Reginald Keeling

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Reginald Keeling

Reginald Keeling.jpg
Member of the New Zealand Parliament
for Gisborne
In office
Preceded byDavid Coleman
Succeeded byHarry Dudfield
In office
Preceded byHarry Dudfield
Succeeded byEsme Tombleson
Personal details
Born15 January 1904
Fulham, London
Died7 August 1991
Political partyLabour
Spouse(s)Christina Mather Murray (m.29th July 1939)
ChildrenReginald Alfred and Julian Anthony

Reginald Alfred Keeling QSO JP (15 January 1904 – 7 August 1991) was a New Zealand politician of the Labour Party.


Early life and career[edit]

He was educated at Fulham Central School. Upon leaving school he joined Maypole Margarine Works as a cadet in the accounting department. After obtaining his articles he emigrated to New Zealand in 1928 to join Waitemata Electric Power Board as accountant. In 1932 he was appointed manager of Morris Hedstrom Tonga. He was a social activist and an active member of the Labor Party in both England and New Zealand upon returning to New Zealand in 1936, he moved from accounting to social work with the newly formed Child Welfare Division of the Education Department.

He was promoted to District Child Welfare Officer for the East Coast based in Gisborne. He remained in that post until entering Parliament in 1949. From that point he made a career well into his eighties out of both national and local body politics. He was Deputy Mayor of Gisborne 1953-59, Member of Cook Hospital Board 1953-61, Member Waitemata Electric Power Board 1965-87, Mayor of Henderson 1965-74, Member Auckland Regional Authority 1965-81, Deputy Mayor of Waitemata City 1977-80. For his public and community service he was appointed a Companion of the Queen's Service Order in 1979.[1]

An avid sportsman, he was a football referee for twenty years, played senior club tennis well into his thirties and was a keen keel boat sailor. He was President of Poverty Bay Football Association 1940-61, President NZFA 1960-61, President of Auckland Football Association 1961-87.

Political career[edit]

New Zealand Parliament
Years Term Electorate Party
1949–1951 29th Gisborne Labour
1954–1957 31st Gisborne Labour
1957–1960 32nd Gisborne Labour
1963 33rd Grey Lynn Labour

He represented the Poverty Bay electorate of Gisborne from 1949 to 1951,[1] when he was defeated by Harry Dudfield of National,[2] and again from 1954 to 1960,[1] when he was again defeated, this time by the National candidate Esme Tombleson.[3]

He then represented the Auckland electorate of Grey Lynn briefly in 1963 from 18 May to 29 October, after the death of Fred Hackett.[1] He stood for North Shore in the 1963 general election but was defeated.

He was Chairman of Committees from 1958 to 1960.[4]

He was awarded a Q.S.O. in 1979.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e Wilson 1985, p. 209.
  2. ^ Wilson 1985, p. 194.
  3. ^ Wilson 1985, p. 241.
  4. ^ Wilson 1985, p. 252.


  • Gustafson, Barry (1986). From the Cradle to the Grave: a biography of Michael Joseph Savage. Auckland: Reed Methuen. ISBN 0-474-00138-5.
  • Wilson, James Oakley (1985) [1913]. New Zealand Parliamentary Record, 1840–1984 (4th ed.). Wellington: V.R. Ward, Govt. Printer. OCLC 154283103.
  • Richard Keeling's obituary
Political offices
Preceded by
Cyril Harker
Chairman of Committees of the House of Representatives
Succeeded by
Roy Jack
New Zealand Parliament
Preceded by
Fred Hackett
Member of Parliament for Grey Lynn
Succeeded by
Ritchie Macdonald