Robert Graham (New Zealand politician)

Robert Graham (15 May 1820 – 26 May 1885) was a 19th-century New Zealand politician in the Auckland area.

New Zealand Parliament
Years Term Electorate Party
1855–1860 2nd Southern Division Independent
1861–1864 3rd Franklin Independent
1866–1868 4th Franklin Independent

Early lifeEdit

Graham was born in 1820 in the parish of Barony in Glasgow, Scotland. His parents were Barbara Stirling Rennie and the farmer and coal merchant Robert Graham. His brother was David Graham.[1]

Political careerEdit

He represented the Southern Division electorate (containing Waikato, Coromandel, the Bay of Plenty, and East Cape) in the 2nd New Zealand Parliament from 1855 to 1860, and then represented the Franklin electorate in the 3rd Parliament and the 4th Parliament from 1861 to 1868, when he resigned.[2]

He was the fifth Superintendent of Auckland from 1862 to 1865.[3] Prior to this, he had represented the Southern Division electorate on the Provincial Council from 1855 to 1857, and he represented the Franklin electorate from 1865 to 1869.[4] Graham was a major proponent of the Panmure Bridge, and formally laid the final cornerstone at a ceremony in October 1865, soon after stepping down as the Superintendent of Auckland.[5]

He stood unsuccessfully for the 1877 by-election in City of Auckland West.

Death and legacyEdit

Graham died in Auckland on 26 May 1885.[1] In 1999, he was posthumously inducted into the New Zealand Business Hall of Fame.[6]

He has two great-grandsons who (as brothers) have both served as MPs:


  1. ^ a b Graham, Douglas. "Graham, Robert". Dictionary of New Zealand Biography. Ministry for Culture and Heritage. Retrieved 13 May 2012.
  2. ^ Scholefield 1950, p. 109.
  3. ^ Scholefield 1950, p. 179.
  4. ^ Scholefield 1950, p. 183.
  5. ^ "Panmure Bridge Swing Span and Abutment". Heritage New Zealand. Retrieved 3 January 2021.
  6. ^ "Past laureates". Business Hall of Fame. Retrieved 16 February 2023.


  • Scholefield, Guy (1950) [First ed. published 1913]. New Zealand Parliamentary Record, 1840–1949 (3rd ed.). Wellington: Govt. Printer.
New Zealand Parliament
New constituency Member of Parliament for Franklin
Served alongside: Marmaduke Nixon, Theodore Haultain
Succeeded by
Political offices
Preceded by Superintendent of Auckland Province
Succeeded by