The Dictionary of Australasian Biography/Wakefield, Edward
Wakefield, Edward, is the fifth son of the late Felix Wakefield (q.v.) and was born at Launceston, Tas., on May 22nd, 1845, being taken to England in his infancy. His father brought him to New Zealand in 1851, and he was afterwards for some time under the care of his uncle, Edward Gibbon Wakefield, at Wellington. In 1855 he returned to England, and was educated at King's College, London. In 1863 he was back again in New Zealand and attached to the staff of the Nelson Examiner. Two years later he was appointed to a Civil Service clerkship, and in 1866 became private secretary to the Premier, Sir Edward Stafford. He was subsequently confidential secretary to the New Zealand Cabinet, and held the post for four years. He was then in the Customs for a short period, but again connected himself with journalism, editing the Evening Press at Wellington with conspicuous ability. Mr. Wakefield was elected M.H.R. for Geraldine in Dec. 1875, and was re-elected in 1879. In 1880 he was chairman of the Royal Commission on Local Industries, and in the next year was defeated for Geraldine, and for Inanghua in 1883. In May 1884 he was returned for Selwyn, and again in the following July, unopposed. In the short-lived Atkinson Government of August to Sept. 1884 he was Colonial Secretary. Shortly afterwards he left the colony, and has recently resided principally in America. He has published a work on the progress of New Zealand during the past fifty years.