Herdman was a leading figure of the Reform government and the coalition National administration of the First World War. His authoritarian temperament contributed to the heavy-handed style of government of that period. His most enduring political achievement, however, was the creation of a public service commissioner. The system he created in 1912 remained unchanged in essentials until 1988.
Susan Butterworth. Links and sources for 'Herdman, Alexander Lawrence', Dictionary of New Zealand Biography, first published in 1996. Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, https://teara.govt.nz/en/biographies/3h18/herdman-alexander-lawrence/sources (accessed 28 September 2020)