150 Years of Council

Greymouth was proclaimed a borough on 16 July 1868 and Edward Masters was elected the first mayor of the Greymouth Borough. This means that 2018 is Council’s 150th anniversary.

Check out some information and photos from Council history below.

1864 saw the arrival of the first vessel to Greymouth, the SS Nelson.

Greymouth was proclaimed a borough on 16 July 1868. William Horton Revell, Esq., was appointed the person before whom the first election for councillors for the Grey Borough should take place. Nine councillors were required to constitute the council and there were 18 nominations. Edward Masters was elected the first mayor of the Grey Borough.

The first meeting of the Greymouth Victualler’s Association took place on 29 July 1868 at Kilgours Hotel, Mawhera Quay. At the time there were 38 hotels in Greymouth.

Grey County was formed in 1877 after the abolition of provincial government in 1876. The area had previously belonged to Westland Province and Nelson Province and covered rural land and settlements in the vicinity of Greymouth, but not the urban area of Greymouth itself, as that area had been governed by the Greymouth Borough Council since 1868. The first Grey County chairman was Arthur Guinness.

In December 1893, the Graphic New Zealand Gazette included an article about Greymouth headed “An Important Westland Town”. Snippets of the article include “a district of ‘vastest’ mineral wealth”, “vessels of 1,000 tons can come alongside a very fine wharf” and “timber, coal, gold and corn were the chief exports and statistics show over 550 steamers and 45 sailing vessels enter the port in a year”.

In 1900 the Grey Borough entered a new era of progressive development with water supply and drainage schemes being inaugurated. Both systems were designed and supervised by Borough engineer, Mr Edward Iveagh Lord (after whom Iveagh Bay is named). The works were completed in 1904.

Mr J Lynch, Mayor of the Grey Borough from 1917-1922, was killed in an aeroplane crash on the West Coast in 1922. He was holding the office of Mayor at the time.

The Gymnasium (known as the Civic Centre), the brain-child of Mayor Barry Dallas, was officially opened by Mayor Dallas on 4 May 1968.

The Greymouth Borough was amalgamated with Grey County to form Grey District as part of the 1989 local government reforms. At this time Barry Dallas became the inaugural mayor of the new Grey District.

Grey District Mayors

  • Barry Dallas, 1989 – 1991
  • Ron Hibbs, 1991 – 1998
  • Kevin Brown, 1998 – 2004
  • Tony Kokshoorn, 2004 – current

A list of Greymouth Borough and Grey County Mayors and Chairmen is available on Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mayor_of_Grey

Click on the photos below to enlarge them.

Council 1921

GREYMOUTH BOROUGH COUNCIL 1919-21

Back row: F H Denton (Town Clerk), J Kennedy (Manager Gas Works), J McGinley, K Skoglund, J H Weaver (Chairman Works Committee), E J Smith (Chairman Beautifying Committee), M J Fogarty

Front row: W J O'Donnell C.E. (Engineer), W H Parfitt (Deputy Mayor), J D Lynch (Mayor), H F Doogan (Chairman General Committee), A Naylor (Chairman Finance Committee), Absent - G R Cottle

Council 1927

GREYMOUTH BOROUGH COUNCIL, OFFICE STAFF, 1927

Back row: Miss T Newman (Typiste), Mrs M Lynn (Custodian, Municipal Library), A J Fairmaid (Borough Engineer), Miss M Kennedy (Clerk), Miss M Donovan (Clerk)

Front row: Miss E Bignell (Librarian), W J Larcombe (Clerk), F H Denton (Town Clerk & Treasurer), C E Heaphy (Chief Clerk), Miss M L Cunliffe (Librarian)

Council 1986

GREYMOUTH BOROUGH COUNCIL 1986-1989

Back row: K P Beams (Deputy Town Clerk), M A Prasad (Borough Engineer), M J O'Donnell (Cr Parks & Recreation), E W Belcher (Cr Health), N R Tvrdeic (Cr Traffic & Westland Safety Committee), R J Burrell (Cr Works), B P Moreton (Town Clerk)

Front row: D W Hinch (Cr Library & Cultural Activities), F W Holmes (Cr Drainage & Sanitation), His Worship the Mayor Dr B M Dallas, Deputy Mayor A E M van der Geest (Cr Finance, West Coast United Council), R J Hay (Cr Reserves & Civil Defence)

Council 1992

GREY DISTRICT COUNCIL 1992-1995

Back row: Cr Norm Walsh, John Magee, Kevn Beams, Cr Neil Ellery, Peter Moreton (General Manager), Mel Sutherland, Cr David Stapleton

Front row: Tony Tweed, Cr Rosemarie Toal, Ron Hibbs (Mayor), Cr Kevin Brown (Deputy Mayor), Cr Jennifer Howden, Cr Doug Truman

Council 1998

GREY DISTRICT COUNCIL 1998

Back row: R T Caldwell (Manager Finance & IT), P G Pretorius (CEO), K P Beams (Manager Support Services), J B Magee (Committee Secretary)

Middle row: D Evans (Transport Engineer), Cr P F Berry, Cr M R MacDonald, Cr J Grant MNZM, Cr E Stratford, M J Kennedy (Manager Environmental Services)

Front row: Cr W Moen JP, Cr D J Truman QSM, K R Brown QSM JP (His Worship the Mayor), N F Walsh JP (Deputy Mayor), Cr T Kokshoorn

Council 2016

GREY DISTRICT COUNCIL 2016

Back row: Cr Patrick McBride, Cr Tania Gibson, Cr Allan Gibson, Cr Tony Coll, Cr Peter Haddock, Cr Anton Becker

Front row: Cr Murray Hay (Deputy Mayor), His Worship the Mayor Tony Kokshoorn, Cr Cliff Sandrey

Page reviewed: 31 Oct 2018 9:51pm