The Cyclopedia of New Zealand [Nelson, Marlborough & Westland Provincial Districts]
Present And Past Members Of Parliament
Present And Past Members Of Parliament.
The political history of Nelson has been perhaps less eventful than that of most of the provincial districts of the colony; but its records contain the names of many men who would have gained fame and distinction in any sphere of colonial life. At the first election for the General Assembly in 1853 Messrs Travers and Mackay were elected for the town of Nelson; Mr (afterwards Sir F. A.) Weld, for the Wairau; Mr. Cautley and Dr. Monro for the Waimea, and Mr. Picard for Motueka. Early in 1854 the Hon. Henry Seymour, Hon. Ralph Richardson and Hon. Matthew Richmond were called to the Legislative Council to represent Nelson province.
In the second Parliament (1858–1861) the Nelson members of the Legislative Council were the Hon. M. Richmond and the Hon. H. Seymour. Mr. A. Domett and Mr. E. W. Stafford were members for Nelson city, Mr. H. E. Curtis for Motueka, Dr. D. Monro and Mr. W. T. L. Travers for the Waimea. In 1861, when the third Parliament met, Mr. M. Richmond was Nelson's only member in the Upper House, and it was not till 1869 that the Hon. W. Robinson and the Hon. T. Renwick were appointed. In 1870 the appointment of the Hon. T. Wigley brought up the Nelson quota in the Upper House to four. In the meantime several changes had taken place in the representation of the district in the Lower House. Mr. W. Wells was chosen for Nelson suburbs in 1861, and sat for that constituency through the sessions of the third and fourth Parliaments. In the third Parliament (1861) Mr. A. Saunders replaced Mr. Travers for the Waimea, and Mr. A. J. Richmond was member for Collingwood, being replaced in 1868 by Mr. A. Collyns. In the fourth Parliament (1864) Mr. O. Curtis took the seat vacated by Mr. Domett for Nelson city; Mr. J. C. Richmond was member for Grey and Bell; Mr. C. Parker had succeeded Mr. H. Curtis at Motueka, and Mr. E. Baigent was one of the members for Waimea. By 1869 Mr. Nathaniel Edwards had taken the Nelson seat in place of Mr. E. W. Stafford, who had left Nelson district for South Canterbury.
In the fifth Parliament, of which the first session opened in 1871, Nelson was represented in the Legislative Council by four members—Messrs T. Renwick, M. Richmond, W. Robinson and T. H. Wigley. The members in the Lower House for Nelson city were Mr. O. Curtis and Mr. M. Lightband, who during the season was replaced by Mr. D. M. Luckie. Nelson suburbs was represented by Mr. Ralph Richardson, while in the country districts Sir David Monro was unseated for Motueka, on petition by Mr. C. Parker. Mr. A. Collyns sat for page 27 Collingwood till 1874, when he was succeeded by Mr. W. Gibbs. Mr. J. Shephard was member for Waimea till 1876, when he was supplanted by Mr. Baigent. But he regained his seat in 1879 and sat till 1885, when he was succeeded by Mr. J. Kerr, and was raised to the Legislative Council, where he sat till 1899. Mr. Harrison was member for Grey Valley in 1871, and his place was taken in 1877 by Mr. Martin Kennedy, who was superseded in 1878 by Mr. Woolcock, but has since played a prominent part in the public life of Wellington. The member for Buller was Mr. Eugene O'Conor, who was displaced in 1876 by Mr. J. Henry. Mr. O'Conor, however, regained his seat in 1884, and held it till it was taken in 1894 by Mr. R. McKenzie.
Of the city members mentioned in this list, Mr. Curtis kept his seat till 1879, when he was succeeded by Mr. A. Pitt, the present Attorney-General. Mr. Luckie was succeeded in 1878 by Mr. J. Sharp, who was replaced by Mr. ActonAdams in 1879. Mr. Adams was succeeded in 1881 by Mr. H. Levestam, who held his seat till 1889, when it was taken by Mr. J. Harkness. Mr. R. Richardson was succeeded for Nelson suburbs by Mr. A. J. Richmond, who in 1881 gave place to Mr. A. Collyns. Mr. Gibbs sat for Collingwood till 1882. Mr. Parker was succeeded at Motueka in 1876 by Mr. Richmond Hursthouse, who held his seat till 1887, when it was taken by Mr. J. Kerr. In 1879 Mr. J. Henry was superseded at the Buller by Mr. J. Bickerton Fisher, who was displaced in 1882 by Mr. J. Munro; and Mr. Munro was in turn superseded, in 1884, by Mr. Eugene O'Conor. In 1878 there first appears the name of a politician who long played a prominent part in Nelson affairs: Mr. R. H. J. Reeves, who sat first for Grey Valley, and subsequently, from 1887 to 1894, for Inangahua; and was raised to the Upper House in 1895.
