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The Cyclopedia of New Zealand [Wellington Provincial District]

General Government Departments

General Government Departments.

Agent-General's Department.

Sir W. B. Perceval (vide page 118), retired from the office of Agent-General on the arrival of the Hon. W. P. Reeves, who left New Zealand in January, 1896, to succeed him.

The Hon. W. P. Reeves, who is referred to on pages 43 and 44, as Minister of Education, and who resigned his portfolios and his seat in the House on the 10th of January, 1896, left New Zealand almost immediately, and on reaching London took up the duties of the Agent-Generalship in succession to Sir W. B. Perceval.

Colonial Secretary's Department.

Sir P. A Buckley, K.C.M.G., resigned his office as Colonial Secretary on the 20th of December, 1895.

The Hon. J. Carroll, Acting-Colonial Secretary, who is referred to on page 48, has charge of this Department.

Audit Department.

Mr. J. E. Fitzgerald, C.M.G. (see page 119), died on the 2nd of August, 1896.

Mr. J. K. Warburton succeeded the late Mr. Fitzgerald as Controller and Auditor-General, to which office he was appointed on the 1st of September, 1896. Some particulars of Mr. Warburton's career are given on pages 644–5 of this volume.

Government Printing Office.

Mr. S. Costall, who is referred to as Government Printer on page 123, resigned his office on the 15th of June, 1896.

Mr. John Mackay, who was appointed Government Printer in succession to Mr. Samuel Costall, soon after his resignation (about the end of May, 1896), is a Scotchman. Born in 1851 in Fifeshire, he accompanied his parents to Port Chalmers in the ship “Storm Cloud,” at the age of seven years. His father, Mr. Robert Mackay, died in 1886. Educated at the public schools and at the Dunedin High School, Mr. Mackay served five years in the office of the Bruce Herald, Milton, and twelve months at Messrs. Mills, Dick and Co.'s office, Dunedin. Starting business on his own account in 1871, he continued in the trade for fully seventeen years; during a portion of this period he was associated with Mr. McGregor Fenwick, since editor of the Otago Witness, under the style of Mackay, Fenwick, and Co. Having sold his plant to Messrs. Risk, Munro, and Co. in 1888, he went to England and the Continent of Europe, spending six months altogether, during which period he gained valuable information generally as to the printing and paper trades, and returned to the Colony with a better grasp of the entire business. Settling down again in the “Edinburgh of New Zealand,” he accepted the management of the job printing department of the Evening Star, where he remained till the 15th of June, 1896, when he took up his duties in Wellington. Mr. Mackay has always taken a lively interest in educational matters, and was many years a member of the Arthur Street School Committee in Dunedin. In church matters he has been a member of the First Church (Presbyterian) for about a quarter-of-a-century, and was an elder for about half of that period. In 1879 Mr. Mackay was married to a daughter of Mr. D. McCorkindale, of Roslyn, and has one son.

Colonial Treasurer's Department.

The Hon. J. G. Ward resigned his office as Colonial Treasurer on the 16th of June, 1896.

The Hon. R. J. Seddon (vide pages 40–2) now presides over this Department of the public service.

Department of Industries and Commerce.

The Hon. T. Thompson is now in charge of the Department, having succeeded the Hon. J. G. Ward.

Justice Department

Mr. C. J. A. Haselden, J.P. (see page 135), retired from office as Under-Secretary for Justice on the 31st of March, 1896.

Mr. F. Waldegrave, who is mentioned as Chief Clerk in the Department of Justice on page 135, succeeded Mr. Haselden on the 1st of April, 1896, as Under-Secretary of the Department, and Registrar of Patents, Designs, and Trade Marks.

page 1498

Crown Law Office.

Sir P. A. Buckley, K.C.M.G., having retired from office as Attorney-General, the office has not been filled up to the time of writing (February, 1897).

Native Land Court.

Mr. H. D. Johnson, who is referred to on pages 142–3 as Registrar of the Native Land Court, was promoted to the position of Judge on the 22nd of April, 1896, his appointment to date from the 1st of May, 1896.

