George Hunter (politician, born 1859)

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Sir George Hunter
George Hunter, 1930.gif
George Hunter in c. 1930
Member of the New Zealand Parliament
for Waipawa
In office
1896  1899
Preceded by Charles Hall
Succeeded byCharles Hall
In office
1911  20 August 1930
Preceded byCharles Hall
Succeeded by Albert Jull
Personal details
Wellington, New Zealand
Died20 August 1930
Wellington, New Zealand
Political party Reform
Spouse(s)Edith May Munro
Relations George Hunter (father)
George Hunter (grandfather)
Childrenone daughter
ProfessionPolitician, farmer, breeder of race horses

Sir George Hunter (1859 – 20 August 1930) was a New Zealand politician of the Reform Party. Born in Wellington, he took over his father's large landholding in the Hawke's Bay at age 18. He was a breeder of sheep and race horses, with his horse Cynisca winning the Wellington Cup three times in a row. Hunter was prominent in local politics, and represented the Waipawa electorate in the House of Representatives for a total of 22 years.


Farming and horse racing

Hunter was born in Wellington in 1859. [1] He was a son of George Hunter, and a grandson of George Hunter, the first Mayor of Wellington. [2] He worked on his father's farm in Te Aro, which is now part of the Wellington central business district. The central part of the land is now covered by Upper Dixon Street, Percival Street, and Macdonald Crescent. [2]

His father had a further 15,000 acres (6,100 ha) farm in Porangahau in the Hawke's Bay Region, which he took up in circa 1854. Through purchasing neighbouring land, he increased the size to 32,000 acres (13,000 ha). As his father lived in Wellington, the Porangahau farm was run by his father's brothers David and William. Hunter junior took over the running of the farm from his uncles in 1877, and owned it in partnership with his brother Paul. [3] Hunter lived at Porangahau for most of his life. [2] The brothers bred Thoroughbreds at their farm, which have won many prominent races. One of his most famous horses was Cynisca, which won three consecutive Wellington Cups. Like his father, Hunter was prominent in the administration of horse racing, and he submitted the Gaming Amendment Bill to Parliament. [2] The brothers' partnership ended in 1908, with both taking half the land, George Hunter keeping the portion with the homestead. [3]

Political career

New Zealand Parliament
1896 1899 13th Waipawa Independent
1911 1914 18th Waipawa Reform
1914 1919 19th Waipawa Reform
1919 1922 20th Waipawa Reform
1922 1925 21st Waipawa Reform
1925 1928 22nd Waipawa Reform
1928 1930 23rd Waipawa Reform

Hunter was a member of Patangata County for over 30 years. [3] He contested the Waipawa electorate in the 1890 election, but was beaten by William Cowper Smith. [4] Smith had previously represented Waipawa from 1881 to 1887. [5] In the 1893 election, Hunter was defeated by Charles Hall of the Liberal Party. [6]

In the 1896 election, Hunter defeated Hall, [7] but lost to him in the subsequent election. [8] Hunter was again defeated by Hall in the 1905 and 1908 elections. [9] [10]

Hall retired at the 1911 election, [11] and Hunter beat Albert Jull of the Liberal Party. [12] Hunter continued to serve in the parliament until his death in 1930, [13] beating Jull in 1914 and 1919, [14] [15] John Joshua Langridge in 1922, [16] William Ashton Chambers in 1925, [17] and Ernest Albert Goodger (Independent United) and Douglas Barrington Kent (United Party) in 1928. [18] [19] Hunter's death on 20 August 1930 triggered the 1930 by-election in the Waipawa electorate, which was won by Albert Jull. [20]


After World War I, Hunter gave land valued at NZ£30,000 for the settlement of returned soldiers. [2]

Family and death

On 23 February 1922, Hunter married for the first time. [21] In a small circle of family and close friends, he married Edith May Munro (née Ford). [22] [23] They had a daughter, Elizabeth Hunter, on 1 May 1923. [24]

Hunter was conferred a knighthood in the 1921 New Year Honours, the citation reading: [13] [25]

Has rendered valuable assistance in connection with the settlement of returned soldiers.

He fell ill during the first session of the 23rd Parliament in 1929, and was in indifferent health thereafter. He returned to Wellington for the second session in 1930 and died in Wellington on 20 August 1930, survived by his wife and one daughter. [2] The funeral service was held at St Peter's Church in Wellington. [2] The body was then taken by train to Waipukurau. [2] His daughter died in 1999. [26]


  1. "M.P. Dead". Auckland Star . LXI (196). 20 August 1930. p. 9. Retrieved 21 November 2013.
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 "Obituary". The Evening Post . CX (44). 20 August 1930. p. 11. Retrieved 21 November 2013.
  3. 1 2 3 "Porangahau Station Woolshed". Register of Historic Places. Heritage New Zealand . Retrieved 23 December 2014.
  4. "The General Election, 1890". National Library. 1891. p. 1. Retrieved 25 February 2012.
  5. Wilson 1985, p. 235.
  6. AtoJs 1893 election 1894, p. 1.
  7. "The Waipawa Seat". Hawke's Bay Herald . XXXI (10478). 7 December 1896. p. 3. Retrieved 24 December 2014.
  8. AtoJs 1899 election 1900, p. 1.
  9. Mansfield 1906, p. 2.
  10. AtoJs 1908 election 1909, p. 8.
  11. Wilson 1985, p. 202.
  12. AtoJs 1911 election 1912, p. 2.
  13. 1 2 Wilson 1985, p. 207.
  14. Hislop 1915, p. 10.
  15. Hislop 1921, p. 3.
  16. Hislop 1923, p. 3.
  17. AtoJs 1925 election 1926, p. 3.
  18. AtoJs 1928 election 1929, p. 5.
  19. "Personal Items". The Evening Post . CIX (72). 26 March 1930. p. 13. Retrieved 20 December 2014.
  20. Wilson 1985, pp. 207, 209.
  21. "The Ladies' Chain". New Zealand Truth (850). 4 March 1922. p. 2. Retrieved 21 December 2014.
  22. Scholefield, Guy, ed. (1940). A Dictionary of New Zealand Biography : A–L (PDF). I. Wellington: Department of Internal Affairs. p. 421. Retrieved 22 December 2014.
  23. "Women's World". Auckland Star . LIII (48). 27 February 1922. p. 8. Retrieved 21 December 2014.
  24. "Births". The Evening Post . CV (103). 2 May 1923. p. 1. Retrieved 21 December 2014.
  25. "No. 32178". The London Gazette (Supplement). 1 January 1921. p. 3.
  26. Graham, George H. (28 October 2014). "Untitled". The Thompsons, Shipbuilders of Sunderland. Retrieved 21 December 2014.

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New Zealand Parliament
Preceded by
Charles Hall
Member of Parliament for Waipawa
Succeeded by
Charles Hall
Preceded by
Charles Hall
Succeeded by
Albert Jull