In 1872 Mr. Nathaniel Edwards was added to the list of Nelson members in the Legislative Council; making five Nelson representatives in all. In 1878 Mr. T. Wigley moved to Canterbury, and in 1880 Mr. Edwards died and Dr. Renwick retired from the Council. Nelson was thus left with only two members. In 1883, however, Mr. J. W. Barnicoat and Mr. J. C. Richmond were appointed, bringing up the Nelson members to four. In 1886 Mr. Shephard, for many years member for Waimea, was appointed member of the Legislative Council, but this gain to Nelson was balanced by the loss of Mr. M. Richmond in 1887. In 1889 Mr. W. Robinson died, leaving Nelson with only three members, and in 1892 the retirement of Mr. J. C. Richmond reduced them to two. In 1896 the appointment of Mr. R. H. J. Reeves raised the Nelson total to three. The loss of Mr. Shephard in 1899 was balanced by the accession of Mr. A. Pitt in 1900; but the retirement of Mr. J. W. Barnicoat, in 1902, and the appointment of Mr. F. Trask in 1903, left Nelson with three representatives in the Upper House.
Among the members of the House of Representatives who have sat for variour Nelson constituencies within the last twenty years appear several noteworthy names, Mr. T. S. Weston sat for Inangahua from 1881 to 1883, when his seat was taken by Mr. E. Shaw. Mr. Kerr sat for Waimea and Motueka successively from 1885 to 1891. In 1889 Mr. Levestam was succeeded by Mr. J. Harkness as member for Nelson city, and in 1894 Mr. J. Graham, the present member, took his seat. In 1893 Sir Robert Stout temporarily replaced Mr. R. H. J. Reeves at Inangahua; and in 1894 Mr. O'Regan succeeded Sir Robert, sitting later for Buller from 1897 to 1900. In 1891 Mr. C. H. Mills took his seat for Waimea-Picton — Later the WaimeaSounds district, which he still represents. Mr. Mills has been Commissioner of Trade and Customs since the 29th of October, 1900. In 1893 Mr. R. McKenzie was elected for Buller, but in the Parliament of 1900 he sat for Motueka. while his place at the Buller was taken by Mr. Colvin. Mr. A. Guinness, now Speaker of the Lower House, who has been member for Grey since 1884, represents a constituency that is regarded as belonging more strictly to Westland than to Nelson. But taking everything into consideration, Nelson has good reason to be satisfied with the ability of the men who have represented the town and the district in Parliament ever since the foundation of the province.
Present Members Of The Legislative Council.
The Hon. Richard Harman Jeffares Reeves was born in the town of Enniscorthy, County Wexford, Ireland, in the year 1836, and educated at Barrow Grammar School, and subsequently at Tarvin, Cheshire. In early youth he went to sea and in 1852 he left the Old Country for Sydney, New South Wales. He has been in the Colonies ever since and has been in torn miner, storekeeper, cattle dealer and auctioneer, etc., etc. Whilst absent on a visit to Australia he was elected first member for Hokitika 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. When the West Coast was separated from Canterbury, Mr. Reeves was elected one of the first members of the County Council of Westland. In 1878 he was elected member of the House of Representatives for Grey Valley in place of Mr. Martin Kennedy, who had resigned. Mr. Reeves at once allied himself with the Liberal Party, and all through his political career he has been a most consistent advocate of all liberal and labour measures. In December, 1895, Mr. Reeves was appointed to the Legislative Council. He is now and has been for many years a member of the Westport Harbour Board.
The Hon. R. H. J. Reeves.
Lieut.-Colonel The Hon. Albert Pitt was called to the Legislative Council by a writ dated the 23rd of December, 1899. For thirty-five years he has been almost continuously connected with the New Zealand militia and volunteers, and only recently resigned the stipendiary command of the Nelson volunteer district, with a view to his being called to the Legislative Council. He was, of course, not officially connected with the volunteers while he sat in the House of Representatives as a member for the city of Nelson from 1879 to 1881. Colonel Pitt was born in Hobart, Tasmania, and first became a volunteer in 1861, when he joined a volunteer artillery corps in that Colony. Three years later he came to New Zealand, and was appointed, in 1865, to the command of the Nelson Artillery Cadets. He afterwards commanded the Nelson Volunteer Artillery Company till 1871. Two years later he became captain of a newly-appointed artillery company (now known as the H Battery, N.Z.R.A.), and in 1877 he was appointed to command the Nelson militia and volunteer page 28 district. In 1881 he had command of about 1200 volunteers on active service at Parihaka, in the expedition of armed constabulary and volunteers under Lieut.-Colonel Roberts, when Te Whiti, Tohu and Hiroki were arrested. For his services on that occasion, Colonel Pitt received a very complimentary letter of thanks from the Hon. John Bryce, then Minister of Defence; and, in 1885, was appointed a Lientenant-Colonel of the New Zealand Militia, which command he still holds. When the volunteer districts of the colony were consolidated, in 1895, Colonel Pitt was appointed afresh to the command of the Nelson district, which was then made to include the formerly separate districts of Nelson, Marlborough, and Westland. Colonel Pitt holds the New Zealand long-service medal, and the Imperial volunteer officer's decoration. In 1897 he was selected to command the contingent of volunteers which went from New Zealand to England in connection with the celebrations of the Queen's Record Reign. Colonel Pitt became a member of the Seddon Governmant, as Attorney-General, in June, 1903.
