Frederick Pirani

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Frederick Pirani
Frederick Pirani, 1895.jpg
Frederick Pirani in 1895
Member of the New Zealand Parliament
for Palmerston
In office
1893 – 1902
Preceded byJames Wilson
Succeeded byWilliam Thomas Wood
Personal details
Born3 December 1858
Melbourne, Australia
Died26 October 1926(1926-10-26) (aged 67)
Wellington, New Zealand
Political partyLiberal Party

Frederick Pirani (3 December 1858 – 26 October 1926) was a New Zealand politician. He was Member of the House of Representatives for Palmerston from 1893 to 1902, first as a Liberal, then as an Independent. He was part of the Liberal Party's "left" (radical) wing.[1]

Early life[edit]

Pirani was born in Melbourne, Australia, and his family emigrated to New Zealand in 1864. His father was a journalist, and later owner of the Manawatu Evening Standard. Pirani served his apprenticeship as a printer under John Ballance on the Wanganui Herald in the late 1870s, and later became a journalist.[1]

Political career[edit]

Pirani greeting card, 1893

In 1884 he moved to Palmerston North, where he became involved in politics. He was elected as councillor of Palmerston North Borough in 1888–1889, and again in 1901.[1][2]

New Zealand Parliament
Years Term Electorate Party
1893–1896 12th Palmerston Liberal
1896–1899 13th Palmerston Independent Liberal
1899–1902 14th Palmerston Independent

He established a local chapter of the Knights of Labour, and in 1890 stood for Parliament as a Labour candidate, losing by only 61 votes.[3] He was persuaded to stand again by John Ballance, and was elected as a Liberal in 1893. He would hold the seat until 1902, but the change in the Liberal platform under Richard Seddon led him to gradually break with the party.[1]

In 1896 he was associated with the Radical Party, and stood as an "independent liberal". In 1898 he voted against the government on a confidence motion, effectively becoming part of the opposition. He was re-elected as an independent in 1899. He contested the 1902 election in the Hutt electorate, but was defeated by Thomas Wilford.[4] While he stood again as an independent in Palmerston in 1905, Wanganui in 1914, and Wellington Central in 1919, he came second each time and never regained elected office.[1]

Pirani died in Wellington on 26 October 1926.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e f Oliver, Steven (22 June 2007). "Pirani, Frederick 1858–1926". Dictionary of New Zealand Biography. Retrieved 13 December 2011.
  2. ^ Matheson, Ian Roderick (2003). "Palmerston North Borough and City Councillors". Council and community: 125 years of local government in Palmerston North 1877-2002. p. 97. ISBN 0-473-09340-5.
  3. ^ "The General Election, 1890". National Library. 1891. p. 1. Retrieved 25 February 2012.
  4. ^ "Untitled". The Evening Post. LXIV (131). 29 November 1902. p. 6. Retrieved 12 December 2011.

Further reading[edit]

  • Symondson, B. Frederick Pirani, MHR Palmerston North, 1893-1902: a study of his political career. MA thesis, Massey, 1977
New Zealand Parliament
Preceded by
James Wilson
Member of Parliament for Palmerston
Succeeded by
William Thomas Wood