Ernest Hoben founded one of the most important institutions of New Zealand life in this year: The New Zealand Rugby Union.

Given the enormous success of the All Blacks it might seem like an obvious thing to have done.

But Hoben encountered plenty of resistance, notably from the Canterbury, Southland and Otago unions who declined to join when the national body was formed.

The union began without them at a meeting in Wellington in April, the founding members being Auckland, Hawke's Bay, Manawatu, Marlborough, Nelson, South Canterbury, Taranaki, Wairarapa, Wanganui and Wellington.


Since then, rugby has become our national game and the All Blacks the source of immense pride as they set a world benchmark that is seldom reached by others let alone beaten.

For his vision and his determination to see it become a reality, Ernest Hoben is our New Zealander of the Year for 1892.

From the Herald archives:
Auckland Rugby Union annual meeting, New Zealand Herald, 14 April 1892
On the difficulty of international touring, New Zealand Herald, 21 January 1893
Announcement of the first New Zealand Rugby Football Union annual meeting, New Zealand Herald, 11 March 1893
Further reading:
History of the New Zealand Rugby Union,