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The Cyclopedia of New Zealand [Nelson, Marlborough & Westland Provincial Districts]

Present Member Of The House Of Representatives — The Hon. Charles Houghton Mills,

Present Member Of The House Of Representatives.

The Hon. Charles Houghton Mills, Commissioner of Trade and Customs, and Member of the House of Representatives for Wairau, was born in Nelson in the year 1844. His father, the late Mr. Richard Mills, was one of the early pioneers of the colony, and came to Nelson in 1841 in the ship “Lord Auckland.” In the early fifties the family removed to Wellington, when Mr. Mills, senior, was Governor of the Gaol for many years. Mr. Mills was educated at the public schools, and was for four years a pupil teacher in the Te Aro school, Wellington. He was then for some years at sea, and was afterwards engaged in farming and mining, and finally settled at Havelock. He was a member of the Provincial Council, the Pelorus Road Board, the Havelock Town Board, the Picton Hospital and Charitable Aid Board, the Marlborough County Council, and was chairman of the Havelock school committee for many years. For twelve years Mr. Mills was also a member of the Marlborough Land and Education Boards. In the year 1890, he successfully contested the Waimea-Picton seat, and in 1893, when the boundaries were altered, he was returned for Waimea-Sounds. In 1896, the Waimea-Sounds electorate ceased to exist, and Mr. Mills was elected for Wairau. In 1899, he was again elected for Wairau by a majority of 1,376 votes, and was re-elected at the general election of 1902 by a large majority. During the time Mr. Mills has been in Parliament, he has been a member of the Goldfields and Waste Lands Committees, and was for three years chairman of the Public Petitions Committee. In 1893 he was appointed Government Whip, a position which he held until the 29th of October, 1900, establishing a world's record in point of time. Mr. Mills was called to the Seddon Ministry, with the portfolio of Commissioner of Trade and Customs, on the 29th of October, 1904. He is also Minister in charge of the Advances to Settlers Office, the Valuation Department, and the Cook and other Islands Administration. Mr. Mills married a daughter of Mr. John Morrison, in the year 1871.