William Pember Reeves 1857 - 1932
William Pember Reeves was born in Lyttleton, New Zealand and educated atChrist's College grammar school. He was sent to England to be educated forthe Bar at Oxford. However ill health forced him to return to New Zealand,and after working as a law clerk he was admitted as a solicitor and barristerto the New Zealand Bar in 1880. He soon left the law to take up journalism.He joined the Lyttleton Times, which was founded and owned by his father, asa contributor in 1883 and went on to the editorship of the Canterbury Timesin 1885 and the Lyttleton Times in 1889.
In 1887 he was elected to the New Zealand Parliament as the Liberal memberfor St Albans. In 1891 he was appointed as Minister for Education, Labourand Justice. He is best remembered for the Industrial Conciliation andArbitration Act (1894) which provided for a special court to preside overcompulsory arbitration meetings between workers and employers. He wasappointed to London as Agent General in 1896. In 1905 he was named as NewZealand's first High Commissioner, a position which he held until 1908 whenhe resigned to accept the appointment of Director of London School ofEconomics.
Reeves had previously lectured at the School and served on its Court ofGovernors. He was appointed to the University Senate in 1902. He resignedin 1919.
He had been a director of the National Bank of New Zealand since 1908 and waschairman of the board from 1917 to 1931. He was also active in theAnglo-Hellenic League.
His publications include:
- The working of women's suffrage in New Zealand and South Australia (1897)
- The Long White Cloud (1898)
- State Experiments in Australia and New Zealand(1902)