Sydney George Smith

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Not to be confused with Sidney Walter Smith.
The Honourable
Sydney George Smith
portrait of a man
Sydney George Smith
Member of the New Zealand Parliament
for Taranaki
In office
1918 – 1925
Preceded by Henry Okey
Succeeded by Charles Bellringer
Member of the New Zealand Parliament
for New Plymouth
In office
1928 – 1938
Preceded by In abeyance since 1896
Succeeded by Frederick Frost
Personal details
Born (1879-01-19)19 January 1879
New Plymouth, New Zealand
Died 21 May 1943(1943-05-21) (aged 64)
New Plymouth, New Zealand
Political party Liberal Party
United Party
Spouse(s) Rose Herbert (m. 1901, d. 1913)
Kate Bint (m. 1915)
Relations Edward Metcalf Smith (father)

Sydney George Smith (19 January 1879 – 21 May 1943), known to his friends as Sid, was a New Zealand politician of the Liberal Party and then the National Party, and a cabinet minister.

Early life[edit]

Smith's second wedding, to Kate Bint, with her sister Bertha as bridesmaid

Smith was born in New Plymouth in 1879. His parents were the MHR Edward Metcalf Smith and Mary Ann Golding.[1] He enjoyed rugby during his youth, and later became an administrator for the sport for the Taranaki Region.[2]

On 19 November 1901, he married Elsie Rose Herbert (known as Rose) at St Mary's Church in New Plymouth. She was a daughter of G H Herbert of the Royal Engineers.[3] They had three children: Rosa Maud (b. 1902), Ethel Mary (b. 1905), and Edward George (b. 1906).[1] His wife died on 3 April 1913, aged 35.[1]

Smith remarried on 25 February 1915, to Catherine (Kate) Bint, again at St Mary's Church.[1] Kate Bint was born in July 1892 at Tarata in Taranaki, some 18 kilometres (11 mi) by road west of Inglewood.[4] He had a further three children from his second marriage: Raymond Sydney (1916–1944), Harry Allman (1918–1998), and Lorna Hazel (b. 1922).[1]

He worked in the New Zealand Railways for 20 years, and for 13 years held office in the Amalgamated Society of Railway Servants.[5]

Political career[edit]

Parliament of New Zealand
Years Term Electorate Party
1918–1919 19th Taranaki Independent Labour
1919–1922 20th Taranaki Liberal-Labour
1922–1925 21st Taranaki Liberal
1928–1931 23rd New Plymouth United
1931–1935 24th New Plymouth United
1935–1936 25th New Plymouth United
1936–1938 Changed allegiance to: National

Smith held various offices with trade unions. He was on the New Plymouth Borough Council. He had interests in education.[2]

Smith successfully contested the Taranaki electorate in a by-election in 1918 (following the death of Henry Okey) as an Independent Labour candidate. Smith sat together with the other Labour MPs in Parliament but always stressed his independence. Soon after entering the house MP Charles Wilkinson referred to Labour Party leader Alfred Hindmarsh as the "leader" of Smith. In reply Smith said "You leave the member for Taranaki alone, he will choose his own leader."[6]

He was confirmed at the 1919 election, and in 1922 election successfully stood as a Liberal-Labour candidate.[5][7] In 1925 he stood unsuccessfully for New Plymouth for the Liberal Party. He was successful in 1928 and returned to Parliament for the United Party until he was defeated at the 1938 election by Labour candidate Frederick Frost.[8]

Smith was Minister of Labour and Minister of Mines in the United Government from 28 May 1930 to 22 September 1931.[9] He was Minister of Education in the United/Reform Coalition from 22 November 1934 to 6 December 1935.[10] He was Chairman of Committees from 11 December 1928 to 28 May 1930, and again from 27 October 1931 to 12 February 1935.[11]

In 1935, he was awarded the King George V Silver Jubilee Medal.[12]


Smith, who was known as Sid to his friends, died on 21 May 1943 at New Plymouth,[2] and was buried at Te Henui Cemetery.[13] He was survived by his second wife and his six children. All three of his sons were at the time serving overseas in World War II.[2] His son Raymond was killed on 24 December 1943 by a sniper in Italy.[14]


  1. ^ a b c d e Bint, Tom. "The Bint Family of New Zealand". Bint Family of Berkshire. Retrieved 20 July 2012. 
  2. ^ a b c d "Obituary". The Evening Post. CXXXV (120). 22 May 1943. p. 6. Retrieved 21 July 2012. 
  3. ^ "Personal Notes". Taranaki Herald. XLIX (11824). 22 November 1901. p. 2. Retrieved 21 July 2012. 
  4. ^ Bint, Tom. "The Bint Family of New Zealand". Bint Family of Berkshire. Retrieved 20 July 2012. 
  5. ^ a b Gustafson 1986, p. 344.
  6. ^ "Labour Party's Members". The New Zealand Herald. LV (16996). 1 November 1918. p. 4. Retrieved 9 February 2016. 
  7. ^ Wilson 1985, p. 235.
  8. ^ Wilson 1985, pp. 198, 235.
  9. ^ Wilson 1985, p. 81.
  10. ^ Wilson 1985, p. 82.
  11. ^ Wilson 1985, p. 252.
  12. ^ "Official jubilee medals". Evening Post. CXIX (105). 6 May 1935. p. 4. Retrieved 19 March 2014. 
  13. ^ "Cemetery search". New Plymouth District Council. Retrieved 9 January 2016. 
  14. ^ "Raymond Sydney Smith". New Zealand War Graves Project. Retrieved 21 July 2012. 


  • Gustafson, Barry (1986). The First 50 Years : A History of the New Zealand National Party. Auckland: Reed Methuen. ISBN 0-474-00177-6. 
  • Wilson, James Oakley (1985) [First published in 1913]. New Zealand Parliamentary Record, 1840–1984 (4th ed.). Wellington: V.R. Ward, Govt. Printer. OCLC 154283103. 
Political offices
Preceded by
Frank Hockly
Chairman of Committees of the House of Representatives
Succeeded by
William Bodkin
Preceded by
William Bodkin
Succeeded by
Jimmy Nash
Preceded by
Robert Masters
Minister of Education
Succeeded by
Peter Fraser
New Zealand Parliament
Preceded by
Henry Okey
Member of Parliament for Taranaki
Succeeded by
Charles Bellringer
In abeyance
Title last held by
Edward Metcalf Smith
Member of Parliament for New Plymouth
Succeeded by
Frederick Frost
Party political offices
Preceded by
George Forbes
Senior Whip of the Liberal Party
Succeeded by
Alfred Ransom