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

Ahuriri — (Runs 7A and 206)

(Runs 7A and 206)

Run 7a ran from Cooper's Knobs to a point on the Halswell just east of Tai Tapu (where the Memorial Bridge is), then followed the left bank of the Halswell to the sharp bend about two miles from Lincoln, and on down the river for about seven miles, whence it struck back, to the east of the Gebbie's Pass road to Cooper's Knobs. Run 206 prolonged this triangle, in a strip about a mile wide, to the head of Governor's Bay, Each of these runs originally contained five thousand acres. I cannot say when the station was first started. It was included in the original license given to the Rhodes brothers in November, 1851. The final license for 7a was issued in January, 1852, and that for 206 in August, 1857. The Rhodes brothers probably had stock running on the country before 1850, as it was included in the old Maori lease for Purau. The station was named after the Ahuriri Lagoon.

The Rhodes's first manager at Ahuriri (and probably for Kaituna and Ikoraki as well) was James King, who was a relation by marriage of W. B. Rhodes and who afterwards owned the Otipua Station near Timaru. There were less than 5000 sheep on Ahuriri in page 3351855, but this was after the Rhodes's had stripped their Peninsula runs to stock the Levels.

After King, James Guild managed Ahuriri for many years and supervised the Rhodes's other Peninsula stations from it. Later a man named Littler, and then Edward Dobson, a brother of Sir Arthur, were managers. Dobson remained until the station was sold, and in the 'nineties I remember him managing Lowcliffe for R. H. Rhodes's executors.

The Rhodes's used the lower Ahuriri country for dairying. Besides the herd at the station, two other herds were run by share milkers on the Halswell. The dry hills on the run carried hoggets from Purau and Kaituna. The sheep were always shorn at Purau.

When the Rhodes's dissolved partnership in 1875, Ahuriri, which had all been made freehold, was sold in blocks, and most of the land, including the homestead, was bought by R. J. P. Fleming of Pigeon Bay, who sold it a year or two later to R. M. Morten. It then carried 7000 sheep. In 1904 Morten handed it over to his son Richard Morten.

In Richard Morten's time the station carried 4500 sheep and about 400 head of cattle, and was noted for the fat cattle it turned off. Richard Morten sold it in 1940 to P. Graham and Son, the present owners.

Of the early owners, I have described the Rhodes's elsewhere. Fleming was a well-known early settler at Port Levy. Morten was born in Buckinghamshire in 1824 and came to Canterbury in 1859. He was owner or part owner of Lochinvar, Mount Pleasant, and of several runs at the head of the Rangitata, and had large city interests, including the United Service block. He died in Christchurch in 1909.