List of members of the New Zealand Legislative Council

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The following is a complete list of members of the New Zealand Legislative Council. The Legislative Council was New Zealand's upper house and existed from 1853 until its abolition in 1950. Initially appointed for life, tenure was changed to seven-year terms in 1891 for new appointments. New Zealand had 330 members of the Legislative Council, five of whom were women. Twice during its existence, in 1885 and 1950, membership peaked at 53 councillors; on the second occasion due to the so-called suicide squad that the National Government appointed to ensure that members voted for the abolition of the Legislative Council.

Appointment and tenure

Members of the New Zealand Legislative Council in 1894

The New Zealand Constitution Act 1852 provided for councillors to be appointed for life terms by the Governor.[1] The first appointments were made by Governor George Grey in 1853, who chose from three broad groups: a 'prestige' group (e.g. wealthy runholders or nobility), a group with previous political experience, and a group of officials.[2] Captain Bellairs, Major Lloyd, Dr Ralph Richardson, and Henry William Petre belonged to the first group.[3] The second group was made up of Henry Seymour (who had been a nominee of the Legislative Council of New Munster, which never met), whilst John Salmon and Frederick Whitaker represented the Legislative Council of New Ulster.[4] William Swainson, Henry St. Hill, Mathew Richmond, and William Kenny were previous officials and represented the third group. John Salmon, William Swainson and Frederick Whitaker were the first three appointments (on 26 May 1853), and Mathew Richmond was appointed on 23 June 1853. The remaining appointments in 1853 were made on 31 December.[5]

The quorum of the Legislative Council was fixed at five,[1] and there was no initial upper limit of positions. Instructions received by the governor in 1855 contained an upper limit of 15 positions, which was increased to 20 in 1861, and removed altogether in 1862.[6]

As the power of the Governor over New Zealand politics gradually decreased, it became the convention that appointments were made on the recommendation of the Premier (later Prime Minister), essentially meaning that councillors were selected by the government of the day. This change in practice happened during the 1860s and was certainly established by 1867.[1] Tenure was changed by the Liberal Government to seven years; both political factions had campaigned in the 1890 election for a reform of the Legislative Council.[1] The outgoing Atkinson Ministry made six appointments to the Legislative Council in January 1891 (Harry Atkinson, James Fulton, John Davies Ormond, William Downie Stewart, John Blair Whyte, and Charles John Johnston), and these were the last life appointments.[7]

The regulations were that members were disqualified when they had missed two sessions without absence having been granted.[1] This applied mainly to the period from 1854 to 1891, when 17 members were disqualified.[8] The rules were applied in a rather lax fashion, though, and in 1887 it was alleged that several members were technically disqualified, including the Attorney-General. The handling of the affair damaged the reputation of the Legislative Council.[9]

The maximum size of the Legislative Council of 53 councillors was reached in 1885 and again in 1950.[1] Over the years, the Legislative Council was stacked by the government of the day with members sympathetic to it, so that legislation could be passed more easily.[10] The appointments by the second Stout–Vogel Ministry in 1884 and 1885 made the Legislative Council reach its maximum number on the first occasion. The so-called suicide squad[10] appointed by the First National Government to ensure the abolition of the Legislative Council was the reason for achieving the maximum size on the second occasion.[1] The Legislative Council was abolished in 1950 (memberships all terminated on 31 December 1950), with the Legislative Council Abolition Bill coming into force on 1 January 1951.[10][11]

Captain Baillie served on the Legislative Council for 61 years and had the longest membership.[12] The Legislative Council had a Speaker, and from 1865 a Chairman of Committees; these roles were modelled on the equivalent functions in the New Zealand House of Representatives. There were 18 Speakers and 13 Chairmen of Committees, respectively. William Swainson was the first Speaker, whilst Mathew Richmond was the first Chairmen of Committees.[13] Four New Zealand Premiers or Prime Ministers were head of government while they a member of the Legislative Council. Two of those, Frederick Whitaker and Francis Bell, were at other times also Members of Parliament.[14][15] The other two, George Waterhouse and Daniel Pollen, were not at other times also Member of Parliament; they only served on the Legislative Council.[16][17]

The Statutes Amendment Act (1941) allowed for women to be appointed to the Legislative Council.[18] The first two women, Mary Anderson and Mary Dreaver, were appointed in 1946 by the First Labour Government.[19] Three more women were appointed in 1950 as part of the suicide squad: Agnes Louisa Weston, Cora Louisa Burrell, and Ethel Marion Gould.[20] Thus, of the 330 legislative councillors that were appointed over its 97 years of existence, only five were women, with three of them there to abolish the Legislative Council.[21]

List of members

Over the 97 years of its existence, 330 members served on the Legislative Council.[21]

A

John Acland was one of the many runholders during the 19th century that were on the Legislative Council

B

At 61 years of service, W. D. H. Baillie had the longest membership of the Legislative Council

