These were spelt out by the Minister of Justice, Sir James Parr in 1925 after he had been accused by a Reverend Gentleman of playing politics in the selection of Justices of the Peace. “The principal qualifications for a good Justice of the Peace are, in my opinion, that he should be of good moral and business repute, of some education and intelligence, and that he should not hold extreme or partial views on any subject but be a man of sound judgment and calm judicial temperament. His Reverence was nominated as a pastor, but I find it has been the practice for a quarter of a century not to make clergymen Justices of the Peace”. The Rev. J. K. Archer reckoned he had overcome this – and his politics – when he was elected Mayor of Christchurch and therefore, ex officio, made a Justice of the Peace.
Researched and compiled by Ric Carlyon