Josiah Hanan

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Josiah Hanan
Josiah Alfred Hanan, ca 1908.jpg
Josiah Hanan, ca 1908
10th Chairman of Committees of the Legislative Council
In office
7 October 1935 – 5 July 1939
Preceded by Edward Henry Clark
Succeeded by Bernard Martin
Member of the New Zealand Legislative Council
In office
17 June 1926 – 31 December 1950
Member of the New Zealand Parliament
for Invercargill
In office
Preceded by James Whyte Kelly
Succeeded by Joseph Ward
23rd Mayor of Invercargill
In office
Preceded by John Sinclair
Succeeded by Hugh Mair
Personal details
Josiah Alfred Hanan

(1868-05-12)12 May 1868
Invercargill, New Zealand
Died 22 March 1954(1954-03-22) (aged 85)
Dunedin, New Zealand
  • Abigail Susan Graham
    (m. 1896; died 1898)
  • Susanna Murray (m. 1902)
Relations Ralph Hanan (nephew)

Josiah Alfred Hanan (12 May 1868 – 22 March 1954), known to his colleagues as Joe Hanan, was a New Zealand politician, cabinet minister, and legislative councillor. He also served as Mayor of Invercargill, and as Chancellor of the University of New Zealand.

Early life

Hanan was born in Invercargill, New Zealand, and educated at Invercargill Central School (dux) and Southland Boys' High School. He was a civil and criminal lawyer 1889–1899 with a good reputation, defending Minnie Dean and John Keown on murder charges.[1]

Political career

New Zealand Parliament
Years Term Electorate Party
1899–1902 14th Invercargill Liberal
1902–1905 15th Invercargill Liberal
1905–1908 16th Invercargill Liberal
1908–1911 17th Invercargill Liberal
1911–1914 18th Invercargill Liberal
1914–1919 19th Invercargill Liberal
1919–1922 20th Invercargill Liberal
1922–1925 21st Invercargill Liberal

He entered politics in 1894, when he became a borough councillor.[1] In 1896,[2] he was elected Mayor of Invercargill (the youngest, and the first NZ-born).[1] In 1899 he was elected as the member of the House of Representatives for the Invercargill electorate. He held the electorate for the next 26 years, and retired at the 1925 election.[3]

In 1912 he was appointed Minister of Education, Minister of Justice, and Minister of Stamp Duties in the short lived cabinet of Thomas Mackenzie.[4] He also served in the wartime National Ministry, holding the portfolios of education (1915–1919), justice (1917), and immigration (1915).[5] On his retirement from the House in 1925 he was appointed as a Member of the Legislative Council, a position he held until its abolition in 1950.[6] From 1932 to 1939, he was Chairman of Committees.[7]

Hanan was better known to his colleagues as Joe.[8]

Family and death

Hanan married Abigail Susan Graham in 1896, but she died in 1898. Then he married Susanna Murray and they had two sons.[1] The family would commute to Wellington for the parliamentary sessions and their boys attended boarding school there. When Hanan retired from Parliament in 1925, they moved to Dunedin, where by then their boys were attending university.[9] His brother James Albert Hanan had a son, Ralph Hanan, who would later become Mayor of Invercargill and represented the Invercargill electorate in Parliament, where he held several cabinet posts.[10]

Josiah Hanan died in Dunedin on 22 March 1954,[1] where he was cremated.[11] He was survived by his sons and his wife.[1] Susanna Hanan died on 12 February 1970 in Dunedin[9] and her ashes were scattered.[12]


  1. ^ a b c d e f Lee, Gregory. "Hanan, Josiah Alfred - Biography". Dictionary of New Zealand Biography. Ministry for Culture and Heritage. Retrieved 31 July 2012.
  2. ^ "Mayors down the years". Invercargill City Council. Archived from the original on 16 March 2012. Retrieved 31 July 2012.
  3. ^ Wilson 1985, p. 202.
  4. ^ Wilson 1985, p. 75.
  5. ^ Wilson 1985, p. 76.
  6. ^ Wilson 1985, p. 155.
  7. ^ Wilson 1985, p. 169.
  8. ^ Bassett, Michael (17 September 2009). "Being a Liberal in New Zealand Politics". Retrieved 1 August 2012.
  9. ^ a b Hickey, Maureen. "Susanna Hanan". Dictionary of New Zealand Biography. Ministry for Culture and Heritage. Retrieved 23 April 2017.
  10. ^ Barton, G. P. "Hanan, Josiah Ralph - Biography". Dictionary of New Zealand Biography. Ministry for Culture and Heritage. Retrieved 31 July 2012.
  11. ^ "Cemetery Details". Dunedin City Council. Retrieved 1 August 2012.
  12. ^ "Cemetery Details". Dunedin City Council. Retrieved 1 August 2012.


  • Hanan, Josiah Alfred (1915–1924). "[Newspaper cuttings and pamphlets on New Zealand education, 1915-1924]". n.p.: n.p
  • Wilson, James Oakley (1985) [First ed. published 1913]. New Zealand Parliamentary Record, 1840–1984 (4th ed.). Wellington: V.R. Ward, Govt. Printer. OCLC 154283103.
  • Thomson, Jane (editor) (1998). Southern People: a dictionary of Otago Southland biography. Dunedin: Longacre Press. p. 208. ISBN 1-877135-11-9.CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list (link)
Political offices
Preceded by
John Sinclair
Mayor of Invercargill
Succeeded by
Hugh Mair
Preceded by
John Findlay
Minister of Justice
Succeeded by
Alexander Herdman
Preceded by
Robert McNab
Succeeded by
Thomas Wilford
Preceded by
George Fowlds
Minister of Education
Succeeded by
James Allen
Preceded by
James Allen
Succeeded by
Francis Bell
Preceded by
Edward Henry Clark
Chairman of Committees of the Legislative Council
Succeeded by
Bernard Martin
New Zealand Parliament
Preceded by
James Whyte Kelly
Member of Parliament for Invercargill
Succeeded by
Joseph Ward
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