Mr. Edward Buckle, Registrar of the Native Land Court at Wellington, is a son of Mr. Samuel Charles Watson Buckle, barrister-at-law, of Peterborough, England, where the subject of this notice was born in 1855. He was educated chiefly at private schools in Lincolnshire and Northampton, and served five years to the law—three years in the country, and two years in London. Unfortunately, after qualifying for the bar, his health gave way, and he had to seek a more genial clime, and abandon his prospects. Coming to Wellington in December, 1880, with letters of introduction to Chief Judge J. E. Macdonald, who had served in his father's office at Peterborough, Mr. Buckle spent nearly five years in Auckland, during about two of which he was in the office of Messrs. Russell, Devore, and Cooper. In June, 1885, he entered the Native Land Court Office in Wellington as an extra clerk, subsequently becoming a permanent clerk, and advancing step by step till he attained the senior position. In April, 1896, when Mr. H. D. Johnson was elevated to the Bench, Mr. Buckle was promoted to the office of Registrar.

Department of Labour.

The Hon. R. J. Seddon, Minister of Labour, succeeded the Hon. W. P. Reeves as Minister in charge of this Department.

Miss M. Scott (vide page 147) has been promoted from the position of officer in charge of the Women's Branch of this Department, to the position of an Inspector of Factories.

Mrs. Helen Louise Staveley, who is in charge of the Women's Branch of the Labour Bureau, is the wife of a gentleman who was a popular citizen and prominent merchant in Dunedin, to whom she was married in April, 1876. She was born in Ballinlane, near Clifden, in the west of County Galway, Ireland, her father—Mr. M. L. Coneys—being a descendant of a very old family, who had resided in those parts for many generations. He had written a good dual, and contributed many clever articles to the papers on the leading questions of the day, and as there was no suitable school near, he personally superintended his daughter's education. Mrs. Staveley came to New Zealand to join her brother, Mr. N. Coneys, of the Peninsula, Dunedin. After some years Colonel Staveley lost his health, through pecuniary and other troubles, and the family removed to Melbourne, where they remained for three years, returning to New Zealand in February, 1891, as the change brought no improvement. Having settled in Wellington, Mrs. Staveley was appointed to the Civil Service in November, 1895, as above. It may be remarked that on her mother's side she is nearly-related to many prominent members of the legal and medical professions in Ireland.

Public Works Department.

The Hon. W. Hall-Jones succeeded the Hon. R. J. Seddon as Minister for Public Works, and is consequently in charge of this Department.

Inspection of Machinery Branch.

Mr. W. M. Mowatt, who filled the office of Chief Inspector of Machinery, his career being noted on page 150, died on the 31st of January, 1896, and was succeeded by Mr. R. Duncan.

Mr. Robert Duncan, Chief Inspector of Machinery, Principal Engineer Surveyor of Steamers, and Chief Examiner of Engineers for the Colony, is a native of Arbroath, Scotland, where he was born on the 31st of December, 1857. He is the youngest son of Captain Alexander Duncan, shipowner, of Arbroath, and was educated at Arbroath High School. He served his apprenticeship at Messrs. Alexander Shanks and Son's engineering works. in his birthplace, completing his five years' apprenticeship in 1877. Subsequently he worked at Messrs. Lairds Bros'. shipbuilding and engineering works, Birkenhead, the Thames from Works and Shipbuilding Company, Limited, London, and at the Royal Iron Works,
Mr. R. Duncan.

Mr. R. Duncan.

page 1499 London, E.C. While thus engaged Mr. Duncan pursued his studios diligently, gaining high certificates from the Government Science and Art Department, South Kensington, and at the Liverpool School of Science, in applied and theoretical mechanics, steam, inorganic chemistry (with laboratory practice), machine construction, and drawing and mathematics. In 1881 he joined the British India Royal Mail Steamship Company, serving nine months as fourth, eight months as third, and up to the early part of 1884 as second engineer, when he left their service to take up a shore appointment in the East Indies, which, however, he had to relinquish, owing to his health breaking down. Mr. Duncan arrived in Auckland at the end of 1884, securing an appointment as chief engineer in the Northern Steam Company. After two years he was appointed chief engineer of the South Sea Island Mail Service, in which he remained till June, 1890. In 1883 Mr. Duncan secured his chief engineer's Board of Trade certificate. On the 1st of June, 1890, he was appointed Junior Inspector of Machinery at Dunedin, being promoted in January, 1893, to the senior position. In February, 1896, he was appointed to the position he now holds. Mr. Duncan, who is an associate of the Australian Institute of Marine Engineers, was married in London, and has three sons and two daughters.

Railway Department.

Mr. H. H. Jackson, who is mentioned on page 346 as Locomotive Engineer for New Zealand Railways, was transferred to a similar position on the Wanganui Section in February, 1897.

