NASH, Right Hon. Sir Walter, G.C.M.G., C.H.
Labour Prime Minister.
A new biography of Nash, Walter appears in the Dictionary of New Zealand Biography on this site.
Walter Nash was born on 12 February 1882 at Kidderminster, England, where he was educated. After several kinds of occupation, he came to New Zealand in 1909 representing certain English publishers and manufacturers. His interest in social problems led him to join the New Zealand Labour Party, of which he was secretary from 1922 to 1932, president from 1935 to 1936, and on the National Executive from 1919 to 1937 and 1950 to date. He has been a member of Parliament for Hutt since 1929, and in the first Labour Government he became Minister of Finance, Customs, and Stamp Duties (1935–49), of Marketing (1936–41), and Social Security in 1938. After the accession of Peter Fraser to the Prime Ministership in 1940, he became Deputy Prime Minister, 1940–49. On the return of the Labour Government in 1957 he was Prime Minister till 1960, holding several portfolios. In 1963 he relinquished the leadership of the Labour Opposition Party, his successor being the Hon. A. H. Nordmeyer.
Over a long and distinguished career Nash has represented New Zealand at many overseas conferences concerned with political, financial, commercial, and economic problems. In New Zealand he has been connected with progressive and cultural organisations reflecting his wide and active interest in all aspects of New Zealand life. He was honoured with the degree of Ll.D. by two American universities, and by Victoria University of Wellington in 1963. He was made P.C. 1946 and C.H. 1959. In the Birthday Honours 1965, he was created G.C.M.G.