Ohinemuri Regional History Journal 48, September 2004


By Gordon Mathieson

The death occurred at Paraparaumu on 4 March 2004 of the Hon. Arthur Ellis Kinsella, J.P., Q.S.O., M.A., aged eighty-six years.

Mr Kinsella was born at Waikino on 15 January, 1918, the only son of James (1996 - 1973) and Helen Kinsella (1893 - 1986). Arthur's paternal grandfather, Matthew, was one of Waitekauri's earliest settlers.

Arthur was educated at Waikino School and Waihi District High School, gained his Batchelor of Arts Degree at Victoria University, Wellington and trained as a teacher. During World War II he served with the Royal Engineers in Britain, North Africa and the Middle East until he was wounded and invalided home.

After a short period primary school teaching, Mr Kinsella joined the staff of the Secondary Department of the Paeroa District High School in February 1949. His contemporaries , when he joined the Staff, were Mr John Jensen, Mr Bill Ritchie, Mrs Audrey Fulton, Miss Welch, Mr Wattie Fleming and the Secondary Head, Mr Rex Heward. The Headmaster was Mr G H Gubbins. He gained his Master of Arts Degree from Auckland University during this period.

While on the Staff, rugby also benefited from Mr Kinsella's coaching. He, along with Mr Wattie Fleming (Staff member 1948 - 1956, and now the only staff member from that period surviving) ably kept rugby to a high standard, resulting in Paeroa's first Coulter Cup win in 1952 (see article at page 4).

He resigned his teaching position at the end of 1958.

Always interested in politics, he held several executive positions at local level until he became our Member of Parliament at the 1954 General Election under Sid Holland's National Government for a term. Three years later Labour, under Walter Nash, were in power then, in 1960, National was returned to power, this time under Keith Holyoake. Mr Kinsella was appointed to his first ministerial role as Minister of Broadcasting 1960 -1961. He was then Postmaster General 1961 - 1963 and Minister of Education 1963 -1969.Waihi's PYE television factory was officially opened by Mr Kinsella in 1962, and, under his Education portfolio, officially opened the following in our area:

17 April 1964 Paeroa College Assembly Hall

24 March 1966 Paeroa Central School additions and alterations

9 December 1966 Netherton Schools additional classrooms

Following a car accident in 1969 he retired from politics but our Electorate has, with one exception, remained National: Leo Schultz 1969 - 1981; Graham Lee 1981 - 1996; Murray McLean 1996 - 1999; Jeanette Fitzsimons (Greens) 1999 - 2002 and Sandra Goudie since 2002.