William Hall-Jones

Last updated

1873;died 1876) [1]
Rosalind Lucy Purss
(m. 1877)
Sir William Hall-Jones
William Hall-Jones, 1906.jpg
16th Prime Minister of New Zealand
In office
10 June 1906 6 August 1906
Children Fred Hall-Jones
Relatives John Hall-Jones (grandson)
Signature William Hall-Jones signature.jpg

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.


Hall-Jones entered parliament in 1890, later becoming a member of the Liberal Party. He was interim prime minister from the death of Richard Seddon to the return from overseas of Joseph Ward. Hall-Jones was a mild mannered man with a fully earned reputation as an outstanding administrator. Seddon famously said of him, "He is the best administrator I have in my Cabinet." [2]

From 1908 to 1912, Hall-Jones was New Zealand's High Commissioner to the United Kingdom.

Early years

Hall-Jones was born in Folkestone, Kent, England, and landed at Dunedin in 1873. He became a carpenter and later a builder in Timaru. [1] He developed an interest in local politics serving on the Timaru Borough Council from 1884 to 1886, and again from 1890 to 1892. [1]

Member of Parliament

New Zealand Parliament
1890 10th Timaru Independent Liberal
1890 1893 11th Timaru Independent 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. [3] Hall-Jones had initially refused nomination from locals, citing several upcoming business contracts. However, after persistent calls, Hall-Jones reluctantly accepted despite having no parliamentary ambitions. [4] He represented Timaru in the House of Representatives until his resignation in October 1908.

Hall-Jones proved an independent thinker. He was initially an Independent Liberal holding moderate, progressive views that tended to align him with John Ballance, Sir George Grey and John McKenzie. He joined the Liberal caucus and in 1891 became the party whip alongside Westby Perceval. [5]

Cabinet minister

Hall-Jones became a cabinet minister in March 1896 and was given the Public Works portfolio by the prime minister, Richard Seddon following William Pember Reeves resignation to become Agent General for New Zealand in the United Kingdom. [6] His main task in this role was improving the main trunk rail line between Auckland and Wellington. Rejecting a proposal for another incline on the Rimutaka ranges he insisted on using a better route, resulting in the Raurimu Spiral. He was also responsible for the eventual construction of the Otira tunnel, going through Arthur's Pass. [1]

Several weeks after entering cabinet, Hall-Jones was also appointed minister of marine, a post which he was to hold for over a decade. [7] Hall-Jones was also responsible for passing a bill granting protection to the famous navigation dolphin Pelorus Jack by Order in Council under the Sea Fisheries Act on 26 September 1904. [8]

Prime Minister

Hall-Jones was acting prime minister during the absence from the country of 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. [9]

However, Hall-Jones announced that he would only hold power until Sir Joseph Ward's return from abroad. Despite this, there was much speculation in the media that he might attempt to remain in office as Seddon himself had done in 1893. [10]

Later career

Hall-Jones accepted the Railways and Public Works portfolios in the subsequent Ward administration. Later, 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.[ citation needed ]

Hall-Jones died at his home in Wellington on 19 June 1936. [2]

See also


  1. 1 2 3 4 Hall-Jones, John. "Hall-Jones, William 1851–1936". Dictionary of New Zealand Biography . Ministry for Culture and Heritage . Retrieved 10 December 2011.
  2. 1 2 Foster 1966.
  3. Wilson 1985, p. 202.
  4. Hall-Jones 1969, p. 24.
  5. Hall-Jones 1969, p. 28.
  6. Hall-Jones 1969, p. 43.
  7. Hall-Jones 1969, p. 48.
  8. Hall-Jones 1969, p. 51.
  9. Wilson 1985, p. 73.
  10. Hamer 1988, p. 254.

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Richard Seddon</span> Prime minister of New Zealand from 1893 to 1906

Richard John Seddon was a New Zealand politician who served as the 15th premier of New Zealand from 1893 until his death. In office for thirteen years, he is to date New Zealand's longest-serving head of government.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Thomas Mackenzie</span> Prime minister of New Zealand in 1912

Sir Thomas Mackenzie 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.

