PATHE’ GAZETTE, WELLINGTON N.Z. MEN OF THE TIMES: HON. T. MACKENZIE, A MINISTER OF MANY PORTFOLIOS
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INTERTITLE B&W: “Wellington. N.Z. MEN OF THE TIMES
Hon. T. Mackenzie, Minister of Many Portfolios”
WS Thomas Mackenzie walking towards camera with walking stick
MS Thomas Mackenzie posing for camera.
Thomas Noble Mackenzie 1853-1930
In 1908 Mackenzie - controversially, but not entirely illogically - joined the Liberals. The following year he was given the posts of minister of agriculture, minister of industries and commerce and minister in charge of tourism. The prime minister, Sir Joseph Ward, hoped that appointing a freeholder to cabinet would help stop the drift of farmers away from the Liberal party, and revitalise the old alliance of urban labour, small town businessmen and small farmers. Mackenzie, in turn, hoped to continue the implementation of progressive and liberal policies while heading off an emerging socialist challenge. Although his promotion was resented by many older Liberal members, Mackenzie was an effective minister of agriculture. Herd testing was initiated in 1909, and the useful Journal of the Department of Agriculture was launched with his wholehearted support in 1910. He brought Maori land under the scope of the Scenery Preservation Board within the Department of Lands and Survey, and gave active support to the board's activities.
Thomas Mackenzie's move to the Egmont electorate in 1911 lost him much support amongst his colleagues. Nevertheless, when Ward resigned as prime minister following the Liberals' election setback in 1911, Mackenzie was chosen as his successor ahead of the unpopular John Millar. He lacked either the charisma or vision to lift the Liberals out of their lethargy and seemed almost relieved to hand over power to William Massey and the Reform Party in July 1912. He resigned confident that the Liberals' innovations had become too entrenched to be abolished.
Reference number F31420
Collection Film and Video Collection
Media type Moving Image
Place of Production NEW ZEALAND/AOTEAROA
Production company Pathe’ Gazette
Viewing locations Digital file available to view at medialibrary, Wellington