Thomas Potts

Thomas Henry Potts (23 December 1824 – 27 July 1888) was a British-born New Zealand naturalist, ornithologist, entomologist, and botanist.

Thomas Henry Potts, ca 1875


New Zealand Parliament
Years Term Electorate Party
1866–1870 4th Mount Herbert Independent

The son of a small arms manufacturer, he emigrated to New Zealand in 1854, and recorded many natural observations as well as species that were then new to science, such as the black-billed gull and the great spotted kiwi.

In 1866 he was elected to the Mount Herbert electorate after William Sefton Moorhouse who had won the seat in the 1866 general election declined the seat. Potts retired from Parliament in 1870.[1]

In the 1860s and 1870s, Thomas Potts was an early campaigner for areas of New Zealand to be set aside as nature reserves to safe many bird species from extinction, after the deforestation of large areas of mainland New Zealand.[2] Potts owned Ohinetahi for several years.[3][4]

The standard author abbreviation Potts is used to indicate this person as the author when citing a botanical name.[5]


  1. ^ Wilson, James Oakley (1985) [First ed. published 1913]. New Zealand parliamentary record, 1840–1984 (4 ed.). Wellington: V.R. Ward, Govt. Printer. p. 133. OCLC 154283103.
  2. ^ Boast, R; Gilling, B D (August 2008). "Ngati Toa Lands Research Project Report Two: 1865–1975" (PDF). New Zealand Government. Retrieved 9 March 2021.
  3. ^ "Ohinetahi". Register of Historic Places. Heritage New Zealand. Retrieved 20 August 2011.
  4. ^ Star, Paul. "Thomas Henry Potts". Dictionary of New Zealand Biography. Ministry for Culture and Heritage. Retrieved 9 February 2017.
  5. ^ IPNI.  Potts.

External linksEdit

New Zealand Parliament
Preceded by
William Moorhouse
Member of Parliament for Mount Herbert
Constituency abolished