Mr. Thomas Alexander Peterkin, Locomotive Engineer for the Wellington Section of New Zealand Government Railways, was born in 1839 in London, and was educated at Aylesbury Grammar School. He commenced his railway career on the London and North Western Railway, under Messrs. McConnell and Ramsbottom, and became a lending hand. In 1869 Mr. Peterkin landed in Victoria, being appointed manager of the Vulcan Foundry at Geelong, a position he occupied for three years. Subsequently he went to Rockhampton, Queensland, where he was superintending engineer at the building of the Sir Charles Nicholson Meat Preserving Company's works. Mr. Peterkin afterwards established a foundry in that town, which he worked for seven years. He became engineer of the s.s. “Edinburgh,” engaged on special work to pick up the broken English cable. Leaving the vessel at Singapore he brought the s.s. “Agnes” to New Zealand, and soon afterwards settled in the Colony, being appointed in July, 1876, as railway manager at Westport. After periods of service as manager of the Christchurch Tramways and on the Addington and Hillside Workshops successively, he returned to his former position at Westport, remaining for seven-and-a-half years, being transferred in February, 1897, to the position indicated above. Mr. Peterkin is married, and has two sons and a daughter.

Post and Telegraph Department.

The Hon. R. J. Seddon, who succeeded the Hon. J. G. Ward as Postmaster-General and Electric Telegraph Commissioner, is in charge of this Department.

Trade and Customs.

The Hon. R. J. Seddon, as Commissioner of Trade and Customs, is in charge of this Department, the Hon. J. G. Ward having retired from the Ministry.

Marine Department.

The Hon. W. Hall-Jones, Minister of Marine, is in charge, the Hon. J. G. Ward having resigned the office.

Stamp, Land Transfer, &c.

The Hon. J. Carroll, Commissioner of Stamp Duties, is in charge of this Department, the Hon. W. P. Reeves having retired from office.

Education Department.

The Hon. W. C. Walker, Minister of Education, is in charge of this Department, the Hon. W. P. Reeves having resigned office in the Cabinet.

Mines Department.

Mr. H. A. Gordon, whose career is mentioned on page 173 of this volume, resigned his position as Inspecting Engineer of the Mines Department on the 30th of June, 1896, and at the time of writing (February, 1897) his successor had not been permanently appointed.

Defence Department.

The Hon. T. Thompson, Minister of Defence, is in charge of this Department, the Hon. R. J. Seddon having ceased to hold the office at the recent redistribution of portfolios.

Colonel F. J. Fox (vide page 178) has retired from the position of Military Adviser to the Government, and has adopted station life in the South Island.

Lieut-Colonel Arthur Pole-Penton, who has recently arrived in New Zealand to take up the position of Military Adviser to the Government, has had a long experience as an officer of the Royal Artillery, and at the Royal Gun Factory at Woolwich.

Lands and Survey Department.

Mr. C. O'Hara Smith, who is referred to on page 183 as Auditor of Land Revenue for the Colony, died, whilst on a health-seeking trip to Australia, on the 10th of September, 1896.

Mr. W. G. Runcie (vide pages 340–1) now fills the office as Acting-Auditor of Land Revenue.

Department of Agriculture.

Mr. William Gilbert Rees, Inspector of Stock for the Wellington Subdivision of the Wellington and West Coast District, eldest son of W. L. Rees, Commander, R.N., is a native of Wales, where he was born in 1827. Although educated at the Royal Naval School, New Cross, with a view to service in the Royal Marines, he page 1500 turned his attention to engineering, becoming articled in Wales. Ultimately Mr. Rees acted as a tutor at Mount Radford, Exmouth, Devonshire, Mr. Kennaway, C.M.G., of the Agent-General's office, and the Messrs. Teschemaker, runholders of South Canterbury, having been among his pupils. Coming out to New South Wales in 1852, Mr. Rees was successively manager of two stations in Queensland, owned by Mr. R. Tooth. In 1858 he returned to England and married a daughter of Mr. G. M. Gilbert, of Worcester. In the same year he came to New Zealand as working partner of Mr. R. Campbell, senior, of Buscott Park, England. With Mr. Von Tinzelman, he discovered Lake Wakatipu in Central Otago in 1859, and took up 300,000 acres for him. self and partners, in the vicinity of Queenstown. The site of Eichardt's Hotel was occupied by his wool-shed. On gold being discovered on one of his runs in 1862, the Provincial Government cancelled the license of the Arrow Run (100,000 acres) and Mr. Rees removed to “The Falls,” where the house he then built is now standing. In 1867, the partnership having expired, he became manager for the Hon. R. Campbell, a position which he filled till 1883, when he became an inspector under the Stock Department in South Canterbury, being subsequently located in Westland and at Ashburton. He was transferred to Wellington in 1894. Mr. Rees has two sons and four daughters, the eldest of whom is Matron of the Blenheim Hospital. In 1893 he lost a daughter, Miss Isabel, who was a fine horsewoman and lawn-tennis champion of New Zealand. In 1872 Mr. Rees himself (when forty-five years old) was the first amateur champion of the South Canterbury Amateur Athletic Association.

