Other formats

    TEI XML file   ePub eBook file  


    mail icontwitter iconBlogspot iconrss icon

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



The majority of the insurance companies doing business in New Zealand are represented by agencies in Napier, but some of the larger companies have established in the town branch offices with resident managers. Of the offices so established, from an architectural and ornate point of view, those of the Australian Mutual Provident Society, the New Zealand Insurance Company, and the South British Insurance Company stand out as the most conspicuous. The insurance business transacted in Napier, and throughout the province by means of the sub-agencies, is very large, and compares favourably with other centres.

In the fire insurance world the year of 1906 will ever be remembered as a time of great disaster and anxiety. The awful catastrophe at San Francisco crippled a number of American and Continental insurance companies, but, though its effect was felt in this colony, it injured neither the stability nor the prestige of the New Zealand institutions that held heavy risks in that unfortunate city. In our own country the losses by fire reported in the “Australasian Insurance and Banking Record” for the year 1906 amounted to £270,190, and the journal remarked that “New Zealand has been a field fruitful of losses, and has enjoyed pre-eminence as regards magnitude of individual losses.” But, if the fire insurance business for the year has been bad, that of life insurance has been remarkably good. Although he exact figures of the Australian Mutual Provident Society are not yet available, the new business for 1906 constitutes a record. For the year 1905 it amounted to £4,042,505. The new business written in the same year by the Mutual Life Association of Australasia, Limited, was £742,000, being about £100,000 greater than the new business of 1905. Other companies have reported phenomenal successes, and, if the wave of prosperity that has been prevalent for the past few years continues, there is every reason to hope that further records will be established in the future.

The Alliance Assurance Company, Napier, is an agency in the charge of Messrs Wenley and Lanauze.

The New Zealand Insurance Company, Limited, underwrites Fire, Marine, Accident, Guarantee, and Indemnity risks of every description. A branch of the company was established in Napier over twenty-five years ago, and such was the extension of their business that it necessitated the erection of special premises, and the present hand some two storeyed building, situated on the corner of Hastings and Tennyson Streets, was completed in 1886. The Napier branch, which is the centre for all business between Wood-ville and Wairoa, is under the management of Mr. M. Herrold.

Mr. Maurice Herrold was appointed Manager of the Napier branch of the New Zealand Insurance Company, Limited, in the year 1900, when he was transferred from the Auckland office.

The South British Insurance Company, Napier Branch, is situated in a handsome brick building at the corner of Byron and Browning Streets. It is claimed that it controls the largest fire and marine insurance connection in Hawke's Bay. The district management is in the hands of Mr. A. E. Knight, who is assisted by an efficient staff.

The State Fire Insurance Department came into being in January, 1904, as the outcome of an Act passed by the Government in the previous year. Under the terms of this Act the Colonial Treasurer is empowered to raise such sums of money as may be required. A special feature of the State Fire Office is that at the end of every three years the net profits are to be divided—one half going towards a reserve fund, and the other half to be distributed, pro rata, among the insurers. The office of the State Fire Insurance Department in Napier is under the charge of Mr. Claud Cato.

The Australian Mutual Provident Society . The Napier branch of the Australian Mutual Provident Society is domiciled in a large two-storeyed brick building, situated at the corner of Hastings Street and Browning Street. There are a number of sub-offices of the society in the Hawke's Bay district.

Mr. Albert Osprey Russell was appointed manager of the Australian Mutual Provident Society at Napier in February, 1905. He was born in 1873, in Hobart, Tasmania, where he was educated. Mr. Russell subsequently joined the Hobart branch of the Australian Mutual Provident Society, was appointed district secretary at Nelson in 1903, and two years afterwards was transferred to Napier.

The Government Life Insurance Branch Office, Napier, was opened in the year 1886, in Hastings Street, in a building situated between the Union Steamship Company's office, and the Clarendon Hotel. Mr. J. H. Dean is Resident Agent for the district, page 371 which extends from East Cape to Woodville, with fourteen subbranches.

Mr. John Holmes Dean, Resident Agent of the New Zealand Government Life Insurance Department at Napier, was born in Brampton, Canada, in the year 1856, and is the eldest son of the Rev. W. J. Dean, then a missionary amongst the pioneer settlers and North American Indians, but afterwards of Wellington. He was educated in Auckland at the Wesley College, and Mr. Farquhar Macrae's High School, and later at the Wellington College, passed the junior and senior civil service examinations, and entered the Government Stores Department in Wellington. A few months later he entered the Life Insurance Department, under Mr. Godfrey Knight, then actuary. Mr. Dean remained in Wellington until 1892, having risen to the position of assistant accountant, was then promoted to his present position, and has had the satisfaction of seeing the business of his district increase very largely. In social, and especially in musical matters, Mr. Dean has taken an active interest for many years. Prior to leaving Wellington, he acted as organist at one of the churches for over twelve years, and has occasionally played at St. Paul's, Napier. He is one of the managers of the Presbyterian Church, and he established the Napier branch of the St. John's Ambulance Association. As a member of the Napier bowling clubs he ranks among the champion fours, and has represented the clubs at various tournaments in New Zealand. He married the daughter of the late Rev. J. D. Whittaker, of Wellington, in 1881, and has two daughters.

Mutual Life Association's Office.

Mutual Life Association's Office.

The Mutual Life Association Of Australasia, Limited, Tennyson Street, Napier. This branch was opened in the year 1892, and is under the management of Mr. A. B. Gibson. Prior to that date the company was represented by agents, and since the opening of the branch there has been a steady increase in the district business. The reserve funds amount to £30, for every £100 assured, and the policy of the Association has always been to strengthen these funds rather than to pay large bonuses.

Mr. Arthur Brockett Gibson was appointed manager of the Mutual Life Association at Napier for the Hawke's Bay and Gisborne districts, in October, 1895. He was born at Darlington, Durham, England, in the year 1867, and is a son of the late Mr. J. J. Gibson, of Messrs Gibson Brothers, merchants, of Leadenhall Street, Darlington. Mr. Gibson was educated partly at the Darlington Grammar school, came to New Zealand in 1880, in the ship “Wairoa, and finished his education at the Port Ahuriri district school. He then joined the Government Life Insurance office at Napier, and nine years later, having in the meantime gained a good insight into the business of life insurance, accepted an appointment as agent for the Colonial Mutual Life Office. Two years later he was appointed resident agent at Palmerston North for the Mutual Life Association of Australasia, before receiving his present appointment. As a Freemason Mr. Gibson is treasurer of Lodge Victoria, No. 21, N.Z.C., is senior circuit steward of the Wesleyan Church, and treasurer to the trustees. He has also been a member of the Licensing Committee. Mr. Gibson married the eldest daughter of the late Mr. James Robinson, contractor, of Dunedin and Port Chalmers, in 1896, and has two daughters and one son.