C

Alfred Cadman was Speaker in 1904–1905

D

Mary Dreaver, one of the first two women appointed in 1946

E

  • William Earnshaw (26 June 1913 – 25 June 1920; 25 June 1920 – 24 June 1927; 25 June 1927 – 29 December 1931)
  • Richard Eddy (23 June 1941 – 22 June 1948; 23 June 1948 - 31 December 1950)
  • Nathaniel Edwards (9 July 1872 – 15 July 1880)
  • Bill Endean (22 June 1950 – 31 December 1950)

F

William Fitzherbert was twice Speaker for a total of 12 years

G

Hugh Gourley was first appointed in 1899 and served for one seven-year term

Samuel Osborne-Gibbes, sometimes referred to under the surname Gibbes, is listed under 'O' below

H

  • John Hall (24 July 1862 – 23 February 1866; 19 July 1872 – 21 October 1875; 19 April 1876 – 13 September 1876; 15 September 1876 – 20 August 1879)
  • William Hall-Jones (7 October 1913 – 6 October 1920; 6 October 1920 – 5 October 1927; 6 October 1927 – 5 October 1934; 6 October 1934 – 19 June 1936)
  • Edwin Henry Staples Hamilton (22 June 1950 – 31 December 1950)
  • Josiah Hanan (17 June 1926 – 16 June 1933; 17 June 1933 – 16 June 1940; 15 July 1940 – 14 July 1947; 15 July 1947 – 31 December 1950)
  • Charles Albert Creery Hardy (26 June 1913 – 25 June 1920; 25 June 1920 – 29 August 1922)
  • Benjamin Harris (3 February 1897 – 2 February 1904; 3 February 1904 – 2 February 1911; 3 February 1911 – 2 February 1918; 15 February 1918 – 20 June 1923)
  • John Hyde Harris (13 April 1858 – 1 December 1864; 8 July 1867 – 18 July 1868)
  • Robert Hart (9 July 1872 – 16 September 1894)
  • Joseph Hawdon (8 May 1866 – 12 April 1871)
  • Archibald Hawke (7 May 1918 – 6 May 1925; 7 May 1925 – 6 May 1932)
  • William Hayward[22] (22 June 1934 – 21 June 1941)
  • Thomas Henderson (25 July 1878 – 27 June 1886)
  • Thomas William Hislop (2 September 1921 – 2 October 1925)
  • James Holmes (18 April 1902 – 17 April 1909; 18 April 1909 – 17 April 1910)
  • Matthew Holmes (19 June 1866 – 27 September 1901)
  • George Robert Hunter (9 March 1936 – 8 March 1943; 9 March 1943 – 23 October 1949)

I

J

John Jenkinson was first appointed in 1892, when the Liberal Government started appointing trade unionists onto the Legislative Council
  • John Jenkinson (15 October 1892 – 27 May 1893; 6 June 1893 – 5 June 1900; 6 June 1900 – 5 June 1907; 1 July 1907 – 30 June 1914)
  • William Thomas Jennings (10 October 1892 – 15 October 1899; 15 October 1899 – 23 October 1902)
  • George Randall Johnson (23 July 1872 – 23 November 1892)
  • Charles John Johnston (20 January 1891 – 13 June 1918)
  • John Johnston (31 March 1857 – 6 November 1860; 11 March 1861 – 16 November 1887)
  • George Jones (13 December 1895 – 12 December 1902; 13 December 1902 – 12 December 1909; 13 December 1909 – 12 December 1916; 7 May 1918 – 16 December 1920)

K

Mokena Kohere, one of the first two Māori appointed in 1872
  • Francis Patrick Kelly (22 June 1950 – 31 December 1950)
  • Thomas Kelly (15 October 1892 – 15 October 1899; 16 October 1899 – 15 October 1906; 16 October 1906 – 15 October 1913)
  • William Kelly (3 February 1897 – 2 February 1904; 3 February 1904 – 19 September 1907)
  • Courtney Kenny (15 May 1885 – 12 December 1905)
  • William Kenny (26 May 1853 – 17 August 1880)
  • James Kerr (15 October 1892 – 14 October 1899; 15 October 1899 – 25 August 1901)
  • Mokena Kohere (11 October 1872 – 25 April 1887)

L

M

N

Āpirana Ngata, often described as New Zealand's foremost Māori politician, was appointed in 1950, but was too ill and died without ever having taken his seat

1died before taking seat[25]

O

P

Daniel Pollen was a member of the Legislative Council when he served as Premier; he was never a Member of Parliament

R

Edward Richardson was for many years an MP before serving on the Legislative Council for one seven-year term

John Charles Watts-Russell, sometimes referred to under the surname Russell, is listed under 'W' below

S

Alfred Rowland Chetham-Strode, sometimes referred to under the surname Strode, is listed under 'C' above
Alfred Lee Smith, sometimes referred to under the surname Smith, is listed under 'L' above

