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The Cyclopedia of New Zealand [Auckland Provincial District]

Mr. W. J. Napier

Mr. W. J. Napier, the Senior Member for Auckland City, is a barrister and solicitor by profession, and has appeared in many celebrated cases in the north. He is of Irish birth and arrived in Auckland thirty-five years ago, when he was only five years of age. At first he attended St. Peter's Catholic school in Hobson Street, and subsequently the Auckland Grammar school, and he became a matriculated student of St. John's college during the mastership of the late Rev. R. Kidd, LL.D. Mr. Napier early began to take an interest in public affairs, and he became a disciple of Sir George Grey, who appointed him his solicitor. Mr. Napier is a fluent and forcible platform speaker. He has for many years been prominently connected with almost every society in Auckland, and (1900) about two years ago he organised a corps of garrison artillery volunteers, of which he is captain. Mr. Napier is president of the Auckland branch of the Navy League and a Fellow of the Royal Colonial Institute. He is one of the Government members of the Auckland Harbour Board, and was elected chairman of the Board twice in succession. During his chairmanship, Mr. Napier did much to extend the wharf accommodation and otherwise improve the harbour, and caused an imposing Admiralty House to be erected. At the general election on the 6th of December, 1899, Mr. Napier was returned at the head of the poll for Auckland City, which elects three members. There were eleven candidates, and Mr. Napier polled 6070 votes; the other successful candidates polled respectively 5604 and 4734 votes. Mr. Napier has acted as law adviser to two successive kings of Samoa—namely Malietoa, the elder, and Mataafa, and has also for many years been solicitor to the Government of Tonga.