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The Dictionary of Australasian Biography/Ward, Hon. Joseph George

< The Dictionary of Australasian Biography

Ward, Hon. Joseph George, M.H.R., Postmaster-General, New Zealand, was born at Emerald Hill, Victoria, Australia, in 1857, and was taken to New Zealand in childhood. At the age of thirteen he entered the postal service, at sixteen he went into a merchant's office, and at twenty he tried the Railway Department. When of age he started on his own account as a grain exporter, and worked with such skill and enterprise in extending his operations and enlarging his connection that he is to-day one of the largest exporters in New Zealand, with agents all over Australia and branch establishments in most of the cities of New Zealand. He has occupied the following positions:— Councillor of the Campbelltown Borough at twenty-one, and mayor five times in subsequent years; many years member of the Bluff Harbour Board, four of them chairman; five years member Invercargill Chamber of Commerce; captain Bluff Naval Artillery Volunteers—this corps Mr. Ward took the first steps to raise during the famous Parihaka trouble. Mr. Ward entered Parliament for Awarua in 1887, and was returned unopposed for the same constituency at the election in 1890. As Postmaster-General in the Ballance Government he has introduced some notable reforms.