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Graphic: An Encyclopaedia of New Zealand 1966.


This information was published in 1966 in An Encyclopaedia of New Zealand, edited by A. H. McLintock. It has not been corrected and will not be updated.

Up-to-date information can be found elsewhere in Te Ara.


ISLINGTON, Sir John Poynder Dickson-Poynder, Bt., Baron; P.C., G.C.M.G., G.B.E., D.S.O., K.J.St.J.


Seventeenth Governor of New Zealand.

Lord Islington was born on 31 October 1866 at Ryde, Isle of Wight, the only son of Rear-Admiral J. B. Dickson by his first wife, Sarah Matilda, third daughter of Thomas Poynder of Hilmanston Manor, Wiltshire. He was educated at Harrow and Christ Church, Oxford, succeeding his greatuncle as Baronet in 1884, and in 1888 assuming the additional surname of Poynder. He represented North-west Wiltshire (1892–1910), first as a Conservative, but crossed the floor on the tariff issue in 1905 and joined the Liberal Party. On 30 September 1896 he married Anne Dundas, a grand-daughter of Lord Napier of Magdala. He served as A.D.C. to Lord Methuen in the Boer War, where he won his D.S.O. as a dispatch rider.

Islington was elevated to the peerage (27 April 1910) and appointed Governor of New Zealand on 4 May, assuming office on 22 June. He resigned his Governorship on 19 December 1912, to become chairman of the Royal Commission on Public Services in India (1912–14). In the House of Lords, he became Under-Secretary of State for Colonies (1914–15), and India (1916–18), and for a brief period in 1917–18 had sole charge of the India Office. He was chairman of the National Savings Committee (1920–26), which did much to popularise the scheme.

Lord Islington commanded great respect in the House of Lords where his powers as a debater were justly renowned. He died in London on 6 December 1936 when his titles became extinct.

by Bernard John Foster, M.A., Research Officer, Department of Internal Affairs, Wellington.

The Times (London), 8 Dec 1936 (Obit); Ibid., 11 Dec 1936.


Bernard John Foster, M.A., Research Officer, Department of Internal Affairs, Wellington.