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The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 11, Issue 3 (June 1, 1936)

[section]

(S. P. Andrew photo.) The Right Hon. W. F. Massey, P. C. Prime Minister of New Zealand, 1912–1925. Died, 1925, aged 69.

(S. P. Andrew photo.)
The Right Hon. W. F. Massey, P. C.
Prime Minister of New Zealand, 1912–1925. Died, 1925, aged 69.

Mr. Massey, who will always be remembered as the Dominion's Prime Minster during the Great War period, was an embodiment of all the sturdy qualities needful in the making of a nation in a new and undeveloped land. Although he did not arrive in New Zealand until 1870, much of the country was still in its pioneering stage, and he shared in the breaking-in and buildingup process. He came of the excellent North of Ireland stock whose original source was the Scottish lowlands and who gave to New Zealand many of its most dependable and self-reliant settlers. He was a farmer first and a politician afterwards. When he became Prime Minister his legislation leaned strongly to the side of the man on the land; by every means in his power he encouraged the growth of a population of yeoman farmers owning their own holdings. He had his limitations; his views were strongly conservative, he was averse to the broadening and liberalising process demanded by the changing age. He was doubtless at times a brake on the wheels of progress. But in the Great War he rose to the needs of the hour and shrewdly and capably led the Dominion in that unexampled time of trial and sacrifice. He developed a spirit of Imperialism less flamboyant than Seddon's in an earlier day, and he earned the respect of the whole British Commonwealth of Nations for his hearty devotion to the cause of a united Empire.