John Williamson (politician)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
John Williamson in 1860

John Williamson (25 August 1815 – 16 February 1875) was a New Zealand politician, printer and newspaper proprietor.

Early life[edit]

Williamson was born in 1815 in Newry, County Down, Ireland. He served his apprenticeship as a printer. He married in either 1833 or 1834 to Sarah Barre, and they were to have five children. They emigrated to Sydney in Australian in 1840, where he worked for The Australasian Chronicle and then The Sydney Monitor. He moved to Auckland, New Zealand, in mid-1841.[1]

New Zealand[edit]

Parliament of New Zealand
Years Term Electorate Party
1855–1860 2nd Pensioner Settlements Independent
1861–1866 3rd City of Auckland West Independent
1866–1870 4th City of Auckland West Independent
1871 5th City of Auckland West Independent
1871–1875 5th City of Auckland West Independent

He purchased his own printing press in 1845 and started the New Zealander, which became Auckland's leading newspaper. The editorial approach of the New Zealander, was to support the ordinary settler and the Māori.[2]

He was joined by partner W.C. Wilson in 1848, until Wilson left to found The New Zealand Herald in 1863. The New Zealander ceased in 1866.[1]

He was a member of the Auckland Provincial Council in the first council from 22 July 1853, representing the Pensioner Settlements electorate. He served until 15 November 1856 as a councillor.[3] He was, over three periods, the fourth Superintendent of Auckland Province (1856–1862 resigned; 1867–1869 defeated; 1873–1875 died).[1][4] On 28 December 1865, he became a member of the Auckland Executive Council as commissioner of waste lands under Frederick Whitaker as Superintendent, until he succeeded him in 1867 following his resignation.[1][5]

Williamson represented the Pensioner Settlements (consisting of the Auckland suburbs of Howick, Onehunga, Otahuhu, and Panmure) in the 2nd New Zealand Parliament from 1855 to 1860, and represented the City of Auckland West electorate in the 3rd Parliament, the 4th Parliament, and the 5th Parliament from 1861 to 1875 (in 1871 the election was declared void, but he was then re-elected).[1]

He was briefly a minister without portfolio in the second Fox Ministry in July/August 1861.[6] He died in 1875, while he was a Member of Parliament.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e f Waterson, D. B. "Williamson, John". Dictionary of New Zealand Biography. Ministry for Culture and Heritage. Retrieved 22 May 2010. 
  2. ^ "The Daily Southern Cross". National Library of New Zealand - Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa. Retrieved 30 October 2012. 
  3. ^ Scholefield 1950, p. 186.
  4. ^ Scholefield 1950, p. 179.
  5. ^ Scholefield 1950, pp. 179, 181.
  6. ^ Scholefield 1950, p. 32.


  • Scholefield, Guy (1950) [First ed. published 1913]. New Zealand Parliamentary Record, 1840–1949 (3rd ed.). Wellington: Govt. Printer. 
New Zealand Parliament
Preceded by
John Bacot
Member of Parliament for Pensioner Settlements
Served alongside: Joseph Greenwood, John Jermyn Symonds
Succeeded by
William Mason
Political offices
Preceded by
John Logan Campbell
Superintendent of Auckland Province
Succeeded by
Robert Graham
Preceded by
Frederick Whitaker
Succeeded by
Thomas Gillies
Preceded by
Thomas Gillies
Succeeded by
Maurice O'Rorke

External links[edit]