T

Hori Taiaroa's disqualification from the Legislative Council in August 1880 over a technicality caused bitterness and resentment among Māori[29]

W

George Waterhouse was a member of the Legislative Council when he served as Premier; he was never a Member of Parliament in New Zealand
Frederick Whitaker was a member of the Legislative Council when he served as Premier; he was a Member of Parliament at other times

The third Māori King Mahuta Tāwhiao, is listed under 'M', but in Wilson (1985) is listed under 'W' as Mahuta Tawhiao Potatau te Wherowhero

Y

  • Fred Young (8 September 1941 – 7 September 1948, 8 September 1948 - 31 December 1950)
  • William Young (22 June 1950 – 31 December 1950)

See also

Notes

  1. ^ a b c d e f g Wilson 1985, p. 145.
  2. ^ Jackson 1972, p. 25.
  3. ^ Jackson 1972, pp. 25–26.
  4. ^ Jackson 1972, pp. 26–27.
  5. ^ Jackson 1972, p. 27.
  6. ^ A. H. McLintock, ed. (22 April 2009) [originally published in 1966]. "The Legislative Council". An Encyclopaedia of New Zealand. Ministry for Culture and Heritage / Te Manatū Taonga. Retrieved 1 October 2012. 
  7. ^ Jackson 1972, p. 223.
  8. ^ Jackson 1972, p. 55.
  9. ^ Jackson 1972, pp. 55–56.
  10. ^ a b c "Legislative Council". New Zealand Parliament. Retrieved 3 October 2012. 
  11. ^ Wilson 1985, p. 147.
  12. ^ A. H. McLintock, ed. (1966). "BAILLIE, William Douglas Hall". An Encyclopaedia of New Zealand (updated 22 April 2009 ed.). Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand. Retrieved 22 January 2012. 
  13. ^ Wilson 1985, pp. 167–169.
  14. ^ Stone, R. C. J. "Whitaker, Frederick - Biography". Dictionary of New Zealand Biography. Ministry for Culture and Heritage. Retrieved 14 January 2012. 
  15. ^ Gardner, William James. "Bell, Francis Henry Dillon - Biography". Dictionary of New Zealand Biography. Ministry for Culture and Heritage. Retrieved 29 September 2012. 
  16. ^ A. H. McLintock, ed. (23 April 2009) [originally published in 1966]. "WATERHOUSE, Hon. George Marsden". An Encyclopaedia of New Zealand. Ministry for Culture and Heritage / Te Manatū Taonga. Retrieved 4 October 2012. 
  17. ^ A. H. McLintock, ed. (22 April 2009) [originally published in 1966]. "POLLEN, Daniel (1813–96)". An Encyclopaedia of New Zealand. Ministry for Culture and Heritage / Te Manatū Taonga. Retrieved 4 October 2012. 
  18. ^ Wilson 1985, p. 146.
  19. ^ Atkinson, Neill. "Anderson, Mary Patricia - Biography". Dictionary of New Zealand Biography. Ministry for Culture and Heritage. Retrieved 3 October 2012. 
  20. ^ Wilson 1985, pp. 150, 154, 166.
  21. ^ a b Wilson 1985, pp. 148–167.
  22. ^ "History". Lamb & Hayward Ltd. Retrieved 17 February 2012. 
  23. ^ Bellamy, Alan. "Mackley, Garnet Hercules - Biography". Dictionary of New Zealand Biography. Ministry for Culture and Heritage. Retrieved 5 January 2012. 
  24. ^ Cyclopedia Company Limited (1905). "The Hon. John McLean". The Cyclopedia of New Zealand : Otago & Southland Provincial Districts. Christchurch: The Cyclopedia of New Zealand. Retrieved 29 September 2012. 
  25. ^ Wilson 1985, p. 160.
  26. ^ Bremer, Robert James. "Polson, William John - Biography". Dictionary of New Zealand Biography. Ministry for Culture and Heritage. Retrieved 5 January 2012. 
  27. ^ Green, Anna. "Roberts, James - Biography". Dictionary of New Zealand Biography. Ministry for Culture and Heritage. Retrieved 19 November 2012. 
  28. ^ "Obituary". The Evening Post. CXX (84). 5 October 1935. p. 10. Retrieved 3 October 2012. 
  29. ^ Evison, Harry C. "Taiaroa, Hori Kerei". Dictionary of New Zealand Biography. Ministry for Culture and Heritage. Retrieved 4 August 2014. 
  30. ^ Cyclopedia Company Limited (1902). "The Hon. Henry Williams". The Cyclopedia of New Zealand : Auckland Provincial District. Christchurch: The Cyclopedia of New Zealand. Retrieved 1 October 2012. 

References

  • Jackson, William Keith (1972). The New Zealand Legislative Council : a study of the establishment, failure and abolition of an upper house. Dunedin: University of Otago Press. 
  • 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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