8th New Zealand Parliament

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Eighth Parliament of New Zealand
7th Parliament 9th Parliament
Term 18 May 1882 – 24 June 1884
Election New Zealand general election, 1881
Government Hall ministry (until 1882)
Whitaker ministry (1882 - 1883)
Third Atkinson ministry (from 1883)
House of Representatives
Members 95
Speaker of the House Maurice O'Rorke
Premier Harry Atkinson
––from 25 September 1883

John Hall
––until 21 April 1882
Legislative Council
Members 47 (at start)
49 (at end)
Speaker of the Council William Fitzherbert
Premier Frederick Whitaker
––21 April 1882 – 25 September 1883
Monarch HM Victoria
Governor HE Lt. Gen. Sir William Jervois from 20 January 1883
––HE Rt. Hon. Sir Arthur Hamilton-Gordon until 24 June 1882

The 8th New Zealand Parliament was a term of the New Zealand Parliament.

Elections for this term were held in 4 Māori electorates and 91 general electorates on 8 and 9 December 1881, respectively. A total of 95 MPs were elected, i.e. multi-member electorates were no longer used. Parliament was prorogued in June 1884. During the term of this Parliament, three Ministries were in power.


The 8th Parliament opened on 18 May 1882, following the 1881 general election. It sat for three sessions, and was prorogued on 27 June 1884.[1]

Session Opened Adjouned
first 18 May 1882 15 September 1882
second 14 June 1883 8 September 1883
third 5 June 1884 24 June 1884

Historical context

Portraits depicting members of the 1882 House of Representatives.

Political parties had not been established yet; this only happened after the 1890 election. Anyone attempting to form an administration thus had to win support directly from individual MPs. This made first forming, and then retaining a government difficult and challenging.[2]


The Hall Ministry under Premier John Hall had been in power since 8 October 1879. This ministry lasted until 21 April 1882. It was succeeded by the Whitaker Ministry, which lasted until 25 September 1883. The second Atkinson Ministry succeeded it. This Ministry finished on 16 August 1884, just after the 1884 general election for the 9th Parliament.[3][4]


Ninety-one general and four Māori electorates were used for the 1881 elections, i.e. the previous multi-member electorates were abolished. The changes were the result of the Representation Act 1881.[5] The previous electoral redistribution was undertaken in 1875 for the 1875–76 election. In the six years since, New Zealand's European population had increased by 65%. In the 1881 electoral redistribution, the House of Representatives increased the number of European representatives to 91 (up from 84 since the 1875–76 election). The number of Māori electorates was held at four. The House further decided that electorates should not have more than one representative, which led to 35 new electorates being formed: Ashburton, Auckland North, Awarua, Christchurch North, Christchurch South, Coromandel, Dunedin Central, Dunedin East, Dunedin South, Dunedin West, Foxton, Franklin North, Franklin South, Hawke's Bay, Hokonui, Inangahua, Kumara, Lincoln, Manukau, Moeraki, Peninsula, St Albans, Stanmore, Sydenham, Taranaki, Tauranga, Te Aro, Thorndon, Waimate, Waipawa, Wairarapa North, Wairarapa South, Waitotara, Wakanui, and Wellington South. In addition, two electorates that had previously been abolished were recreated: Bay of Islands and Oamaru.[6]

These changes necessitated a major disruption to existing boundaries. Only six electorates remained unchanged: Waikato, Waipa, Bruce, Lyttelton, Nelson, and Picton.[6]

Initial composition of the 8th Parliament

95 seats were created across the electorates.[7]

The following table shows the successful candidate for each electorate.[8]