The Hon. Francis Trask was called to the Legislative Council on the 18th of March, 1903. He was born at Merriott, in Somersetshire, England, in 1840, and in 1860 he came out in the barque “Minorca” to Christchurch, whence he went on to the Otago goldfields. After a stay of a few months at Wetherstones Gully, Mr. Trask want to Nelson, where he has resided ever since. In 1878 he was electod to a seat in the Borough Council, and held office as a councillor till 1890, when he was first elected mayor—an office which he held for ten successive years. Among the many works which were undertaken during Mr. Trask's term of office was the Rocks Road, a new main road from the town to the country, by way of the sea coast. This work was started mainly through his exertions; it is perfectly level for its whole distance, and forms the highway into Nelson from the fertile Waimeas, and thence to the West Coast. “Gunnersbury House,” Mr. Trask's residence in Collingwood Street, is oné of the best (if not the finest) in Nelson.
The Hon. F. Trask.
Former Members Of The Legislative Council.
The Hon. Ralph Richardson, who resided for some years at The Wood, Nelson, was born in Cheshire, England, where his family owned the well-known estate of Capenhurst. He came to New Zealand by the ship “Maori” in 1851, and about 1866 he purchased “Meadowbank,” near Blenheim. This estate consists of 22,000 acres, and he leased it to Mr. A. P. Seymour till 1882, when his son, Mr. George Richardson, took charge of the property. Mr. Richardson was called to the Legislative Council in 1853, but resigned three years later. During the latter years of his life Mr. Richardson resided in London, where he died at Christmas, 1898. The Meadowbank estate then became the property of Mr. George Richardson, who had managed it for fourteen years.
The Late Hon. R. Richardson.
The Hon. Major Richmond became a member of the Legislative Council of New Zealand in 1853. He was British Resident in the Ionian Islands in 1836 and had had some experience of colonial administration in Canada before the came to New Zealand. In 1840 he was appointed to examine into the titles of land claimed by the New Zealand Company. When the Wairau massacre occurred he was despatched to the South Island to restore order. He was appointed Chief Magistrate of the southern division of the colony in 1843, and Superintendent and Deputy-Governor of the southern district in 1844. The southern district then included Wellington and the whole of the Middle Island. As Superintendent and Resident Magistrate at Nelson, from 1846 to November, 1853, he was widely known, and his capacity as an administrator was generally acknowledged by the colonists. He was a member of the Legislative Council from 1853 until he died on the 5th of March, 1887; and his large experience and cultivated mind gave exceptional value to his counsels and actions as a public man.
The Hon. Charles Bigg Wither was appointed a member of the Legislative Council in 1863, but resigned during the same year without taking this seat. He was the youngest son of Mr. Harris Bigg Wither, of Manydown, Hants, England, and was educated at Winchester, and at Edinburgh University. Mr. Wither came out to New Zealand in 1843 by the ship “Ursula,” which touched first at Wellington, and then came on to Nelson. After the excitement of the Wairau massacre had subsided he took up a sheep run in the Wairau district, and he also owned a farm at Richmond, where he resided up to the time of his death in 1874. Mr. Wither was an elected Governor of Nelson College, and he sat for many years as Justice of the Peace on the bench at Richmond. He left a large family, and the sons, who distinguished themselves at Nelson College, are all settled in the colony.
The Hon. Nathaniel George Morse was appointed a member of the Legislative Council in 1866, and resigned in 1869. He was an Englishman by birth, and one of the very earliest colonists in the Nelson district. He took a keen interest in volunteering, and, after the death of Major Richmond, was senior officer in command of the district. As a marksman he won the champion belt of New Zealand for shooting. Mr. Morse originally settled at the Moutere, where he carried on farming with Messrs Murray and Rodgers. Later on, he had a sheep run in the Wairau district, and he also owned a farm at Waimea West, where he resided until he left Nelson. On leaving the province Mr. Morse settled at Wanganui, where he died.
