Nelson, Marlborough and Westland


STAFFORD, Sir Edward William

Pages 10, 24, 25

Sir Edward William Stafford

NELSON PROVINCIAL DISTRICT: ...A little later [after 1842] Mr. Edward Stafford found another route into the Wairau, and the glowing accounts of the district that reached Nelson determined Captain Wakefield to take up land there on behalf of the settlers...

SUPERINTENDENTS OF NELSON: ...There were three candidates for the position of first Superintendent of the Province; namely, Mr. E. W. Stafford, Mr. Francis Jollie, and Mr. J. W. Saxton. The elections were held on the 1st of August, 1853, when the returns were: Stafford, 251; Saxton, 206; Jollie, 130. For the five town seats, Dr. Sinclair, Dr. Renwick, Mr. W. Hough, Dr. Bush, and Mr. H. Adams were elected...

SIR EDWARD WILLIAM STAFFORD, who was three times Premier of New Zealand, and twice Superintendent of the province of Nelson, was born in Edinburgh, Scotland, in 1820, and reached New Zealand soon after the Wairau massacre in 1843. In 1846 he married a daughter of Colonel Wakefield, and was thus brought into close connection with the New Zealand Company. The Nelson settlers, led by Dr. Monro, were at that time endeavouring to enforce their claims against the company, and Mr. Stafford was at first somewhat unpopular. However, this high character and sterling abilities rendered him the most suitable candidate in the province for the office of Superintendent, and he was twice chosen for that high position. The institution of a system of education, afterwards extensively imitated in the other provinces, and the establishment of Road Boards, were among his more important local achievements. In 1856 he gave up provincial for colonial politics, and accepted the office of Premier in New Zealand's first Government. He displayed marked political ability, and great energy in his conduct of public affairs; and in 1859 he visited England to arrange for the Panama steam service. On his return, in 1861, his Government was defeated, chiefly on account of his native policy. Mr. Stafford was Premier again from 1865 to 1869, and again in 1872. Some years afterwards he went to England to spend the evening of his life in retirement in that country, where he died on the 14th of February, 1901, and was buried at Kensal Green, London. A wreath was sent by the Government of New Zealand, on behalf of the colony, with the inscription: "New Zealand to her Statesman."

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