List of Prime Ministers of New Zealand

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Four New Zealand prime ministers (pictured in 1992) – David Lange, Jim Bolger, Sir Robert Muldoon and Mike Moore

The Prime Minister of New Zealand is the head of government of New Zealand, and the leader of the Cabinet of New Zealand, with various powers and responsibilities defined by convention. Officially, the prime minister is appointed by the governor-general of New Zealand, but by convention, the prime minister must have the confidence of the elected New Zealand House of Representatives. The prime minister is always a member of parliament, and is usually the leader of the largest political party in the House.

This list includes individuals who held the titles of colonial secretary and premier, the direct predecessors to the modern office. The title of the office was formally changed to "premier" in 1869, and then to "prime minister" in 1907 when New Zealand was granted Dominion status in the British Empire. Forty individuals have so far held the premiership,[1][2] not including acting prime ministers. Henry Sewell is regarded as New Zealand's first premier.[3] Nine prime ministers have held the position for more than one discrete term in office. The longest single term in office was that of Richard Seddon, who held the position for thirteen years between 1893 and 1906.[4] The incumbent Prime Minister is Jacinda Ardern, who assumed office on 26 October 2017.[1]

List[edit]

The parties shown are those to which the Prime Ministers belonged at the time they held office and the electoral districts shown are those they represented while in office. Several Prime Ministers belonged to parties other than those given and represented other electorates before and after their time in office.

Key

  Independent   Liberal   Reform   United   Labour   National

No. Name
(Birth–Death)
Constituency
Portrait Term of office Elected
(Parliament)
Party Government
Colonial Secretaries (1856–1869)
1 The Honourable
Henry Sewell

MP for Christchurch, Canterbury
(1807–1879)
Henry Sewell, 1860 cropped.jpg 7 May
1856
20 May
1856
1855 (2nd) Independent Sewell
14 days
2 The Right Honourable
Sir William Fox
KCMG

MP for Wanganui and Rangitikei, Wellington
(1812–1893)
Sir William Fox, ca 1890.jpg 20 May
1856
2 June
1856
— (2nd) Independent Fox I
14 days
3 The Right Honourable
Sir Edward Stafford
GCMG

MP for Nelson, Nelson Province
(1819–1901)
Edward Stafford.jpg 2 June
1856
12 July
1861
— (2nd) Independent Stafford I
5 years and 41 days
(2) The Right Honourable
Sir William Fox
KCMG

MP for Rangitikei, Wellington
(1812–1893)
Sir William Fox, ca 1890.jpg 12 July
1861
6 August
1862
1860–61 (3rd) Independent Fox II
1 year and 26 days
4 The Honourable
Alfred Domett
MHR

MP for Nelson, Nelson Province
(1811–1887)
Alfred Domett c1870-1887.jpg 6 August
1862
30 October
1863
— (3rd) Independent Domett
1 year and 86 days
5 The Honourable
Sir Frederick Whitaker
KCMG

Councillor
(1812–1891)
Frederick Whitaker.jpg 30 October
1863
24 November
1864
— (3rd) Independent Whitaker–Fox
1 year and 26 days
6 The Honourable
Sir Frederick Weld
GCMG

MP for Cheviot, Canterbury
(1823–1891)
Sir Frederick Aloysius Weld.jpg 24 November
1864
16 October
1865
— (3rd) Independent Weld
327 days
(3) The Right Honourable
Sir Edward Stafford
GCMG

MP for Nelson, Nelson Province until 1868
MP for Timaru, Canterbury from 1868
(1819–1901)
Edward Stafford.jpg 16 October
1865
28 June
1869
— (3rd)
1866 (4th)
Independent Stafford II
6 years and 257 days
Premiers (1869–1907)
(2) The Right Honourable
Sir William Fox
KCMG

MP for Rangitikei, Wellington
(1812–1893)
Sir William Fox, ca 1890.jpg 28 June
1869
10 September
1872
— (4th)
1871 (5th)
Independent Fox III
3 years and 75 days
(3) The Right Honourable
Sir Edward Stafford
GCMG

MP for Timaru, Canterbury
(1819–1901)
Edward Stafford.jpg 10 September
1872
11 October
1872
— (5th) Independent Stafford III
32 days
7 The Right Honourable
George Waterhouse
MLC

Councillor
(1824–1906)
George Marsden Waterhouse.jpg 11 October
1872
3 March
1873
— (5th) Independent Waterhouse
144 days
(2) The Right Honourable
Sir William Fox
KCMG

