Tommy Armstrong

Arthur Ernest (Tommy) Armstrong (1902 - 1980) was a Member of Parliament for Napier in the North Island of New Zealand.

Member of Parliament

Tommy Armstrong was the Member of Parliament for Napier for eight years from 1943 to 1951. He later stood as an Independent against Mabel Howard in her Sydenham electorate in the 1966 election.

Independent Labourite

Tommy Armstrong served on the Christchurch City Council between 1929 and 1935 and from 1962 to 1965. In 1929 Armstrong was successful as an Independent Socialist against the official Labour ticket. He believed the Christchurch City Council was neglecting the unemployed (Christchurch Press, 2 May 1929 & 18 May 1929). Armstrong did not mince his words about the labour leadership to a large meeting in Sydenham: "they are ready to cry and shed tears with the unemployed when deputations wait on them, but when asked to do something decent they are found wanting". (Christchurch Times, 29 April 1931). Though not returned as an Independent Labourite in the 1935 election, primarily because preferential voting had been abolished, Armstrong still got over 11,000 votes.

Armstrong was the son of Hubert Tim Armstrong.

Tommy Armstrong was the Canterbury Featherweight Boxing Champion in 1923 and represented the province in Rugby League. He was a mechanical and diesel engineer.

Further reading

*"Crisis and Change: Economic Crisis and Technological Change between the World Wars, with special reference to Christchurch, 1926-1936" by James Watson (1984, PHD-University of Canterbury, Christchurch)


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