World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Country Party (New Zealand)

Article Id: WHEBN0001280828
Reproduction Date:

Title: Country Party (New Zealand)  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Bay of Islands (New Zealand electorate), 24th New Zealand Parliament, Vernon Cracknell, First Labour Government of New Zealand, List of political parties in New Zealand
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Country Party (New Zealand)

The Country Party of New Zealand was a political party which based itself around rural voters. It was represented in Parliament from 1928 to 1938. Its policies were a mixture of rural advocacy and social credit theory.

The Country Party had its origins in the Auckland Farmers' Union, a branch of the New Zealand Farmers' Union which covered most of the upper North Island. In the 1920s, members of this branch increasingly came to believe that the Reform Party, which traditionally enjoyed much support in rural areas, was now putting the interests of farmers behind those of businesses in the city. The Auckland branch was also strongly influenced by the social credit theory of monetary reform, promoted by C. H. Douglas. Many farmers believed that the country's financial system did not treat them fairly, and that they were being exploited by big-city bankers and moneylenders.

The Auckland branch grew increasingly frustrated with the Farmers' Union leadership, which did not support having an independent rural party. Eventually members of the Auckland branch established the Country Party without the Union's backing.[1] In 1928, the branch broke away from the Union altogether, giving its full backing to the Country Party. Because of this geographical basis, the Country Party was largely confined to the upper North Island.

In the 1925 elections, the Country Party fielded five candidates, but only won 0.3% of the vote. In the 1928 elections, however, the party won 1.6% of the vote, and Harold Rushworth, its candidate in the Bay of Islands seat, was narrowly elected. In Parliament, the Country Party tended to align itself with the growing Labour Party, primarily because both parties were distrustful of the financial and banking industries.

In the 1931 elections, the Country Party increased its share of the vote to 2.3%, and Rushworth kept his seat. In the 1935 elections, the party's share of the vote dropped slightly, but it won two seats — Rushworth, aided by the Labour Party's decision not to stand a candidate against him, was re-elected, while Arthur Sexton was elected in the Franklin electorate.

In the 1938 elections, the Country Party lost both its seats as Labour decided to contest them, with Rushworth retiring (partly because of Labour's intervention) and Sexton being defeated by National. The party won only 0.2% of the vote, and disappeared soon afterwards. Most rural voters who had supported it turned to the National Party, which incorporated the former Reform Party. Later, however, the Social Credit Party would gain a certain amount of success in rural areas using much the same formula — some see the Country Party as a forerunner to the more long-lived Social Credit.


  • Country Party, 1969 1
  • Electoral results 2
  • References 3
  • External links 4

Country Party, 1969

The Country Party was revived for the 1969 election by Clifford Stanley Emeny of New Plymouth (1920-2000), a World War II air force veteran. The party put forward candidates in 15 seats, and they attracted 6,715 votes. Emeny himself stood in Stratford where he got 1130 votes, the largest vote for the party; and in Egmont, New Plymouth, Tauranga and Waimarino. The other seats contested were Ashburton, Hamilton West, Otago, Pahiatua, Raglan, Rangitikei, Rodney, Waikato, Waitomo and Wallace. In the 1972 election, Emeny stood again, as a Liberal Reform candidate.[2]

Electoral results

Election # of seats won Total votes % of popular vote
0 / 80
1 / 80
1 / 80
2 / 80
0 / 80
0 / 80


  1. ^ "Farmer Party Evangelist Ross Leads Secession". NZ Truth. 1924-10-11. Retrieved 2010-06-01. 
  2. ^ Norton, Clifford (1988). New Zealand Parliamentary Election Results 1946-1987: Occasional Publications No 1, Department of Political Science. Wellington: Victoria University of Wellington.  
  • Milne, Robert Stephen (1966). Political Parties in New Zealand.  

External links

  • McLintock, A. H. (1966). "COUNTRY PARTY". Encyclopaedia of New Zealand. Retrieved 15 May 2015. 
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.