James McGowan (politician)

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James McGowan in 1908

James McGowan (1841 – 7 May 1912) was a New Zealand politician of the Liberal Party.


McGowan was born in Maxwell's Court, County Down, Ireland, in 1841. He emigrated to Auckland in 1865 on the ship Liverpool. After five years, he moved to Thames, where he had a large store and a bakery.[1]

Political career[edit]

Parliament of New Zealand
Years Term Electorate Party
1893 11th Thames Liberal
1893–1896 12th Thames Liberal
1896–1899 13th Thames Liberal
1899–1902 14th Thames Liberal
1902–1905 15th Thames Liberal
1905–1908 16th Thames Liberal
1908–1909 17th Thames Liberal

He was Mayor of Thames in 1889, and in 1892–1893.[2]

He represented the Thames electorate in Parliament from an 1893 by-election. The by-election was caused after the resignation of Liberal Party MP Alfred Cadman. The Liberals selected the incumbent Mayor of Thames, James McGowan as their candidate for Cadman's seat. After a large public gathering, it was decided not to run another candidate against McGowan in light of a general election being only months away, resulting in McGowan being elected unopposed.[3]

He resigned on 6 January 1909[4] so that he could be appointed to the Legislative Council on that same day, where he served until his death.[5]

He was Minister of Justice and Minister of Mines from 23 January 1900 in the Liberal Government. From 6 August 1906, he was Minister of Immigration. From 23 November 1906, he was Minister of Industries and Commerce. He held all ministerial posts until his resignation from the lower house.[6]


  1. ^ Cyclopedia Company Limited (1902). "The Hon. James McGowan". The Cyclopedia of New Zealand : Auckland Provincial District. Christchurch: The Cyclopedia of New Zealand. Retrieved 18 May 2012. 
  2. ^ "Mayors and Councillors of Thames". The Treasury. Retrieved 18 May 2012. 
  3. ^ "New Zealand Telegrams". Grey River Argus. 24 July 1893. p. 4. Retrieved 10 November 2015. 
  4. ^ Scholefield 1950, p. 122.
  5. ^ Scholefield 1950, p. 80.
  6. ^ Scholefield 1950, pp. 41–42.


  • Scholefield, Guy (1950) [First ed. published 1913]. New Zealand Parliamentary Record, 1840–1949 (3rd ed.). Wellington: Govt. Printer. 
Political offices
Preceded by
Thomas Thompson
Minister of Justice
Succeeded by
John Findlay
New Zealand Parliament
Preceded by
Alfred Cadman
Member of Parliament for Thames
Succeeded by
Edmund Taylor