The New Zealand Liberal Party was the first organised political party in New Zealand. It governed from 1891 until 1912. The Liberal strategy was to create a large class of small land-owning farmers who supported Liberal ideals, by buying large tracts of Māori land and selling it to small farmers on credit. The Liberal Government also established the basis of the later welfare state, with old age pensions, developed a system for settling industrial disputes, which was accepted by both employers and trade unions. In 1893 it extended voting rights to women, making New Zealand the first country in the world to enact universal adult suffrage.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Joseph Ward</span> New Zealand politician (1856–1930)

Sir Joseph George Ward, 1st Baronet, 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.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Premier House</span> Official residence of the Prime Minister of New Zealand

Premier House is the official residence of the Prime Minister of New Zealand, located at 260 Tinakori Road, Thorndon, Wellington, New Zealand.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">William Pember Reeves</span> New Zealand politician

William Pember Reeves was a New Zealand politician, cricketer, historian and poet who promoted social reform.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Bill Veitch</span> New Zealand politician

William Andrew Veitch was a New Zealand politician. He began his career in the labour movement, but became a strong opponent of more militant socialism, and rejected the radical views held by many of his colleagues.

The following lists events that happened during 1906 in New Zealand.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">George Warren Russell</span> New Zealand politician

George Warren Russell was a New Zealand politician from Christchurch. He served as Minister of Internal Affairs and Minister of Public Health in the wartime National government, and was responsible for the New Zealand government's response to the 1918 influenza epidemic.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">William Russell (New Zealand politician)</span> New Zealand politician

Sir William Russell Russell was a New Zealand politician from 1870 to 1905. He was a cabinet minister, and was recognised as Leader of the Opposition from 1894 to 1901. Though considered by other politicians to have little sympathy with working people as a major landowner his panache and involvement in local affairs led him to be liked and admired by Hawkes Bay's élite.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">George Fowlds</span> New Zealand politician

Sir George Matthew Fowlds was a New Zealand politician of the Liberal Party.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">John Findlay (New Zealand politician)</span> New Zealand politician

Sir John George Findlay was a New Zealand politician of the Liberal Party, and was a Cabinet minister from 1906 to 1911.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Roderick McKenzie</span> 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.

Timaru was a parliamentary electorate, in New Zealand's South Island. It existed continuously from 1861 to 1996 and was represented by eleven Members of Parliament.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">16th New Zealand Parliament</span>

The 16th New Zealand Parliament was a term of the New Zealand Parliament. It was elected at the 1905 general election in December of that year.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">18th New Zealand Parliament</span>

The 18th New Zealand Parliament was a term of the New Zealand Parliament. It was elected at the 1911 general election in December of that year.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">1913 New Zealand Liberal Party leadership election</span>

The New Zealand Liberal Party leadership election 1913 was held on 11 September to choose the next leader of the New Zealand Liberal Party. The election was won by Awarua MP and former party leader Joseph Ward.

The New Zealand Liberal Party leadership election 1906 was held to choose the next leader of the New Zealand Liberal Party. The election was won by Awarua MP and incumbent deputy leader Joseph Ward.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Historic conservatism in New Zealand</span>

Conservatism in New Zealand, though related to its counterparts in other Western countries, developed uniquely over time. Advocates followed a political ideology that emphasised the preservation of traditional European beliefs, institutions and practices.


Government offices
Preceded by Prime Minister of New Zealand
Succeeded by
Political offices
Preceded by Minister of Justice
Succeeded by
Preceded by Minister of Education
Succeeded by
Preceded by Minister of Railways
Succeeded by
Party political offices
Preceded by Leader of the Liberal Party
Succeeded by
New Zealand Parliament
Preceded by Member of Parliament for Timaru
Succeeded by
Diplomatic posts
Preceded by High Commissioner of New Zealand to the United Kingdom
Succeeded by