John Hall (New Zealand politician)

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Sir John Hall

Sir John Hall, ca 1880.jpg
12th Premier of New Zealand
In office
8 October 1879 21 April 1882
Monarch Victoria
Governor Sir Hercules Robinson
Sir Arthur Hamilton-Gordon
Preceded by Sir George Grey (1879)
Succeeded by Frederick Whitaker (1882)
Constituency Selwyn
4th Colonial Secretary of New Zealand
In office
20 May 1856 2 June 1856
Governor Sir Thomas Gore Browne
1st Chairman of the Christchurch Town Council
In office
Succeeded by John Ollivier
26th Mayor of Christchurch
In office
Preceded by Charles Gray
Succeeded by George Payling
Personal details
Born(1824-12-18)18 December 1824
Kingston upon Hull, England
Died25 June 1907(1907-06-25) (aged 82)
Christchurch, New Zealand
Resting placeSt John cemetery, Hororata
Political party Independent, leaning conservative
Spouse(s)Rose Dryden
Relatives George Williamson Hall (brother)
Mary Grigg (granddaughter)
Thomas Hall (nephew) [1]

Sir John Hall KCMG (c.18 December 1824 – 25 June 1907) was born in Kingston upon Hull, England, the third son of George Hall, a captain in the navy. At the age of ten he was sent to school in Switzerland and his education continued in Paris and Hamburg. After returning to England and being employed by the Post Office, at the age of 27 he decided to emigrate, later becoming the 12th Prime Minister of New Zealand. He was also Mayor of Christchurch.

Kingston upon Hull City and Unitary authority in England

Kingston upon Hull, usually abbreviated to Hull, is a port city and unitary authority in the East Riding of Yorkshire, England. It lies upon the River Hull at its confluence with the Humber Estuary, 25 miles (40 km) inland from the North Sea, with a population of 260,700 (mid-2017 est.). Hull lies east of Leeds, east southeast of York and northeast of Sheffield.

Mayor of Christchurch head of the municipal government of Christchurch

The Mayor of Christchurch is the head of the municipal government of Christchurch, New Zealand, and presides over the Christchurch City Council. The mayor is directly elected using a First Past the Post electoral system. The current mayor, Lianne Dalziel, was first elected in the October 2013 mayoral election and was re-elected in October 2016. The current deputy mayor is Andrew Turner.


Migration to New Zealand

After reading a book on sheep farming, Hall emigrated to New Zealand, on the Samarang, arriving in Lyttelton on 31 July 1852. His brothers George and Thomas followed him to New Zealand soon after. He developed one of the first large scale sheep farming runs in Canterbury. [2]

Lyttelton, New Zealand Place

Lyttelton is a port town on the north shore of Lyttelton Harbour, at the northwestern end of Banks Peninsula and close to Christchurch, on the eastern coast of the South Island of New Zealand.

George Williamson Hall was a 19th-century Member of Parliament in Christchurch, New Zealand.

Political offices

New Zealand Parliament
1855 1860 2nd Christchurch Country Independent
1866 1870 4th Heathcote Independent
1871 1872 5th Heathcote Independent
1879 1881 7th Selwyn Independent
1881 1883 8th Selwyn Independent
1887 1890 10th Selwyn Independent
1890 1893 11th Ellesmere Independent

In 1853, he was elected to the Canterbury Provincial Council. He would later rise through the ranks of magistrate, was the first town council Chairman in Christchurch (the forerunner to the position of mayor, 1862 and 1863), and Postmaster-General. In Parliament he represented the electorates of Christchurch Country 1855–60 (resigned in early 1860 [3] ), Heathcote 1866–70 & 1871–72 (resigned), Selwyn 1879–83 (resigned) & 1887–90, and Ellesmere 1890–93 (retired).

Canterbury Province Provinces of New Zealand in South Island

The Canterbury Province was a province of New Zealand from 1853 until the abolition of provincial government in 1876. Its capital was Christchurch.

Christchurch Country was a parliamentary electorate in the Canterbury region of New Zealand from 1853 to 1860. It was thus one of the original 24 electorates used for the 1st New Zealand Parliament.

Heathcote was a 19th-century parliamentary electorate in Christchurch, New Zealand.

In the 1865–66 election, he contested the Heathcote electorate against G. Buckley, and they received 338 and 239 votes, respectively. [4]

Premier of New Zealand

On 8 October 1879, he was appointed the Premier of New Zealand, where his ministry carried out reforms of the male suffrage (extending voting rights) and dealt with a conflict between settlers and Māori at Parihaka, although poor health caused him to resign the position less than three years later. In the 1882 Birthday Honours, he was appointed a Knight Commander of the Order of St Michael and St George.

Parihaka Place in Taranaki, New Zealand

Parihaka is a small community in the Taranaki region of New Zealand, located between Mount Taranaki and the Tasman Sea. In the 1870s and 1880s the settlement, then reputed to be the largest Māori village in New Zealand, became the centre of a major campaign of non-violent resistance to European occupation of confiscated land in the area.

