He was born in Otaki, Wellington.
A middle order batsman, Barber played for Wellington from 1945-1946 to 1958-59, and for Central Districts in 1959-60.
He scored his only century, 117, against Otago in Wellington in 1953-54, which was also one of the two Plunket Shield matches in which he kept wicket.
He captained Wellington in 1950-51 and 1951-52, and from 1955-56 to 1957-58, and Central Districts in 1959-60.
Wellington won the Shield under his captaincy in 1956-57.
Dick Brittenden wrote that Barber “could field anywhere with distinction”, especially slips and gully, and that “his cover drive, produced from the best blend of balance and timing, was for the connoisseur”.
On the death of Sammy Guillen on 1 March 2013 he became the oldest surviving New Zealand Test cricketer.