William Hall-Jones

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The Honourable
Sir William Hall-Jones
William Hall-Jones 2.jpg
16th Prime Minister of New Zealand
In office
10 June 1906 – 6 August 1906
Monarch Edward VII
Governor William Plunket
Preceded by Richard Seddon
Succeeded by Joseph Ward
Constituency Timaru
Personal details
Born (1851-01-16)16 January 1851
Folkestone, Kent, England
Died 19 June 1936(1936-06-19) (aged 85)
Wellington, New Zealand
Political party Liberal
Spouse(s) Fanny Smith[1]
Children Fred Hall-Jones
Religion Anglican

Sir William Hall-Jones, KCMG (16 January 1851 – 19 June 1936) was the 16th Prime Minister of New Zealand from June 1906 until August 1906. He was the interim Prime Minister after the death of Richard Seddon and the return from overseas of Joseph Ward.

Early years[edit]

Hall-Jones was born in Folkestone, Kent, England, landed at Dunedin in 1873 and became a carpenter and later a builder in Timaru.[1]

Member of Parliament[edit]

Parliament of New Zealand
Years Term Electorate Party
1890 10th Timaru Independent
1890–1893 11th Timaru Liberal
1893–1896 12th Timaru Independent Liberal
1896–1899 13th Timaru Liberal
1899–1902 14th Timaru Liberal
1902–1905 15th Timaru Liberal
1905–1908 16th Timaru Liberal

The death of Richard Turnbull triggered a by-election in the Timaru electorate, which was won by Hall-Jones on 18 August 1890.[2] He represented Timaru in the House of Representatives until his resignation in October 1908. He was an Independent but had moderate, progressive views that tended to align him with John Ballance, Sir George Grey and John McKenzie.

Hall-Jones became a cabinet minister in 1896, was acting Prime Minister during the absence from the country of Richard Seddon in 1906 and formed an administration immediately after Seddon's funeral. During his brief period as Prime Minister, he was Colonial Treasurer, Minister of Labour, Minister of Education, Minister for Public Works, and Minister of Marine.[3]

However he announced that he would only hold power until Sir Joseph Ward's return from abroad. He accepted the Railways and Public Works portfolios in the subsequent Ward administration. He succeeded William Pember Reeves as High Commissioner for New Zealand in London in December 1908, returned to New Zealand at the end of his term in 1912, and was appointed to the Legislative Council by Massey.

Hall-Jones was a mild mannered man with a fully earned reputation as an outstanding administrator.

He died in Wellington.[4]

See also[edit]



  • Foster, Bernard J. (1966), "HALL-JONES, Hon. Sir William", An Encyclopaedia of New Zealand, edited by A. H. McLintock, retrieved 2008-05-22 
  • Hall-Jones, Frederick G. (1969), Sir William Hall-Jones, the last of the old liberals, Invercargill, [N.Z.]: Hall-Jones Family 
  • Hamer, David A. (1988), The New Zealand Liberals: the years of power, 1891-1912, Auckland, [N.Z.]: Auckland University Press, ISBN 1-86940-014-3, OCLC 18420103 
  • Wilson, James Oakley (1985) [First ed. published 1913]. New Zealand Parliamentary Record, 1840–1984 (4th ed.). Wellington: V.R. Ward, Govt. Printer. OCLC 154283103. 
  • The Bateman New Zealand Encyclopedia, 1988

External links[edit]

Government offices
Preceded by
Richard Seddon
Prime Minister of New Zealand
Succeeded by
Joseph Ward
Political offices
Preceded by
William Pember Reeves
Minister of Justice
Succeeded by
Thomas Thompson
Preceded by
Richard Seddon
Minister of Education
Succeeded by
George Fowlds
Preceded by
Joseph Ward
Minister of Railways
Succeeded by
John A. Millar
New Zealand Parliament
Preceded by
Richard Turnbull
Member of Parliament for Timaru
Succeeded by
James Craigie
Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
William Pember Reeves
High Commissioner of New Zealand to the United Kingdom
Succeeded by
Thomas Mackenzie