William Denham

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William Denham
William Mortimer Clarence Denham.jpg
Member of the New Zealand Parliament
for Invercargill
In office
1935 – 1946
Preceded by James Hargest
Succeeded by Ralph Hanan
Personal details
Born 1888
Sydney, Australia
Died 21 September 1969 (age 81)
New Zealand
Resting place Eastern Cemetery, Invercargill
Political party Labour
Spouse(s) Gwendolyn Evelyn Denham

William Mortimer Clarence Denham (1888 – 21 September 1969) was a New Zealand politician of the Labour Party.


Early life and career[edit]

Denham was born in Sydney, Australia in 1888 and was educated both there and in Melbourne.[1] He shifted to New Zealand in 1907 and settled in Invercargill working as a farmer and later as a Tramway worker.[2] For 12 years he was an employee representative to the Tramways Appeal Board.[1]

Political career[edit]

New Zealand Parliament
Years Term Electorate Party
1935–1938 25th Invercargill Labour
1938–1943 26th Invercargill Labour
1943–1946 27th Invercargill Labour

Denham began his political career in local-body affairs. He was elected to the Invercargill City Council in 1928 and was also a member of the Southland Technical College Board.[1]

Denham first stood for Parliament in 1928 in the Awarua electorate, placing third.[3] He then unsuccessfully contested the Invercargill electorate in the 1931 election; of the three candidates, he came last.[4] He represented the Invercargill electorate in the House of Representatives from 1935 to 1946, when he was defeated.[5] He was defeated twice more for the seat in the 1949 and 1954 general elections.

Later life and death[edit]

Denham later set up a hotel in Invercargill and also became chairman of the Invercargill Savings Bank. He died on 21 September 1969 at the age of 81.[2] He is buried at Invercargill's Eastern Cemetery, along with his wife Gwendolyn who died 1 January 1971, and his mother-in-law Ada Meadows.[6]


  1. ^ a b c "The New Parliament". Horowhenua Chronicle. 29 November 1935. p. 6. Retrieved 10 May 2017. 
  2. ^ a b Gustafson 1986, p. 294.
  3. ^ The General Election, 1928. Government Printer. 1929. p. 1. Retrieved 4 December 2013. 
  4. ^ The General Election, 1931. Government Printer. 1932. p. 3. Retrieved 2 November 2014. 
  5. ^ Wilson 1985, p. 192.
  6. ^ "Cemetery result". Invercargill City Council. 


New Zealand Parliament
Preceded by
James Hargest
Member of Parliament for Invercargill
Succeeded by
Ralph Hanan