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

Leader of the Opposition

Leader of the Opposition.

It was in 1903 that Massey took his place; his sound knowledge of legislative methods and his native ability and strength of character well qualified him for the difficult post. It was soon after he assumed the leadership, as Dr. Scholefield narrates, that the Opposition adopted the phrase, “Reform Party” as its fighting title.

After Mr. Seddon's death in 1906, the strength of the Opposition steadily increased. Sir Joseph Ward did not possess the Seddonian touch of personal mana, and the farming population especially was solid for Reform. Freehold versus State leasehold was the great question of the day, and the never-slackening fight of the Opposition for freehold carried the Liberal walls at last.