MP for Rangitikei, Wellington
(1812–1893)
Sir William Fox, ca 1890.jpg 3 March
1873
8 April
1873
— (5th) Independent Fox IV
37 days
8 The Right Honourable
Sir Julius Vogel
KCMG

MP for Auckland East, Auckland
(1835–1899)
Julius Vogel, ca 1870s.jpg 8 April
1873
6 July
1875
— (5th) Independent Vogel I
2 years and 90 days
9 The Honourable
Daniel Pollen

Councillor
(1813–1896)
Daniel Pollen, ca 1873.jpg 6 July
1875
15 February
1876
— (5th) Independent Pollen
225 days
(8) The Right Honourable
Sir Julius Vogel
KCMG

MP for Wanganui, Wellington
(1835–1899)
Julius Vogel, ca 1870s.jpg 15 February
1876
1 September
1876
1875–76 (6th) Independent Vogel II
200 days
10 The Honourable
Sir Harry Atkinson
KCMG

MP for Egmont, Taranaki.
provinces abolished on Nov 1, 1876

(1831–1892)
Sir Harry Albert Atkinson, ca 1885.jpg 1 September
1876
13 October
1877
— (6th) Independent Atkinson I • II
"Continuous Ministry"
1 year and 43 days
11 The Right Honourable
Sir George Grey
KCB

MP for Thames
(1812–1898)
George Grey, 1885.jpg 13 October
1877
8 October
1879
— (6th) Independent Grey
1 year and 361 days
12 The Honourable
Sir John Hall
KCMG

MP for Selwyn
(1824–1907)
Sir John Hall, ca 1880.jpg 8 October
1879
21 April
1882
1879 (7th)
1881 (8th)
Independent Hall
"Continuous Ministry"
2 years and 196 days
(5) The Honourable
Sir Frederick Whitaker
KCMG

Councillor
(1812–1891)
Frederick Whitaker.jpg 21 April
1882
25 September
1883
— (8th) Independent Whitaker
"Continuous Ministry"
1 year and 158 days
(10) The Honourable
Sir Harry Atkinson
KCMG

MP for Egmont
(1831–1892)
Sir Harry Albert Atkinson, ca 1885.jpg 25 September
1883
16 August
1884
— (8th) Independent Atkinson III
"Continuous Ministry"
327 days
13 The Right Honourable
Sir Robert Stout
KCMG

MP for Dunedin East
(1844–1930)
Robert Stout, 1885.jpg 16 August
1884
28 August
1884
1884 (9th) Independent Stout–Vogel
13 days
(10) The Honourable
Sir Harry Atkinson
KCMG

MP for Egmont
(1831–1892)
Sir Harry Albert Atkinson, ca 1885.jpg 28 August
1884
3 September
1884
— (9th) Independent Atkinson IV
"Continuous Ministry"
7 days
(13) The Right Honourable
Sir Robert Stout
KCMG

MP for Dunedin East
(1844–1930)
Robert Stout, 1885.jpg 3 September
1884
8 October
1887
— (9th) Independent Stout–Vogel
3 years and 36 days
(10) The Honourable
Sir Harry Atkinson
KCMG

MP for Egmont
(1831–1892)
Sir Harry Albert Atkinson, ca 1885.jpg 8 October
1887
24 January
1891
1887 (10th) Independent Atkinson V
"Scarecrow Ministry"
3 years and 109 days
14 The Right Honourable
John Ballance
MHR

MP for Wanganui
(1839–1893)
John Ballance 1880.jpg 24 January
1891
27 April
1893
1890 (11th) Liberal Liberal
C&S with IPLL 1908–1910;
Labour 1910–1912; Independents 1911–1912.
2 years and 94 days
15 The Right Honourable
Richard Seddon

MP for Westland
(1845–1906)
Richard Seddon, 1906.jpg 1 May
1893
10 June
1906
— (11th)
1893 (12th)
1896 (13th)
1899 (14th)
1902 (15th)
1905 (16th)
Liberal
13 years and 41 days
16 The Honourable
Sir William Hall-Jones
KCMG

MP for Timaru
(1851–1936)
William Hall-Jones 2.jpg 21 June
1906
6 August
1906
— (16th) Liberal
47 days
Prime Ministers (1907–present)
17 The Right Honourable
Sir Joseph Ward of Wellington, 1st Bt
GCMG

MP for Awarua
(1856–1930)
Joseph Ward c. 1906.jpg 6 August
1906
12 March
1912
— (16th)
1908 (17th)
1911 (18th)
Liberal
5 years and 220 days
18 The Right Honourable
Sir Thomas Mackenzie
GCMG

