- Category : Politics-Labor-unions
- Type : PE
- Profile : 2/4 - Hermit / Opportunist
- Definition : Split - Small (12,35)
- Incarnation Cross : RAX Explanation 1
New Zealand statesman 1904-83. A farmer, Sir Holyoake was active in agricultural organizations in the 1930s and 40s, entering Parliament in 1932. A member of the National Party, he became Deputy Leader in 1947. In
1949 he was named Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Agriculture in the National Party government.
At age 12 he left school to work on the family farm. His nickname of "Kiwi Keith" came from school where there was also an "Aussie Keith" in his class. Fond of sports, he did well, especially in rugby, and was prominent in farming groups. Holyoake stood for Motueka in 1931 and lost but won it in a by-election in 1932, becoming the youngest member of Parliament at the time.
In 1935 he married Norma Ingram. After the 1935 election defeat Holyoake played a key role in establishing the National Party in 1936 but lost his seat in 1938. While out of Parliament, Holyoake became Vice-President of the Farmers Union, helping to transform it into Federated Farmers in 1944. In 1943 he returned to Parliament as MP for Pahiatua and three years later was Deputy Leader of National. National did not win the 1956 election but did win in 1949 and Holyoake became Minister of Agriculture. He also became the first person to be formally appointed
Deputy Prime Minister.
As Agriculture Minister Holyoake handed control of marketing departments back to producers, established floor prices for wool, and brought rabbit numbers under control. Holyoake served as Minister of Agriculture for seven years, making him the third longest serving
in that portfolio.
He served briefly as Prime Minister from 9/20 to 12/12/ 1957, when Sidney G. Holland resigned, and was subsequently leader of the Nationalist Opposition. When his party won the elections on 12/12/1960, he became Prime Minister more securely. This was a time of strength for the National Party which in 1960 had 258,000 members in 1300 branches. Both as Prime Minister, and during his days as Opposition Leader and Agriculture Minister, Holyoake was widely credited as being a superb negotiator and builder of consensus.
New Zealand’s third longest serving P.M. Sir Holyoake served four terms until 2/07/1972. Holyoake was active in international affairs, being a strong supporter of the Commonwealth and he also strengthened ties with
Australia and South-East Asia. He resigned the post to Deputy Prime Minister John Marshall in order to revitalize the party for the upcoming elections (which the Nationalists lost). He was Minister of State 1975-77 and then became the first politician to be appointed Governor-General, 1977-80. He was knighted in 1970.
He died in December 1983, New Zealand, aged 79.