Member Electorate Affiliation MP's term
Montgomery, WilliamWilliam Montgomery Akaroa Greyite Fourth
Wright, Edward GeorgeEdward George Wright Ashburton Greyite Second
Pearson, William FisherWilliam Fisher Pearson Ashley Greyite First
Grey, GeorgeGeorge Grey Auckland East Greyite Fourth
Peacock, ThomasThomas Peacock Auckland North Independent First
Dargaville, JosephJoseph Dargaville Auckland West Independent First
Rolleston, WilliamWilliam Rolleston Avon Conservative Fifth
Joyce, James ParkerJames Parker Joyce Awarua Greyite Second
Hobbs, RichardRichard Hobbs Bay of Islands Conservative Second
Rutherford, JamesJames Rutherford Bruce Independent First
Munro, JohnJohn Munro Buller Independent Liberal First
Barron, WilliamWilliam Barron Caversham Greyite Second
McIlraith, HughHugh McIlraith Cheviot Conservative First
Thomson, HenryHenry Thomson Christchurch North Conservative First
Holmes, JohnJohn Holmes Christchurch South Greyite First
Thomson, James WilliamJames William Thomson Clutha Conservative Fourth
McMillan, DavidDavid McMillan Coleridge Conservative First
Cadman, AlfredAlfred Cadman Coromandel Greyite First
Bracken, ThomasThomas Bracken Dunedin Central Greyite First
Green, MatthewMatthew Green Dunedin East Independent First
Fish, HenryHenry Fish Dunedin South Independent First
Dick, ThomasThomas Dick Dunedin West Conservative Fourth
Pyke, VincentVincent Pyke Dunstan Greyite Fourth
McDonald, AllanAllan McDonald East Coast Greyite Second
Tole, JosephJoseph Tole Eden Greyite Third
Atkinson, HarryHarry Atkinson Egmont Conservative Sixth
Wilson, JamesJames Wilson Foxton Conservative First
Harris, BenjaminBenjamin Harris Franklin North Greyite Second
Hamlin, EbenezerEbenezer Hamlin Franklin South Greyite Third
Postlethwaite, WilliamWilliam Postlethwaite Geraldine Conservative First
Sutter, JamesJames Sutter Gladstone Independent First
Petrie, JosephJoseph Petrie Greymouth Conservative First
Sutton, FredFred Sutton Hawkes Bay Conservative Third
Wynn-Williams, HenryHenry Wynn-Williams Heathcote Conservative First
Fitzgerald, Gerard GeorgeGerard George Fitzgerald Hokitika Conservative First
Driver, HenryHenry Driver Hokonui Conservative Fifth
Mason, ThomasThomas Mason Hutt Conservative Second
Weston, Thomas S.Thomas S. Weston Inangahua Conservative Second
Feldwick, HenryHenry Feldwick Invercargill Greyite Second
Wilson, IsaacIsaac Wilson Kaiapoi Conservative First
Seddon, RichardRichard Seddon Kumara Greyite Second
O'Callaghan, ArthurArthur O'Callaghan Lincoln Conservative First
Allwright, HarryHarry Allwright Lyttelton Conservative Second
Johnston, Walter WoodsWalter Woods Johnston Manawatu Conservative Fourth
O'Rorke, MauriceMaurice O'Rorke Manukau Independent Sixth
Mitchelson, EdwinEdwin Mitchelson Marsden Conservative First
Mackenzie, Francis WallaceFrancis Wallace Mackenzie Mataura Greyite First
McKenzie, JohnJohn McKenzie Moeraki Greyite First
Hursthouse, RichmondRichmond Hursthouse Motueka Conservative Third
de Lautour, CecilCecil de Lautour Mount Ida Greyite Third
Buchanan, JohnJohn Buchanan Napier Greyite First
Levestam, HenryHenry Levestam Nelson Greyite Second
Kelly, ThomasThomas Kelly New Plymouth Conservative Fifth
Swanson, WilliamWilliam Swanson Newton Conservative Fourth
Shrimski, SamuelSamuel Shrimski Oamaru Greyite Third
Moss, FrederickFrederick Moss Parnell Greyite Third
Seaton, JamesJames Seaton Peninsula Greyite Second
Connoly, EdwardEdward Connoly Picton Conservative First
Macandrew, JamesJames Macandrew Port Chalmers Greyite Eighth
Stevens, JohnJohn Stevens Rangitikei Independent Liberal First
Thorne George, SeymourSeymour Thorne George Rodney Greyite Third
Bathgate, JohnJohn Bathgate Roslyn Greyite Second
Hall, JohnJohn Hall Selwyn Conservative Fifth
Brown, John EvansJohn Evans Brown St Albans Greyite Third
Pilliet, WalterWalter Pilliet Stanmore Conservative First
White, WilliamWilliam White Sydenham Greyite First
Fulton, JamesJames Fulton Taieri Conservative Second
Trimble, RobertRobert Trimble Taranaki Conservative Second
Morris, GeorgeGeorge Morris Tauranga Conservative Second
Johnston, Charles JohnCharles John Johnston Te Aro Conservative First
Sheehan, JohnJohn Sheehan Thames Independent Fourth
Levin, WilliamWilliam Levin Thorndon Conservative Second
Turnbull, RichardRichard Turnbull Timaru Greyite Third
Brown, James ClarkJames Clark Brown Tuapeka Greyite Fifth
Whyte, John BlairJohn Blair Whyte Waikato Conservative Second
Green, JamesJames Green Waikouaiti Conservative Second
Steward, WilliamWilliam Steward Waimate Conservative Second
Shephard, JosephJoseph Shephard Waimea Greyite Third
Whitaker, Frederick AlexanderFrederick Alexander Whitaker Waipa Conservative Second
Smith, William CowperWilliam Cowper Smith Waipawa Independent Liberal First
Beetham, GeorgeGeorge Beetham Wairarapa North Conservative Third
Buchanan, Walter ClarkeWalter Clarke Buchanan Wairarapa South Conservative First
Dodson, HenryHenry Dodson Wairau Greyite First
Duncan, Thomas YoungThomas Young Duncan Waitaki Greyite First
Hurst, William JohnWilliam John Hurst Waitemata Conservative Second
Bryce, JohnJohn Bryce Waitotara Conservative Fifth
Wason, CathcartCathcart Wason Wakanui Conservative Second
Fergus, ThomasThomas Fergus Wakatipu Conservative First
Daniel, TheophilusTheophilus Daniel Wallace Greyite First
Watt, William HoggWilliam Hogg Watt Wanganui Conservative Second
Hutchison, WilliamWilliam Hutchison Wellington South Greyite Second
Tomoana, HenareHenare Tomoana X-01Eastern Maori Conservative Third
Tawhai, HoneHone Tawhai X-02Northern Maori Greyite Second
Taiaroa, Hori KereiHori Kerei Taiaroa X-03Southern Maori Greyite Fourth
Wheoro, Wiremu TeWiremu Te Wheoro X-04Western Maori Greyite Second

