John A. Millar

John Andrew Millar (8 July 1855 – 15 October 1915) was a New Zealand politician of the Liberal Party from Otago.

John A. Millar
John Andrew Millar.jpg
4th Minister of Railways
In office
24 May 1908 – 24 August 1912
Prime MinisterJoseph Ward
Preceded byWilliam Hall-Jones
Succeeded byArthur Myers
Personal details
Born8 July 1855
Jalandhar, India
Died15 October 1915
Auckland, New Zealand
Political partyLiberal

Early lifeEdit

Born in Jalandhar, India, in 1855, he first came to New Zealand in 1870, but then embarked on a seafaring career. In 1881, he changed from international to coastal shipping. Although an officer, he was a member of the union. When he was elected the first full-time general secretary of the Federated Seamen's Union of New Zealand in 1887, he moved to Port Chalmers, as that is where the union's headquarters were.[1]

Political careerEdit

New Zealand Parliament
Years Term Electorate Party
1893–1896 12th Chalmers Liberal–Labour
1896–1899 13th City of Dunedin Liberal–Labour
1899–1902 14th City of Dunedin Liberal–Labour
1902–1905 15th City of Dunedin Liberal–Labour
1905–1908 16th Dunedin Central Liberal
1908–1911 17th Dunedin West Liberal
1911–1914 18th Dunedin West Liberal

He was a Member of Parliament for Chalmers in the 12th Parliament 1893–1896, for the City of Dunedin in the 13th, 14th and 15th Parliaments 1896–1905, for Dunedin Central in the 16th Parliament 1905–1908, and for Dunedin West in the 17th and 18th Parliaments 1908–1914.[2]

He disagreed with some Liberal policies, but did not join the New Liberal Party group in 1905.[1]

Millar was Chairman of Committees from 1903 to 1905.[3] He was Minister of Customs (6 August 1906 – 6 January 1909), Minister of Labour (6 August 1906 – 6 January 1909; 17 June 1909 – 28 March 1912), Minister in Charge of Marine Department (6 August 1906 – 28 March 1912), and Minister of Railways (6 January 1909 – 28 March 1912) in the Ward Ministry.[4]

In 1912 he was spoken of as a successor to Sir Joseph Ward as leader of the Liberal Party. But he did not stand in the ballot of 22 March when Thomas Mackenzie defeated George Laurenson (with 22 votes to 9) as he was not supported by Labour members of the caucus, although he had support from "arbitrationist" unions. So in July he appeared in the House to help turn out the Liberal government ... ill, pyjama-clad, consumed with the desire to destroy the government that he had not been permitted to lead.[5]

He was appointed to the Legislative Council on 23 June 1915, but could only attend one meeting to be sworn in before his health failed him.[1][6] He died in Auckland on 15 October 1915 and was buried in the Dunedin Northern Cemetery.[7]


  1. ^ a b c Roth, Herbert. "Millar, John Andrew - Biography". Dictionary of New Zealand Biography. Ministry for Culture and Heritage. Retrieved 24 April 2012.
  2. ^ Wilson 1985, p. 220.
  3. ^ Wilson 1985, p. 252.
  4. ^ Wilson 1985, p. 74.
  5. ^ Hamer 1988, pp. 349–354.
  6. ^ Wilson 1985, p. 159.
  7. ^ "Cemeteries search". Dunedin City Council. Retrieved 30 November 2014.


Political offices
Preceded by
Arthur Guinness
Chairman of Committees of the House of Representatives
Succeeded by
Roderick McKenzie
Preceded by
Charles H. Mills
Minister of Customs
Succeeded by
Alexander Hogg
Preceded by
William Hall-Jones
Minister of Railways
Succeeded by
Arthur Myers
New Zealand Parliament
Preceded by
James Mills
Member of Parliament for Chalmers
(Constituency renamed from Port Chalmers)
Constituency abolished, recreated in 1902
Title next held by
Edmund Allen
In abeyance
Title last held by
Frederick Fitchett
Member of Parliament for Dunedin Central
Succeeded by
James Arnold