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The Cyclopedia of New Zealand [Taranaki, Hawke's Bay & Wellington Provincial Districts]

Former Members Of The House Of Representatives

Former Members Of The House Of Representatives.

Mr. John Valentine Smith represented the Hawke's Bay and Wairarapa electorate in the General Assembly from the year 1856 to 1858, resigning in the latter year, owing to private interests. He was a vigorous politician, and a strong advocate for separation from Wellington.

Mr. James Burne Ferguson was nominated and elected a member of the House of Representatives, without opposition, on the 22nd of July, 1858, for the Wairarapa and Hawke's Bay districts. He filled the vacancy caused by the resignation of Mr. John Valentine Smith. Mr. Ferguson was a strong supporter of the separation movement, and he worked also to bring about the division of the Wairarapa and Hawke's Bay districts, so that each district might have a member of it own in the General Assembly. This division was effected in the session of the year 1858, and Mr. Ferguson continued to represent the County of Hawke, as the electorate was first termed. Mr. Ferguson was formerly a merchant in Auckland, and, later, owned a sheep run at Ahuriri.

Mr. Thomas Henry Fitzgerald was a member of the House of Representatives for Hawke's Bay electorate in the year 1860. He is further referred to as the first Superintendent of Hawke's Bay.

The Rev. William Colenso, who was a member of the House of Representatives for Napier from the year 1861 to the year 1865, is further referred to under the heading of “Old Colonists.”

The Hon. John Davies Ormond, who was member of the House of Representatives for Clive from the year 1861 to the year 1881, is further referred to as a life member of the Legislative Council, and as the last Superintendent of Hawke's Bay.

Sir William Russell Russell has one of the longest political records in New Zealand. He represented the Hawke's Bay electorate uninterruptedly for twenty-one years, and was for six years Leader of the Opposition in the House of Representatives. Sir William Russell's grandfather, Captain Andrew Hamilton Russell, of the 28th Regiment, took part in the battle of Copenhagen, and in the Walcheren expedition, and lost his life in 1811, in the Peninsular campaign. His father was Lieutenant-Colonel Russell, of the 58th Regiment, who served in the Maori war. Sir William was born on the 12th of November, 1836, at Sandhurst, Berkshire, England, where he was subsequently educated at the Royal Military College. In the year page 302 1855 he was given a commission in the 58th Regiment, and in 1857 joined the head-quarters of the regiment in New Zealand. Two years later he returned to England. He exchanged into the 11th Regiment in 1861, and again came to New Zealand. In the year 1862 he retired from the Army with the rank of captain, and settled in Hawke's Bay, where in conjunction with a brother, he acquired the Timanui and Flaxmere properties. Eventually the partnership expired, and the properties were divided, Sir William retaining the Sherenden and Flaxmere estates. Sir William resides at Flaxmere, about three miles from Hastings. From the year 1869 until the abolition of the provinces, Captain Russell was a member of the Provincial Council of Hawke's Bay, and in December, 1875, was first returned to the House of Representatives for the Napier and country districts electorate. In 1881, on the redistribution of the seats, he contested the Hawke's Bay seat, and was defeated by the late Mr. Frederick Sutton; but was again returned at the next general election. He continued to represent Hawke's Bay until the year 1905, when he was defeated by Mr. Alfred Dillon. For a short time during the Atkinson Administration of 1884 he occupied a seat in the Cabinet as Postmaster-General, and under the Premiership of Sir Harry Atkinson, from 1889 to 1891, was Colonial Secretary and Minister of Defence. Later on, he succeeded the Hon. William Rolleston as Leader of the Opposition Party in the House of Representatives. In 1883 Captain Russell was chairman of the Midland Railway Commission. With Sir John Hall he represented New Zealand, in 1890, at the first Australasian Federation Conference at Melbourne, and in 1891, with Sir George Grey and Sir Harry Atkinson, was a member of the National Australasian. Convention that drafted the Constitution of the Commonwealth. Some years later he was one of the Commissioners that were sent to Australia to report upon the advisability of New Zealand joining the Commonwealth. For many years he was a member of the Hawke's Bay Education Board, the Hawke's Bay Jockey Club, the Hawke's Bay County Council, the United Hospital and Charitable Aid Board, the Waste Lands Board, the Rabbit Board, and the Board of Governors of the Napier High Schools. He was captain of the Meanee Company of the Militia, and subsequently of the Hastings Rifles. Captain Russell married Miss Harriette Julia Hodgskin, of Cawley Priory, Sussex, England, in the year 1867, and has, surviving, two sons and four daughters. One son, who served in the 14th Regiment, was killed in the South African war; a second is a Lieutenant of the 58th Regiment; and the eldest manages the Sherenden station. In the year 1902 Captain Russell was created a Knight Bachelor, in recognition of the length and value of his services as a public man. He might quite appropriately be called the Bayard of New Zealand politics, in the arena of which he fought for many long years, yet never once struck an opponent below the belt, paltered with his own conscience, or did anything unworthy of a gentleman—a man of courtesy and honour

Mr. F. Sutton, sometime a member of the House of Representatives for Napier, was born in Cambridgeshire, England, educated at Royston School, came to New Zealand in the year 1857, and settled in Napier. Shortly after his arrival he started in business, which he carried on successfully for a number of years. In 1867 he was elected a member of the Provincial Council, as representative for Napier, which position he continued to hold till the abolition of the provinces in 1877. On the death of Sir Donald McLean, in January, 1877, Mr. Sutton came forward as a candidate for the Napier seat in the General Assembly, and was returned, defeating Mr. Henry Stokes Tiffen and Mr. John Buchanan. At the general election in 1879, he was again returned with Captain Russell, this constituency then having two members. By a division of the electorate, Mr. Sutton, on two subsequent occasions, contested a seat against Captain Russell. During the years 1877 to 1879 Mr. Sutton was chairman of the County Council, and during his term of office initiated, and carried to completion, the work of making the Patea Road. In recognition of his services the Council presented him with a service of plate. He was also a member of the Education Board, and was secretary of the Napier Flying Club. Mr. Sutton died at Napier on the 26th of January, 1906, leaving a widow, one son, and six daughters.

