Charles H. Mills

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The Honourable
Charles Houghton Mills
Charles Houghton Mills.jpg
Minister of Trade and Customs
In office
29 October 1900 – 6 August 1906
Prime Minister Richard Seddon
William Hall-Jones
Preceded by Richard Seddon
Succeeded by Alexander Hogg
Personal details
Born 1843 (1843)
Nelson, New Zealand
Died 3 April 1923(1923-04-03) (aged 79–80)
New Zealand
Nationality Blenheim, New Zealand
Political party Liberal
Spouse(s) Margaret Morrison (m. 1871)
Relations Haddon Donald (great-grandson)[1]

Charles Houghton Mills (1843 – 3 April 1923) was a member of parliament for Waimea and Wairau, in the South Island of New Zealand.

Early life[edit]

Mills was born in Nelson.[2] His father was Richard Mills, who arrived in Nelson in 1841 on the Lord Auckland.[3] The family moved to Wellington in the early 1850s, where his father was Governor of the gaol, and where Charles Mills was educated.[3][4] He was a pupil teacher at Te Aro school.[4] He went to sea for some years, and then worked in mining and farming.[3] Later, Mills was a commission agent.[2]

Mills settled in Havelock in 1871 and married Margaret, a daughter of John Morrison, in the same year.[3][5]

Member of Parliament[edit]

New Zealand Parliament
Years Term Electorate Party
1890–1893 11th Waimea-Picton Liberal
1893–1896 12th Waimea-Sounds Liberal
1896–1899 13th Wairau Liberal
1899–1902 14th Wairau Liberal
1902–1905 15th Wairau Liberal
1905–1908 16th Wairau Liberal

The 1887 general election in the Waimea-Picton electorate was contested by Arthur Seymour, Joseph Harkness and Mills, who received 446, 444 and 415 votes, respectively. Seymour was thus elected.[6]

The 1890 general election in the Waimea-Picton electorate was contested by Mills, Richmond Hursthouse and William Henry Phillips, who received 936, 728 and 80 votes, respectively.[7] Mills was thus elected and represented the electorate until the end of the term in 1893. He then represented the successor electorates of Waimea-Sounds (1893–1896) and Wairau (1896–1908) in the New Zealand House of Representatives.[8] The 1896 general election was contested by the incumbent Lindsay Buick and Mills, who received 2014 and 2072 votes, respectively. Mills thus succeeded Buick in Wairau.[9]

Mills served as the Liberal Party's Senior Whip from 1894 until his elevation to cabinet in 1900.[10] He was Minister of Trade and Customs between 1900 and 1906 and Minister of Immigration in 1906.[8]

He was a member of the Provincial Council and Marlborough County Council, and of the Legislative Council between 1909 and 1916.[11]


Mills died on 3 April 1923 and was buried at Omaka Cemetery, Blenheim.[4][12] He was survived by his wife.[4]


  1. ^ Hyslop, Liam (11 April 2013). "Our oldest MP returns to Parliament". Dominion Post. Retrieved 29 January 2017. 
  2. ^ a b Hamer 1988, p. 365.
  3. ^ a b c d Cyclopedia Company Limited (1906). "The Hon. Charles Houghton Mills". The Cyclopedia of New Zealand : Nelson, Marlborough & Westland Provincial Districts. Christchurch: The Cyclopedia of New Zealand. Retrieved 25 July 2011. 
  4. ^ a b c d "Hon C H Mills". Hawera & Normanby Star. XLII. 5 April 1923. p. 4. Retrieved 23 July 2011. 
  5. ^ William Jackson Barry (1897). "Mr. C. H. Mills". Past and Present, and Men of the Times. Christchurch: McKee and Gamble. Retrieved 25 July 2011. 
  6. ^ "Waimea-Picton election". Colonist. XXX (5024). 6 October 1887. p. 1. Retrieved 25 July 2011. 
  7. ^ "Waimea-Picton". Colonist. XXXIV (5980). 8 December 1890. p. 3. Retrieved 25 July 2011. 
  8. ^ a b Wilson 1985, p. 220.
  9. ^ "The Elections". Hawera & Normanby Star. XXXIII (3416). 7 December 1896. p. 2. Retrieved 24 July 2011. 
  10. ^ Wilson 1985, pp. 279–80.
  11. ^ Wilson 1985, p. 159.
  12. ^ "Cemetery records search". Marlborough District Council. Retrieved 26 October 2015. 


  • Dictionary of New Zealand Biography edited by Guy H. Scholefield vol. 2 pp. 84,85 (2 volumes 1940, Department of Internal Affairs)
  • The New Zealand Liberals: the Years of Power 1891–1912 by David Hamer (1988, Auckland University Press, Auckland)
  • Wilson, James Oakley (1985) [First published in 1913]. New Zealand Parliamentary Record, 1840–1984 (4th ed.). Wellington: V.R. Ward, Govt. Printer. OCLC 154283103. 
New Zealand Parliament
Preceded by
Arthur Seymour
Member of Parliament for Waimea-Picton
Electorate abolished
New constituency Member of Parliament for Waimea-Sounds
Electorate abolished
Preceded by
Lindsay Buick
Member of Parliament for Wairau
Succeeded by
John Duncan
Party political offices
Preceded by
Frank Lawry
Senior Whip of the Liberal Party
Succeeded by
John Stevens