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The Cyclopedia of New Zealand [Nelson, Marlborough & Westland Provincial Districts]



Motupiko , the present terminus of the Nelson section of the New Zealand railways, is thirty-two miles and ahalf from Nelson. The line from Belgrove was opened on the Ist of March, 1899, and the cost of the extension amounted to £60,000, which included the construction of a tunnel sixty-seven chains in length. Some of the work was done under the co-operative system. Motupiko, which has been occupied for forty years, is a narrow valley, nine miles in length, sub-divided into holdings of from 100 to 500 acres; the land is poor, and suitable for grazing only. Messrs Newman Bros' coaches run from Motupiko to the West Coast twice weekly, carrying passengers and mails, and there is also a carrier service to Tadmor and Sherry. There are two hotels, an accommodation house, and a combined railway station and post and telegraph office. The district has attractions for anglers and sportsmen.

Biggs, George, Accommodation House Keeper, Motupiko. Mr. Biggs was born on the Port Road, Nelson, in 1842. He is a son of the late Mr. George Biggs, who came to New Zealand in 1842 by the ship “Will Watch,” and was brought up in the Wakefield district. He has followed various callings in his time. In 1870 he bought a section in the Motueka Valley, and nine years later purchased 140 acres on Tadmor Hill. Mr. Biggs has been associated with the Oddfellows since 1886, and has on several occasions been a member of local school committees. Mrs Biggs is a daughter of the late Mr. Thomas Kite, sometime of Nelson, and one of the victims of the Wairau massacre.

Mr. G. Biggs.

Mr. G. Biggs.

Hampstead,” Motupiko, the property of Mr. William Gibbs, is a freehold estate of 2,300 acres, 200 acres of which is flat land, and suitable for cropping purposes, and the remainder hilly, and suitable for sheepgrazing. About 2000 Romney Marsh and Merino purebreds are depastured on the property. The homestead residence is a large two-storied wooden building, and is pleasantly situated on a hill overlooking the Motupiko Valley.

Mr. William Gibbs , the owner of “Hamostead,” was born in Nelson in page 144 the year 1842, and is the eldest son of the late Mr. Isaac Gibbs, an old settler in the Nelson district. Mr. Gibbs spent his early years on his father's farm at Spring Grove, but then removed to Wakefield, where he remained until he was twenty-six years of age. He was subsequently attracted to the West Coast by the Lyell gold rush, but met with indifferent success, and returned to Nelson overland, accompanied by a mate. Up to that time no white man had successfully accomplished the journey overland, and Mr. Gibbs was the first settler to cross the ranges on foot. He and his mate were for nineteen days in the bush, and, provisions running out, they were for nine days without anything to eat. Water was abundant, but owing to the powder they had getting wet, they were unable to shoot any game. The partners finally reached Nelson, but for years afterwards suffered from the privations they had endured in their arduous journey. Mr. Gibbs was for twenty years a member of the Motueka Valley Road Board; and its chairman for six years; he was also district constable and bailiff to the Magistrate's Court for the Motupiko district for about eleven years. As a Freemason he is a member of Lodge Forest, Wakefield, 1481, New Zealand Constitution, and he is also a member of the Sherwood Lodge of Druids. Mr. Gibbs married a daughter of Mr. Sloss, of Nelson, in the year 1868, and has, surviving, five sons and five daughters.

Tyree, photo Mr. W. Gibbs.

Tyree, photo
Mr. W. Gibbs.