Robert Ward Tate

Colonel Robert Ward Tate CMG CBE VD (24 July 1864 – 28 December 1938) was the First Civil Administrator of Samoa (then Western Samoa) from 28 January 1919 to 16 March 1923, succeeding Robert Logan.[1][2][3][4][5]

Robert Ward Tate

He was a lawyer and magistrate in New Zealand, and a prominent freemason.[6]

He was a Colonel in the New Zealand Army, in the Volunteer and Territorial services and in charge of the Wellington Military District and Adjutant-General in World War I, No 82004. He has two files available online from Archives New Zealand.[7][8] He found it difficult to explain the meaning of his "traditional" army rank.[9][10] He was appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire in the 1918 New Year Honours,[11] and a Companion of the Order of St Michael and St George in the 1923 New Year Honours.[12]

Tate was educated at Timaru Boys' High School and after studying law was admitted to the bar in 1886, and started a practice in Greytown. He was appointed Stipendary Magistrate in Whangarei after his return from Samoa, then to New Plymouth.

He died aged 74 in Greytown Hospital where he retired to in 1933, resuming his former legal partnership with Mr J. F. Thomson. He was survived by his second wife, two sons and two daughters.[13][14][15]


  • "Photo of Vice-regal party after landing". Otago Witness in Papers Past. 19 September 1919.
  • "Photo of the new Civil Administrator of Samoa". Free Lance in Papers Past. 19 November 1919.
  • "Colonel Tate (photo)". New Zealand Herald in Papers Past. 30 December 1938.
  • "Colonel Tate (photo in uniform)". Press in Papers Past. 30 December 1938.
  1. ^ "Farewell to Colonel Tate". Manawatu Times in Papers Past. 6 November 1919.
  2. ^ "Appointment of Administrator". Evening Post in Papers Past. 6 November 1919.
  3. ^ "Appointment of Administrator". Otago Daily Times in Papers Past. 7 November 1919.
  4. ^ "Appointment of Administrator". Auckland Star in Papers Past. 6 November 1919.
  5. ^ "Welcome to Administrator". Manawatu Standard in Papers Past. 11 March 1919.
  6. ^ "Colonel Tate (photo)". Poverty Bay Herald in Papers Past. 31 December 1938.
  7. ^ "Robert Ward Tate". Archives New Zealand Archway. 2019.
  8. ^ "Robert Ward Tate". Archives New Zealand Archway. 2019.
  9. ^ "Army Nomenclature". The New Zealand Times. 8 May 1918.
  10. ^ "Meaning of military ranks". Mataura Ensign in Papers Past. 15 May 1918.
  11. ^ "No. 30576". The London Gazette (5th supplement). 15 March 1918. p. 3284.
  12. ^ "No. 32782". The London Gazette (Supplement). 1 January 1923. p. 4.
  13. ^ "Obituary". Northern Advocate in Papers Past. 30 December 1938.
  14. ^ "Colonel Tate (obituary)". Evening Star in Papers Past. 30 December 1938.
  15. ^ "Colonel Tate (obituary)". Evening Post in Papers Past. 28 December 1938.