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Arthur Bates

Arthur Bates was a British-born New Zealand supercentenarian and the country's oldest (known) man ever. His age has not been validated by LongeviQuest.


Bates was born in Liverpool, England, UK, on 25 November 1881. He arrived in New Zealand abroad the ship Kaikoura in 1892.

Bates never married, and later in life, he would assert that this was the reason he lived so long. In 1931, just before the Napier earthquake, he relocated to Australia, where he established a trucking business. Following the failure of his business, he returned to Napier.

In 1989, he suffered a mild stroke. He was a cricket fan, and even at the age of 109, he continued to enjoy following cricket news on his transistor radio. At that time, he could walk unaided, remained lucid, but his eyesight and hearing had deteriorated.

Arthur Bates passed away in Napier, Hawke’s Bay, New Zealand on 19 January 1992, at the age of 110 years, 55 days.

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On 17 May 1989, following the death of 109-year-old Lillian Hickmott, he became the oldest (known) living person in New Zealand.

In November 1991, he celebrated his 110th birthday, making him the first male supercentenarian in New Zealand and, potentially, the country’s first supercentenarian overall. The only previous claim was Parewahawaha Ranginui Leonard, who passed away in December 1984, at the claimed age of 112.

As of November 2023, Bates remains the only recorded male supercentenarian from New Zealand.

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* “109 not out! says Arthur Bates” – Dominion Sunday Times, 25 November 1990

* “Kiwi turns 110” – The Age, 26 November 1991