The Dictionary of Australasian Biography/Kennaway, Walter

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Kennaway, Walter, C.M.G., is a native of Devonshire, being a member of the family of which Sir J. H. Kennaway, Bart., M.P. for the Honiton District, is the head. Mr. Kennaway went to Canterbury, N.Z., in 1853, and for fifteen years confined his attention to farming. In 1868 he was elected member of the Provincial Council of Canterbury, and in 1870 he became a leading member of the Provincial Government, holding the offices of Provincial Secretary and Secretary for Public Works from Oct. 1870 to Jan. 1874. While Secretary for Public Works, the construction of the first railways, under Sir Julius Vogel's Public Works scheme, came under his charge, and the contract for the important harbour works at Lyttelton was entered into. Mr. Kennaway while in office framed and carried through the Provincial Legislature an education ordinance providing for a non-sectarian system of education, which was worked with most successful results; and the Canterbury College, School of Agriculture, and other educational institutions were, on his proposals, established and endowed with over 300,000 acres of land. Amongst other offices which Mr. Kennaway held in the colony may be named Commissioner of Crown Lands, Governor of the Canterbury College, and member of the Board of Education. In 1874 he accepted the appointment of Secretary to the Department of the Agent-General in London, and this office he still holds. Mr. Kennaway was one of the commissioners for New Zealand for the Colonial and Indian Exhibition of 1886; and in 1889, for his services in connection with the International Exhibition at Paris, he received from the French Government the distinction of Officier d'Académie. On Jan. 1st, 1891, he was created C.M.G.