The Hon. William Robinson was appointed a member of the Legislative Council in 1869. He was also a member of the Nelson Provincial Council. Mr. Robinson was born in South Australia, and came over to New Zealand in the early days of settlement. In 1853 he bought the freehold of a portion of the Cheviot run from the Nelson Provincial Government, and subsequently acquired the whole block of 84,756 acres. On securing the freehold Mr. Robinson at once set to work to fence, subdivide and improve his property. He erected buildings, planted gardens, orchards, and plantations, and constructed about 200 miles of subdivision fences. Few station properties in New Zealand were so highly improved as Cheviot. In 1892 the Property Tax Department assessed the value of the estate at £304,826, and, on this assessment being objected to by the trustees, the whole property was bought by the Government at the trustees' valuation; namely, £250,220. It was immediately surveyed and subdivided, and now forms the highly prosperous town and settlement of Cheviot. Mr. Robinson, who died in 1889, earned the sobriquet of “Ready Money Robinson,” for having paid £10,000 in cash as a deposit on his first purchase.
The Hon. Thomas Henry Wigley was called to the Legislative Council in 1870, and continued to be a member for over twenty years. He was formerly a member of the Nelson Provincial Council. Mr. Wigley was born in England in 1825, and came out in 1830 to South Australia, where he completed his education, and afterwards became a squatter. He arrived in New Zealand in 1853, and was engaged in sheepfarming for many years. Mr. Wigley died in 1895.
The Hon. Nathaniel Edwards, who was appointed to the Legislative Council in 1872, was a member up to the time of his death in 1880; and, before his appointment to the Council, sat as a member of the House of Representatives, He arrived in Nelson in January, 1845, by the ship “Slams Castle,” and afterwards joined the Government survey staff, and was engaged in surveying the Awatere district. Mr. Edwards subsequently acquired the busi- page 30 ness of Messrs Fell and Seymour, general merchants, and taking into partnership Messrs George Bennett and John Symons, carried on the business under the style of N. Edwards and Co. This firm founded the Anchor line of steamers and the branch business of Edwards, Bennett and Co., at Christchurch. Mr. Edwards died at Nelson in 1880.
The Late Hon. J. W. Barnicoat.
The Hon. Joseph Shephard, who was appointed to the Legislative Council in 1885, was previously a member of the House of Representatives for a number at years. He arrived in Nelson in 1861, by the ship “Donna Lita,” and carried on farming for some time. Mr. Shephard was an able writer, took a great interest in politics and local affairs, and was for several years editor of the “Colonist.” He died in 1896.
Present Members Of The House Of Representatives.
Mr. J. Graham.
Mr. Roderick Mckenzie , Member of the House of Representatives for Motueka, was first elected to Parliament for the Butler in 1893, when he contested the seat with Mr Eugene O'Conor, whom he defeated by over 300 votes. On the readjustment of the electorates, Mr McKenzie decided to contest the Motueka seat, and defeated Mr Hursthouse and Major Franklyn, of Wakefield. Mr McKenzie is a strong supporter of the Seddon administration. He assisted in passing the Loan Bill, which enabled the Westport Harbour Board to borrow £50,000 for extensive and muchneeded improvements. The member for Motueka was born in Ross-shire, Scotland, in 1852, was educated at the Glasgow Academy, and entered the service of the London and Glasgow Engineering and Ironship Building Company, with which he remained over two years. Mr McKenzie then went to Canada for a time. He emigrated to this colony in 1869, per ship “City of Dunedin,” and followed mining in Otago. Subsequently he went to the West Coast and engaged in bridge building, and has completed some of the largest contracts in Westland, including the construction of the Westport Staiths at a cost of £22,000. He also built the railway bridge at Arahura and laid the rails to Hokitika, and constructed the wharf on Jervois Quay at Wellington. Mr McKenzie, who is a practical builder, is a member of the Westport Harbour Board, and is connected with many Westland societies.
Former Members Of The House Of Representatives.
Mr. Alfred Domett , who was born at Camberwell Grove, Surrey, England, on the 20th of May, 1811, matriculated at Cambridge, where he studied for three years at St. John's College, but did not graduate. He travelled in America, Switzerland, and Italy, published a volume of verse, and, was called to the Bar at the Middle Temple in 1841, and became an intimate friend of Robert Brownting, of whose “Waring” he was the original. Mr. Domett arrived in Nelson in 1842, and soon took a responsible position in political affairs. He was appointed Colonial Secretary for the South Island, and in 1851 became Civil Secretary for the whole colony. He then took up the duties of Commissioner of Crown Lands in Hawke's Bay, and subsequently was elected member for Nelson in the House of Representatives. In 1862–3 Mr. Domett was Premier of the colony, and for the next eight years he was occupied in the administration of Crown Lands. He returned to England in 1871 and died in 1887. In the interval he published a number of poetical works, of which “Ranolf and Amohia” is the best known and the most highly esteemed. It is said that Mr. Domett never disclosed himself to his colonial contemporaries as a poet; but “Ranolf and Amohia” has been highly praised by Tennyson and Browning, and other judicious critics, though more for its substance than its form; for it lacks concentration, and, as a literary work, it is more ornate than artistic. Still, as an attempt to idealise the native life of the South Seas, and to depict the beauties of New Zealand in appropriate language, “Ranolf and Amohia” should always possess a surpassing interest for colonial readers; and, in addition to his claims as a poet, Mr. Domett deserves to be held in honourable remembrance as one of the able early administrators and wise pioneer statesmen of New Zealand.
