William Gisborne

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William Gisborne (13 August 1825 – 7 January 1898) was Colonial Secretary of New Zealand 1869–1872 and Minister of Public Works 1870–1871. The city of Gisborne is named after him.


Parliament of New Zealand
Years Term Electorate Party
1871–1872 5th Egmont Independent
1877–1879 6th Totara Independent
1879–1881 7th Totara Independent

He was the third son of Thomas John Gisborne of Holme Hall, near Bakewell, Derbyshire. He emigrated to Australia in 1842 and to New Zealand in 1847 where he became firstly a civil servant and then a politician.[1]

Gisborne was appointed to the New Zealand Legislative Council on 2 July 1869, and resigned on 11 January 1871.[2] A week later, he was elected to the New Zealand Parliament in the 1871 general election for the Egmont electorate. He resigned on 10 September 1872.[3] He then represented the Totara electorate from a 1877 by-election,[3] following the death of George Henry Tribe.[4] He was re-elected at the 1879 election and served until the end of that term of Parliament in 1881.[3]

He returned to England in 1881 following the death of his elder brother Francis. In 1892 he inherited Allestree Hall from his brother-in-law and died there in 1898.[1]



  • Scholefield, Guy (1950) [First ed. published 1913]. New Zealand Parliamentary Record, 1840–1949 (3rd ed.). Wellington: Govt. Printer. 
New Zealand Parliament
New constituency Member of Parliament for Egmont
Succeeded by
Harry Atkinson