MP for Egmont
(1853–1930)
Thomas Mackenzie.jpg 28 March
1912
10 July
1912
— (18th) Liberal
105 days
19 The Right Honourable
William Massey

MP for Franklin
(1856–1925)
William Ferguson Massey 1919.jpg 10 July
1912
10 May
1925
— (18th)
1914 (19th)
1919 (20th)
1922 (21st)
Reform Reform
with Liberal 1915–1919;
C&S with independents.
12 years and 305 days
20 The Right Honourable
Sir Francis Bell
GCMGKC

Councillor
(1851–1936)
Sir Francis Henry Dillon Bell, ca 1924.jpg 14 May
1925
30 May
1925
— (21st) Reform
17 days
21 The Right Honourable
Joseph Gordon Coates
MC*

MP for Kaipara
(1878–1943)
Joseph Gordon Coates, 1931.jpg 30 May
1925
10 December
1928
— (21st)
1925 (22nd)
Reform
3 years and 195 days
(17) The Right Honourable
Sir Joseph Ward of Wellington, 1st Bt
GCMG

MP for Invercargill
(1856–1930)
Joseph Ward c. 1906.jpg 10 December
1928
28 May
1930
1928 (23rd) United United
with Labour;
C&S with independents.
1 year and 170 days
22 The Right Honourable
George Forbes

MP for Hurunui
(1869–1947)
George William Forbes.jpg 28 May
1930
6 December
1935
— (23rd) United
1931 (24th) United–Reform Coalition
5 years and 193 days
23 The Right Honourable
Michael Joseph Savage

MP for Auckland West
(1872–1940)
Michael Joseph Savage Portrait.jpg 6 December
1935
27 March
1940
1935 (25th)
1938 (26th)
Labour First Labour
C&S with Rātana 1935–1936; Independents 1935–1946.
4 years and 113 days
24 The Right Honourable
Peter Fraser
CH

MP for Wellington Central until 1946
MP for Brooklyn from 1946
(1884–1950)
Peter Fraser.jpg 1 April
1940
13 December
1949
— (26th)
1943 (27th)
1946 (28th)
Labour
9 years and 257 days
25 The Right Honourable
Sir Sidney Holland
GCMGCH

MP for Fendalton
(1893–1961)
Sidney George Holland (1951).jpg 13 December
1949
20 September
1957
1949 (29th)
1951 (30th)
1954 (31st)
National First National
7 years and 282 days
26 The Right Honourable
Sir Keith Holyoake
KGGCMGCHQSOKStJ

MP for Pahiatua
(1904–1983)
Keith Holyoake (crop).jpg 20 September
1957
12 December
1957
— (31st) National
84 days
27 The Right Honourable
Sir Walter Nash
GCMGCH

MP for Hutt
(1882–1968)
Walter Nash (ca 1940s).jpg 12 December
1957
12 December
1960
1957 (32nd) Labour Second Labour
3 years and 1 day
(26) The Right Honourable
Sir Keith Holyoake
KGGCMGCHQSOKStJ

MP for Pahiatua
(1904–1983)
Keith Holyoake (crop).jpg 12 December
1960
7 February
1972
1960 (33rd)
1963 (34th)
1966 (35th)
1969 (36th)
National Second National
11 years and 58 days
28 The Right Honourable
Sir Jack Marshall
GBECHED

MP for Karori
(1912–1988)
Jack Marshall, 1957.jpg 7 February
1972
8 December
1972
— (36th) National
306 days
29 The Right Honourable
Norman Kirk

MP for Sydenham
(1923–1974)
Norman Kirk Portrait.jpg 8 December
1972
31 August
1974
1972 (37th) Labour Third Labour
1 year and 267 days
The Right Honourable
Hugh Watt
JP

MP for Onehunga
Acting Prime Minister
Hugh Watt.jpg 31 August
1974
6 September
1974
— (37th) Labour
7 days
30 The Right Honourable
Sir Bill Rowling
KCMG

MP for Tasman
(1927–1995)
Bill Rowling, 1962.jpg 6 September
1974
12 December
1975
— (37th) Labour
1 year and 98 days
31 The Right Honourable
Sir Robert Muldoon
GCMGCH

MP for Tamaki
(1921–1992)
Muldoon 1978.jpg 12 December
1975
26 July
1984
1975 (38th)
1978 (39th)
1981 (40th)
National Third National
8 years and 228 days
32 The Right Honourable
David Lange
ONZCH

