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Biographies
William Rawson Brame (1833 - 1863)

The founder of the non-conformist settlement at Port Albert on Kaipara Harbour, North Auckland, in late 1862 and during 1863. Albertlanders was the name given to members of the colonisation group. Brame, an English journalist, conceived the idea of a Nonconformist settlement in New Zealand as a kind of celebration of the bicentenary of the expulsion from the Church of England of the non-conformists. Land for the settlement was bought at Oruawharo, on the Kaipara, and about 3000 settlers joined the movement. Brame was disappointed by the initial setbacks at Oruawharo, where Port Albert was sited, and died in Auckland in March 1863. Relics of the settlement in the Port Albert area are the Albertland Museum, and the Minniesdale Chapel built in 1867 for those colonists remaining there.


Baron Charles Philip Hippolytus de Thierry (1793 - 1864)

The self-styled French sovereign chief of New Zealand and king of Nukuhiva (Marquesas), de Thierry claimed rights of sovereignty in New Zealand, arriving in Hokianga with 93 subjects aboard the vessel Nimrod. He announced he would establish a stable government with free trade and no taxation. Houses were built and a road begun, but when the money ran out the settlement foundered.


Apihai Te Kawau (c 1790 - 1869)

From the Taou hapu, was the senior chief of the Ngati Whatua, of the Auckland isthmus and Kaipara region, when Governor Hobson arrived in New Zealand to negotiate for sovereignty. Te Kawau signed the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840 and helped persuade Captain Hobson to site his new colonial capital on the Waitemata Harbour at Auckland. Te Kawau is said to have led the longest expedition ever undertaken by a taua (war party), in 1821 - 1822, travelling 1500 km.


Eruera Maihi Patuone (c 1770 - 1872)

A Ngapuhi warrior chief who claimed to have gone aboard James Cook's ship at the Bay of Islands as a young child. The tombstone marking his grave, in the Church of England cemetery at the foot of Flagstaff Hill, North Shore, where he was buried in 1872, put his age at 96. In 1814 Patuone, with his younger brother Nene, welcomed Samuel Marsden when he arrived from New South Wales. Although Patuone had a reputation as a warrior during his youth, he was one of the first chiefs to sign the Treaty of Waitangi and within a few weeks was baptised by Henry Williams. From then on he fought on the side of the Pakeha and Grey arranged for him to settle on the North Shore of the Waitemata Harbour, to act as a buffer against war parties from the north. Twice over the years Patuone's men garrisoned Auckland City and was later awarded 80 ha in Takapuna and a pension of £100 ($300) a year. When he died he was buried with full military honours.


John Sheehan (1844 - 1885)

The first New Zealand-born European MP and Cabinet Minister. The son of a carpenter, Sheehan was admitted to the Bar in 1867, elected to the Auckland Provincial Council in 1869 at the age of 25, was MP for Rodney at 28. He was a first lieutenant of George Grey. In the Grey Ministry he was Minister of Justice and Minister of Native Affairs.

Sheehan was a skilled lawyer who specialised in Maori land cases and built up a lucrative practice. He spoke Maori and several other languages fluently, played a number of musical instruments, was a successful political journalist and was regarded as one of the most able speakers and debaters of his time, despite his youth. After leaving Auckland to deal with land claim cases in Hawke's Bay, in May 1885 he won a by-election for the Tauranga seat, but died almost immediately afterwards.


Sir John Logan Campbell (1817 - 1912)

Auckland pioneer present at the founding of the city in 1840, Campbell and his business partner, William Brown, moved to Auckland from the Bay of Islands when they heard the capital was to be established here. They established business premises (Brown, Campbell and Co) near the beach in Commercial Bay in Auckland, close to Shortland Street, and were among the first exporters from Auckland to England using their ship, Bolina. Campbell died age 94. His grave is beside the obelisk on One Tree Hill in Auckland which was erected at his request, and Cornwall Park is part of his legacy to the city. Campbell's memoirs of his early life, 'Poenamo,' was first published in 1881.