The Late Mr. Alfred Domett.
The Late Sir David Monro.
Mr. William Thomas Locke Travers , F.L.S., who sat for Nelson City in 1854, and for Waimea from 1854 to 1858, was for a short time a member of the Executive Council during the colony's first Parliament. He was born in Ireland in 1819, was educated in France, and afterwards entered the British Legion in Spain, as Lieutenant of the 2nd Regiment of Lancers, in which he served during the Carlist war, 183538. On returning to England, Mr. Travers studied for the law, was admitted to the Bar, and came out to Nelson in 1849 by the ship “Kelso.” For some time he was judge of the District Court at Nelson, but resigned that position to practice his profession. In after years he resided in Christchurch, which he represented in Parliament from 1867 to 1870, and in Wellington, for which he sat in 1877. Mr. Travers conducted a legal practice in the latter city for many years and took an active part in public affairs, almost up to the time of his death. He is further referred to at pages 263–264 of the Wellington volume of this work, and at page 94 of the Canterbury volume.
Mr. William Oldfield Cautley , who sat for Waimea in 1854, in New Zealand's first Parliament, came out to Nelson by the ship “Mary Ann,” in 1842, and took up a farm known as “Wensley Hill” at Richmond. Mr. Cautley took no part in local affairs, and did not remain long in New Zealand; but returned to England, and died in London.
Mr. James Mackay , who represented Nelson City in the first Parliament in 1854 and in 1855, was born in Scotland, where he was brought up as a banker, and he was afterwards connected with the firm of Lloyds in London. He came out to Nelson by the ship “Slains Castle,” in January, 1845, and took up land, which he farmed to the time of his death. Mr. Mackay, who represented Lloyds in Nelson, was captain of one of the first volunteer companies in the city, and took a keen interest in local affairs.
Mr. Alfred C. Picard , who sat for Motueka and Massacre Bay in the House of Representatives from 1854 to 1855, was an Englishman by birth, and a brilliant speaker. He died at Motueka.
Mr. Samuel Stephens , who sat for Nelson City in the first Parliament, in 1854–1855, was a surveyor, and came out to Nelson with the preliminary expedition ships, as principal officer of the New Zealand Company's survey staff. When Mr. Tuckett resigned he was appointed chief surveyor for the New Zealand Company, page 33 and surveyed the Motueka district, and made plans of the township of Picton. On retiring from active life Mr. Stephens residue at Nelson for some time, but afterwards removed to Riwaka, where he died on the 26th of June, 1855. At one time Mr. Stephens owned a sheep run in the Wairau district. He was member for Nelson in the House of Representatives, and for Motueka in the Provincial Council, at the time of his death.
Mr. Herbert Evelyn Curtis , who sat for Motueka and Massacre Bay in the House of Representatives, from 1856 to 1865, held the position of Government Auditor for the Provincial district of Nelson for a considerable time, and, at his death, was senior lieutenant in the New Zealand Militia. Mr. Curtis was the senior partner in the firm of Messrs Curtis Brothers, merchants. He and his brother, Mr. Oswald Curtis, arrived in Nelson in June, 1853, having come out from England in the barque “Mohammed Shah,” which was burnt at sea, off the coast of Tasmania, where the passengers and crew were landed. Mr. Curtis was for many years an active Justice of the Peace. After a lingering illness of over three years, he died at Nelson, on the 10th of August, 1890, aged seventy-two.
Mr. Charles Elliott , who sat for Waimea in the House of Representatives from 1856 to 1858, was a very active politician. He came out to New Zealand in the early forties, and he and his brother established the first paper in the province, the “Nelson Examiner,” which they owned during its existence. Mr. Elliott was also a sheep farmer, and owned the station of “Upcot,” in the Awatere Valley. He was subsequently Immigration Agent at Nelson, where he died very suddenly.
Mr. Charles Parker was first elected to the House of Representatives in 1856, when he succeeded Mr. A. C. Picard as member for Motueka and Massacre Bay, and subsequently he sat as member for Motueka from 1866 to 1875. Mr. Parker arrived in Nelson by the ship “New Zealand,” in 1842, and carried on business as a carpenter at Motueka.
