Story: Premiers and prime ministers

Sir Francis Henry Dillon Bell

Sir Francis Henry Dillon Bell

Sir Francis Henry Dillon Bell served as prime minister for just 16 days in May 1925, after William Massey died in office, but that was enough to give him the distinctions of being the first New Zealand-born prime minister and the last one to lead from the former upper house, the Legislative Council. The son of a former speaker of the House of Representatives, the 74-year-old Bell held the office until the Reform caucus convened to select a permanent successor. Bell died in 1936.

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Alexander Turnbull Library
Reference: G-826-3
Oil on canvas by Archibald Nicoll

Permission of the Alexander Turnbull Library, National Library of New Zealand, Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa, must be obtained before any re-use of this image.

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How to cite this page:

Gavin McLean, 'Premiers and prime ministers - The role of prime minister', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 22 June 2024)

Story by Gavin McLean, published 20 Jun 2012, updated 1 Dec 2016