William Henry Peter Barber

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William Barber
William Henry Peter Barber.jpg
Member of the New Zealand Parliament
for Newtown
In office
Preceded by new electorate
Succeeded by electorate abolished
Wellington City Councillor
In office
In office
Personal details
Born 10 September 1857
Wellington, New Zealand
Died 15 January 1943
Wellington, New Zealand
Political party Liberal
Other political
New Liberal Party
Spouse(s) Emily Clarke
Children 5

William Henry Peter Barber (10 September 1857 – 15 January 1943) was a New Zealand Member of Parliament for Newtown in Wellington.

Early life and family

Born in Wellington in 1857, Barber was educated at St Peter's School. He began work in his father's dyeing firm of Barber and Company, and eventually became its head. He married Emily Clarke, of Somerset, England in 1879, and had three sons and two daughters.[1]

Member of Parliament

New Zealand Parliament
Years Term Electorate Party
1902–1905 15th Newtown Liberal
1905 Changed allegiance to: New Liberal
1905–1908 16th Newtown Liberal

William Barber represented the Wellington electorate of Newtown for the whole of its existence, from 1902 to 1908. In 1908 he was defeated for the reconstituted electorate of Wellington South.

New Liberal Party

Barber was associated with the New Liberal Party. His favourite idea was one shared by the other New Liberals-that the institutions of local government should be strengthened and given more scope and power. He heartily supported Harry Ell's 1904 Municipal Corporations Bill, which provided for borough councils to hold referenda.[2]

Barber also advocated state fire insurance, state coal mines, and the old radical favourite, reduction of taxes on the necessities of life. However, he did not favour the elective executive.[3]

Other activities

He served as a director of the Wellington Woollen Company (chairman at the time of his death), and chairman of directors of the Wellington Opera House Company. He was elected to the Wellington City Council in 1891 and served as a councilor for 26 years.[1] He contested the 1905 Wellington City mayoral election and came second, beaten by Thomas William Hislop.[4] He was a member of the Hutt Valley Electric Power Board (retired 1933); director of Wellington Deposit and Mortgage Company; chairman of the Wellington College Board of Governors (1924–31) and a member of the Kauri Timber Royal Commission.[1]

In 1935, he was awarded the King George V Silver Jubilee Medal.[5]


Barber died in Wellington on 15 January 1943,[6] and was buried at Karori Cemetery.[7]


  1. ^ a b c "Obituary Mr. W.H.P. Barber". Evening Post. CXXXV (12). 15 January 1943. p. 3. Retrieved 5 April 2014.
  2. ^ New Zealand Parliamentary Debates, 123: 372 Missing or empty |title= (help)
  3. ^ New Zealand Times: 7, 24 November 1902 Missing or empty |title= (help)
  4. ^ "Wellington City Council". The Free Lance. V (43). 29 April 1905. p. 16. Retrieved 15 March 2016.
  5. ^ "Official jubilee medals". The Evening Post. 6 May 1935. p. 4. Retrieved 2 July 2013.
  6. ^ "Deaths". Evening Post. 15 January 1943. p. 1. Retrieved 27 March 2016.
  7. ^ "Cemeteries search". Wellington City Council. Retrieved 27 March 2016.

Further reading

  • Whitcher, G. F. (1966), The New Liberal Party 1905 [M.A.(Hons.) - University of Canterbury]
  • Wilson, James Oakley (1985) [First published in 1913]. New Zealand Parliamentary Record, 1840–1984 (4th ed.). Wellington: V.R. Ward, Govt. Printer. OCLC 154283103.

External links

New Zealand Parliament
New constituency Member of Parliament for Newtown
Constituency abolished
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