Mr. Fedor A. Kelling , who sat for Waimea in the House of Representatives from 1859 to 1860, had been previously a member of the old Provincial Council, to which he was elected in 1857, and sat up to the time of the abolition of the Provincial Governments. He was born in 1820 in Mechlenberg-Schwerin, Germany, where he was educated and brought up to farming. In 1844 he came to New Zealand by the ship “Skjold,” and settled at Waimea East, where he took up 350 acres of land, which he reclaimed and brought under cultivation. In 1855 he purchased a run of 8000 acres in Marlborough, where he grazed about 4000 sheep; but in 1877 he gave up this property and bought between 500 and 600 acres at Stanley Brook, Motueka Valley. This land was afterwards transferred to his eldest son, Mr. Robert Kelling, who finally sold it in 1900, and took over his father's property at Waimea East. Mr. Kelling was appointed a Justice of the Peace in 1859, and in 1863 he was sent to Europe as Emigration Agent, with the object of obtaining suitable settlers for the colony. He was for many years German Consul at Nelson, and on the abolition of the office, he was presented with the Order of the Crown by the late Emperor William I, as a mark of that monarch's appreciation of his services.
Mr. F. A. Kelling.
Mr. James Balfour Wemyss , who sat for Nelson suburbs in the House of Representatives in 1861, was at one time Provincial Secretary of Marlborough. Mr. Wemyss was a runholder in the Wairau district, but returned to England in the early seventies.
Mr. William Wells , who represented the Suburbs of Nelson in the House of Representatives from 1861 to 1870, arrived in Nelson in the early days of settlement. He was a man of independent means, and farmed a property at Wakapuaka, where he died many years ago.
Mr. Andrew James Richmond , who sat for Collingwood in the House of Representatives from 1861 to 1867, and the Suburbs of Nelson from 1873 to 1880, was the only son of the late Hon. Matthew Richmond, C.B., M.L.C. For many years he managed “Richmond Brook,” a large sheep run in the Awatere district, Marlborough, for his father, and took an active part in promoting the welfare of the district. Mr. Richmond married, in 1856, a daughter of Captain F. H. Blundell, of the Light Dragoons, India, and at his death, in 1880, left one son and three daughters. His widow, who came to New Zealand with her parents, in 1851, by the ship “Maori,” now (1905) resides in Nile Street, Nelson.
The Late Mr. A. J. Richmond.
Mr. Alfred Saunders , who sat for Waimea in the House of Representatives from 1861 to 1863, and for other constituencies in later years, was twice Superintendent of the Province of Nelson, and is further referred to in that connection.
Mr. John George Miles , who sat for Waimea in the House of Representatives from 1864 to 1865, was a man of independent means. He did not remain long in New Zealand, but returned to England, whence he had come to Nelson.
Mr. Oswald Curtis , who was member for Nelson City in the House of Representatives from 1866 to 1879, is further referred to among the Superintendents of Nelson.
Mr. Arthur Robert Oliver , who sat as member for Waimea in the page 34 House of Representatives in 1866, came out to Nelson in the early sixties. He resided in New Zealand for only a few years, and then went back to England.
Mr. Edward Baigent , who sat for Waimea in the House of Representatives, from 1867 to 1870, and again, from 1876 to 1879, arrived in New Zealand, in 1842, by the ship “Clifford,” In 1846 he put up a flour mill at Wakefield. It was the first in the Nelson province, if not in New Zealand, and was fitted up with the necessary machinery, which Mr. Baigent had brought out from England. The industry was carried on with success for three or four years, but was ultimately given up for sawmilling, in which Mr. Baigent was largely interested. Mr. Baigent was a member of the Nelson Provincial Council from the time of its inception until its abolition. He was also a member of the Waimea Road Board, and many other local bodies. Mr. Baigent was born at Wendlesham, Sussex, in 1812, and was brought up as a mechanic, but afterwards engaged in farming. He was a liberal minded man, and did much for the town and province of Nelson, Mr. Baigent died in 1892.
