John Edie (New Zealand politician)

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John Edie (1856 – 7 June 1928) was a Liberal Party Member of Parliament in the Otago region of New Zealand. He was a surveyor and an engineer, and also spent time as a farmer. He was Mayor of Lawrence.

Early life[edit]

Edie was born in Newcastle, New South Wales in 1856. He came to New Zealand as a child and attended school in Waitahuna near Lawrence.[1][2] He joined the survey department in 1873 and surveyed the Catlins River Branch railway line, but construction did not start until 1879.[1] In 1876, at age 20, he became assistant surveyor to the Government.[2]

He joined the Tuapeka County Council in 1885 as an engineer and remained in that position until 1919, when he resigned to stand in the 1919 election.[1]

Political career[edit]

Parliament of New Zealand
Years Term Electorate Party
1920–1922 20th Bruce Liberal
1922–1925 21st Clutha Liberal

In the 1896 election, Edie contested the Clutha electorate.[3] Before the election, he was criticised for standing for the Liberal Party, thus claiming to represent the working man, yet underpaying staff at his mine.[4] He was soundly beaten by the conservative incumbent, James Thomson.[5]

Edie contested the Bruce electorate in the 1919 election as a Liberal against the incumbent, Reform's James Allen. Edie was beaten by the small margin of 126 votes (2.15%).[6] After Allen's resignation in March 1920,[7] Edie won the Bruce electorate in a 1920 by-election.[8] At the time of the election, he was Mayor of Lawrence.[2]

In the 1922 general election he won the Clutha electorate, but lost Clutha in 1925 to the Reform candidate Fred Waite.[9]

Later life and death[edit]

Edie was for a time captain of the Tuapeka Rifles.[10] He was into mining, especially gold mining, and had an interest in a mine at Island Block (a locality on State Highway 8 between Beaumont and Ettrick).[1] He shared an interest in a farm of 900 acres (360 ha) in Tuapeka West with two sons.[2][10]

Edie died on 7 June 1928 at Lawrence after having been bed-ridden with heart problems for six months.[10]

His son, H K Edie, unsuccessfully contested the 1935 and 1938 elections in the Clutha electorate against James Roy.[11][12][13]


  1. ^ a b c d Scholefield 1940, p. 227.
  2. ^ a b c d "The New Member". The Oamaru Mail. XLIV (14033). 15 April 1920. p. 3. Retrieved 17 November 2013. 
  3. ^ "Candidates for the General Election". The Evening Post. LII (33). 2 July 1896. p. 5. Retrieved 17 November 2013. 
  4. ^ "Mr John Edie's Candidature for Clutha". Clutha Leader. XXIII (1165). 30 October 1896. p. 6. Retrieved 17 November 2013. 
  5. ^ "The Elections". Hawera & Normanby Star. XXXIII (3416). 7 December 1896. p. 2. Retrieved 17 November 2013. 
  6. ^ The New Zealand Official Year-Book. Government Printer. 1920. Retrieved 2 August 2013. 
  7. ^ Wilson 1985, p. 179.
  8. ^ Wilson 1985, p. 194.
  9. ^ Wilson 1985, pp. 194, 242.
  10. ^ a b c "Mr John Edie". The Evening Post. CV (134). 8 June 1928. p. 10. Retrieved 17 November 2013. 
  11. ^ "How the votes were cast". The Evening Post. CXX (130). 28 November 1935. p. 8. Retrieved 16 November 2013. 
  12. ^ "General Election". The Evening Post. CXX (10). 11 July 1935. p. 14. Retrieved 16 November 2013. 
  13. ^ "The General Election, 1938". National Library. 1939. p. 2. Retrieved 8 February 2012. 


New Zealand Parliament
Preceded by
James Allen
Member of Parliament for Bruce
Constituency abolished
Preceded by
Alexander Malcolm
Member of Parliament for Clutha
Succeeded by
Fred Waite