Mayor of Upper Hutt

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Mayor of Upper Hutt City
Wayne Guppy
since 2001
StyleHis Worship
Term lengthThree years
Inaugural holderPercy Kinsman
DeputyHellen Swales
WebsiteOfficial website

The Mayor of Upper Hutt is the head of the municipal government of Upper Hutt, New Zealand, and presides over the Upper Hutt City Council. The mayor is directly elected using a First Past the Post electoral system. The Upper Hutt Town Board had seven chairmen, with the role regarded as the predecessor role of mayor. The Upper Hutt Borough Council was proclaimed in 1926, and with that, the role of mayor was introduced. In 1966, Upper Hutt became a city council. The current mayor, Wayne Guppy, is the eleventh since the role was created in 1926, and he was first elected in 2001.


Funeral procession for Mayor Peter Robertson along Main Street in 1939

Local government in Upper Hutt commenced with the formation of a Roads Board, which was subsequently incorporated into the Hutt County Council when that body was established in 1876.[1] The road board evolved into a dependent county town board within the County Council's jurisdiction. After a change in local government legislation,[2] the Upper Hutt Town Board was proclaimed in 1908.[3] In 1965, Upper Hutt qualified as a city, and this status was officially conferred in the following year, with Upper Hutt becoming a city council.[3] In 1973, the Hutt County Council, Rimutaka, and parts of Heretaunga Ridings were amalgamated with Upper Hutt, which thus became the second largest council by area (after Dunedin City Council). Further amalgamation happened in 1989, when Heretaunga/Pinehaven District Community Council was incorporated into Upper Hutt.[3]

The seventh and last chairman of the town board, Angus McCurdy, was elected as the first mayor of the Upper Hutt Borough Council, which was formed in 1926.[4] Peter Robertson was chairman during the years of World War I, and mayor from 1927 to 1931, and again in 1938 until his death in 1939. He died from injuries received in a car crash, colliding with the car of the son of Councillor James Blewman.[5][6][7] The resulting by-election was won by Blewman, who beat John Purvis by a majority of 193 votes.[8]

Doris Nicholson was mayor from 1971 to 1977. She has been the only woman so far to hold the mayoralty.[4] She was succeeded by Rex Kirton, who was mayor for 24 years until 2001 and by the time of his retirement from the role, he was New Zealand's longest-serving mayor at that time.[4][9] He was succeeded by one-term councillor Wayne Guppy, who was elected with a 6,000 vote majority and who has held the mayoralty since then.[9][10]

Unusual for a city in New Zealand, none of the chairmen or mayors of Upper Hutt has been a Member of Parliament.[11]

Until 2004, First Past the Post (FPP) was the electoral system used for New Zealand local elections (with few historic exceptions) including in Upper Hutt. The option of using the Single transferable vote voting system was introduced in 2004, but Upper Hutt continues to use FPP.[12][13]

Chairmen and mayors


Upper Hutt Town Board Chairmen


The Upper Hutt Town Board had seven chairmen between 1908 and 1926.[4]

Name Term
a George Isaac Benge[3] 1908–1910
b Job Harrison[3] 1910–1912
c R. Herbert Webb[14] 1912–1914
d Peter Robertson[14] 1914–1918
e GA Campbell 1918–1920
f William Greig[14] 1920–1924
g Angus McCurdy 1924–1926

Upper Hutt Borough Council

Mayor George Williams in 1950

The Upper Hutt Borough Council had eight mayors between 1926 and 1966.[4]

Name Term
1 Angus McCurdy 1926–1927
2 Peter Robertson, 2nd time[15] 1927–1931
Angus McCurdy, 2nd time 1931–1938
Peter Robertson, 3rd time 1938–1939
3 James Blewman[16] 1939–1947
4 Ed Nicolaus[17] 1947–1950
5 George Williams[17] 1950–1953
6 Dick Slacke[17] 1953–1959
7 Percy Kinsman[18] 1959–1966

Upper Hutt City Council


The Upper Hutt City Council has had an additional four mayors since its formation in 1966. The last mayor of the borough council was also the first mayor of the city council.[4]

Name Term
Percy Kinsman, 2nd time 1966–1968
8 George Thomas[19] 1968–1971
9 Doris Nicholson[20] 1971–1977
10 Rex Kirton 1977–2001
11 Wayne Guppy 2001–present


  1. ^ Counties Act 1876
  2. ^ Town Boards Act 1908
  3. ^ a b c d e "Angus J. McCurdy" (PDF). Upper Hutt City Council. 2008. Archived from the original (PDF) on 16 June 2011. Retrieved 15 October 2011.
  4. ^ a b c d e f "History of Our City : Mayors". Upper Hutt City Council. Archived from the original on 2 October 2011. Retrieved 15 October 2011.
  5. ^ "Three Candidates". Evening Post. Vol. CXXV, no. 71. 25 March 1938. p. 13. Retrieved 15 October 2011.
  6. ^ "Taken to Hospital". Evening Post. Vol. CXXVI, no. 12. 14 July 1938. p. 11. Retrieved 15 October 2011.
  7. ^ "Untitled". Evening Post. Vol. CXXVII, no. 120. 24 May 1939. p. 13. Retrieved 15 October 2011.
  8. ^ "Upper Hutt Mayoralty". Evening Post. Vol. CXXVII, no. 136. 12 June 1939. p. 11. Retrieved 15 October 2011.
  9. ^ a b "Deputy mayor takes Wellington". TV One. 13 October 2001. Retrieved 15 October 2011.
  10. ^ Williams, Colin (21 July 2010). "Sparrow v Guppy in mayoral race". Upper Hutt Leader. Retrieved 16 October 2011.
  11. ^ Wilson, James Oakley (1985) [First ed. published 1913]. New Zealand parliamentary record, 1840-1984 (4 ed.). Wellington: V.R. Ward, Govt. Printer. OCLC 154283103.
  12. ^ "STV Information". The Department of Internal Affairs. Retrieved 18 October 2011.
  13. ^ "Upper Hutt City Council Election Statistics". The Department of Internal Affairs. Retrieved 18 October 2011.
  14. ^ a b c "Page 1 Advertisements Column 5". Evening Post. Vol. LXXXVIII, no. 72. 22 September 1914. p. 1. Retrieved 15 October 2011.
  15. ^ "Upper Hutt Mayoralty". Evening Post. Vol. CXIII, no. 86. 12 April 1927. p. 10. Retrieved 15 October 2011.
  16. ^ "Item in Photographs". Upper Hutt City Library. Archived from the original on 31 March 2012. Retrieved 15 October 2011.
  17. ^ a b c McLennan, Rosemary (2 December 2009). "Council marks its Chapman years". Upper Hutt Leader. Retrieved 15 October 2011.
  18. ^ "History". Upper Hutt Cosmopolitan Club Brass Band. Archived from the original on 25 April 2012. Retrieved 15 October 2011.
  19. ^ "Mayor George Thomas and Mrs Maureen Thomas". Upper Hutt City Libraries. Archived from the original on 15 October 2008. Retrieved 15 October 2011.
  20. ^ "Mayor Doris Nicholson cutting the cake celebrating the 4th birthday of Upper Hutt City, 1970". Upper Hutt City Libraries. Archived from the original on 15 October 2008. Retrieved 15 October 2011.