The Dictionary of Australasian Biography/Macandrew, James
Macandrew, James, M.H.R., was born in Aberdeen, Scotland, in 1820, and whilst still a youth went to London, where he engaged in business. He took great interest in the scheme for the settlement of Otago, N.Z., by the Free Church of Scotland. Eventually he decided to cast in his lot with the settlement; and, having purchased an iron schooner, he and his family set sail in 1850 for his new colonial home. He very soon commenced to take an active part in public affairs, and his enterprise in starting new industries of various kinds led to the establishment of shipbuilding. Mr. Macandrew introduced the first merchant steamer, and was one of the members of the first Otago Provincial Council and of the first House of Representatives, being elected to the former for the Dunedin country district in Sept 1853, and being continuously a member of the latter body for Dunedin City and Port Chalmers down to his death in 1887. In 1860 he became Superintendent of the Province of Otago, and served four terms, holding office until the provinces were abolished in spite of strenuous opposition in 1876. In the first General Assembly Mr. Macandrew, in 1854, was one of the members of the Executive Council appointed by Acting Governor Wynyard without portfolio; out it was not Until 1877 that he held office again, when (in October) he became Minister of Lands in Sir George Grey's Cabinet, a portfolio which he subsequently exchanged for the Ministry of Public Works. The Grey Government went out of office in Oct. 1879. Mr. Macandrew was the founder of the Otago University, and the originator of the Panama and Californian mail services, and, indeed, of steam communication by sea in New Zealand. In 1884 he ventilated a plan for settling the Highland crofters on the lands of the colony. Mr. Macandrew was the Father of the House of Representatives at the time of his death, which took place on Feb. 24th, 1887, as the result of a carriage accident, when a fund was raised for his family, and several public memorials were organised to perpetuate his memory.