sidney george holland

Sidney Holland


Sir Sidney George Holland, GCMG, CH, (October 18 1893-August 5 1961) was Prime Minister of New Zealand from December 13 1949 to September 20 1957.

Early life

Holland was born in Greendale in the Canterbury region of the South Island.

Political career

He came from a politically prominent family and his father, Henry Holland served as Mayor of Christchurch from 1912 to 1919. Sidney was elected to Parliament in 1935 after replacing Henry in elections for his seat due to Henry's ill health. In 1940 he became leader of the National Party and served as Leader of the Opposition for nearly ten years, until the National Party won the 1949 elections.

He represented the Christchurch North electorate from 1935 to 1946, and then the Fendalton electorate from 1946 to 1957.

Prime Minister

His First National Government implemented economic reforms, dismantling many state controls. In 1951, the National government signed the ANZUS defence agreement with Australia and the United States. The government also undertook constitutional change in 1950, by abolishing the Legislative Council, the upper house of Parliament, on the grounds that it was ineffectual. Subsequently New Zealand has had a unicameral parliament.

In 1951 Holland suspended the freedom of the press when he confronted striking dockers and coal miners intent on what he called "industrial anarchy". He called a snap election, and was re-elected Prime Minister.

Resignation and later life

Following ill health, Holland stepped down as Prime Minister in September 1957 and was replaced by Keith Holyoake.

Holland was knighted not long after leaving office. He died of illness in Wellington, New Zealand, in 1961.

His son Eric Holland became a National MP and a cabinet minister.


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