Mr. Arthur Shuckburgh Collyns , J.P., represented the Golden Bay electorate from 1868 to 1873, and the Suburbs of Nelson in 1881. He was also for some years a member of the Provincial Council and of Mr. Curtis's Executive. Mr. Collyns was nominated by the Atkinson Government one of the Governors of Nelson College, and a member of the Marlborough Waste Lands Board; but he resigned the College governorship in 1885, on going to reside on his sheep run at Kaikoura. He was elected chairman of the Kaikoura County Council in 1885, and retained the position until 1887, when he ceased to reside at Kaikoura, and returned to Nelson, and sent his two youngest boys to Nelson College. Mr. Collyns was made a Justice of the Peace by Mr. Stafford's Government in 1868. In the winter of 1869, accompanied by Mr. T. Mackay, he went, at the request of the Nelson townsfolk, over the Mount Arthur range, to decide on a feasible pack track to the Karamea. In 1872, Mr. T. Mackay, having discovered the Rai Saddle, Mr. Collyns went there and “blazed” the track, which has since become the coach road to Blenheim. In order to dissipate the doubts which existed in Nelson as to the feasibility of this line, he rode through it to the Pelorus before any track was cut. Afterwards he took Bishop Suter and Sir James Hector through; and the favourable opinions of these well known gentlemen helped to raise the line in public esteem. The Bishop was so pleased with his ride through the wild bush that he gave Mr. Collyns five pounds to construct a bridge over a somewhat dangerous gully; and this was for years called the Bishop's bridge. Afterwards Mr. A. P. Seymour, then Superintendent of Marlborough, granted Mr. Collyns £100 from the Provincial chest to make a horse track, as far as the money would go. With this money he caused a fairly good horse track to be made from the Saddle to an old surveyors' camp in the Rai Valley, With the help of Mr. W. Wastney, and of other members of the Wakapuaka Road Board, of which he was then chairman, Mr. Collyns also laid out a track from Wakapuaka to the Saddle; and this track was afterwards altered and improved by Government surveyors. In 1881, being then in the House of Representatives, he, with the assistance of other Nelson members, induced Sir John Hall's Government to construct the present Rai road. Mr. Collyns, who is a member of the Anglican Church, was born in Devonshire, England, in the year 1832. He has on several occasions been a member of the General Synod, and now represents Kaikoura in the Nelson Diocesan Synod He came out in the ship “Pekin,” and landed in Nelson on the 31st of December, 1849. Mr. Collyns is a widower, and has eleven children; and his eldest son, Mr. John Ulric Collyns, is one of the masters at Christ's College, Christchurch.
Mr. A. S. Collyns.
Mr. Nathaniel Edwards , who sat for Nelson City in the House of Representatives from 1869 to 1870, is further referred to as a former member of the Legislative Council.
Mr. Joseph Shephard , who occupied a seat in the House of Representatives from 1871 to 1875, and again from 1879 to 1884, was subsequently a member of the Legislative Council, and is elsewhere referred to in that connection.
Mr. Ralph Richardson , who is referred to in another article as having been a member of the Legislative Council, sat in the House of Representatives for Nelson Suburbs during the sessions of 1871–72.
Mr. Martin Lightband , who was member for Nelson City in the House of Representatives in 1871, was born in Worcester, England, in 1832. He came out to New Zealand with his parents when ten years of age, by the ship “Thomas Harrison,” and arrived at Nelson after a five months' voyage. He was brought up to the tanning business by his father, who was one of the first in New Zealand to make use of the native bark for tanning. Mr. Lightband carried on nis trade for nearly twenty-four years, and in 1896 started business as a grain merchant, which he still conducts. Mr. Lightband was a resident in Nelson at the time of the Wairau massacre, and has a vivid recollection of the time when the men were armed with flint-lock muskets. He was elected a member of the Nelson City Council in 1902.
Mr. M. Lightband.
Mr. Arthur Penrose Seymour , who represented Wairau in the House of Representatives from 1872 to 1881, and Waimea-Picton from 1887 to 1890, is elsewhere referred to as the last Superintendent of Marborough.
Mr. David Mitchell Luckie , who sat for Nelson City in the House of Representatives from 1872 to 1875, came to New Zealand in 1863, under engagement as editor of the Nelson “Colonist.” Mr. Luckie was placed on the Commission of the Peace in 1869, and soon afterwards entered the Provincial Council. At the time of his election to the House of Representatives, Sir Julius Vogel offered him the editorship of the “Daily Southern Cross,” which he edited until the paper was amalgamated with the “New Zealand Herald.” In 1878 Mr. Luckie took charge of the Wellington “Evening Post,” and a year later was appointed Commissioner of the Government Insurance Department; but, owing to ill-health, he resigned in 1889, and accepted the post of assistant Commissioner, which he still holds (1905), Mr. Luckie is a Fellow of the Royal Statistical Society of London.
Mr. William Gibbs , who sat for Collingwood in the House of Representatives from 1874 to 1881, settled at Totaranui in the early days; but afterwards retired and lived in Nelson. Mr. Gibbs owned the land on which the township of Collingwood was built when the gold diggings broke out there, and was the local Magistrate and Warden. He died many years ago.
Mr. Richmond Hursthouse , who sat in the House of Representatives for nine years as member for Motueka, was born in New Plymouth in 1845, and was partly educated at the Bishop's school at Nelson, but on account of the unsettled state of the country caused by the Maoris, he received but one year's schooling and had to pick up the rest of his education at intervals. He left New Plymouth with his parents in 1860, on the breaking out of the Maori war. At the age of nineteen or twenty he went to the West Coast with a survey party, and was engaged in laying out Westport. He then returned to New Plymouth, where he joined the corps of Bush Rangers under Major Atkinson, and then saw two years of active service. In 1868 Mr. Hursthouse went to the diggings at the Thames, and thence to Melbourne, where he worked as a mechanical engineer for three years. In 1871 he was at the Gulgong “rush,” where he was fairly successful. After that he came back to New Zealand to the “Green Half rush,” at Coromandel, which did not pay. He then returned to Nelson. Mr. Hursthouse's public life began in 1875, when he was elected to represent Motueka during the administration of Sir Julius Vogel, and he continued in the seat for nine years. After that he followed the occupation of a farmer till 1893, when he became manager at the Australasian Gold Trust and Pioneer Company's works at West Wanganui. Mr. Hursthouse married a daughter of the late Captain Fearon, and eight children were born of the union. He died at New Plymouth on the 11th of November, 1902.
