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The Early Canterbury Runs: Containing the First, Second and Third (new) Series

Wai-Iti — (Runs 31 and 32)

(Runs 31 and 32)

Wai-iti lies on the north bank of the Waimakariri above Day's run. It originally contained eleven thousand acres altogether, and ran to the present Kaiapoi-Oxford railway.

Runs 31 and 32 were both taken up in 1852, Run 31, the country north of the Eyre, by H. C. Young and Run 32, the country between the Eyre and Waimakariri, by Captain James Row, a Cornishman. Young transferred his run to Row in the same year. When Row united the two runs, a new pasturage license was issued for both and numbered 32, and the number 31 was afterwards used for Blue Cliffs in South Canterbury. The country across the Eyre was all bought up very early.

About 1860 Row sold the station to Charles Hillyard, but kept the homestead and a few hundred acres, where he continued to live, Hillyard building a new homestead a little further up the Eyre.

In 1867 Hillyard took Horatio James Wood, who had just arrived in New Zealand from Melbourne, into partnership. In 1868 the station was taken over by the mortgagees, Francis James Garrick and the Hon. J. T. Peacock. Peacock bought Garrick's share of it in 1870.

Hillyard went to Fiji and did not return to New Zealand. Wood afterwards edited a paper called the North Canterbury Independent at Kaiapoi, and later on went to Southland where he edited another paper. He died in 1901, aged fifty-eight.

Charles Overton (afterwards of Swannanoa and of Winerslow Station), managed Wai-iti for about ten years from 1871 onwards, and in his time the flock was page 52changed from merinos to halfbreds. When the Cyclopædia of New Zealand was written Peacock had 3000 sheep running on two thousand three hundred acres of freehold. His manager at that time was Alfred Daniel Low.

After Peacock's death, his step-son J. A. McRae Peacock managed the station for the trustees until it was sold in 1907 or 1908. Peacock had been a merchant and shipowner in Sydney. He came to Canterbury about 1856, and among other activities built one of the first wharves at Lyttelton. He became one of the leading commercial men of Christchurch.

I forget who bought Wai-iti from Peacock's trustees, but Richard Dixon bought it in the winter of 1927, and according to the Pastoral Review gave £17,600 for the two thousand three hundred and thirty acres.

Run 84, between Wai-iti and Eyrewell, seems to have been part of Wai-iti for a time, but to have been sold by Hillyard to Dixon of Eyrewell, about 1866.