Colonial cabinets were small because the state was small, and because Britain carried out New Zealand’s external relations.
Although critics derided Richard ‘King Dick’ Seddon for being a one-man cabinet, this photograph, taken between 1903 and 1906, shows that he let others share the cabinet table. Here, from left, Charles Mills, Thomas Duncan, James McGowan, Sir Joseph Ward (prime minister, 1906–12 and 1928–30), Seddon, William Hall-Jones (briefly prime minister in 1906), Albert Pitt, Sir James Carroll and Mahuta Te Wherowhero sit around the table.
Seddon’s cabinet room has been restored and can be visited at the Government Buildings Historic Reserve, across the road from the parliamentary complex.
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