Robert Macfarlane (New Zealand politician)

For other people named Robert Macfarlane, see Robert MacFarlane (disambiguation).
The Honourable
Sir Robert Macfarlane

Robert Macfarlane in ca 1951
14th Speaker of the House of Representatives
In office
Prime Minister Walter Nash
Preceded by Matthew Oram
Succeeded by Ronald Algie
Member of the New Zealand Parliament
for Christchurch South
In office
Preceded by Ted Howard
Succeeded by electorate abolished
Member of the New Zealand Parliament
for Christchurch Central
In office
1946  1969
Preceded by new electorate
Succeeded by Bruce Barclay
37th Mayor of Christchurch
In office
Preceded by John Beanland
Succeeded by Ernest Andrews
In office
Preceded by Ernest Andrews
Succeeded by George Manning
Personal details
Born 17 May 1900
Died 2 December 1982(1982-12-02) (aged 82)
Political party Labour
Spouse(s) Louisa Jacobs (m. 1932)

Sir Robert Mafeking Macfarlane KCMG (17 May 1900 – 2 December 1982) was a New Zealand politician of the Labour Party. He was a Member of Parliament, served as Speaker of the House of Representatives and was a Mayor of Christchurch.

Early life

Macfarlane was born in Christchurch in 1900. He married Louisa Jacobs in 1932.[1]

Local body politics

Macfarlane was on the Christchurch City Council (1927–1929, 1936–1941, 1947–1959, and 1961–1981),[2] and was Mayor of Christchurch twice, from 1938 to 1941 and from 1950 to 1958.[3]

Member of Parliament

Parliament of New Zealand
Years Term Electorate Party
19391943 26th Christchurch South Labour
19431946 27th Christchurch South Labour
19461949 28th Christchurch Central Labour
19491951 29th Christchurch Central Labour
19511954 30th Christchurch Central Labour
19541957 31st Christchurch Central Labour
19571960 32nd Christchurch Central Labour
19601963 33rd Christchurch Central Labour
19631966 34th Christchurch Central Labour
19661969 35th Christchurch Central Labour

Macfarlane entered Parliament in 1939 following a by-election, replacing Ted Howard (although Howard's daughter Mabel Howard had hoped to replace him following his death). He was the Member of Parliament for Christchurch South from 1939 to 1946, then for Christchurch Central from 1946 to 1969, when he retired.

Speaker of the House of Representatives

He was the 14th Speaker of the House of Representatives, from 1958 to 1960.[4]


In the Queen's Birthday Honours 1954 Macfarlane was appointed as Companion of the Order of St Michael and St George[5] and in the New Year Honours 1974 Macfarlane was promoted to Knight Commander of The Order of St Michael and St George.[6]

Military service

In World War II he served in the Middle East in the ASC of the 2nd New Zealand Expeditionary Force for 2½ years.


  1. Clark, Kath. "Macfarlane, Robert Mafeking". Dictionary of New Zealand Biography. Ministry for Culture and Heritage. Retrieved 1 August 2013.
  2. "Councillors of the City of Christchurch". Christchurch: Christchurch City Council. Archived from the original on 20 July 2011. Retrieved 25 October 2013.
  3. "Chairmen and mayors". Christchurch: Christchurch City Council. Retrieved 10 February 2010.
  4. Parliamentary Debates, Volume 443 p.136. Retrieved 12 May 2011
  5. "Queen's Birthday Honours" (17 June 1954) 37 New Zealand Gazette 1006.
  6. "New Year Honours List 1974" (17 January 1974) 2 New Zealand Gazette 68.
Political offices
New Zealand Parliament
Preceded by
Ted Howard
Member of Parliament for Christchurch South
Constituency abolished
New constituency Member of Parliament for Christchurch Central
Succeeded by
Bruce Barclay
Political offices
Preceded by
John Beanland
Mayor of Christchurch
Succeeded by
Ernest Andrews
Preceded by
Ernest Andrews
Succeeded by
George Manning
Preceded by
Matthew Oram
Speaker of the New Zealand House of Representatives
Succeeded by
Ronald Algie
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