The Cyclopedia of New Zealand [Taranaki, Hawke's Bay & Wellington Provincial Districts]
Present Members Of The Legislative Council
Present Members Of The Legislative Council.
The Hon. William Cowper Smith, Member of the Legislative Council, was born in London, England, and educated at Barnet High School. He came to New Zealand in 1862 by the ship “Egmont,” landed at Lyttelton, and from there went to Auckland, where he served through the Waikato war in the volunteers, and received the New Zealand war medal. Mr. Smith started in business at Waipukurau in 1872, and two years afterwards he became a member of the local road board, and was chairman for fourteen years. In 1877 he was elected to the county council, of which he was a member for eighteen years, six years of which he was chairman. In 1881 he was returned for the first time to the House of Representatives, where he represented the Waipawa electorate for over twelve years, and for three years was senior whip to the Ballance Government. In the session of 1882 Mr. Smith moved a resolution for the increase of the wages of railway employees, and in recognition of his successful services on their behalf, was presented with a gold watch, suitably engraved, and an illuminated address. He also, for several sessions, carried a vote of £6000 for a subsidy to public libraries, and was the father of the lease-in-perpetuity clause of the Land Act. After an active political career, he was compelled by ill health to retire from public life, and from his many local appointments. He was instrumental in having the Waipukurau traffic bridge erected, at a cost of £6,000, and many other local works done in the district. Mr. Smith was chairman of the county hospital for many years, in which he took a great interest. In 1895 he was called to the Legislative Council.
The Hon. John Davies Ormond, M.L.C., who was appointed to the Legislative Council on the 20th of January, 1901, as a life member, is further referred to as the last Superintendent of Hawke's Bay.