Open main menu

The Dictionary of Australasian Biography/McKenzie, Hon. John

< The Dictionary of Australasian Biography

McKenzie, Hon. John, M.H.R., Minister of Lands and Immigration, New Zealand, was born at Ardross, in Ross-shire, Scotland, in 1838. In 1860 he went to Otago, N.Z., and soon acquired sufficient experience to become working manager of the Pakitapu station, near Palmerston. He then took to farming on his own account in the Shag Valley. In 1865 he was made clerk and treasurer to the local Road Board and secretary to the local School Committee. In 1868 he contested Waikouaiti for a seat in the Provincial Council of Otago, Mr. George MᶜLean being his opponent, but he lost the election. In 1871, however, he was successful, beating his opponent, Mr. John Douglas, for the Waihemo seat by two to one. He retained this position until the abolition of provinces, having been elected a second time for Waihemo without opposition. In 1881 he was sent to the House of Representatives by the electors of Moeraki, and has sat in the House for various constituencies for the same part of the country ever since. In 1884 he went to Sydney to attend the Stock Conference. Mr. McKenzie was whip to the Stout-Vogel combination in 1884, and did good service for his party, being rewarded by the portfolio of Lands and Immigration when the Ballance Government came into office in Jan. 1891.