William Thomas Wood

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William Thomas Wood
William Thomas Wood.jpg
Member of the New Zealand Parliament
for Palmerston
In office
Preceded by Frederick Pirani
Succeeded by David Buick
9th Mayor of Palmerston North
In office
Preceded by William Park
Succeeded by Henry Haydon
In office
Preceded by George Matthew Snelson
Succeeded by Charles Dunk
Personal details
Born (1854-06-10)10 June 1854
Hobart, Tasmania, Australia
Died 10 June 1943(1943-06-10) (aged 89)
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Political party Liberal Party
Spouse(s) Ellen Jolly (m. 1879)
Profession Blacksmith

William Thomas Wood (10 June 1854 – 10 June 1943) was a Liberal Party Member of Parliament in New Zealand.

Early life and family[edit]

Born in Hobart, Tasmania, in June 1854, Wood was the son of Robert Wood and Charlotte Wood (née Watford).[1][2] After leaving school he worked as a blacksmith for seven years, before moving to New Zealand.[1] He lived first in Dunedin, working as a manager on the construction of the Port ChalmersSouth railway.[1] In 1875 he settled at Kumara on the West Coast, where he established a blacksmith's business.[1] He married Ellen Jolly of Kumara in 1879, and the couple went on to have seven children.[1] In March 1879, Wood moved to Palmerston North, setting up as a blacksmith there, and continuing in that business until it was taken over by his eldest son in 1900.[1]

Political career[edit]

Local politics[edit]

Wood was active in local body politics. He was elected councillor on the Palmerston North Borough in 1884, 1885–1887, 1892–1895 and again in 1901. He was Mayor of Palmerston North from 1895 to 1899, and again from 1901 to 1903.[3][4][5]

Member of Parliament[edit]

New Zealand Parliament
Years Term Electorate Party
1902–1905 15th Palmerston Liberal
1905–1908 16th Palmerston Liberal

Wood was endorsed by Prime Minister Richard Seddon as the government candidate for the Palmerston (now Palmerston North) electorate in the 1899 general election, a measure by which Seddon demonstrated his opposition to Frederick Pirani. Pirani won the Palmerston electorate that year,[6] but unsuccessfully contested the 1902 election in the Hutt electorate.[7]

Wood won the Palmerston electorate in the 1902 general election, was re-elected in 1905, but in 1908 he was defeated by the Reform candidate David Buick.[8]

He later retired to Australia and died in the Sydney suburb of Bondi on 10 June 1943, his 89th birthday.[9] The funeral service was held at St Matthew's Anglican Church, and he was cremated at Northern Suburbs Crematorium.[10]


  1. ^ a b c d e f "Parliamentary – Mr. William Thomas Wood". Cyclopedia of New Zealand [Taranaki, Hawke's Bay & Wellington Provincial Districts]. Christchurch: Cyclopedia Company. 1908. Retrieved 12 June 2017. 
  2. ^ "Wood, William Thomas". Linc. Tasmanian Government. Retrieved 12 June 2017. 
  3. ^ Matheson, Ian Roderick (2003). "Palmerston North Borough and City Councillors". Council and community: 125 years of local government in Palmerston North 1877-2002. pp. 91–97. ISBN 0-473-09340-5. 
  4. ^ "1890s". Palmerston North City Council. Retrieved 23 Feb 2010. 
  5. ^ "1900s". Palmerston North City Council. Retrieved 23 Feb 2010. 
  6. ^ Oliver, Steven. "Pirani, Frederick". Dictionary of New Zealand Biography. Ministry for Culture and Heritage. Retrieved 26 February 2010. 
  7. ^ "Untitled". The Evening Post. LXIV (131). 29 November 1902. p. 6. Retrieved 12 December 2011. 
  8. ^ Wilson, J. O. (1985). New Zealand Parliamentary Record 1840–1984 (4th ed.). Wellington: Government Printer. 
  9. ^ "Obituary: Mr. William T. Wood". Evening Post. 14 June 1943. p. 3. Retrieved 12 June 2017. 
  10. ^ "Funerals". The Sydney Morning Herald. 12 June 1943. p. 12. Retrieved 11 June 2017. 
New Zealand Parliament
Preceded by
Frederick Pirani
Member of Parliament for Palmerston
Succeeded by
David Buick