Mr. John Sharp was returned as one of the members for the City of Nelson in 1875, and sat in the House of Representatives for three sessions. During that time he induced Parliament to pass an Act to enable the corporation of Nelson to purchase from the General Government—into whose hands they had fallen at the abolition of the provinces—the Nelson waterworks and gasworks. Mr. Sharp occupied the Mayoral chair from 1888 to 1890, and is one of Nelson's oldest settlers. He was born at Maidstone, in Kent, England, in 1828, and was educated at Chatham House College, Ramsgate, for the Navy. He joined the merchant service, however, and in 1843 came out to New Zealand in the ship “Ursula,” as clerk to Mr. Francis Dillon Bell, afterwards Sir Francis Dilton Bell. Mr. Sharp was subsequently engaged as a surveyor under the New Zealand Company. He then received the appointment of assistant clerk to Mr. John Tinline, clerk to the Superintendent and Resident Magistrate, and when Mr. Tinline resigned he stepped into his place. A few months later he received the appointment of Registrar of the Supreme Court. In the old Provincial Council Mr. Sharp sat for two years as representative for Waimea East; subsequently he represented the Amuri; and for three years he was Provincial Treasurer. On the death of Mr. Poynter he was appointed Resident Magistrate, Registrar of Deeds, and Deputy Commissioner of Stamps; and after holding these appointments for three years he retired from the public service, and entered private business; from which he retired in 1885. Mr. Sharp is an honorary member of the Nelson Rifles, of which he was captain in years gone by. He is also an honorary member of Lodge Southern Star, No. 735, E.C., and one of the oldest-made Freemasons in New Zealand.
Mr. John Sharp.
Mr. William Acton-Adams was elected to represent Nelson in the House of Representatives, in 1878, but resigned in 1881, on account of ill-health. He was born at Wilden Manor, Worcester, England, in 1843, and his father, the late Mr. William Adams, was afterwards the first Superintendent of Marlborough. The family arrived in Nelson by the ship “Eden,” in 1850, and in 1862, after gaining some experience in sheepfarming on his father's runs, Mr. ActonAdams was articled to his father's firm, Adams and Kingdon, of Nelson, and was admitted as a barrister and solicitor in 1867. During the seventies he represented Nelson in the Provincial Council, and was Leader of the Opposition. In 1872, Mr. Acton-Adams, as treasurer of the Nelson and West Coast Railway League, drew the first scheme for constructing the line by means of land grants. After removing to Canterbury he founded the firm of ActonAdams and Kippenberger, but subsequently retired from legal practice in order to give more attention to his large station properties. Mr. Acton- page 36 Adams is further referred to on page 354 of the Canterbury volume of this work.
Mr. W. Acton-Adams.
Lieut.-Colonel The Hon. Albert Pitt, who sat for Nelson City in the House of Representatives from 1879 to 1881, is elsewhere referred to as a member of the Legislative Council, and as Attorney-General in the Seddon Government.
Mr. Henry A. Levestam , who was first elected to the House of Representatives as a member for Nelson City in 1881, was returned in the following year, and held his seat until 1888. He carried on business as an engineer in Nelson for many years. Mr. Levestam, who married Miss Hargreaves, a daughter of one of the pioneer settlers, died very suddenly in February, 1889, leaving a large family, all of whom are settled in the colony.
Mr. John Kerr , who sat for Waimea in the House of Representatives from 1885 to 1887, and for Motueka from 1887 to 1890, came out from England with his father in the ship “Fifeshire,” which arrived at Nelson in 1842. For some time he farmed at Waimea West, but evenually bought the Lake Run at Roto-iti, and worked it until he met his death by drowning, a few years ago. Mr. Kerr, who was a keen sportsman and took a great interest in racing, introduced some good American stock into the colony. He also stocked Lake Roto-iti with white fish, which have since become very plentiful.
Mr. Joseph George Harkness was first returned to the House of Representatives on the death of Mr. H. A. Levestam, in 1889, and he continued to represent the City of Nelson up to 1893. He is a son of the late Mr. William Harkness, an early settler in the Nelson district. Mr. Harkness was born in Nelson, where he was brought up and educated. He is now secretary of the National Dairy Association of New Zealand, Limited, Wellington.