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The Cyclopedia of New Zealand [Wellington Provincial District]

Dr. Alfred Kingcombe Newman

Dr. Alfred Kingcombe Newman, Member of the House of Representatives for Wellington Suburbs, was born in India in 1849. His father, the late Captain Alfred
Dr. Alfred Kingcombe Newman

Photo by Wrigglesworth and Binns.

Newman, was for some years in the East India Company's service and came to New Zealand, accompanied by his family, in 1853, settling in Hawkes Bay. Dr. Newman was educated at private schools in Auckland and Hawkes Bay, and in 1863 went to England, completing his course in Bath. After leaving school the subject of this sketch studied medicine at Guy's Hospital, London, for several years, afterwards becoming house physician. Here, about the year 1874, he gained the degrees M.R.C.S., Eng., and L.R.C.P., London. Subsequently he had a period of study at the Aberdeen University, taking his degrees of M.B. and C.M. Early in 1875 Dr. Newman returned to the colony, but did not enter on the private practice of his profession. Subsequently turning his attention to commercial pursuits, he was for some five years a member of the firm of Messrs Zohrab, Newman and Co, general merchants. Dr. Newman is a shareholder in the Gear Meat Preserving Company, Limited, and for the last nine years has occupied a seat on the board of directors. For about four years Dr. Newman sat for Thorndon Ward in the Wellington City Council. There can be no doubt, however, that he has found his appropriate place as a member of the Colonial Legislature. Since his first election for Thorndon in 1884, Dr. Newman has been a prominent figure in the House. An untiring advocate of temperance reform, he is often a thorn in the sides of those who wish to delay the march of progress in this direction. He was a consistent supporter of women's rights in respect of the franchise. In his place in the House Dr. Newman proposed the establishment of a National Park to include Ruapehu and Tongariro, and this has been done, 63,000 acres having been set aside for the purpose. He is a warm advocate of the central route for the North Island Trunk Railway, having ridden over the proposed line to Auckland. Dr. Newman has always been a supporter of technical education. For fourteen years he his been a member of the Wellington Education Board, for some time he sat as one of the College governors, and is now a member of the new University Senate for the Wellington district. His tastes are journalistic, and be does a good deal of writing for the press of the Colony. Dr. Newman was re-elected for Thorndon in 1884 and 1887. Three years later he was returned for the Hutt, which electorate is now merged into the Wellington Suburbs, for which he was elected in 1893. To Dr. Newman is largely due the credit of establishing the Wellington Agricultural and Pastoral Society, of which he was president for one year. In 1879 Dr. Newman married Miss Octavia, youngest daughter of the late Dr. Isaac Earl Featherstone, the first Superintendent of Wellington. Mrs. Newman who takes great interest in the benevolent institutions of the City, was mainly instrumental in founding the Convalescent Home in Oriental Bay. She is president of the Home, which is free of debt and doing good work. Dr. and Mrs. Newman have only one child, a boy of nine years.

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