William Downie Stewart, Jr.

William Downie Stewart, Jr.

William Downie Stewart, Jr.

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Not to be confused with Bay of Islands politician William Stewart

William Downie Stewart (29 July 1878 – 29 September 1949) was a New Zealand Finance Minister, Mayor of Dunedin and writer.

Early life

Stewart was born in Dunedin in 1878. His father was William Downie Stewart, a lawyer and politician. His mother was Rachel Hepburn, daughter of George Hepburn.

Member of Parliament

William Downie Stewart represented the Dunedin West electorate from 1914 to 1935.

Minister of Finance & Resignation

Downie Stewart was Finance Minister in 1931–33. He resigned after the devaluation of the New Zealand currency, a measure he opposed (Wood, p. 118 & Burdon, 'New Dominion', p. 161).

Downie Stewart stood in the 1935 election as an Independent National candidate.

His father had previously represented the Dunedin West electorate.

The younger Downie Stewart was Mayor of Dunedin (1913–14) and the author of a number of books.


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