Mayor of Whanganui

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The Mayor of Whanganui (previously Wanganui) is the head of the Whanganui District Council. Since 1872, there have been 28 mayors. Hamish McDouall is the current mayor.

History[edit]

The Wanganui Town Board was first formed in 1862, and its first chairman was J Handley who served in that capacity until 1864. The Board became a Borough Council in 1872 until 1924, when Wanganui was granted city status and the Mayor was the head of the Wanganui City Council. It continued as the City Council until 1989, when Wanganui's city charter was cancelled. Local government reform of 1989 amalgamated various city and council councils - Wanganui District Council includes the old Wanganui City Council, Wanganui County Council and a part of the Waitotara County Council. The motto of the then Wanganui City, and now Wanganui District Council, is 'Sans Dieu Rien' ('Without God, we are nothing').

The first meeting of the Wanganui Council was held on 14 February 1872. Councillor Francis Williamson, who was the last chairman of the Town Board,[1] proposed Councillor William Hogg Watt as the first mayor, which was seconded by Councillor Nathan and carried unanimously. Other councillors who attended this first meeting were John Duthie, Jones and Bett.[2] At the end of the first term, Watt was re-elected for another term.[3][4] Watt resigned from the role on 12 September 1873.[5]

Five days later, Councillor William Hutchison was elected the second Mayor of Wanganui.[6] Hutchison resigned on 6 February 1874, as he had moved to Wellington to start another newspaper there. He remained his seat as a Councillor.[7]

Several weeks and many attempted council meetings went by without a new mayor being elected, mostly because some councillors stayed away so that there was no quorum. Finally, on 10 April 1874, Robert Pharazyn was elected as the 3rd Mayor of Wanganui.[8]

Edward Churton retired from his mayoralty on 15 December 1875.[9] Churton died on 25 July 1885.[10]

Watt succeeded Churton in 1875 and started the second period of his mayoralty.[11]

James Laird was mayor from 1886 to 1888. He died on 3 September 1902.[12]

Alfred John Parsons was mayor for two separate periods, first from 1888–1890[13] and then in 1891–1892.[14] Parsons died on 15 July 1900.[15][16] Henry Nathan was mayor between the two periods covered by Parsons.[13]

Edward Liffiton was mayor in 1912. In 1916, a modifying order was gazetted so that he could be buried at Heads Road Cemetery.[17] He died in 1923.[18]

Wanganui's most controversial mayor, by far, was well regarded lawyer Charles MacKay who was found guilty of the attempted murder of poet D'Arcy Cresswell - a charge stemming from an attempt to allegedly blackmail Mayor MacKay for homosexual advances. MacKay was arrested, pleaded guilty and imprisoned. He was released from prison in 1927, travelled to England and became a journalist. He was killed in 1929 during riots in Munich, Germany whilst reporting the civil unrest.[19]

Edward Alan Millward OBE was mayor from 1953–1962. He retired in 1962. He was succeeded by Reg Andrews OBE of the Labour Party; Andrews retired in 1974.[20] Ron Russell QSO succeeded him and retired in 1983.

The 1983 mayoralty was won by Doug Turney, with Chas Poynter coming second. Poynter was made deputy mayor in 1983 as a consequence. Poynter had served on the Wanganui council from 1977. In 1986, Poynter challenged Turney and was successful, winning with a majority of 1529 votes.[21] In 1989, Poynter increased his majority, defeating challenger John Blaikie by almost 6,000 votes. This was the first election under the new local government boundaries with Wanganui City incorporating Wanganui County and some of Waitotara County. Blaikie was the chairman of the Wanganui County Council prior to the reorganisation. The new territorial authority was named Wanganui District Council.

In 1992, Poynter was challenged by Wanganui greengrocer Randhir Dahya, a popular Indian businessman. His majority was cut to just 939 votes.[22] Dahya challenged him twice more, in 1995 and 1998, but Poynter easily resisted these challenges, assisted by his handling of the Moutoa Gardens occupation of 1995 and the unfortunate death of his wife, Joy, four months prior to the 1998 election. By 2001, the writing was on the wall and he regained the mayoralty with just 27% of the vote, warding off four councillor challengers. In 2004, he stood again and was defeated, polling third behind media personality Michael Laws and businessman John Martin with just 20% of the vote.[21]

Laws did not stand again in the 2010 local elections, and Annette Main was elected, to take office in October 2010. She is the 27th Mayor of Wanganui and the first woman to hold the office.[20]

List of Mayors of W(h)anganui[edit]

James Lockhart Stevenson (1896–1897)

The following list shows the 28 Mayors of Wanganui:

Name Term
1 William Hogg Watt 1872–1873[2][5]
2 William Hutchison 1873–1874[6][7]
3 Robert Pharazyn 1874
4 Edward Churton 1874–1875
William Hogg Watt (2nd term) 1875–1878
5 Thomas Bamber 1878–1880[23]
William Hogg Watt (3rd term) 1880–1881[24]
6 Gilbert Carson 1881–1884[24][25]
7 Frederick Morris Spurdle 1884–1886[25]
8 James Laird 1886–1888[12]
9 Alfred John Parsons 1888–1890[13][25]
10 Henry Nathan 1890–1891[13][26]
Alfred John Parsons (2nd term) 1891–1892[14]
11 Freeman R. Jackson 1892–1896[23]
12 James Lockhart Stevenson 1896–1897[23]
13 Alexander Hatrick 1897–1904
14 Arthur Bignell 1904–1906
15 Charles E Mackay 1906–1912
16 Edward Liffiton 1912
Charles E Mackay (2nd term) 1912–1913
17 Thomas B. Williams 1913–1915
Charles E Mackay (3rd term) 1915–1920
Thomas B. Williams (2nd term) 1920–1924
18 Hope Gibbons MBE 1924–1927[27]
19 Bill Rogers OBE[20] 1927–1931
20 Norman Graham Armstrong 1931–1935
Bill Rogers OBE (2nd term) 1935–1953
21 Edward Alan Millward OBE 1953–1962
22 Reg Andrews OBE 1962–1974
23 Ron Russell QSO 1974–1983
24 Doug Turney 1983–1986
25 Chas Poynter QSO 1986–2004[21]
26 Michael Laws 2004–2010
27 Annette Main 2010–2016
28 Hamish McDouall 2016–present

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "The Evening Herald. Tuesday, Feb. 6, 1872.". Wanganui Herald. V (1387). 6 February 1872. p. 2. Retrieved 30 May 2012. 
  2. ^ a b "Council Meeting". Wanganui Herald. V (13814). 14 February 1872. p. 2. Retrieved 30 May 2012. 
  3. ^ "The Evening Herald. Monday, Dec. 16, 1872.". Wanganui Herald. V (1649). 16 December 1872. p. 2. Retrieved 30 May 2012. 
  4. ^ "The Evening Herald. Saturday, March 1, 1873.". Wanganui Herald. V (1730). 1 March 1873. p. 2. Retrieved 30 May 2012. 
  5. ^ a b "Borough Council". Wanganui Herald. VI (1859). 13 September 1873. p. 2. Retrieved 30 May 2012. 
  6. ^ a b "The Evening Herald. Thursday, Sept. 18, 1873.". Wanganui Herald. VI (1900). 18 September 1873. p. 2. Retrieved 30 May 2012. 
  7. ^ a b "Borough Council". Wanganui Chronicle. XVII (6310). 7 February 1874. p. 2. Retrieved 30 May 2012. 
  8. ^ "Borough Council". Wanganui Chronicle. XVII (XVII). 11 March 1874. p. 2. Retrieved 30 May 2012. 
  9. ^ "The Evening Herald. Tuesday, Dec. 14, 1875.". Wanganui Herald. VIII (2654). 14 December 1875. p. 2. Retrieved 30 May 2012. 
  10. ^ "Death of Mr E. Churton". Wanganui Herald. XX (5681). 27 July 1885. p. 2. Retrieved 1 June 2012. 
  11. ^ "Page 3 Advertisements Column 2". Wanganui Herald. VIII (2656). 16 December 1875. p. 3. Retrieved 30 May 2012. 
  12. ^ a b "Death of Mr James Laird". Wanganui Chronicle. XXXXVII (11727). 4 September 1902. p. 4. Retrieved 1 June 2012. 
  13. ^ a b c d "A Popular Mayor". Wanganui Herald. XXIV (7292). 17 December 1890. p. 2. Retrieved 1 June 2012. 
  14. ^ a b "Installation of Mr A. J. Parsons, as Mayor.". Wanganui Herald. XXV (7596). 16 December 1891. p. 2. Retrieved 1 June 2012. 
  15. ^ "Death of Mr A. J. Parsons". Wanganui Chronicle (15000). 16 July 1900. p. 2. Retrieved 1 June 2012. 
  16. ^ "Obituary". Wanganui Herald. XXXIV (10087). 16 July 1900. p. 2. Retrieved 1 June 2012. 
  17. ^ "Heads Road Cemetery". Register of Historic Places. Heritage New Zealand. Retrieved 2 June 2012. 
  18. ^ "Obituary". Hawera & Normanby Star. XLII. 26 April 1923. p. 6. Retrieved 2 June 2012. 
  19. ^ "Whanganui mayor shoots poet". New Zealand Ministry for Culture and Heritage. 15 May 2012. Retrieved 30 May 2012. 
  20. ^ a b c Beaglehole, Diana (3 November 2011). "Whanganui region - Government". Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand. Retrieved 30 May 2012. 
  21. ^ a b c "Former Wanganui mayor Chas Poynter dies". The New Zealand Herald. 20 August 2007. Retrieved 2 June 2012. 
  22. ^ Wanganui Chronicle, 20 October 1992
  23. ^ a b c "Ex-Mayors". The Cyclopedia of New Zealand - Wellington Provincial District. Wellington: The Cyclopedia Company Limited. 1897. Retrieved 7 April 2010. 
  24. ^ a b "Installation of Mayor". Wanganui Herald. XV (4549). 21 December 1881. p. 2. Retrieved 30 May 2012. 
  25. ^ a b c "Borough Of Wanganui". The Cyclopedia of New Zealand - Wellington Provincial District. Wellington: The Cyclopedia Company Limited. 1897. Retrieved 26 April 2010. 
  26. ^ "NEW ZEALAND: Miscellaneous data on HARRIS, LOMAX, NATHAN families". family tree circles. Retrieved 17 October 2010. 
  27. ^ Beaglehole, Diana. "Hopeful Gibbons". Dictionary of New Zealand Biography. Ministry for Culture and Heritage. 

External links[edit]