Thomas Mackenzie

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Sir Thomas Mackenzie

Thomas Mackenzie.jpg
18th Prime Minister of New Zealand
In office
28 March 1912 10 July 1912
Monarch George V
Governor John Dickson-Poynder
Preceded by Joseph Ward
Succeeded by William Massey
Constituency Egmont
Personal details
Born(1853-03-10)10 March 1853
Edinburgh, Scotland
Died14 February 1930(1930-02-14) (aged 76)
Dunedin, New Zealand
Resting place Dunedin Northern Cemetery
Political party Liberal
Ida Henrietta Nantes
(m. 1884;died 1926)
Children7, including Clutha

Sir Thomas Mackenzie GCMG (10 March 1853 14 February 1930) was a Scottish-born New Zealand politician and explorer who briefly served as the 18th Prime Minister of New Zealand in 1912, and later served as New Zealand High Commissioner in London.

Scotland Country in Northwest Europe, part of the United Kingdom

Scotland is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It covers the northern third of the island of Great Britain, with a border with England to the southeast, and is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean to the north and west, the North Sea to the northeast, the Irish Sea to the south, and more than 790 islands, including the Northern Isles and the Hebrides.

London Capital of the United Kingdom

London is the capital of and largest city in England and the United Kingdom, with the largest municipal population in the European Union. Standing on the River Thames in the south-east of England, at the head of its 50-mile (80 km) estuary leading to the North Sea, London has been a major settlement for two millennia. Londinium was founded by the Romans. The City of London, London's ancient core − an area of just 1.12 square miles (2.9 km2) and colloquially known as the Square Mile − retains boundaries that follow closely its medieval limits. The City of Westminster is also an Inner London borough holding city status. Greater London is governed by the Mayor of London and the London Assembly.


Early years

Mackenzie was born in Edinburgh. His family emigrated to New Zealand in 1858 when he was four and Mackenzie was educated at Green Island School and at the Stone School, both in Dunedin. He tried his hand at surveying, farming and commerce. [1]

Edinburgh Capital city in Scotland

Edinburgh is the capital city of Scotland and one of its 32 council areas. Historically part of the county of Midlothian, it is located in Lothian on the Firth of Forth's southern shore.

Green Island is a suburb of Dunedin, New Zealand. Not an actual island, this former borough takes its name from the Green Island bush, uncleared native forest extending from the valley where the community is centred over the hills towards the coast. The name of the nearby offshore island — Green Island (Okaihe) — was used to identify the bush and, thus, also lent its name to the mainland suburb.

Dunedin City in Otago, New Zealand

Dunedin is the second-largest city in the South Island of New Zealand, and the principal city of the Otago region. Its name comes from Dùn Èideann, the Scottish Gaelic name for Edinburgh, the capital of Scotland.

Member of Parliament

New Zealand Parliament
1887 1890 10th Clutha Independent
1890 1893 11th Clutha Liberal
1893 1896 12th Clutha Liberal
1900 1902 14th Waihemo Liberal
1902 1905 15th Waikouaiti Liberal
1905 1908 16th Waikouaiti Liberal
1908 1911 17th Taieri Liberal
1911 1912 18th Egmont Liberal

Mackenzie was elected to the New Zealand Parliament for Clutha in 1887. He resigned in 1896 to assess the British markets for New Zealand products and remained in his native land for three years. On his return to New Zealand he was elected to Parliament successively for Waihemo 1900–1902, Waikouaiti 1902–1908, Taieri 1908–1911 and Egmont (in the North Island) 1911–1912, never losing an election.

New Zealand Parliament legislative body of New Zealand

The New Zealand Parliament is the legislature of New Zealand, consisting of the Queen of New Zealand (Queen-in-Parliament) and the New Zealand House of Representatives. The Queen is usually represented by her governor-general. Before 1951, there was an upper chamber, the New Zealand Legislative Council. The New Zealand Parliament was established in 1854 and is one of the oldest continuously functioning legislatures in the world. It has met in Wellington, the capital of New Zealand, since 1865.

Clutha was a New Zealand parliamentary electorate from 1866 to 1996.

United Kingdom Country in Europe

The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain, is a sovereign country located off the north-western coast of the European mainland. The United Kingdom includes the island of Great Britain, the north-eastern part of the island of Ireland, and many smaller islands. Northern Ireland is the only part of the United Kingdom that shares a land border with another sovereign state, the Republic of Ireland. Apart from this land border, the United Kingdom is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, with the North Sea to the east, the English Channel to the south and the Celtic Sea to the south-west, giving it the 12th-longest coastline in the world. The Irish Sea lies between Great Britain and Ireland. The United Kingdom's 242,500 square kilometres (93,600 sq mi) were home to an estimated 66.0 million inhabitants in 2017.

Mackenzie was also a notable explorer. He was a member of expeditions to the Tautuku Forest (1883), the wild country between Milford Sound and Lake Te Anau (1888; discovered the Sutherland Falls), and the Matterhorn Mountains (1888; discovered a pass between Lake Manapouri and Hall Arm). He was the first person to try to map an overland route to Dusky Sound (18941896). He crossed the land between Lake Te Anau and Lake Wakatipu in 1907.

