Between 1889 and 1892 Sir William Hillier Onslow, the 4th Earl of Onslow, was Governor of New Zealand.
Accompanying the Earl during the period of his appointment was his wife, the Countess of Onslow aka Lady Onslow nee Florence Coulston Gardner as well as their son, Richard, and two daughters, Gwendoline and Dorothy. A further son, Victor Alexander Herbert Huia Onslow, was born to the couple in New Zealand in 1890 – the first baby born to a vice-regal in New Zealand.
In 1904-1905 the Countess of Onslow, together her daughter Lady Dorothy Onslow and son Huia Onslow, made a return visit to New Zealand. They arrived in Sydney aboard the RMS Ophir on 16 December 1904 before embarking the Moeraki for Wellington, arriving on 21 December.
The return visit by the family members, especially 14-year-old Huia, was significant as it fulfilled Lord Onslow’s promise that his son would return and keep a connection with the land of his birth.
A reception honouring the New Zealand-born Huia, was widely reported.