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The Cyclopedia of New Zealand [Canterbury Provincial District]

Mr. William Sefton Moorhouse

Mr. William Sefton Moorhouse, the second Superintendent of Canterbury, succeeded Mr. Fitzgerald in 1857, was reelected in 1861, and resigned in the following year. He was again elected to the Superintendency, in 1866, when he defeated two other candidates. Mr. Moorhouse was born in Yorkshire, England, in 1825, and educated for the law. After the completion of his legal training he left England, in 1851, for Canterbury, New Zealand, where he intended practising his profession. He was, however, smitten with the gold fever, then raging in Australia, and left New Zealand for Victoria, but returned to Canterbury at the end of 1853, Mr. Moorhouse became a member of the Provincial Council, and he also represented the City of Christchurch in the General Assembly. He was again returned as a member for Christchurch in 1876, and three years later for the district of Ashley, which he represented up to the time of his death. As a politician he was recognised as one of the foremost page 38 men of the day, and as a man of enterprise and persistency he did valuable work for Canterbury. [gap — reason: illegible]His clear foresight and strength of character were exhibited in his conception and completion of the tunnel connecting Christchurch with the Port of Lyttelton. Though branded as a madman at the outset, Mr. Moorhouse had the courage of his opinions, fought the opponents of his great scheme, and emerged from the conflict triumphant. He turned the first sod of the Christchurch and Lyttelton railway in July, 1861. Never failing to recognise the wisdom of dealing in a large way with large questions. Mr. Moorhouse regarded himself not as exclusively representing a section of the people, but faithfully and persistently strove to do justice to all. The foundation of Canterbury Museum, while he was Superintendent, was, in a large measure, due to him. In recognition of his faith in the future of Canterbury, and of the great works he undertook and completed, his admirers erected a statue to his memory at the entrance to the Park Gardens, Christchurch. Mr. Moorhouse died in 1881, at Wellington, New Zealand.