"John Louis Franklin" is mentioned in old newspapers - see http://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz
Have you checked out "John Louis Franklin"s probate records? See http://archway.archives.govt.nz/
You might also find info about his schooling through the NZ Society of Genealogists.
Re his father, I found two "John Franklin" marriages between 1870-1880 - see https://www.bdmhistoricalrecords.dia.govt.nz
There is also a "John Franklin" buried in the Ashburton cemetery, died 7.11.1927 aged 91 Roman Catholic, labourer. His plot was "free" which might suggest inability to pay or no family. See http://www.adc.govt.nz/cemeteryRecords/141/37.html
The Ashburton Catholic church might help with more info.
Electoral rolls list "John Franklin" in Auckland, Waikato, Hawkes Bay and Otago during the 1800's, so there appear to have been several men with that name. See ancestry.com for these.
Hope this helps!