Sir Keith should be in Parliament

March 6th, 2013 at 1:00 pm by David Farrar

Sir is New Zealand’s third longest serving Prime Minister. His statue is in Molesworth Street outside the building that used to house the States Services Commission.

keith-holyoake-statue-2-www-1b

 

Photo from Nigel Roberts.

As our 3rd longest serving Prime Minister, his statue should have been in Parliament Grounds along with Seddon and Ballance. Ballance was Premier for only two years!

The Labour Government in 1987 refused to allow Holyoake’s statue to go in Parliament, despite the wishes of the Holyoake family for it to be placed there. They placed it outside the SSC Building on the basis he had something to do with establishing them. A petty and pathetic decision I thought.

Anyway the building it is outside no longer houses the SSC. It is now Rugby House, the home of the NZRFU. It is bizarre to have Sir Keith outside the building of a private sporting body.

This would be a great opportunity for the Government to move Sir Keith’s statue to Parliament Grounds. In fact I think all Prime Ministers who served three full terms or more should have in Parliament Grounds. It would be good to have of Muldoon and Clark there also – preferably next to each other :-)

Anyway there is a small problem with reclaiming Sir Keith for Parliament. His statue was accidentally sold as part of the building.

The Government could buy it back, but maybe there is another solution.

Why not commission an iconic rugby statue or sculpture and do a swap? Place the rugby sculpture outside Rugby House and move Sir Keith to Parliament?

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28 Responses to “Sir Keith should be in Parliament”

  1. Rob Hosking (75 comments) says:

    I had a theory it was placed on the corner of Pipitea St because that was the site of the TAB where he used to pop in for a bet walking to or from Parliament (he lived in Pipitea St as PM, from memory where the Cook Islands consulate now is).

    But I remember the row you mention…wasn’t there also something about a proposal to name the National Library after him, & Labour vetoed the idea?

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  2. RRM (9,468 comments) says:

    Let’s not.

    Sir Keith Park or Nancy Wake would be worthy of an expensive new statue in parliament grounds. Slightly-prominent politicians not so much…

    Besides there have been so many politicians, parliament grounds would eventually fill up. Leave him on Molesworth St where he is.

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  3. hinamanu (2,352 comments) says:

    Sir Keith Park for sure

    Demanded Concrete flight strips for fighters to Winston Churchill himself and got them.

    A big Kiwi from lil NZ won Churchills respect

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  4. Andrew M (43 comments) says:

    “Why not commission an iconic rugby statue or sculpture and do a swap?”

    Sure, you pay for it.

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  5. Griff (6,808 comments) says:

    Why waste money on some dead old coot?
    If you want a statue you pay not the tax payer

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  6. Manolo (13,376 comments) says:

    I agree with Griff. I could not care less.

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  7. Nigel Kearney (864 comments) says:

    I have no idea what Holyoake would have wanted, but in his position I would much rather have my statue associated with something that we can actually be proud of.

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  8. DrDr (108 comments) says:

    Sir Keith was once asked what his favourite book was, he answered “The origin of species” by Charles Dickens – such a faux-pas was unforgivable from the literary set and sunk any chances of any type of library being named after him.

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  9. Jack5 (4,591 comments) says:

    Holyoake was a very good Prime Minister, but statues for politicians – no.

    A statue of an un-airbrushed Helen Clark? A horrid idea.

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  10. Longknives (4,464 comments) says:

    “A statue of an un-airbrushed Helen Clark?”

    Gazing directly upon such a thing would likely turn you to stone..

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  11. Chris2 (757 comments) says:

    During the 1969 election campaign I recall Holyoake spoke to “The Listener” magazine about how Horatio Nelson went into the battle at Trafalgar wearing a red jacket, so that if he was wounded, none of his troops would notice, and become dispirited.

    The interviewer asked Keith what he would be wearing on election night. Holyoake replied “brown trousers”.

