Thomas Hislop (mayor)

Thomas Charles Atkinson Hislop (29 November 1888 – 21 June 1965) was the Mayor of Wellington from 1931 to 1944.

He was a Wellington City Councillor from 1913 to 1915, when he resigned to serve in the Wellington Regiment in World War I. He became a Councillor again from 1927 to 1931, and then Mayor from 1931 to 1945.

He was the political leader of the Democrat Party organised by Albert Davy in 1934–35. The party was anti-socialist, but in the 1935 general election its main effect was to split the anti-Labour vote, and it disappeared soon afterwards. Mayor Tom Hislop was seen as a remote, even erratic figure, and his right-wing views regularly brought him into conflict with the wartime Labour government. But the attack on Hubert Nathan a Jew and Citizens candidate for the Harbour Board by some trade unionists resulted in the defeat of all the Labour candidates to the Council in 1941 [1]

In 1940 Noël Coward was on a world entertainment and propaganda tour, and at a mayoral reception in Wellington had a set-to with the Mayoress who seemed to me to suffer from delusions of grandeur .... She said to me in ringing tones that I was never to dare to sing "The Stately Homes of England" again as it was an insult to the homeland and that neither she or anybody else liked it. I replied coldly that for many years it had been one of my greatest successes, whereupon she announced triumphantly to everyone within earshot: 'You see – he can’t take criticism!' Irritated beyond endurance I replied that I was perfectly prepared to take intelligent criticism at any time, but I was not prepared to tolerate bad manners. With this I bowed austerely and left the party. [2][3]

Hislop was Chairman of the Wellington Provincial Centennial Council and the New Zealand Centennial Exhibition Company from 1937; the Centennial was in 1940.

He was High Commissioner to Canada from 1950 to 1957. He died on 21 June 1965 in Montreal, Canada; where his daughter Mrs A. Gordon was living.[4]

His father Thomas William Hislop was Mayor of Wellington from 1905 to 1908. He was born in Wellington on 29 November 1888. He attended Wellington College, and then Cambridge University where he graduated in law.


  1. Wellington: Biography of a city by Redmer Yska (Reed, Auckland, 2006) page 158-159 ISBN 0-7900-1117-4
  2. Future Indefinite by Noel Coward, page 185 (William Heinemann, London, 1954)
  3. Wellington: Biography of a city by Redmer Yska (Reed, Auckland, 2006) pages 157–158 ISBN 0-7900-1117-4
  4. Obituary in Evening Post, Wellington; 23 June 1965
  • No Mean City by Stuart Perry (1969, Wellington City Council) includes a paragraph and a portrait or photo for each mayor.
Political offices
Preceded by
George Troup
Mayor of Wellington
Succeeded by
Will Appleton
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