The 1882 Birthday Honours were appointments by Queen Victoria to various orders and honours to reward and highlight good works by citizens of the British Empire. The appointments were made to celebrate the official birthday of the Queen, and were published in The London Gazette on 23 May, 24 May and 2 June 1882.

Order of St Michael and St George series of appointments of an order of chivalry of the United Kingdom

The Most Distinguished Order of Saint Michael and Saint George is a British order of chivalry founded on 28 April 1818 by George, Prince Regent, later King George IV, while he was acting as regent for his father, King George III.


Although Chinese immigrants were invited to New Zealand by the Dunedin Chamber of Commerce, prejudice against them quickly led to calls for restrictions on immigration. Following the example of anti-Chinese poll taxes enacted by California in 1852 and by Australian states in the 1850s, 1860s and 1870s, John Hall's government passed the Chinese Immigration Act 1881. This imposed a £10 tax per Chinese person entering New Zealand, and permitted only one Chinese immigrant for every 10 tons of cargo. Richard Seddon's government increased the tax to £100 per head in 1896, and tightened the other restriction to only one Chinese immigrant for every 200 tons of cargo.

Richard Seddon 15th and longest-serving Prime Minister of New Zealand

Richard John Seddon was a New Zealand politician who served as the 15th Premier of New Zealand from 1893 until his death in office in 1906.

Women's suffrage

Hall took an active interest in women's rights. He moved the Parliamentary Bill that gave women in New Zealand the vote (1893), (the first country in the world to do so), he became the honorary Mayor of Christchurch, for the New Zealand International Exhibition from 1 November 1906 to 15 April 1907.

Despite the distances involved, Hall made several visits back to England and maintained his contacts there, especially with the Leathersellers' Company, [5] of which he was a Liveryman for 55 years.

Hall had married Rose Dryden in England, daughter of William Dryden of Kingston upon Hull, after returning there in 1860. [6] They went back to New Zealand in 1863. They had five children and one of their granddaughters, Mary Grigg, later became an MP for the National Party.

Hall died in Christchurch on 25 June 1907, shortly after the International Exhibition had finished. He is buried in the St. John cemetery in Hororata. [7]

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  1. O'Brien, Brian. "Thomas Hall". Dictionary of New Zealand Biography . Ministry for Culture and Heritage . Retrieved 23 April 2017.
  2. Gardner, W. J. "Hall, John". Dictionary of New Zealand Biography . Ministry for Culture and Heritage . Retrieved 16 July 2010.
  3. "Rumoured Postponement Of The General Assembly". XV (1413). Wellington Independent. 16 March 1860. p. 3. Retrieved 28 March 2010.
  4. "THE ELECTIONS" (747). Otago Witness. 24 March 1866. p. 11. Retrieved 27 April 2010.
  5. Sir John Hall: Leatherseller and Prime Minister, by George Nicholson, The Leathersellers' Review 2006–07, pp 12-13
  6. McLintock, A. H., ed. (23 April 2009) [originally published in 1966]. "Hall, Hon. Sir John, K.C.M.G.". An Encyclopaedia of New Zealand. Ministry for Culture and Heritage / Te Manatū Taonga. Retrieved 20 April 2012.
  7. Wikisource-logo.svg  White, Amber Blanco (1912). "Hall, John (1824-1907)"  . In Lee, Sidney. Dictionary of National Biography, 1912 supplement. London: Smith, Elder & Co.


Government offices
Preceded by
Henry Sewell
Colonial Secretary of New Zealand
Succeeded by
William Richmond
Preceded by
George Grey
Premier of New Zealand
Succeeded by
Frederick Whitaker
New Zealand Parliament
Preceded by
Jerningham Wakefield
James Stuart-Wortley
Member of Parliament for Christchurch Country
Served alongside:
Dingley Askham Brittin, John Ollivier, Isaac Cookson
Succeeded by
Charles Hunter Brown
Preceded by
Alfred Cox
Member of Parliament for Heathcote
Succeeded by
John Cracroft Wilson
Preceded by
Cecil Fitzroy
Member of Parliament for Selwyn
Succeeded by
Edward Lee
Preceded by
Edward Wakefield
Succeeded by
Alfred Saunders
In abeyance
Title last held by
James FitzGerald
Member of Parliament for Ellesmere
Succeeded by
William Montgomery
Political offices
First Chairman of the Christchurch Town Council
Succeeded by
John Ollivier
Preceded by
James Paterson
Succeeded by
Edward Stafford
Preceded by
James Temple Fisher
Succeeded by
Walter Johnston
New title Electric Telegraph Commissioner
Succeeded by
Edward Stafford
Preceded by
James Temple Fisher
Commissioner of Telegraphs
Succeeded by
Walter Johnston
Preceded by
Charles Gray
Mayor of Christchurch
Succeeded by
George Payling