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  12. Graeme Edgeler (3,267 comments) says:

    Sir Keith Park or Nancy Wake would be worthy of an expensive new statue in parliament grounds. Slightly-prominent politicians not so much…

    A statue for Park would be great, but why do you want it in Parliament grounds?

    Put it where everyone can see it!

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  13. davidp (3,540 comments) says:

    Every statue I have ever seen has had its head covered in pigeon shit. It’s a bad way to honour anyone you actually care about.

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  14. DavidR (102 comments) says:

    Kiwi Keith first stood for parliament in the Motueka seat. In 1935, when Labour swept into power, he got one vote in the West Coast town of Waiuta. The local paper reported this and commented, ‘It is hard to understand why anyone in a mining town would vote for the National candidate.’

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  15. Harriet (4,524 comments) says:

    “…..In fact I think all Prime Ministers who served three full terms or more should have statues in Parliament Grounds….Helen Clark….’

    That’s dumb under MMP:

    ……In Key’s case he won’t need to be cemented to the ground – Dunn can remain proping him up! :cool:

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  16. Judith (7,634 comments) says:

    Yeah, put him in Parliament Grounds, in fact, put all the statues we have in parliament grounds so when his time comes, there won’t be room for Key, and we won’t have to put up with his ‘smug mug’ ruining our smoko breaks.

    (taking bets on how many ‘thumbs down’ I get on this one)

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  17. KiwiGreg (3,177 comments) says:

    What an excellent use of some of the vast surpluses this government has accumulated.

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  18. flipper (3,566 comments) says:

    Dr Dr …
    Source please.
    If you knew him you also would find your story quite Dickensian :)

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  19. hinamanu (2,352 comments) says:

    Talkin bout Keith Park, just found out about Cobber Cain. Ace Kiwi Fighter pilot we’ve never been told about.

    Sadly killed in action after downing many Germans

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edgar_James_%22Cobber%22_Kain

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  20. dubya (214 comments) says:

    Roy Southward, a family friend and the owner of this statue, sadly passed away last year.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/news/local-papers/hutt-news/6753952/Roy-Southward-known-for-his-community-service

    DPF, As far as I know, the NZRFU are just the tenants and haven’t bought the building, so I don’t think they’re in any position to barter statues. You might have more luck contacting Roy’s son Lawrence, who lives in Australia.

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  21. Warren Murray (277 comments) says:

    I’m no authority on the subject, but I thought Balance and Seddon were immortalised in Parliament grounds because they died in office. Might be a better (and more exclusive) criterion for whether any other PMs’ statues should join them.

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  22. Viking2 (11,139 comments) says:

    Warren Murray (50) Says:
    March 6th, 2013 at 5:30 pm

    I’m no authority on the subject, but I thought Balance and Seddon were immortalised in Parliament grounds because they died in office. Might be a better (and more exclusive) criterion for whether any other PMs’ statues should join them.
    ————————————–
    Add Kirk and lange and you have a right bunch of socialist PM’s.

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  23. DrDr (108 comments) says:

    Flipper the only reference I can find is in the Heinemann Dictionary of New Zealand Quotations / ed by Harry Orsman in 1988 – It was mentioned in a tv interview

    The actual quote was “I’ve even read Charles Dickens’ Origin of Species”

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  24. Tom Jackson (2,458 comments) says:

    He was a crook.

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  25. Warren Murray (277 comments) says:

    Viking, Perhaps you mean Kirk and Savage? Lange didnt die in office. On the right side of the path you would put Massey.

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  26. Warren Murray (277 comments) says:

    David while I respect Holyoake’s remarkable political career, i think he blew it when he left Parliament to take up the position of GG.

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  27. cha (3,779 comments) says:

    He was a crook.

    Apparently so.

    http://werewolf.co.nz/2012/04/public-office-private-gain/

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  28. BlairM (2,287 comments) says:

    Surely the right thing to do, in the true spirit of his Premiership, would be to just ignore the problem, leave the statue there and do nothing?

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