Changes during term

There were a number of changes during the term of the 8th Parliament.

By-election Electorate Date Incumbent Reason Winner
1882 Franklin North 9 June Benjamin Harris Election declared void Benjamin Harris
1882 Wakanui 16 June Cathcart Wason Election declared void Joseph Ivess
1882 Stanmore[9] 11 July Walter Pilliet Election declared void Walter Pilliet
1883 Peninsula 22 January[10] James Seaton Death William Larnach
1883 Selwyn 6 April John Hall Resignation Edward Lee
1883 Inangahua 14 May Thomas S. Weston Resignation Edward Shaw
1883 Bruce 29 June James Rutherford Death James McDonald
1884 Selwyn 15 February Edward Lee Death Edward Wakefield
1884 Thorndon 13 May William Levin Resignation Alfred Newman
1884 Kaiapoi 16 May Isaac Wilson Resignation Edward Richardson
1884 East Coast 16 June Allan McDonald Resignation Samuel Locke


  1. ^ Scholefield 1950, p. 68.
  2. ^ King 2003, p. ?.
  3. ^ King 2003, p. 534.
  4. ^ Scholefield 1950, pp. 37–38.
  5. ^ "Representation Act 1881(45 VICT 1881 No 14)". New Zealand Legal Information Institute. Retrieved 2 April 2012. 
  6. ^ a b McRobie 1989, pp. 43–48.
  7. ^ "General elections 1853–2005 - dates & turnout". Elections New Zealand. Archived from the original on 27 May 2010. Retrieved 6 June 2010. 
  8. ^ Cooper 1882, pp. 1–3.
  9. ^ "Stanmore Election". The Star (4437). 14 July 1882. p. 3. Retrieved 30 May 2010. 
  10. ^ "The Peninsula Election". Otago Daily Times (6534). 23 January 1883. p. 2. Retrieved 28 June 2012. 


  • Cooper, G. S. (1882). Votes Recorded for Each Candidate. Government Printer. Retrieved 24 October 2015. 
  • Cyclopedia Company Limited (1902). The Cyclopedia of New Zealand : Auckland Provincial District. Christchurch. 
  • Cyclopedia Company Limited (1903). "Southland". The Cyclopedia of New Zealand : Otago & Southland Provincial Districts. Christchurch. 
  • Cyclopedia Company Limited (1906). "Present And Past Members Of Parliament". The Cyclopedia of New Zealand : Nelson, Marlborough & Westland Provincial Districts. Christchurch. 
  • Cyclopedia Company Limited (1908). "Former Members Of The House Of Representatives". The Cyclopedia of New Zealand : Taranaki, Hawke’s Bay & Wellington Provincial Districts. Christchurch. 
  • King, Michael (2003). The Penguin History of New Zealand (20 ed.). Auckland: Penguin Books. ISBN 0-14-301867-1. 
  • Scholefield, Guy (1950) [First ed. published 1913]. New Zealand Parliamentary Record, 1840–1949 (3rd ed.). Wellington: Govt. Printer. 
  • Wilson, James Oakley (1985) [First ed. published 1913]. New Zealand Parliamentary Record, 1840–1984 (4th ed.). Wellington: V.R. Ward, Govt. Printer. OCLC 154283103. 
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