Richard Reeves (New Zealand politician)

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Richard Reeves
Richard Harman Jeffares Reeves.jpg
12th Speaker of the Legislative Council
In office
23 March 1905 – 30 June 1905
Preceded by Alfred Cadman
Succeeded by Charles Bowen
Personal details
Born 1836
Enniscorthy, County Wexford, Ireland
Died 1 June 1910
Nelson, New Zealand
Political party Liberal
Relations Charles Stephen Reeves (brother)

Richard Harman Jeffares Reeves (1836 – 1 June 1910) was a New Zealand politician of the Liberal Party. He was acting Speaker of the Legislative Council in 1905.


Early life and career

Reeves was born in Enniscorthy, County Wexford, Ireland, in 1836. He was educated at Barrow Grammar School, and subsequently at Tarvin, Cheshire. In early youth he went to sea and in 1852 he left England for Sydney, New South Wales. He worked in various trades, including mining, store keeping, cattle dealing and auctioneering.[1]

Political career

New Zealand Parliament
Years Term Electorate Party
1878–1879 6th Grey Valley Independent
1879–1881 7th Grey Valley Independent
1887–1890 10th Inangahua Independent
1890–1893 11th Inangahua Liberal

Whilst absent on a visit to Australia in 1866, he was elected member for the Hokitika electorate in the Canterbury Provincial Council, but resigned on his return to New Zealand, as he found that pressure of business prevented him from taking his seat.[1] His membership lasted from 4 July to 20 October 1866.[2] When the West Coast was separated from Canterbury, Reeves was elected onto the Westland County for the Hokitika riding (May 1869 – June 1870).[3] He represented the Grey electorate on the Nelson Provincial Council in the last few months before the abolition of the provincial governments (28 April 1876 – 31 October 1876).[4]

He represented the Grey Valley electorate in Parliament from an 1878 by-election, caused by the resignation of Martin Kennedy,[1] to 1881.[5] He was defeated for the Inangahua electorate in the 1881 general election, but won that electorate in 1887.[5] Reeves joined the Liberal Party when it was formed after the 1890 election and all through his political career he has been a consistent advocate of all liberal and labour measures.[1] He resigned on 26 April 1893 as he had been adjudged bankrupt.[5] At the November 1893 election, he contested the electorate once more, but came last of the three candidates.[6]

Reeves was appointed to the Legislative Council on 13 December 1895, and was reappointed at the end of the term in 1902 and 1909.[7] After the death of Alfred Cadman, he was acting Speaker in 1905 (23 March – 30 June).[8] He was Chairman of Committees for three periods between 1904 and his death on 1 June 1910.[9]

He died in Nelson aged 76 of a heart attack after an illness.[10][11] His wife had died in November 1908.[12][13] They are both buried at Wakapuaka Cemetery.[14]

Reeves was an elder brother of Charles Stephen Reeves, who was Mayor of Dunedin in 1876.[15]

See also


  1. ^ a b c d Cyclopedia Company Limited (1906). "Present Members Of The Legislative Council". The Cyclopedia of New Zealand : Nelson, Marlborough & Westland Provincial Districts. Christchurch: The Cyclopedia of New Zealand. Retrieved 15 January 2012.
  2. ^ Scholefield 1950, p. 195.
  3. ^ Scholefield 1950, p. 243.
  4. ^ Scholefield 1950, p. 213.
  5. ^ a b c Scholefield 1950, p. 134.
  6. ^ "The General Election, 1893". National Library. 1894. p. 2. Retrieved 19 November 2013.
  7. ^ Scholefield 1950, p. 83.
  8. ^ Scholefield 1950, p. 88.
  9. ^ Scholefield 1950, pp. 83, 89.
  10. ^ "Obituary". Evening Post. 1 June 1910.
  11. ^ "Obituary". Mataura Ensign. 1 June 1910.
  12. ^ "Local & General News". Nelson Evening Mail. XLII (XLII). 17 November 1908. p. 2. Retrieved 14 January 2019.
  13. ^ "Obituary". Colonist. LI (12405). 21 November 1908. p. 6. Retrieved 21 January 2019.
  14. ^ "Plot record details". Nelson City Council. Retrieved 15 January 2019.
  15. ^ "Obituary". Evening Star. 1 June 1910.


  •  This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainCyclopedia Company Limited (1906). "Present Members Of The Legislative Council". The Cyclopedia of New Zealand : Nelson, Marlborough & Westland Provincial Districts. Christchurch: The Cyclopedia of New Zealand. Retrieved 15 January 2012.
  • Scholefield, Guy (1950) [First ed. published 1913]. New Zealand Parliamentary Record, 1840–1949 (3rd ed.). Wellington: Govt. Printer.
  • Who’s Who in New Zealand (1st edition, 1908)
  • Dictionary of New Zealand Biography (1940)
Political offices
Preceded by
John Rigg
Chairman of Committees of the Legislative Council
Succeeded by
William Cowper Smith
Preceded by
William Cowper Smith
Succeeded by
William Cowper Smith
Preceded by
William Cowper Smith
Succeeded by
Walter Carncross
Preceded by
Alfred Cadman
Speaker of the New Zealand Legislative Council
Succeeded by
Charles Bowen
New Zealand Parliament
Preceded by
Martin Kennedy
Member of Parliament for Grey Valley
Served alongside: Charles Woolcock, Edward Masters, Thomas S. Weston
Constituency abolished
Preceded by
Andrew Agnew Stuart Menteath
Member of Parliament for Inangahua
Succeeded by
Robert Stout
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