Nelson, Marlborough and Westland


COLLYNS, Arthur Shuckburgh

Pages 26-27, 34

Mr. Arthur Shuckburgh Collyns J.P.

...In the third Parliament [1861] Mr. A. Saunders replaced Mr. Travers for the Waimea, and Mr. A. J. Richmond was member for Collingwood, being replaced in 1868 by Mr. A. Collyns. ...In the fifth Parliament, of which the first session opened in 1871... Mr A. Collyns sat for Collingwood till 1874, when he was succeeded by Mr. W. Gibbs.

Mr. ARTHUR SHUCKBURGH COLLYNS, J.P., represented the Golden Bay electorate from 1868 to 1873, and the Suburbs of Nelson in 1881. He was also for some years a member of the Provincial Council and of Mr. Curtis's Executive. Mr. Collyns was nominated by the Atkinson Government, one of the Governors of Nelson College, and a member of the Marlborough Waste Lands Board; but he resigned the College governorship in 1885, on going to reside on his sheep run at Kaikoura. He was elected chairman of the Kaikoura County Council in 1885, and retained the position until 1887, when he ceased to reside at Kaikoura, and returned to Nelson, and sent his two youngest boys to Nelson College. Mr. Collyns was made a Justice of the Peace by Mr. Stafford's Government in 1868. In the winter of 1869, accompanied by Mr. T. Mackay, he went, at the request of the Nelson townsfolk, over the Mount Arthur range, to decide on a feasible pack track to Karamea. In 1872, Mr. T. Mackay, having discovered the Rai Saddle, Mr. Collyns went there and `blazed' the track, which has since become the coach road to Blenheim. In order to dissipate the doubts which existed in Nelson as to the feasibility of this line, he rode through it to the Pelorus before any track was cut. Afterwards he took Bishop Suter and Sir James Hector through; and the favourable opinions of these well known gentlemen helped to raise the line in public esteem. The Bishop was so pleased with his ride through the wild bush that he gave Mr. Collyns five pounds to construct a bridge over a somewhat dangerous gully; and this was for years called the Bishop's bridge. Afterwards Mr. A. P. Seymour, then Superintendent of Marlborough, granted Mr. Collyns 100 from the Provincial chest to make a horse track, as far as the money would go. With this money he caused a fairly good horse track to be made from the Saddle to an old surveyors' camp in the Rai Valley. With the help of Mr. W. Wastney, and of other members of the Wakapuaka Road Board, of which he was then chairman, Mr. Collyns also laid out a track from Wakapuaka to the Saddle; and this track was afterwards altered and improved by Government surveyors. In 1881 being then in the House of Representatives, he, with the assistance of other Nelson members, induced Sir John Hall's Government to construct the present Rai road. Mr. Collyns, who is a member of the Anglican Church, was born in Devonshire, England, in the year 1832. He has on several occasions been a member of the General Synod, and now represents Kaikoura in the Nelson Diocesan Synod. He came out in the ship `Pekin' and landed in Nelson on the 31st of December, 1849. Mr. Collyns is a widower, and has eleven children; and his eldest son, Mr. John Ulric Collyns, is one of the masters at Christ's College, Christchurch.

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