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.
Holland was born in Greendale
in the Canterbury
region of the South Island
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.
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
, on the grounds that it was ineffectual. Subsequently New Zealand has had a unicameral
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.