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The Early Canterbury Runs: Containing the First, Second and Third (new) Series


Johannes Andersen in Place Names of Banks Peninsula, and Mrs Woodhouse in George Rhodes of the Levels have so well described Banks Peninsula in general, and the Rhodes brothers' stations in particular, that it may seem unnecessary for me to write any more about them; but to complete my catalogue of the early Canterbury runs I am giving brief accounts of the runs there, largely drawn from Andersen and Mrs Woodhouse's books, both Andersen and Mrs Woodhouse having most kindly allowed me to borrow as much as I wanted. Hay's Earliest Canterbury, The Peraki Log, and Jacobson's Tales of Banks Peninsula and Canterbury, Old and New are also useful sources of Peninsula history.

The acreages I have given for some of Rhodes Brothers' runs differ from the acreages given for them by Mrs Woodhouse. The discrepancy is not due to carelessness but to variations from time to time in the official records. The first records give the areas estimated by the applicants for runs, later one are from 'flying surveys,' and finally they were continually altered by the purchase of freehold and the amalgamation of runs.

It is harder to make the history of the runs on the Peninsula clear than the history of the runs anywhere else in Canterbury. Excepting the barren part of the main range (which is unoccupied to this day), some ' large areas of bush, and the group of small freehold sections within a mile or two of Christchurch, all Canterbury, apart from the Peninsula, before it became page 329settled, was completely occupied by runs adjoining one another. But Banks Peninsula, which was five-sixths covered in bush, was partly settled before the Provincial Government was even thought of, much less had let any runs. So that, on the Peninsula, settlement and the founding of freehold estates went on simultaneously with the first pastoral occupation. Some of the oldest and best-known freehold stations in Canterbury are there, but were never Class III pastoral runs at all, while several pastoral runs were let there after the bush had gone, in the middle 'sixties, long after the rest of Canterbury was occupied. These notes are concerned only with the stations which are derived from the large (Class III) runs.