The Catlins

The Catlins comprises an area in the southeastern corner of the South Island of New Zealand. The area lies between Balclutha and Invercargill, straddling the boundary between the Otago and Southland regions. It includes the South Island's southernmost point, Slope Point.

Milford Sound fiord in the south west of New Zealands South Island

Milford Sound / Piopiotahi is a fiord in the south west of New Zealand's South Island within Fiordland National Park, Piopiotahi Marine Reserve, and the Te Wahipounamu World Heritage site. It has been judged the world's top travel destination in an international survey and is acclaimed as New Zealand's most famous tourist destination. Rudyard Kipling had previously called it the eighth Wonder of the World.

Lake Te Anau lake in Southland Region, New Zealand

Lake Te Anau is in the southwestern corner of the South Island of New Zealand. The lake covers an area of 344 km2 (133 sq mi), making it the second-largest lake by surface area in New Zealand and the largest in the South Island. It is the largest lake in Australasia by fresh water volume.

Minister and Prime Minister

In January 1909 he was appointed Minister of Industries and Commerce, Tourist and Health Resorts, Scenery Preservation and State Forestry Departments in the government of Sir Joseph Ward. In May he also became Minister of Agriculture with a seat in the Cabinet. He was then successively Minister of Customs, Minister of Education and Postmaster-General. In May 1912 he succeeded Ward as Prime Minister and also served as Minister of Lands.

The Minister of Industries and Commerce in New Zealand is a former cabinet position appointed by the Prime Minister to be in charge of matters of industrial and commercial growth and trade. In 1972 it was merged with the Trade portfolio.

Joseph Ward New Zealand politician

Sir Joseph George Ward, 1st Baronet, of Wellington, was a New Zealand politician who served as the 17th Prime Minister of New Zealand from 1906 to 1912 and from 1928 to 1930. He was a dominant figure in the Liberal and United ministries of the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Mackenzie's Ministry was criticised by both the opposition and Liberal dissidents. Liberal MP Roderick McKenzie stated that Mackenzie's ministers were political novices who had forsaken their liberal principles and John Millar should have been Ward's successor as Prime Minister. [2]

A ministry is a governmental organisation, headed by a minister, that is meant to manage a specific sector of public administration. Governments may have differing numbers and types of ministries, but the Brockhaus and Efron Encyclopedic Dictionary notes that all states have a Ministry of Interior, a Ministry of Foreign Affairs, a Ministry of Defense, a Ministry of Justice and a Ministry of Finance. A Ministry of Education or similar is also commonly present.

Roderick McKenzie New Zealand politician

Roderick McKenzie was a New Zealand Member of Parliament for Buller and Motueka, in the South Island. He was a member of the Liberal Party.

John A. Millar New Zealand politician

John Andrew Millar was a New Zealand politician of the Liberal Party from Otago.

The Mackenzie government survived only until July 1912 when he lost a vote of no confidence and was appointed High Commissioner in London. He served in this role until 1920 and was New Zealand delegate at the peace conferences with Austria, Bulgaria and Turkey in 1919, a member of the Dardanelles Commission and the Imperial War Graves Commission (later the Commonwealth War Graves Conmmission). In March 1921 he was appointed member of the New Zealand Legislative Council for Otago.

Later years

He was appointed Knight Commander of the Order of St Michael and St George (KCMG) in the 1916 New Year Honours (1 January 1916) [3] and promoted to Knight Grand Cross (GCMG) in June 1920. [4]

His son Clutha Mackenzie who was blinded at Gallipoli was active in work for the blind. [1] In 1923 he supported Val Sanderson in establishing the Native Bird Protection Society (later the Royal Forest and Bird Protection Society of New Zealand) and was the society's first president. [5]

Mackenzie died in Dunedin in 1930 and was buried in the Dunedin Northern Cemetery. [6]

See also


  1. 1 2 Brooking, Tom. "Mackenzie, Thomas Noble 1853–1930". Dictionary of New Zealand Biography . Ministry for Culture and Heritage . Retrieved 10 December 2011.
  2. Bassett 1982, p. 12-13.
  3. "No. 29423". The London Gazette (Supplement). 31 December 1915. p. 82.
  4. "No. 13609". The Edinburgh Gazette . 29 June 1920. p. 1523.
  5. Galbreath, Ross. "Ernest Valentine Sanderson". Dictionary of New Zealand Biography . Ministry for Culture and Heritage . Retrieved 27 September 2016.
  6. "Cemeteries search". Dunedin City Council. Retrieved 20 December 2014.

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Government offices
Preceded by
Joseph Ward
Prime Minister of New Zealand
Succeeded by
William Massey
New Zealand Parliament
Preceded by
James William Thomson
Member of Parliament for Clutha
Succeeded by
James William Thomson
Preceded by
John McKenzie
Member of Parliament for Waihemo
Constituency abolished
Preceded by
Edmund Allen
Member of Parliament for Waikouaiti
Preceded by
Donald Reid
Member of Parliament for Taieri
Preceded by
Bradshaw Dive
Member of Parliament for Egmont
Succeeded by
Charles Wilkinson
Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
William Hall-Jones
High Commissioner of New Zealand to the United Kingdom
Succeeded by
James Allen