Norman Jones (politician)

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Norman Jones

Member of Parliament
for Invercargill
In office
Preceded byJ. B. Munro
Succeeded byRob Munro
Personal details
Norman Philip Hastings Jones

(1923-08-15)15 August 1923
Invercargill, New Zealand
Died19 November 1987(1987-11-19) (aged 64)
Invercargill, New Zealand
Resting placeEastern Cemetery, Invercargill
Political partyNational Party
Marjory Millicent Moffat (m. 1950)
Military service
Allegiance New Zealand
Branch/service23rd Battalion
Years of service1941–1942
Battles/warsWorld War II

Norman Philip Hastings Jones QSM (15 August 1923 – 19 November 1987) was a New Zealand National Party politician, who represented the Invercargill electorate in Parliament.


New Zealand Parliament
Years Term Electorate Party
1975–1978 38th Invercargill National
1978–1981 39th Invercargill National
1981–1984 40th Invercargill National
1984–1987 41st Invercargill National

Jones was born on 15 August 1923 in Invercargill. He was one of six brothers and two sisters and the only one of the brothers to complete primary school, although he left secondary school shortly before his 15th birthday.[1] From that point on he held a number of short-term jobs, working principally as a farm labourer before he joined the New Zealand Army in 1941 after lying about his age. He served as a private in the 23rd Infantry Battalion during World War II and lost his right leg to tank-fire at the age of 19 in North Africa.[1] After his war service he attended Otago and Victoria Universities and Dunedin Teachers' College. He taught at Wanganui for some time before returning south to become assistant master at Southland College. Subsequently he worked at James Hargest High School and at Southland Boys' High School.[2]

Jones was an Invercargill city councillor for 18 years, and served one term as deputy mayor. In the 1975 Birthday Honours he received a Queen's Service Medal for Public Service (QSM) for "services to civil defence and the community".[3] He became particularly notable for his vehement opposition to the Homosexual Law Reform Act 1986. Due to his outspokenness on this and other issues, the media dubbed him "the mouth from the south".

"Turn around and look at them ... gaze upon them ... you're looking into Hades ... don't look too long – you might catch AIDS."[4]

Norman Jones referring to homosexuals in 1985

When the Labour Party won office in 1984, an economic summit took place in the parliamentary debating chamber. Representatives from industry, unions and community groups attended. Jones refused to vacate his seat, saying he would not give up his chair for some communist to sit down.

He first stood for Parliament at a by-election in 1945. He had contested seven elections before being chosen as the National candidate for Invercargill in 1975, when he beat the incumbent Labour representative, J. B. Munro.[2][5] He remained in Parliament until shortly before his death in 1987.

Norman Jones died on 19 November 1987[6][7] from a brain tumour at the age of 64. His autobiography, Jonesy, published five years earlier in 1982, detailed his wartime service and his political career. A number of the most controversial aspects and events of his public service occurred after the book's publication.


  1. ^ a b Jones 1981, p. ?.
  2. ^ a b Gustafson, Barry (1986). The First 50 Years : A History of the New Zealand National Party. Auckland: Reed Methuen. ISBN 0-474-00177-6.
  3. ^ "No. 46595". The London Gazette (Supplement). 6 June 1975. p. 7407.
  4. ^ "Reforming the law - homosexual law reform". Retrieved 30 December 2010.
  5. ^ Wilson, James Oakley (1985) [First ed. published 1913]. New Zealand parliamentary record, 1840–1984 (4 ed.). Wellington: V.R. Ward, Govt. Printer. pp. 209, 222. OCLC 154283103.
  6. ^ "PART 5 - From Law Reform to the present". Queer History New Zealand. Retrieved 25 November 2011.
  7. ^ "Obituary---N. P. H. Jones". VDIG group. Retrieved 25 November 2011.


  • Jones, Norman (1981). Jonesy. Invercargill: Craig Publishing. ISBN 0-9597554-8-9.
  • Thomson, Jane (editor) (1998). Southern People: a dictionary of Otago Southland biography. Dunedin: Longacre Press. p. 261. ISBN 1-877135-11-9.CS1 maint: extra text: authors list (link)

External links[edit]

New Zealand Parliament
Preceded by
J. B. Munro
Member of Parliament for Invercargill
Succeeded by
Rob Munro