The Hon. Sir Donald McLean, an able and active politician, represented Napier in the House of Representatives from the year 1866 to the year 1876. He is further referred to as a Superintendent of Hawke's Bay.

Mr. John Buchanan, who represented Napier, and also, later, Waipawa, in the House of Representatives, under the Stafford and Grey Governments, was born in Woolwich, Kent, England, in the year 1819, went to Sydney, Australia, about 1839, and for many years acted as Colonial Storekeeper for the Government in Sydney. In 1861 he came to New Zealand, in the ship “Montezuma,” landed in Napier, and subsequently purchased the Elsthorpe estate, a property of 10,000 acres, in the Patangata County, Hawke's Bay. Mr. Buchanan was chairman of the Hawke's Bay Provincial Council, and was in command of the Napier Rifles at the time of the Omaranui rising. He died in the year 1892, and left a family of four sons and two daughters.

The Late Mr. J. Buchanan.

The Late Mr. J. Buchanan.

The Hon. William Cowper Smith, M.L.C., was first elected as a member of the House of Representatives page 303 for Waipawa in the year 1881, and he represented that constituency for over twelve years. He is further referred to as a member of the Legislative Council.

Mr. Thomas Tanner was member for Waipawa in the House of Representatives from the year 1887 to 1890. He was a keen politician, and a supporter of the Atkinson Government. Mr. Tanner was born in Wiltshire, England, in the year 1830, and is a son of the late Mr. Joseph Tanner, a landed proprietor in that county. He began the study of medicine, but, not liking the profession, came to New Zealand in 1850, and went to Wanganui to learn sheep-farming with Mr. John Cameron, a large stock owner in that district. In the beginning of 1853 Mr. Tanner removed to Hawke's Bay, and took up a large run on the Ruataniwha Plains. Some years afterwards he took up lands on the Ahuriri Plains, and later on acquired the Endsleigh and Petane runs. The Endsleigh run, which comprises some of the finest land in the Havelock district, contains about 3,000 acres of freehold, and the Petane run 14,000 acres of leasehold, both properties being sown in English grasses. Mr. Tanner has always identified himself with the fortunes of the province; during the native troubles he took part in raising the Waipawa and Hawke's Bay Cavalry Volunteers, and proceeded with his troop to the relief of the settlers and friendly natives at the time of the Mohaka and Poverty Bay massacres. He was for many years a member of the various local bodies. In 1893 he visited England, when he resigned all his public offices except his seat on the Education Board. During his long residence in the district Mr. Tanner has taken a prominent part in all matters for the advancement of the district. He married an English lady, and has eight children, several of whom are married and settled in Hawke's Bay.

Mr. George Henry Swan, formerly a member of the House of Representatives for Napier, and an ex-mayor of Napier, was born in Sunderland, England. He was brought up as a chemist at Newcastle-on-Tyne, where he also gained a knowledge of photography. He went to Australia in 1854, visited the Victorian goldfields, and afterwards entered into business at Dunolly. In the year 1857, Mr. Swan came to New Zealand, and began business as a photographer in Wellington, in conjunction with Mr. Wrigglesworth. In 1864 he removed to Napier, where he opened and carried on a branch studio for himself and his partner. The partnership was dissolved two years later, but Mr. Swan carried on the Napier business till 1870, when he sold out to his assistant, Mr. Samuel Carnell. In 1866 he became a large shareholder and managing director in the Hawke's Bay Brewing Company, and in 1869 purchased the White Swan Brewery, which he carried on for many years. Mr. Swan was elected to the Borough Council of Napier in 1874, and he was Mayor of the town continuously from December, 1885, to April, 1901. No other Mayor in any town of the colony has a record which can be compared with Mr. Swan's in this respect, and he rendered to his borough services commensurate with the honour it had conferred upon him. He inaugurated the public salt-water swimming baths, and the sea wall which protects the town, and forms the esplanade; the Marine Parade is largely the outcome of his public spirit and intelligent persistency, and is the finest work of its kind in New Zealand. Mr. Swan was Chairman of the Napier Hospital Board, and of the Hawke's Bay United Charitable Aid Board for many years, and a member of the Napier Harbour Board for seventeen years. He represented Napier in the House of Representatives from 1890 to 1893, and favoured a policy of moderate and steady, as opposed to precipitate, progress. Mr. Swan now (1906) resides in Wanganui, where he and his eldest son, Mr. J. G. Swan, are in partnership in a large and increasing brewing and malting business. Mr. Swan is brother to Sir Joseph W. Swan, of electric light and photographic fame.

Mr. Samuel Carnell was a member of the House of Representatives for Napier from 1893 to 1896. He is further referred to as Mayor of Napier.

Mr. Robert Donald Douglas McLean, formerly a Member of the House of Representatives for Napier, is further referred to as chairman of the Hawke's Bay County Council.