John Ormsby was a negotiator and local politician; he was the son of Robert Ormsby and Mere Pianika Rangihurihia who was from Ngāti Maniapoto. In opposition to King Tāwhiao's intention to refuse settling disputes and withhold co-operation with the government, Ngāti Maniapoto chiefs intended to work towards solutions regarding land and other problems which they had with the crown.
From this relationship, the Kāwhia Native Committee was established under the Native Committees Act 1883 and Ormsby became the first chairman of this committee. His job was to investigate and report on land issues such as succession, titles and to settle disputes involving claims. For these reasons, he appears in the Māori Land Court Minute Books. Many chiefs of Ngāti Maniapoto supported his position as he was skilled in terms of negotiation and communication.
Evelyn Stokes presented copies of papers which were comprised of materials relating mainly to Ngāti Maniapoto and the King Country that were compiled by John Ormsby on behalf of the late Renata Ormsby to the University of Waikato Library.
Date of Birth6th November 1854Date of Death11th June 1927
In this 1912 photograph of the Otorohanga Town Board, chairman John Ormsby is seated in the centre. In the same row, from left, are F. Mace, W. Vicary, H. J. Osmund and M. Cowley. In the back row, from left, are T. G. Hosking, H. W. Hemara, and C. J. Johnson. https://nzhistory.govt.nz/media/photo/john-ormsby-and-otorohanga-town-board-1912