Continuous Ministry (New Zealand)
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The Continuous Ministry was the government of New Zealand from 1876 to 1890 (or 1887), except for 1877–79 and 1884–87.
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Sir Harry Atkinson was the leading figure, although Sir John Hall and Sir Frederick Whitaker also served as Premiers, and William Rolleston was also part of the ministry. The term derives from William Pember Reeves, who as a Liberal politician emphasised the oligarchical and conservative tendencies of the ministry members, and downplayed as reformers from above Atkinson and Rolleston, even though they advocated some reforms similar to those of the Liberals of the 1890s. A later historian, Keith Sinclair, detached the Scarecrow Ministry of 1887–90 as a new government rather than a continuation of the Continuous Ministry, although this ministry was formed by Atkinson. As formal political parties did not exist at this time, ministries had to be formed by negotiation with individual members, and were liable to be defeated.
The ministries of the Continuous Ministry were:
- Atkinson Ministry, 1876: 1 September 1876 to 13 September 1876
- Atkinson Ministry, 1876-1877 (Reconstituted): 13 September 1876 to 13 October 1877
- Hall Ministry, 1879–1882: 8 October 1879 to 21 April 1882
- Whitaker Ministry, 1882–1883: 21 April 1882 to 25 September 1883
- Atkinson Ministry, 1883–1884: 25 September 1883 to 16 August 1884
- Atkinson Ministry, 1884: 28 August 1884 to 3 September 1884
- Atkinson Ministry, 1887–1891: 8 October 1887 to 24 January 1891 (known as the Scarecrow Ministry)
The two (or three) ministries in the period that were not part of the Continuous Ministry were:
- Grey Ministry, 1877–1879: 13 October 1877 to 8 October 1879
- Stout–Vogel Ministry, 1884: 16 August 1884 to 28 August 1884
- Stout–Vogel Ministry, 1884–1887: 3 September 1884 to 8 October 1887
- Sinclair, Keith (1988). A History of New Zealand. Pelican Books.
- Bassett, Judith (1975). Sir Harry Atkinson. Auckland: Auckland University Press. ISBN 0-19-647934-7.
- Bassett, Judith (1968), "Sir Harry Atkinson and the Conservative Faction in New Zealand Politics, 1879-90", New Zealand Journal of History, 2 (2): 130–47
- Dalziel, Raewyn (1987), "The 'Continuous Ministry' revisited", New Zealand Journal of History, 21 (1): 46–61