The Cyclopedia of New Zealand [Wellington Provincial District]
Manukau is fifty-two miles from Wellington on the Wellington-Manawatu railway line. Although the township itself is small, there is yet a busy appearance about it, and the streets and by-ways are clean and well laid out. A mile or so out of the village, to the eastward, some noble-looking terraces and well-grassed haunch-backed hills lend a picturesqueness to the country. The settlers have all carved their now richly-grassed lands out of the forest, and are well-to-do, a characteristic which may be said to be general of the industrious farmer all through the Manawatu.
Manukau has four divisions, and at the taking of last census contained 336 souls, divided as under:—Manukau Village, 149; Manukau Road, 101; North Manukau Road, 43; South Manukau Road, 43. It is 97ft above sea-level, and situate in the Otaki Riding of the Horowhenua County.
Mails for Manukau close daily at Wellington at 6 a.m., arriving at Manukau at 9.30 a.m. Mails close at Manukau for Wellington daily at 8.15 a.m., arriving in Wellington at 1 p.m.
The Manukau Public School —a building of two fair-sized rooms, with master's residence and spacious playground attached—has a roll number of eighty-three with an average attendance of fifty-nine scholars. The teaching staff consists of headmaster, Mr. W. Foster, assistant master, Mr. Farmer, and pupil teacher, Mr. Bennett.
Mr. William Foster, Headmaster of the Manakau Public School, who is an under-graduate of the New Zealand University, was appointed to the position in October, 1896. He was born in 1866 in Christchurch, where he was educated, and after a term as a pupil teacher at East Christchurch School he gained his D1 certificate in 1883. After five years at Leithfield School, he spent four years as first assistant at Campbell Street School, Palmerston North, being appointed headmaster at Paraparaumu School in 1892. Mr. Foster was married in 1891 to a daughter of Mr. J. B. Banks, of Christchurch, and has two sons.
Carkeek, Arthur Wakefield, Civil Engineer and Anthorised and Licensed Surveyor, Manakau. Mr. Carkeek, a son of the late Mr. Stephen Carkeek, was born at Nelson in 1843 where he was educated. He took part in several encounters with the natives at Tokaanu, Puriri, and Taupo, and was present when the last prisoners were taken in 1870. He was at that time awarded the Victoria Cross, being the third man in New Zealand to gain that honour. In his younger days he was an enthusiast in boat racing. An old cricketer, he still umpires for his district in county matches. For three consecutive years he was the winner of the county shield presented by Mr. Wilson, ex-M.H.R. Mr. Carkeek has been employed on the Provincial and General Government staff for some years past. He is well known as a thoroughly competent and reliable engineer, and has passed many examinations, including those authorising him to act in the capacity of a fully qualified surveyor.
Anderson, Neils Andrew, Coachbuilder, Blacksmith, and Wheelwright, Manakau Coach Factory, Manakau. Bankers, Bank of New Zealand. This thriving industry was founded by the energetic proprietor in 1894. The factory building is a structure of wood and iron, of one story in height, affording ample space for the conduct of a large trade. It is fitted up with all necessary machinery for the business. Mr. Anderson's customers reside in all parts of the district, many of them travelling long distances to secure his services. Born in Denmark, Mr Anderson was apprenticed to the business near his native town, where he soon became a skilful workman. In 1874 he came to the Colony, per ship “Loch Aird,” landing at Auckland, where he readily seemed employment at Messrs. Fraser and Tinney's Foundry. Subsequently he removed to Wellington, and was for some time employed at the leading coach factory. About 1880 he started in business at the Lower Hutt, and continued for about three years, when he removed to the Manawatu district. For five years he worked a sawmill in Manakau, which he eventually sold and commenced the present line. An eight-horse-power engine has recently been added to his workshop. Mr. Anderson, who is an enterprising settler, has been able to find time to assist in local matters, having served as a member of one of the school committees.
Smith, George, Bootmaker, Manakau. This business was established in 1888 by Mr. Smith, who came to the Colony fourteen years previously. He has had forty years' experience in the trade, and was manager for Messrs. Ashton and Jacobs and Mr. Pallant in Wellington, Mr. Smith was also for some time with Messrs. W. and J. Staples and Co., whom he left to commence business on his own account at Manakau. He keeps a small but well-assorted page 1104 stock suitable for the requirements of a country trade. He is an expert tradesman, and has secured the patronage of the settlers of the district. Mr. Smith is debarred from taking any active part in public matters in the district in consequence of his business requiring the whole of his time and energies.
Adams, Albert, General Storekeeper, Post Office Store, Manakau. Bankers, Bank of New Zealand. Mr. Adam's parents arrived in the early days of colonization and settled first in Nelson and afterwards in Blenheim, where the subject of this notice was born. When quite young he gained his knowledge of the general storekeeping trade, and made such progress that he was early employed as a traveller. He had great success in his efforts to extend his employer's trade. Subsequently Mr. Adams was for three years in business with a partner at Spring Creek, Marlborough. He took over the Post Office Store in 1893, and is prominent as a business man. Mr. Adams has come to the conclusion that nothing short of hard work and persistent perseverance can ensure success, and in this opinion many will agree. Besides conducting a rapidly expanding trade, Mr. Adams is post master and telephonist.
Houghton, R. P., Storekeeper, Manakau. Established 1888.
Morris, Joseph, Storekeeper, Cash Store, Manakau. Established by present proprietor in 1892.
Smith, Christopher Richard, General Storekeeper, Manakau Established by present proprietor in 1894.
Bevan, Thomas, Farmer, Manakau. This gentleman, who is described as the oldest settler in the district, was born in Yardington, Shropshire, in 1840, and was brought to New Zealand by the “Lady Nugent” in 1841. He had the misfortune to lose his mother on the voyage out. His father was induced to come to the Colony by the glowing accounts given from time to time of the bright future that awaited those who would throw in their lot with the Now Zealand Company. Mr. Bevan, senr., paid the Company for 500 acres of land, which was to be their future home, only to find on his arrival that the land was in the possession of the natives. Mr. Bevan was a ropemaker by trade, and, bringing a plant from England. he established himself in Te Aro. In 1842, however, the trouble with the Maoris cut off the supply of flax, and in the following year he removed to Waikanae, where he again set up his ropewalk. In 1845 his children, who had been left in Wellington, were brought up the coast by a Maori, whom Mr. Bevan had engaged for the purpose. After the death of his father the subject of this sketch carried on the business till 1881, and took many prizes at Dunedin, Melbourne, Sydney, Adelaide and Vienna. Mr. Bevan has a fine freehold section of excellent land, on which is erected a substantial homestead overlooking the township of Manakau, which he has made his home for the last fifteen years. A garden and orchard occupy a few acres round the house. Mr. Bevan has a large family, of whom three are married and settled in the district. Very interesting accounts of the early days of settlement are given by Mr. Bevan.