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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 73

Hon. W. J. Steward, — Waitaki

page 111

Hon. W. J. Steward,


Hon. W. J. Steward,

Hon. W. J. Steward,

William Jukes Steward was born January 20, 1841, at Reading, Berks, Is a [unclear: alist]. and takes rank amongst the first poets of the Colony. Resides at Ashburton, and is proprietor of the two papers, Ashburton Mail and Guardian Entered Parliament as member for Waitaki (then including the town of Oamaru) at the General Election in 1870, and sat through the Parliament of 1871. Was defeated at the ensuing election. Elected again in 1881 for Waimate, and has been returned by practically the same constituency in 1884,1887,1890 and 1893, having thus sat in six Parliaments, and since 1881 continuously. During his first Parliament, [unclear: e] introduced for the first time in New Zealand, the Deceased Wife's Sister Marriage Bill, and carried it through the House for five succeeding sessions 1872-3-4-5, and received the thanks of the British Marriage Law Reform Association It was thrown out by the Upper House on each occasion, but became law in 1876. In 1874, he carried to the Statute Book an Act which confered the electoral franchise on all ratepayers. From 1882 for five or six years in succession, carried a Bill to do away with the cumulative vote in School Committee elections, and eventually succeeded in placing it on the Statute Book. In 1889, carried to the Statute Book "The Triennial Licensing Committees Act"; also, "The North Otago Public Works Loan Act of 1872" under which £70,000 was set aside for railway, road and harbour works. In 1884 moved and carried the vote of want-of-confidence which unseated the Atkinson Ministry. Was Speaker of the House in 1891-3. Major New Zealand Volunteers. Was Chairman of the late Tariff Commission.

Result of General Election, 1893:—
Steward, W.J. 1816 Returned
Paterson, T. 754 Defeated.

Votes recorded, 2570; number on roll, 3642. Women on roll, 1227, of whom 994 voted.