17th New Zealand Parliament

Terms of the
New Zealand Parliament

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The 17th New Zealand Parliament was a term of the New Zealand Parliament. It was elected at the 1908 general election in November and December of that year.

1908 general election

Members of the Liberal Party of the 17th Parliament

The Second Ballot Act 1908 was used for the 1908 general election. The first ballot was held on Tuesday, 17 November in the general electorates. 22 second ballots were held one week later on 24 November, and in one large rural electorate (Bay of Plenty), two weeks were allowed before the second ballot was held on 1 December. The Second Ballot Act did not apply to the four Māori electorates and the election was held on Wednesday, 2 December.[1] A total of 80 MPs were elected; 41 represented North Island electorates, 35 represented South Island electorates, and the remaining four represented Māori electorates.[2] 537,003 voters were enrolled and the official turnout at the election was 79.8%.[1]


The 17th Parliament sat for four sessions (there were two sessions in 1909), and was prorogued on 20 November 1911.[3]

Session Opened Adjouned
first 10 June 1909 16 June 1909
second 7 October 1909 28 December 1909
third 28 June 1910 3 December 1910
fourth 27 July 1911 28 October 1911


The Liberal Government of New Zealand had taken office on 24 January 1891.[4] Joseph Ward formed the Ward Ministry on 6 August 1906.[5][6] The Ward Ministry remained in power until Ward's resignation as Prime Minister in 1912.[5][7]

Initial composition of the 17th Parliament

The following are the results of the 1908 general election:


 Liberal    Conservative    Ind. Labour League    Independent Liberal    Liberal-Labour    Independent  

[] Electorate results for the New Zealand general election, 1908[8]
Electorate Incumbent Winner Majority Runner up
General electorates[nb 1]
Ashburton John McLachlan William Nosworthy Frederick Flatman
Auckland Central Alfred Kidd Albert Glover Alfred Kidd
Auckland East Frederick Baume William Richardson
Auckland West Charles Poole Robert Thompson
Avon William Tanner George Warren Russell 541† William Tanner
Awarua Joseph Ward 2,183 William Morris
Bay of Islands Robert Houston Vernon Reed 265 John Charles Johnson
Bay of Plenty William Herries William MacDonald James Gow
Bruce James Allen 1,393 Joseph Mosley
Buller James Colvin Fergus Ferguson Munro
Chalmers Edmund Allen Edward Henry Clark Edmund Allen
Christchurch East Thomas Davey James McCombs
Christchurch North Charles Gray Tommy Taylor Charles Gray
Christchurch South Harry Ell[nb 2] 1,273 Jim Thorn
Clutha Alexander Malcolm Frank Isitt
Dunedin Central John A. Millar James Frederick Arnold John McDonald
Dunedin North Alfred Barclay George Thomson Alfred Barclay
Dunedin South James Frederick Arnold Thomas Sidey 1,830 Robert Rutherford Douglas
Dunedin West New electorate John A. Millar 2,447 James Wright Munro
Eden John Bollard John Shackelford
Egmont William Thomas Jennings Bradshaw Dive George Wake
Ellesmere Heaton Rhodes George Rennie
Franklin William Massey 1,187 John McLarin
Geraldine Frederick Flatman Thomas Buxton William Jeffries
Gisborne New electorate James Carroll George Darton
Grey Arthur Guinness James Kerr[nb 3]
Grey Lynn George Fowlds Oliver Nicholson
Hawke's Bay Alfred Dillon 704 William Russell
Hurunui Andrew Rutherford George Forbes 597 Obed Clothier
Hutt Thomas Wilford 1,538 Richard Shortt
Invercargill Josiah Hanan 848 Arthur Paape
Kaiapoi David Buddo Richard Moore
Kaipara John Stallworthy Alfred Harding
Lyttelton George Laurenson Henry Thacker
Manawatu John Stevens Edward Newman John Stevens
Manukau Frederic Lang Alfred Creamer
Marsden Francis Mander James Harrison
Masterton Alexander Hogg John Hunter
Mataura Robert McNab George Anderson Robert McNab
Motueka Roderick McKenzie Frederick Smith
Napier Alfred Fraser Vigor Brown 1,035 Alfred Fraser
Nelson John Graham 14 Harry Atmore
Oamaru Thomas Young Duncan James Mitchell
Ohinemuri Hugh Poland Frederick Haselden
Oroua Frank Lethbridge David Guthrie Owen Pleasants
Otaki William Hughes Field William Hughes Field Byron Brown
Palmerston William Wood David Buick William Wood
Patea Walter Symes George Pearce Charles E. Major
Rangitikei Arthur Remington Robert William Smith
Riccarton George Witty George Sheat
Selwyn Charles Hardy Joseph Ivess
Stratford New electorate John Hine Walter Symes
Taieri Donald Reid Thomas Mackenzie John Thomas Johnson
Taumarunui New electorate William Thomas Jennings William Bowater
Tauranga New electorate William Herries James Alexander Young
Thames James McGowan Ernest Deeble
Timaru William Hall-Jones James Craigie William David Campbell
Tuapeka William Chapple Robert Scott John MacPherson
Wairarapa J. T. Marryat Hornsby Walter Clarke Buchanan J. T. Marryat Hornsby
Wairau Charles H. Mills John Duncan Robert McArtney
Waitaki William Steward Francis Henry Smith
Wakatipu William Fraser Andrew Martin
Pahiatua Robert Beatson Ross James Cooper
Parnell Frank Lawry 219 Edward George Britton Moss
Taranaki Henry Okey William Malone
Waikato Henry Greenslade 493 Allen Bell
Waipawa Charles Hall 50 George Hunter
Waitemata Ewen Alison Leonard Phillips 903† William Joseph Napier
Wallace John Charles Thomson Dugald MacPherson
Wanganui James Thomas Hogan 742† George Hutchison
Wellington Central Francis Fisher 143 Thomas Hislop
Wellington East John Aitken David McLaren 427† Arthur Richmond Atkinson
Wellington North Charles Hayward Izard Alexander Herdman Frederick Bolton
Wellington South New electorate Robert Alexander Wright William Barber
Wellington Suburbs New electorate John Luke 1,148† John Edward Fitzgerald
Westland Tom Seddon Henry Michel
Māori electorates[nb 4]
Eastern Maori Apirana Ngata Tiki Paaka
Northern Maori Hone Heke Hare te Rangi
Southern Maori Tame Parata Teone Hopere Wharewiti Uru
Western Maori Henare Kaihau 757 Pepene Eketone

Table footnotes:

  1. † in Majority column depicts electorates in which a second ballot was held.
  2. Harry Ell was previously associated with the Liberal Party.
  3. For some biographical details of James Kerr refer to his father's article
  4. The affiliation of many of the Māori candidates is unknown or uncertain; note that the Second Ballot Act 1908 did not apply to Māori constituencies.

By-elections during 17th Parliament

There were a number of changes during the term of the 17th Parliament.

Electorate and by-election Date Incumbent Cause Winner
Thames 1909 4 February James McGowan Appointed to Legislative Council Edmund Taylor
Northern Maori 1909 20 March Hone Heke Ngapua Death Te Rangi Hīroa
Rangitikei 1909 16 September Arthur Remington Death Robert Smith
Auckland East 1910 16 June Frederick Baume Death Arthur Myers
Christchurch North 1911 17 August Tommy Taylor Death Leonard Isitt



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