MP for Mangere
(1942–2005)
David Lange (cropped).jpg
26 July
1984
8 August
1989
1984 (41st)
1987 (42nd)
Labour Fourth Labour
5 years and 14 days
33 The Right Honourable
Sir Geoffrey Palmer
KCMGACQC

MP for Christchurch Central
(born 1942)
Geoffrey Palmer.jpg 8 August
1989
4 September
1990
— (42nd) Labour
1 year and 28 days
34 The Right Honourable
Mike Moore
ONZAO

MP for Christchurch North
(born 1949)
Mike Moore, 1992 (crop).jpg 4 September
1990
2 November
1990
— (42nd) Labour
60 days
35 The Right Honourable
Jim Bolger
ONZ

MP for King Country
(born 1935)
Bolger, 1992.jpg 2 November
1990
8 December
1997
1990 (43rd)
1993 (44th)
1996 (45th)
National Fourth National
with Right of Centre 1994–1995;
United NZ 1995–1996;
New Zealand First 1996–98;
with Mauri Pacific, Mana Wahine, Independents 1998–99;
C&S with Future 1994–1995;
Christian Democrats 1995–1996;
United NZ 1995-1995, 1998–1999;
ACT 1998–1999;
Independents 1998–1999.
7 years and 37 days
36 The Right Honourable
Dame Jenny Shipley
DNZM

MP for Rakaia
(born 1952)
Jenny Shipley and Winnie Laban (crop).jpg 8 December
1997
10 December
1999
— (45th) National
2 years and 3 days
37 The Right Honourable
Helen Clark
ONZSSI

MP for Mount Albert
(born 1950)
Helen Clark official photo (cropped).jpg 10 December
1999
19 November
2008
1999 (46th)
2002 (47th)
2005 (48th)
Labour Fifth Labour
with Alliance 1999–2002, Progressives 2002–2008;
C&S with Greens 1999–2002, 2005–2008; New Zealand First 2005–2008; United Future 2002–2008.
8 years and 346 days
38 The Right Honourable
Sir John Key
GNZMAC

MP for Helensville
(born 1961)
John Key February 2015.jpg 19 November
2008
12 December
2016
2008 (49th)
2011 (50th)
2014 (51st)
National Fifth National
C&S with ACT, United Future, Māori.
8 years and 24 days
39 The Right Honourable
Sir Bill English
KNZM

List MP
(born 1961)
Prime Minister Bill English.jpg 12 December
2016
26 October
2017
— (51st) National
319 days
40 The Right Honourable
Jacinda Ardern

MP for Mount Albert
(born 1980)
Jacinda Ardern, 2018.jpg 26 October
2017
Incumbent 2017 (52nd) Labour Sixth Labour
with New Zealand First
C&S with Greens.
1 year and 234 days

Timeline[edit]

Jacinda ArdernBill EnglishJohn KeyHelen ClarkJenny ShipleyJim BolgerMike Moore (New Zealand politician)Geoffrey Palmer (politician)David LangeRobert MuldoonBill RowlingNorman KirkJack MarshallKeith HolyoakeWalter NashKeith HolyoakeSidney HollandPeter FraserMichael Joseph SavageGeorge William ForbesJoseph WardGordon CoatesFrancis Bell (New Zealand politician)William MasseyThomas MackenzieJoseph WardWilliam Hall-JonesRichard SeddonJohn BallanceHarry AtkinsonRobert StoutHarry AtkinsonRobert StoutHarry AtkinsonFrederick WhitakerJohn Hall (New Zealand politician)George GreyHarry AtkinsonJulius VogelDaniel PollenJulius VogelWilliam Fox (New Zealand)George Marsden WaterhouseEdward Stafford (politician)William Fox (New Zealand)Edward Stafford (politician)Frederick WeldFrederick WhitakerAlfred DomettWilliam Fox (New Zealand)Edward Stafford (politician)William Fox (New Zealand)Henry Sewell


See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Biographies – Premiers and Prime Ministers". nzhistory.govt.nz. Ministry for Culture and Heritage. Retrieved 14 December 2017.
  2. ^ "Prime Ministers of New Zealand since 1856". New Zealand Parliament. 18 January 2019. Retrieved 30 April 2019.
  3. ^ McIntyre, W. David (1990). "Sewell, Henry". Dictionary of New Zealand Biography. Retrieved 18 March 2019.
  4. ^ "'King Dick' Seddon becomes premier". nzhistory.govt.nz. Ministry for Culture and Heritage. 14 December 2016. Retrieved 18 March 2019.