William Cutten

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New Zealand Parliament
Years Term Electorate Party
1853–1855 1st Dunedin Country Independent
1878–1879 6th Taieri Independent

William Henry Cutten (10 April 1822 – 30 June 1883) was a New Zealand politician from the Otago region.


Cutten was born in London in 1822. He received a good education and then studied law, which earned him a job at the department of the commissioner of bankruptcy.[1] At age 26, Cutten emigrated to New Zealand in 1848, arriving in Dunedin with the first settlers, including William Cargill on the John Wickliffe. Two years later, in 1850, he married Cargill's eldest daughter, Christina Dorothea Cargill, and the couple had 11 children.[2]

Initially in the new settlement he was an auctioneer and storekeeper, but then became an immigration agent before being appointed a lands claim commissioner and, later, chief commissioner of Crown lands.[2]

Cutten served in the 1st New Zealand Parliament as representative for the Dunedin Country electorate 1853–1855, but resigned before the end of his term, as he found it unsustainable to spend that much time at parliament in Auckland away from his business.[1] He later served in the 6th Parliament as a representative for Taieri from a 1878 by-election until the end of the parliamentary term in 1879, when he retired.[3] In the 1881 election, he contested the Peninsula and, of the four candidates, he came a close second against James Seaton.[4]

He served on the Otago Provincial Council at various times between 1853 and 1873, representing the Town of Dunedin electorate.[5] He was on the Council's Executive for four periods between 1854 and 1872.[6]

He was the first editor of the Otago Witness newspaper in 1851, and in 1861 he founded the Otago Daily Times with Julius Vogel.[2][7]

He died at his home in the Dunedin suburb of Anderson Bay in 1883,[8] and was buried in the Dunedin Northern Cemetery.[9]


  1. ^ a b Scholefield 1940, p. 188.
  2. ^ a b c "William Henry Cutten". Otago Witness. 7 July 1883. p. 13. Retrieved 29 November 2014. 
  3. ^ Wilson 1985, p. 191.
  4. ^ "The General Election". Otago Daily Times (6192). 13 December 1881. p. 2. Retrieved 28 June 2012. 
  5. ^ Scholefield 1950, p. 220.
  6. ^ Scholefield 1950, p. 217.
  7. ^ "Mrs W. H. Cutten". Otago Daily Times. 26 September 1918. p. 6. Retrieved 29 November 2014. 
  8. ^ "Deaths". Otago Daily Times. 2 July 1883. p. 2. Retrieved 29 November 2014. 
  9. ^ "Cemeteries search". Dunedin City Council. Retrieved 29 November 2014. 


  • Greif, Stuart W.; Knight, Hardwicke, eds. (1979). Cutten, Letters revealing the life and times of William Henry Cutten, the forgotten pioneer. Dunedin: Greif. 
  • Scholefield, Guy, ed. (1940). A Dictionary of New Zealand Biography : A–L (PDF). I. Wellington: Department of Internal Affairs. Retrieved 15 November 2015. 
  • Scholefield, Guy (1950) [First published in 1913]. New Zealand Parliamentary Record, 1840–1949 (3rd ed.). Wellington: Govt. Printer. 
  • Wilson, James Oakley (1985) [First published in 1913]. New Zealand Parliamentary Record, 1840–1984 (4th ed.). Wellington: V.R. Ward, Govt. Printer. OCLC 154283103. 
New Zealand Parliament
New constituency Member of Parliament for Dunedin Country
Served alongside: John Cargill
Succeeded by
William Cargill
Preceded by
Donald Reid
Member of Parliament for Taieri
Succeeded by
James Fulton