William Edward Sanders (1883 - 1917)

A merchant seaman, within one year, during World War One, he rose from sub-lieutenant to lieutenant-commander and won both the DSO and Victoria Cross. Sanders, as commander of HMS Prize, one of the Q-ships of World War One, acted as decoys to trap and sink German submarines. He was killed when the Prize went down with all hands, after being hit by a torpedo in August 1917.


Count Felix von Luckner

The german naval captain von Luckner, escaped from a New Zealand prisoner of war camp on Motuihe Island, near Auckland, in 1917. His December 1917 escape in the commanding officer's launch, was seen after he caught a coastal vessel and fled to the Kermadecs. He was recaptured and taken back to Motuihe. While he was busy with new escape plans, the war ended and he was repatriated. von Luckner was treated as a hero, when he returned to New Zealand 20 years later because of his consistent humanity towards the 13 ships he attacked and sank when raiding through the South Pacific in the Seeadler. One source says that not one life was lost from the crews of the ships he sank.


Thomas William (Torpedo Murphy) Murphy (1863 - 1939)

'Torpedo' Billy Murphy, as he was known, was a skinny, pallid young man who never weighed much more than 50 kg (eight stone), but is regarded by boxing historians as one of the heaviest punchers pound-for-pound the sport has known and the only New Zealand-born boxer to win a world professional title. He was expelled from school for hitting a teacher, later went to Sydney where he had 26 fights in less than two years. He usually gave away height and weight, in one case lasting several rounds against a heavyweight.

In 1889 Murphy went to San Francisco and the following year won the world featherweight title from Ike Weir. He continued fighting, largely successfully, in the US and on occasions in Australia, until 1904 when he returned to New Zealand. He fought here twice in 1905, once in 1906 and once again in 1907 when, aged 44, he beat Australian Tom Toohey, in New Plymouth by a knock-out in the first round. He fought 112 fights in his career, won 65, lost 32 and drew 15. At his prime in New Zealand and Australia, he fought 36 times, lost four and drew two bouts, always against much bigger men, and of the 30 fights he won, 18 were by knock-out.


Eliza Ellen Melville (1882 - 1946)

Born in North Auckland, the second woman in New Zealand to qualify as a solicitor of the Supreme Court, and the first to practise law independently. She became the first woman city councillor in New Zealand, and served for 33 years on the Auckland City Council from 1913. Although she was a conservative politically, her professional and political successes advanced the cause of feminism.


Charles Frederick Goldie (1870 - 1947)

One of New Zealand's best known, controversial and most commercially successful painters. He is famous for his precise, detailed portraits of Maori wearing moko (carved tatoo on the chin). In 1892 he went to study art and anatomy in Paris. During those six years Goldie copied old masters in the Louvre, visited many other famous galleries in Europe and in 1896 won the Prix Julian at L'Académie Julian, from amongst 300 pupils. Returning to Auckland in 1898, Goldie set up a studio and until 1916 spent much of his time painting Maori portraits. Following a breakdown he did little painting until 1928, and from then until his health began to decline in 1940 he worked hard on his portraiture. Goldie's work is hung in most New Zealand galleries and in many private collections.


Reginald Stanley Judson (1881 - 1972)

Judson won the three highest awards for gallantry open to a non-commissioned officer, within one six-week period during July and August 1918, which is still a record. Judson went overseas as a sergeant in the First Battalion, Auckland Regiment, in 1915. Serving in France, he won the Distinguished Conduct Medal on 24 - 25 July, the Military Medal on 16 August and the Victoria Cross on 24 August, when he single-handedly captured a machine-gun nest, 'a prompt and gallant action [which] not only saved lives but also enabled the advance to continue unopposed,' according to the citation. He rose to the rank of lieutenant.


Cyril Royston Guyton BASSETT (1892 - 1983)

Won the Victoria Cross on Chunuk Bair Ridge, Gallipoli. He was a bank clerk before joining the army. Bassett was a corporal in the New Zealand Divisional Signals Company, and was one of the signallers in support of the attack by New Zealand, Gurkha and British soldiers on Chunuk Bair. The New Zealanders achieved the ridge despite horrendous losses and after trying to hold it were dislodged. Bassett was the first New Zealander to win the Victoria Cross in World War One. It was awarded for gallantry on 7 August 1915, when he kept lines of communication open to the men beleaguered by intense enemy fire on the ridge of Chunuk Bair.


