The Cyclopedia of New Zealand [Auckland Provincial District]
Aoroa, on the bank of the Wairoa river, about two miles north of Aratapu, is essentially a sawmilling settlement, and came into existence with the erection of the Mitchelson Timber Company's mill about 1895. The private village established on the company's property has a post and telephone office, public school, store and boardinghouse. The Timber Company, for which Mr. William Smith is the local manager, carries on a considerable export trade in kauri and kahikatea timber. Almost the whole of the surrounding country is owned by Mr. A. E. Harding, whose estate comprises an area of about 13,000 acres.
Hossack, Arthur, Engineer and Saw-miller, Aoroa Sawmill, Aoroa. Mr. Hossack was born at Bruntlands, Orton, Morayshire, in 1840, and educated at Home. He is a son of the late Mr. Arthur Hossack, timber merchant of that locality, and served his time first to sawmilling and then to engineering at Dundee, having been connected with Kerr and Co., of the Douglas Foundry, Dundee, the Dundee Sawmill Company, and Millard Bros. of Montrose. He spent ten years at this occupation, and finally decided in 1864 to seek his fortune in the Colonies, coming to New Zealand in that year by the ship “Mataura.” He first started milling at Sawyer's Bay, but after a twelve months' experiment there, he shifted to Auckland and accepted employment in the Cornwallis Mills, where he remained for several years. His next move was to Hokitika, where he made a stay of eight years, leaving to accept a position at the Dunedin Building Mills for Messrs. Finlay and Co., sawmillers, of Dunedin. He ran the mill for them for six or seven years and then joined Messrs. Jagger and parker, of Auckland, as assistant in erecting the works for the New Zealand Sawmills Company in Auckland. He next joined the Kauri Timber Company and was manager of the Lower Flat Sawmill for nearly twelve months, building Goldie's mill in Auckland during that period. After leaving the Kauri Timber Company he built Mr. Matthews' mill at Tatarariki and had charge of it for six years. In 1895, he joined Messrs Mitchelson Bros, at Aoroa. While on the West Coast, Mr. Hossack was engaged in building several mills in different places. He is married to a daughter of Mr. Black, of Boharm, Banffshire, and has two daughters and one son.