Wellington Members of Legislative Council.

The Hon. R. Pharazyn, M.L.C., who is referred to on pages 251–2, died on the 19th of July, 1896.

Wellington City and Suburban M.'s H.R.

Mr. John Hutcheson, who was returned in the Labour and Liberal interest as senior member for Wellington City at the General Election of 1896, is a native of Dumbarton, Scotland, where he was born in 1855. Educated at the Dumbarton Academy, he gained a South Kensington science and art scholarship, which qualified him for a cadetship in naval architecture at Messrs. Denny Bros.' ship-building yards. After about a year, Mr. Hutcheson desired a change, and embarked as an apprentice on one of Messrs. J. and A. Allan's ships. He had the usual experience of “a life on the ocean wave,” visiting the East and West Indies and America, remaining a considerable time in the United States. While in Portland, Oregon, he took part in the Presidential Election contests of Hayes and Tilden. Mr. Hutcheson went to Cuba during one of the periodical uprisings, and had to submit to a blockade of some five months at Santiago. Arriving in New Zealand in 1880, as second mate of the barque “Isle of Erin,” he spent four years as first and second mate of coastal vessels, including the Government steamers “Stella” and “Hinemoa.” Afterwards he was employed for ten years as rigger by Messrs. E. W. Mills and Co., and in 1894 he commenced business on his own account.

The Hon. Sir R. Stout, K.C.M.G., whose career is given on pages 64 and 259–60, was returned at the General Election of 1896, as second member for Wellington City.

Mr. George Fisher, who is referred to as an ex-Minister of the Crown on page 84, was elected junior member for the City of Wellington in December, 1896. A petition was lodged against his return by Mr. A. R. Atkinson, but at the hearing it was found, as a result of a re-count, that his majority was increased from twenty-eight to forty; the petition was therefore dismissed with costs.

Mr. T. M. Wilford, who is mentioned under the heading “Legal” on pages 478–9, contested the Wellington Suburbs seat at the General Election of 1896, defeating his opponent, the Hon. T. W. Hislop; but at the hearing of a petition against his return in February, 1897, Mr. Wilford was unseated. The seat is vacant at the time of writing.

Wellington Ex-M.'s H.R.

Mr. F. H. D. Bell, B.A., who is mentioned on pages 260–1 as second member for the City of Wellington, declined to offer himself for re-election at the late General Election.

Mr. J. Duthie, the junior member for Wellington in the late Parliament (vide pages 261–2), did not seek re-election at the General Election of December, 1896.

Dr. A. K. Newman, whose political history appears on page 262, contested the Otaki seat in the General Election of 1896, and was defeated by Mr. H. A. Field, the sitting member.

Wellington Corporation.

His Worship The Mayor (Mr. F. H. D. Bell, B.A.) was again elected to the position of Chief Magistrate of Wellington City at the annual election of 1896, defeating Mr. G. Fisher, who offered himself for re-election.

Councillor William Lingard, whose career is given on page 541, was elected to a seat in the Wellington City Council, representing Thorndon Ward, in 1896.

Councillor Alfred Lindsay, a leading boot and shoe manufacturer (see page 699), was returned in the interests of the ratepayers of Lambton Ward at the annual election of 1896.

Councillor William Mcgill, who conducts business in Wellington as a monumental mason, became a member of the Council for Te Aro Ward at the 1896 election.


Mr. George Fisher, M.H.R., who is referred to on pages 84–5 and 267, completed his fifth term of service in 1896, when he was defeated by Mr. F. H. D. Bell, a former occupant of the office.


Mr. L. L. Harris (vide page 278) resigned his seat in the Council on the 24th of August, 1896.

Mr. C. T. Tatum, who is referred to on page 280 of this volume, was defeated at the election of the 10th of September, 1896.

Mr. C. W. Tanner, whose career is given on page 280, was unsuccessful in securing re-election at the election held on the 10th of September, 1896.