colin Moyle, who would become Minister of Agriculture in 1984.[2][7] Maxwell was the Associate Minister of External Relations and Trade and the Associate Minister of Agriculture in 1990.[6]

After parliament[edit]

Maxwell moved from West Auckland to Otumoetai after he left parliament. When New Zealand First was formed in 1993, Maxwell joined that party[2] and served on the party executive.[1] He then moved to Paerata near Pukekohe where he worked in real estate.[2]

He supported the formation of a National/New Zealand First coalition (over a Labour/New Zealand First coalition) 1996 general election.[8]

In the 1995 New Year Honours, Maxwell was appointed a Member of the Order of the British Empire, for public services.[9] Maxwell died on 25 March 2012 aged 78. He was survived by his wife and their three children.[2]


  1. ^ a b Audrey Young (13 December 2007). "Peters' party group rebels over Bill". New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 18 February 2017.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Forbes, Stephen (30 March 2012). "Man of Integrety and Vision". Western Leader. p. 3.
  3. ^ "Former Titirangi MP dies". Western Leader. Fairfax Media. 28 March 2012. Retrieved 11 June 2015.
  4. ^ "The Portage & Waitakere Licensing Trusts". The Trusts. Retrieved 10 June 2015.
  5. ^ Wilson 1985, p. 219.
  6. ^ a b "Obituaries — Hon Ralph Kerr Maxwell MBE". New Zealand House of Representatives. 27 March 2012. Retrieved 20 March 2014.
  7. ^ Wilson 1985, p. 98.
  8. ^ Adelia Ferguson (4 November 1996). "Jab at rugby match near-fatal". New Zealand Herald. p. A11.
  9. ^ "No. 53894". The London Gazette (Supplement). 30 December 1994. p. 34.


  • 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
Preceded by
Martyn Finlay
Member of Parliament for Waitakere
Constituency abolished, recreated in 1993
Title next held by
Brian Neeson
New constituency Member of Parliament for Titirangi
Succeeded by
Marie Hasler