Almost a year ago, I was searching for some bits to blog about, about Franklin Country/region/district and I used a little of what I have decided to re-use and re-iterate……(good word!)just ‘cos I think that it’s quite interesting really
It is fairly lengthy BUT, if you are a bit interested in history and also particularly as we once again have the V8 Supercars here on our turf, you may just feel like a read 🙂
“Franklin” was originally a rural New Zealand parliamentary electorate, which existed from 1861 to 1996 during four periods.
(Quoted from various sources such as Wikipedia) –
The original electorate from 1861 to 1881 included the South Auckland towns of Papatoetoe, Papakura, Pukekohe and Waiuku, and west of Waiuku to the West Coast. When reconstituted in 1890 the northern boundary was north of Papakura, and (with the growth of Auckland) now excluded Papatoetoe.
In December 1887, the House of Representatives voted to reduce its membership from general electorates from 91 to 70. The 1890 electoral redistribution used the same 1886 census data used for the 1887 electoral redistribution. In addition, three-member electorates were introduced in the four main centres. This resulted in a major restructuring of electorates, and Franklin was one of eight electorates to be re-created for the 1890 election
The electorate existed from 1861 to 1881 as a two-member electorate, when it was split into the Franklin North and Franklin South electorates. One of the first MP’s, Marmaduke Nixon was killed in action in 1864 whilst leading an assault on a Māori village during the Invasion of Waikato, forcing the 1864 by-election. In 1890 it was reconstituted, to 1978 and then from 1984–87, and 1993–96. From 1978 to 1984 it was renamed the Rangiriri electorate, and from 1987 to 1993 it was renamed the Maramarua electorate but in 1993 it reverted to “Franklin”. In 1996 with MMP, the area became part of the Port Waikato electorate.
The single-member electorate was first represented by Ebenezer Hamlin from 1890 to 1893. Benjamin Harris defeated the future Prime Minister William Massey in 1893, but the 1896 contest had the opposite outcome. From 1896 to 1925 Franklin was represented by the Reform Party’s Massey, known as Farmer Bill, the Prime Minister from 1912 to 1925. Ewen McLennan then held the electorate for one term before he retired, and was replaced by Massey’s son Jack.
In 1935 Franklin was won by Arthur Sexton of the Country Party. He lost the seat in 1938 to Jack Massey, now standing for the National Party, who held the seat until 1957, when he was de-selected by the National Party in favour of Alfred E. Allen. Alf Allen held the seat until 1972, and was then replaced by future National minister Bill Birch who then held the seat over the remaining three periods that the seat existed.
Franklin District is a “territorial authority” lying between the Auckland metropolitan area and Waikato Plains. It was abolished on 31 October 2010 as a formal territory and divided between Auckland Council in the Auckland Region to the north, and Waikato and Hauraki districts in the Waikato Region, to the south and east. The Auckland portion is now part of the Franklin ward, which also includes rural parts of the former Manukau City and has one Local Board and three subdivisions.
Franklin currently spans the eastern coast of the Hauraki Gulf to the western coast of the Manukau Harbour and includes the inland and coastal settlements such of the Awhitu Peninsula, Karaka, Ardmore, Clevedon, Whitford, Beachlands, Maraetai, Kawakawa Bay and Orere Point, as well as the townships of Pukekohe and Waiuku.
The fertile volcanic soil and warm moist climate supports a large horticultural and dairy farming industry. The Pukekohe long keeper onion is well known internationally.
Pukekohe has a high school, a rugby union stadium (ECOLight Stadium, home of the Counties-Manukau Steelers), horse-racing, and Pukekohe Park Raceway, our own motor sports facility. Opened in 1963, this circuit is famous for having hosted the New Zealand Grand Prix 29 times between 1963 and 2000, as well as the V8 International (a round of the V8 Supercars championship) between 2001 and 2007, before the event was moved to Hamilton, but is now back home in Pukekohe and has celebrated 50 years of motor sport in the area. A year long celebration was planned and actioned, kicking off on the 6th April 2013 with billboards, stalls and more
Some of our Famous people
• Peter (Possum) Bourne, Rallycar driver
• Simon Doull, cricket representative and radio personality
• Malietoa Tanumafili II, Samoan Head of State—educated at Wesley College
• Jonah Lomu, All Black—educated at Wesley College
• Bill Birch, MP—was a long-time resident
• Leslie Comrie, astronomer and pioneer in mechanical computation
• Allan Wilson, molecular biologist—grew up in the area
• DJ Ali, hip hop music producer
• Andy Dalton, resident and All Blacks captain
• Rex Mason, mayor and MP
• Ron Wai Shing, the first Chinese New Zealander to stand for Parliament.]
With this in mind, having history and a huge area to consider in developing the region, the website (developed in 2006 – www.franklincountry.com), was re-instigated by two locals.