The Cyclopedia of New Zealand [Nelson, Marlborough & Westland Provincial Districts]
Tua Marina is a rich farming district six miles north by rail from Blenheim. The land is mostly level and very fertile, and some of it is valued at £50 an acre. It is closely settled near the township, but further aflied, and especially to seaward, there are some very large holdings, such as “Marshlands,” the estate of Mr. J. C. Chaytor, which embraces several thousands of acres. Mixed farming is the chief industry of the place, and hops are cultivated to some extent. There is a large cheese factory, with a good number of suppliers, in the village. Flaxmilling and brickmaking are also conducted in the district. But apart from its industrial activities, Tua Marina has interesting associations. It was on the hill near the northern boundary of the district that the Wairau massacre took place, in June, 1843, and a stone obelisk, on which the names of those killed are recorded, marks the spot that was the scene of the tragedy. On the opposite side of the district, too, on the left bank of the Wairau river there is an old Maori pa, which is still the home of a considerable population of native people, and the site of a Maori school. At one time there was a meat freezing establishment in the locality, but this has now been removed. The township of Tua Marina has churches, a public school, an hotel, cheese factory, a railway station, some shops, a flax mill, brick kilns, and a few farm residences. It is connected by rail page 380 and a good metalled road with Blenheim and Picton, and has a post and telegraph office, with a daily mail service with Blenheim.
Marshlands Public School is comparatively a new one, and has only about forty scholars. Miss Williams was appointed to the teachership in 1894, and since then the results have been in every way satisfactory.
The Waitohi Co-operative Dairy Factory at Tua Marina is owned by the Waitohi Co-operative Dairy Factory Company, Limited, and was established in 1895 by the joint action of a large number of local farmers. At first the factory was comparatively small, but it has been much enlarged, and is now one of the finest factories of its kind in the province. It is a wooden building, on concrete, and has three distinct departments; the making room, curing and packing room, and the engine room. The machinery of the factory is the largest and most efficient that can be obtained, and is driven by a six horse-power engine, and an eight horse-power boiler. A siding, branching off from the Tua Marina station, leads to the factory, a few yards away, and gives it valuable facilities for despatching its produce. The factory has from the first had an enviable record. The cheese has always been placed by the Government graders in the front rank; many prizes have been won by the cheese, and the whole output, which has from the first been consigned to the same firm—Messrs Oetzes and Gerritsen—has always realised the highest prices in the London market. During the years 1902 and 1903 the cheese brought seventy shillings per hundredweight, and in the season of 1963 eighty-two tons were exported. The total output is increasing year by year, and the financial position gains correspondingly in strength. The total capital consists of six hundred shares of £2 10s each, and only 2s 6d per share has been called up.
Mr. William Renick Harkness , Manager of the Waitohi Co-operative Dairy Factory, was born in Dunedin on the 28th of May, 1872, and is the seventh son of a stonemason. He was brought up to farming in North Otago, and started as a cadet in his present profession in Waikato, and completed his training in his native province, first in a large cheese factory at Oamaru, and afterwards at the Government Dairy School at Edendale. In 1900, he was appointed to his present post, where his painstaking and conscicentious labours have been rewarded with the establishment of a record which would do credit to the oldest factory in the land. He is married, and has a family of one son and one daughter.
Mr. J. W. Bain , formerly manager of the Waitoki Co-operative Cheese Factory, was born in the Waiareka Valley, near Oamaru, and was educated at the Cave Valley school. He spent at few years on his father's large dairy farm, entered the cheese-making business in 1889, and after serving in various capacities, he was appointed manager of the Waitohi factory in 1895.
Woolley, Francis Henry, Flaxmill Manager, Marshlands. Mr. Woolley was born at Blenheim, and was educated by Mr. John Roby at the Government school, Nelson. He has been engaged during the whole of his life in the flax business, and has for many years been managing Mr. Chaytor's mill at “Marshlands.” Mr. Woolley thoroughly understands his business, and therefore a first-class article is produced at the Marshlands mills. He takes an active interest in cricket and football. Mr. Woolley is married, and resides at Spring Creek.
Green Hills Farm , about the centre of the Tua Marina district, was first taken up in or about the year 1870 by Mr. Fred Smith. It was then a somewhat wild and unpromising area, but has been converted into one of the most desirable farms in the neighbourhood. Mr. Fred Smith conducted it till 1897, when, on his retirement, it was taken over by his youngest son, Mr. William Smith, the present owner. “Given Hills” consists of 250 acres of fertile, level land, and is highly improved and efficiently equipped as a farm. It carries about one hundred head of cattle, and 250 head of sheep, and grows a large amount of cereals as well. The homestead is situated within a clump of tall bluegums, on the main road. All the implements and machinery are under cover, and the private residence is a handsome building of two stories, surrounded by a beautiful garden.
Mr. W. Smith.
Lankow, John William Henry, Partner, Tua Marina. Mr. Lankow's holding consists of 130 acres of first-class land, nearly all of which is under cultivation, and the balance is used for dairying purposes. He is a regular milk supplier to the dairy factory of Tua Marina, of which he is a director, and generally keeps twenty cows for the purpose. There are four first-class draught horses on the farm, and the implements are all of modern design. Mr. Lankow was born in Nelson, in 1850, and removed to the Wairau when he was twenty years of age. He takes a leading part in local politics, and in all things pertaining to the welfare of the district. Mr. Lankow has for some time been connected with the Oddfellows' Lodge. He is married, and has three sons and three daughters.
“Marshlands,” in the Tua Marina district, is an extensive property in the eastern portion of the Wairau. It embraces about six thousand acres, and a large part of it is good land. It is highly improved, and is farmed chiefly with the object of fattening lambs for freezing purposes. There is a large flax mill near the homestead, where there is quite a township, composed of station buildings, workmen's homes, and a good public school. The product of the mill ranks with the finest in the market, and is exported to Melbourne. There are several plantations of ornamental and shelter trees on the estate, and the homestead is connected by a telephone with Blenheim. Good metalled roads intersect the property.
Mr. and Mrs J. W. H. Lankow and Family.
Mr. J. C. Chaytor.
Neal, T. N., Farmer, Marshlands. Mr. Nearl's farm consists of over 200 acres of good level land, well suited for agricultural purposes, and he also carries on dairying. Mr. Neal was born in Nelson in 1842, and was brought up on his father's farm. In 1868 he removed to Blenheim, where he purchased land and settled. Mr. Neal has for many years been associated with the local Oddfellows' Lodge, and takes a keen interest in sporting generally. He is married, and has six sons and six daughters.
Smith, Frederick, Farmer, Tua Marina. Mr. Smith was born close to his present farm, on the 17th of August, 1860, and is the eldest son of Mr. Frederick Smith, formerly of Tua Marina, now resident in Blenheim, who is further referred to under the heading of Old Colonists. He was educated at the local public school, and brought up on his father's farm, and in the year 1899, he bought his present farm, which consists of 250 acres of rich, level land, and is devoted to sheep grazing and agriculture. A permanent flock of 300 breeding ewes is depastured on the farm, and about ninety acres is under cultivation, chiefly for wheat and oats. Mr. Smith page 382 takes a keen interest in all matters affecting the district. He is a member of the Picton Road Board, the Pukaka River Board, the local school committee, the Marlborough Agricultural and Pastoral Association, and the local branch of the Farmers' Union. Mr. Smith is married, and has three sons and one daughter.
Mr. A. E. Wilkins.