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The Cyclopedia of New Zealand [Taranaki, Hawke's Bay & Wellington Provincial Districts]

The Honourable John Davies Ormond

The Honourable John Davies Ormond, who was the last Superintendent of Hawke's Bay, was born in the year 1832, at Wallingford, Berks, England, and is the youngest son of the late Captain Frank Frederick Ormond, a captain in the Royal Navy of England. He was educated in Plymouth, England, and came to New Zealand when he was sixteen years of age, by the ship “Ralph Burnell.” For two years Mr. Ormond was private secretary to his brother-in-law, Lientenant-Governor Eyre, but in the early “fifties” he settled in Hawke's Bay as a sheep-farmer, when the district was included in the province of Wellington, and when the settlers were less than twenty in number. A few weeks later he entered political life, and since then he has continuously taken an active and prominent part in the administration of the public affairs of the colony. He was a member of four Ministries: as Minister of Public Works in the Fox Ministry in 1872, and again in the Waterhouse Administration in the same year for a few days; as Secretary for Crown Lands and Minister for Immigration page 299 in the short-lived Atkinson Government of 1876. In the reconstituted Ministry that followed he was Postmaster-General and Commissioner of Telegraphs for a short time, but took his old portfolio of Public Works, which he held till the resignation of that Government on the 13th of October, 1877. On the passing of the New Provinces Act, in 1858, Hawke's Bay was constituted a separate province, and Mr. Ormond warmly espoused its cause. He held the office of Superintendent for some years, and, with the late Sir Donald McLean, made Hawke's Bay's interests a special care up to the abolition of the Provinces in 1876. Mr. Ormond also acted as Government Agent, having charge of the East Coast district up to East Cape on the one side, and as far as Taupo on the other. Throughout the trying time when Te Kooti threatened the inhabitants of Hawke's Bay, East Coast, and Taupo, Mr. Ormond directed operations, and was specially thanked for his services in the Governor's speech to Parliament. He describes this period as the “most responsible and trying time of his life.” Sir Donald McLean, the Native Minister, was his friend and associate. Except for one Parliament, Mr. Ormond has continuously held a seat in the Legislature since the year 1861, when he was first returned to Parliament as member for Clive. After representing this constituency and Napier for many years, he was called to the Upper House in 1891. He has been a member of the Napier Harbour Board, the Charitable Aid and Hospital Board, and almost every other local body in Hawke's Bay. In 1859 Mr. Ormond married Miss Richardson, and has three sons and two daughters.

The Hon. J. D. Ormond.

The Hon. J. D. Ormond.