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Sir William Herbert Herries KCMG (19 April 1859 – 22 February 1923) was an English-born New Zealand politician.

Sir William Herries

William Herbert Herries, 1921.jpg
William Herries in 1921
William Herbert Herries

(1859-04-19)19 April 1859
London, England
Died22 February 1923(1923-02-22) (aged 63)
Wellington, New Zealand


New Zealand Parliament
Years Term Electorate Party
1896–1899 13th Bay of Plenty Independent
1899–1902 14th Bay of Plenty Independent
1902–1905 15th Bay of Plenty Independent
1905–1908 16th Bay of Plenty Independent
1908–1909 17th Tauranga Independent
1909–1911 Changed allegiance to: Reform
1911–1914 18th Tauranga Reform
1914–1919 19th Tauranga Reform
1919–1922 20th Tauranga Reform
1922–1923 21st Tauranga Reform

Herries was born in London, the son of Herbert Crompton Herries, a barrister, and his wife, Leonora Emma Wickham. His grandfather was Henry Lewis Wickham, a Receiver General of Gibraltar. The English MP William Wickham was his uncle.[1] From a wealthy middle-class family, he was educated at Eton College and Trinity College, Cambridge, where he studied natural sciences.[2]

At the age of 22 he emigrated to New Zealand and became a farmer near Te Aroha, with a passion for racing and breeding horses. On 4 December 1889, he married his neighbour Catherine Louisa Roche; they remained without children.[1]

Herries was elected to the House of Representatives for the Bay of Plenty electorate in 1896, holding the seat until 1908, when he was elected for Tauranga, which he held until his death. He became a member of the Reform Party, which formed in 1909.

The Herries travelled to England in 1912; they left on 21 March on the Iconic.[3] The journey was a disaster, though. Just before they left, his mother died in New Zealand. His wife, who had been in indifferent health, died on the journey to England.[4][5]

He was the Minister of Native Affairs from 1912 to February 1921, Minister of Railways from 1912 to 1919, Minister of Marine and Minister of Customs from 1919 to February 1921, and Minister of Labour from 1920 to February 1921 in the Reform Government.

He was appointed Knight Commander of the Order of St Michael and St George (KCMG) in the 1920 New Year Honours.[6] He died in Wellington on 22 February 1923.[1]


  1. ^ a b c Belgrave, Michael. "Herries, William Herbert". Dictionary of New Zealand Biography. Ministry for Culture and Heritage. Retrieved 4 April 2011.
  2. ^ "Herries, William Herbert (HRS877WH)". A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge.
  3. ^ "Personal Items". The Dominion. 5 (1378). 2 March 1912. p. 4. Retrieved 16 July 2015.
  4. ^ "Obituary". The Press. LXVIII (14344). 2 May 1912. p. 7. Retrieved 16 July 2015.
  5. ^ "Personal Notes from London". Auckland Star. XLIII (144). 17 June 1912. p. 11. Retrieved 16 July 2015.
  6. ^ "No. 31712". The London Gazette (Supplement). 30 December 1919. p. 4.


  • Herries, Robert Stansfield (1925), Memoir of Sir William Herries, K.C.M.G., London, [England]: Privately printed by Spottiswoode, Ballantyne & Co.
  • Wilson, James Oakley (1985) [First published in 1913]. New Zealand Parliamentary Record, 1840–1984 (4th ed.). Wellington: V.R. Ward, Govt. Printer. OCLC 154283103.
Political offices
Preceded by
Arthur Myers
Minister of Railways
Succeeded by
William Massey
New Zealand Parliament
Preceded by
William Kelly
Member of Parliament for Bay of Plenty
Succeeded by
William MacDonald
In abeyance
Title last held by
William Kelly
Member of Parliament for Tauranga
Succeeded by
Charles MacMillan