NORDMEYER Arnold Henry
The Right Honourable
Order of New Zealand (ONZ) Appointed 6 February 1987 Knight Commander of the Most Distinguished Order of St Michael and St George (KCMG) For most valuable services to politics. Companion of the Most Distinguished Order of St Michael & St George (CMG) Long serving Labour MP and sometime Leader of the Opposition. New Zealand politician, an influential figure in the New Zealand Labour Party for more than 30 years. Nordmeyer graduated from the University of Otago and served as a Presbyterian minister from 1925 until he entered the New Zealand Parliament in 1935. He helped draft the Social Security Act of 1938, which formed the basis for the nation’s welfare system, and he then headed several ministries,
including Health (1941–47) and Industries and Commerce (1947–49). He lost his reelection bid in 1949, but two years later he returned to Parliament, where he became finance minister (1957–60) and party leader (1963–65).
Following the creation of the European Economic Community (1957), Nordmeyer responded to a perceived threat to New Zealand trade with a 1958 austerity budget—known as the “Black Budget”—that introduced heavy tax increases. In the resulting public uproar, support for the Labour Party plunged, and the party lost the 1960 general election. Unable to rebuild public support, he was ousted as leader of the opposition in 1965 and he retired four years later. He was knighted in 1975.
Order of New Zealand (ONZ)
Knight Commander of the Most Distinguished Order of St Michael and St George (KCMG)
Companion of the Most Distinguished Order of St Michael & St George (CMG)
Born 7 February 1901, Dunedin, New Zealand
Died 2 February 1989, Wellington, New Zealand