Dame Sister Mary Leo (1895 - 1989)

New Zealand's best-known and most successful music teacher who specialised in singing and opera, performing on many occasions as a singer, before she became a Sister of Mercy. She was associated with the St Mary's School of Music, Ponsonby, Auckland, for more than 50 years, and had an international reputation for about 30 years. Many of her pupils have become successful concert and opera singers, most notably Dame Kiri Te Kanawa and Dame Malvina Major.


Sir Robert David Muldoon (1921 - 1992)

Former Prime Minister, leader of the National Party since in 1975. Muldoon was a professional accountant, entering Parliament in 1960, he was made Deputy Prime Minister in 1972, following the retirement of Sir Keith Holyoake and the rise to leadership of John Marshall.

Rob Muldoon effectively eroded party support for Marshall, and took over the leadership of the National Party in time to take it to victory in 1975. National lost power after Muldoon called a snap election in 1984 and was defeated by David Lange. When National returned to power in 1990 under Jim Bolger, Muldoon was sidelined and, after sniping steadily at party policy, resigned his Tamaki seat at the end of 1991.


The Walsh Brothers

The Walsh Brothers were outstanding New Zealand pioneer aviators. Leo Austin Walsh (1881 - 1951) was born in Yorkshire, his younger brother Vivian Claude Walsh (1888 - 1950), in Auckland. Leo became a mechanic and engineer, and in 1909 he and Vivian built an aeroplane. Vivian Walsh taught himself to fly this aircraft without any help or tuition, and took it into the air on 5 February 1910. In 1914 the brothers built a sea-plane, the first of its type built here, and flew it in January 1915. They established a flying school, which had trained 110 pilots for the Royal Flying Corps by the end of World War One, later training civilian pilots and flying a number of pioneering routes in New Zealand and in Fiji. Vivian was the first New Zealander to hold a pilot's licence issued by the Royal Aero Club of Great Britain.


Ernest Mervyn Taylor (1906 - 1964)

New Zealand's finest wood engraver, establishing an international reputation as a wood engraver, and is especially remembered for a brilliant series of illustrations of Maori legends.


Sir Edmund Percival Hillary (1919 - )

One of the first conquerers of Mt Everest and the most respected New Zealander of his generation, Sir Edmund Hillary served in World War Two as a navigator in Catalina flying boats in the Pacific, was a beekeeper and amateur mountaineer in New Zealand before he joined the British Everest Expedition in 1953. He reached the summit of Everest with Sherpa Tenzing Norgay, an experienced climber from Nepal, it was on the eve of the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II and Hillary was knighted. From 1956 to 1958 he prepared and participated in the British Trans-Antarctic Expedition and made the first overland trip to the South Pole in a Fergusson tractor.

He has made many return trips to the Himalayan region of Nepal where Tenzing Norgay lived, and has helped in the building of hospitals and schools for the Sherpa people. Hillary served as the New Zealand High Commissioner in New Delhi from February 1985 to July 1989. His autobiography, 'Nothing ventured, nothing won' (1975), reveals the kind of physical stamina and quiet modesty towards which many New Zealanders aspire.


Dame Catherine Anne Tizard (1931 - )

'Dame Cath,' as she is known locally, was the 16th Governor-General of New Zealand in 1990, and the first woman to hold the post. Born in Auckland, and educated at Waharoa Primary School, Matamata College and the University of Auckland, she married Robert James Tizard, an MP.

After raising her family, Dame Catherine became a tutor in zoology at Auckland University, took an active part in community activities and was a member of the Auckland City Council from 1971 to 1983 when she was elected the city's first woman mayor. She was responsible for the completion of the Aotea Centre project after many years of procrastination by a number of city administrations. She resigned as mayor in 1990 to take up the role of Governor-General.

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