John Rutherford Blair (1843 – 25 November 1914) was the Mayor of Wellington, New Zealand from 1898 to 1899.
He was born in Balphuock, Lanarkshire, Scotland, and was a paper merchant. His career started with a large Glasgow paper merchant firm. In 1860 he migrated first to Otago and then to Melbourne, Australia. In Melbourne he was appointed in charge of the printers Sands and McDougall. He came to Wellington as the company's representative in 1869. In Wellington he entered into partnership with William Lyon opening a premises called Lyon and Blair on Lambton Quay. When William Lyon died, Lyon's son Horatio joined the business. Blair brought Lyon out and continued the business under the name of Lyon and Blair. Lyon and Blair were then purchased by Whitcombes and Tombs. Blair went on to pursue his education interests and directorships of various businesses and institutions.
In 1880 he was appointed to the Education Board, becoming its chairman in 1882. This led to involvement with the Technical Education Board, and his eventually becoming chairman of the Wellington College board of governors until 1899. He was also a member of the school commissioners.
From 1899 to 1902 he was the first chairman of the reorganised Bank of New Zealand. At the time of his death he was chairman of the Wellington Investment Trustee and Agency Company, the Paparoa Coal Mining Company, and the Wellington Woollen Manufacturing Company. He was also a director the Gear Meat Company, E W Mills and Company, and the local director of the New Zealand Shipping Company.
Blair died at his residence of The Terrace, Wellington aged 71 years old after a fairly long illness. He was survived by his wife and son.
Blair Street in Wellington is named after him.
- Irvine-Smith, F. L. (1948). The Streets of My City. Wellington: A. H. & A. W. Reed.
- No Mean City by Stuart Perry (1969, Wellington City Council) includes a paragraph and a portrait or photo for each mayor.
| Mayor of Wellington