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The Cyclopedia of New Zealand [Wellington Provincial District]


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Ngahauranga, the second township on the way to the Hutt, occupies the flat ground at the entrance of the Ngahauranga Gorge. Unlike Kaiwarra, there are no buildings, excepting the railway station, on the harbour side of the road. The stationmaster has also charge of the post-office and telephone bureau. The station is three miles and twelve chains from the principal station at the Capital. There is but one mail per day, closing at Wellington at 6.45 a.m., and at Ngahauranga at 7 a.m.

Fort Kelburn, largely constructed of masonry, and having two five-ton ordnance, stands right opposite to the entrance to the harbour—a menace to hostile cruisers. Bombardier Withers has been in charge here since 1889.

The meat-freezing and preserving works, and the manure factories, tanneries, and fellmongering establishments occupy the banks of the stream for a considerable distance up the Gorge. There are no stores, and the frontages to the Hutt Road are occupied by two hotels. The school attendance is about thirty, and the room is also used for church purposes.

In the old coaching days Ngahauranga was of some importance from its being at the junction of the Porirua and Hutt Roads. The Gorge is in many parts very fine; and must have been particularly beautiful before its precipitous hills were denuded by the bushman's axe and fires.



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Ngahauranga Railway Station and Post and Telephone Office is a convenient wooden building, with passenger platform and large cattle yards adjoining. Further reference is made to the Station in the paragraph on the township. The station master is assisted by Mr. P. Cooney, as porter.

Mr. George Albert Parsons, Station and Post-Master, who has been three years in charge, was born in 1867 in Rangiora, where he was educated. Joining the service in 1882, as a cadet, he successively occupied the positions of booking and goods clerk. Mr. Parsons was appointed to Featherston station in January, 1890. After a few months he was transferred to the Wellington goods shed, being appointed to his present position in February, 1893.

Taylor, Frederick, Manure and Tallow Manufacturer, Manure and Tallow Works, Ngahauranga. Private residence, Johnsonville. This business was established in 1886, and was aequired by the present proprietor in 1894. The site of the works is very suitable, being in a secluded gorge of the hills. Mr. Taylor has all necessary machinery for the prosecution of his industry, which is to utilise otherwise waste animal products. The proprietor was born in Leeds, Yorkshire, and came to Wellington, per ship “Oliver Laing,” in 1871. During his thirty-five years residence, Mr. Taylor has had a various experience, in store and hotel-keeping, shingle-splitting and farming. He is still a settler, having a compact little farm at Johnsonville, where he resides.

Tyer, Alfred, Tanner and Fellmonger, Ngahauranga. Telegraphic and cable address, “Tyer, Wellington.” Telephone 459. Mails by private bag. Bankers, Bank of New Zealand and Bank of New South Wales. More than thirty years ago Mr. Tyer founded the large business which is now conducted by him as above. From the commencement he determined that he would produce a good article in every line. He therefore established relations with Britain and Australia for the supply of bark and other materials required in tauning, of the very best quality procurable. The quality of the goods manufactured at the Ngahauranga tannery and fellmongery is such that there is no trouble about the sale of the leather, which “sells itself,” and it is only on rare occasions during severe depressions that it is needful to export a small quantity to London. Mr. Tyer's fellmongery is situated on nine acres of leasehold land adjoining the large works of the Wellington Meat Export Company at Ngahauranga. The works are admirably arranged for the conduct of an extensive business. On arrival the skins are soaked for twelve hours in large pits, from which they are removed to the lime or paint house, where they are allowed to remain over night. By means of a trolly and tramway the skins are conveyed to the pulling room, where the wool is taken off rapidly and easily, the skins being sent to this tannery and the wool to the scouring room. The machinery is driven by a powerful steamengine of forty-horse-power, made by Messrs. Luke and Son, the steam being generated by one of Messrs. Robertson and Co.'s boilers. The scouring machine, which is a marvel of simplicity, is used to thoroughly-cleanse the wool, which passes automatically, first through hot, and afterwards through cold water, leaving the machine after going between rullers which are said to give a pressure equal to twenty tons. The wool is then subjected to treatment in the hydroextractors, of which there are two. The drying process is accomplished as far as practicable in the open air, but when the weather is unsuitable the drying is rapidly accomplished by an ingenious arrangement whereby the heat from steampipes is forced by means of fans, making 900 revolutions per minute through the raw material. When ready for baling, a powerful screw press is used to complete the process The tannery is situated about a quarter of a mile up the Ngahauranga stream on a block of freehold land of fifty-two acres in extent. The buildings are well adapted for the purposes of the trade, and one hundred and seventy-six pits—comprising soaks, limes, bates, hangers, handlers, pits, and spenders—are constantly used in the various processes required to produce leather—which includes all classes of shoe and harness leather. The machinery, which includes the most modern plant for carrying on a large trade economically and effectively, is driven by a large horizontal steam engine and two smaller engines. Over 100 hands find regular employment at Mr. Tyer's tannery and fellmongery, and the whole production of these works is disposed of wholesale to the trade.

Wellington Meat Export Company (Limited), Meat Freezers, Wholesale Butchers, Preservers, and Manure Manufacturers. Head office, Waterloo Quay, Wellington. Chairman of directors, Mr. William Booth, J.P. Secretary, Mr. Dilnot Sladden. Meat freezing and preserving works and manure factory, Ngahauranga; Works Manager, Mr. Frank Thomas Moore; Manager of manure department, Mr. Thomas Newland. These extensive works, which give employment to a large staff of hands, are among the most complete in the Colony. Further information concerning the Company and its operations will be found under “Wellington City.”

Mr. Frank Thomas Moore, Works Manager of the Wellington Meat Export Company (Limited), claims New Zealand as his native land, having been born at Tawa Flat in May 1867. He was educated at the local school, and in 1884 entered the service of the Wellington Meat Preserving and Refrigerating Company at Ngahauranga. After three years Mr. Moore was promoted to the position of inspector of sheep for export, which position he held till 1888, when he was appointed manager of Mr. E. Barber's works at Kaiwarra. In 1892 Mr. Moore entered the service of the present Company, which a short time previously had acquired the former Company's business, and has since successfully managed the immense works. Mr. Moore was married in 1889 to the eldest daughter of Mr. George Beech, settler of Ohariu, and has two sons and two daughters.

Mr. Thomas Newland, Manager of the Manure Department of the Wellington Meat Export Company's Works, was born in London in 1854. Arriving in New Zealand, per ship “Avalanche,” in 1875, he entered into business as a glue and oil manufacturer at Johnsonville, his firm being Newland and Pomfrey. After several years he sold his interest to his partner and removed to Napier, where he commenced business on his own account. Three years later Mr. Newland sold out to the North British and Hawkes Bay Freezing Company, remaining as manager of the department for twelve months. In 1892 he was appointed to the position he now holds.

Fitzpatrick, Vincent, Butcher, Ngahauranga

Ngahauranga Inn (Mrs. Clapham, proprietress), Hutt Road. Established 1866.

White Horse Hotel (R. Cunningham, proprietor), Hutt Road. Bankers, Bank of New Zealand.