John McKenzie (New Zealand politician)
McKenzie was born in Ardross, Scotland, and while young saw the hardships caused by the Highland Clearances. He arrived in Otago in 1860, working for Johnny Jones in Waikouaiti. He later farmed near Palmerston.
Member of Parliament
|Parliament of New Zealand|
He first ran for election to the Otago Provincial Council in 1868 (for Waikouaiti), but was not elected (for Waihemo) until 1871.
From 1881 to 1900 he served in the New Zealand Parliament; for the Otago electorates of Moeraki, then Waihemo (1887), Waitaki (1890), and Waihemo again from 1893 to 1900, when he resigned due to ill-health.
He served as Minister of Lands and Agriculture from 1891 to 1900 in the Liberal Government. He oversaw many land reforms, favouring small family farmers and the opening up of land for closer settlement. On 17 May 1901, he was appointed to the New Zealand Legislative Council. He was knighted as a Knight Commander of the Order of St Michael and St George (KCMG) in June 1901, on the occasion of the visit of TRH the Duke and Duchess of Cornwall and York (later King George V and Queen Mary) to New Zealand, and died of bladder cancer only six weeks later on 6 August 1901.
There is a memorial cairn to McKenzie on top of Puketapu, a prominent hill close to Palmerston in Otago. This cairn, erected in the 1920s, replaced an earlier cairn on another nearby hill, Pukehiwitahi, which was erected in 1902, but quickly fell into disrepair.
- Scholefield, Guy (1950) [First ed. published 1913]. New Zealand Parliamentary Record, 1840–1949 (3rd ed.). Wellington: Govt. Printer.
- Sir John McKenzie: Champion of the Small Farmer
- "McKenzie, Sir John." Encyclopædia Britannica
|New Zealand Parliament|
Thomas Young Duncan
|Member of Parliament for Waitaki