William Hutchison (New Zealand politician)

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William Hutchison in 1882

William Hutchison (1820 – 3 December 1905) was a New Zealand politician and journalist. Hutchison and his son George were both Members of Parliament.

Early life[edit]

Hutchison was born in Banffshire, Scotland, and trained as a journalist.[1] On 12 August 1846, he married Helen Hutchison (née Aicheson) of Inverness.[2] They emigrated to New Zealand in 1866 for him to take up employment with The Southern Cross.[1][3]

Life in New Zealand[edit]

Parliament of New Zealand
Years Term Electorate Party
1879–1881 7th City of Wellington Independent
1881–1884 8th Wellington South Independent
1890–1893 11th City of Dunedin Liberal
1893–1896 12th City of Dunedin Liberal

Hutchison worked for The Southern Cross in Auckland for some months, then bought the Wanganui Chronicle and started the Tribune in Wellington.[1]

He was Mayor of Wanganui, New Zealand from 1873 to 1874.[1] Then he was Mayor of Wellington from 1876 to 1877, and from 1879 to 1881.[4] As Mayor of Wellington, a central issue was whether the Wellington Waterfront should be controlled by the city council or a separate entity.[4]

He was a member of the Wellington Provincial Council from 1867 to 1876 for the Wanganui electorate.[5]

He stood in the 1875 election in the Hutt electorate and was decisively beaten by the incumbent, William Fitzherbert.[6] He represented the City of Wellington in Parliament from 1879 to 1881, then Wellington South from 1881 to 1884, when he was defeated.[7] He moved to Dunedin in 1884.[2] He unsuccessfully contested the Roslyn electorate in the 1887 general election.[1] He then represented the City of Dunedin from 1890[8] to 1896, when he was defeated.[7] He was a supporter of the Liberal Party.[9] He came fifth in the 1896 election in the three-member Dunedin electorate.[10] Following the death of Henry Fish, he contested the resulting 1897 by-election. Alexander Sligo, Hugh Gourley and Hutchison received 5045, 4065 and 2030 votes, respectively.[11]

His son George Hutchison represented Taranaki electorates in Parliament (for six years, from 1890 to 1896, they were both in Parliament at the same time),[7] and another son Sir James Hutchison was editor of the Otago Daily Times.[3]


Hutchison's wife died five years before him.[2] He had been ill for some time before he died on 3 December 1905 at his home in Queen Street, Dunedin.[12] He was survived by four sons and four daughters.[2]


  1. ^ a b c d e "BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES.". The Star (7030). 8 December 1890. p. 3. Retrieved 28 April 2010. 
  2. ^ a b c d "Obituary". Otago Witness (2699). 6 December 1905. p. 81. Retrieved 23 March 2012. 
  3. ^ a b "Obituary". Otago Daily Times (13457). 4 December 1905. p. 2. Retrieved 7 January 2016. 
  4. ^ a b "Past Mayors of Wellington - 1842–1889". Wellington City Council. Retrieved 23 March 2012. 
  5. ^ Scholefield, Guy (1950) [First ed. published 1913]. New Zealand Parliamentary Record, 1840–1949 (3rd ed.). Wellington: Govt. Printer. p. 238. 
  6. ^ "The Hutt Election". The Evening Post. XII (154). 30 December 1875. p. 2. Retrieved 2 July 2010. 
  7. ^ a b c Wilson, James Oakley (1985) [First ed. published 1913]. New Zealand Parliamentary Record, 1840–1984 (4th ed.). Wellington: V.R. Ward, Govt. Printer. p. 207. OCLC 154283103. 
  8. ^ "The General Election, 1890". National Library. 1891. p. 2. Retrieved 26 November 2013. 
  9. ^ "On the Eve of the Battle". Wanganui Herald. XXVII (8336). 27 November 1893. p. 2. Retrieved 23 March 2012. 
  10. ^ "The General Election". Otago Witness (2232). 10 December 1896. p. 26. Retrieved 23 March 2012. 
  11. ^ "Dunedin City Election.". Otago Witness. 14 (2276). 14 October 1897. p. 30. Retrieved 23 March 2012. 
  12. ^ "Death". Otago Witness (2699). 6 December 1905. p. 47. Retrieved 23 March 2012. 
  • No Mean City by Stuart Perry (1969, Wellington City Council) includes a paragraph and a portrait or photo for each mayor.
Political offices
Preceded by
William Sefton Moorhouse
Mayor of Wellington
Succeeded by
Joseph Dransfield
Preceded by
George Allen
Succeeded by
George Fisher