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

Kakahu — (Runs 27 N.Z.R. and 28 N.Z.R.; afterwards 495 and 496)

(Runs 27 N.Z.R. and 28 N.Z.R.; afterwards 495 and 496)

This was originally taken up on 1st November, 1853, by Captain Richard Westenra, and was described in Lieut.-Col. Campbell's list as ' Number 44, twenty-five thousand acres, between the Hare [Hae Hae te Moana] and Opihi [the Opuha branch] Rivers west of, and adjoining Hornbrook's run.'

When W. G. Brittan, the Canterbury Commissioner of Crown Lands, issued new licenses for the South Canterbury Runs, Westenra was granted two licenses, Numbers 27 and 28, of fifteen thousand acres each. They were re-numbered 495 and 496 under the Canterbury Regulations in February, 1870.

The station was worked on thirds by Michael John Burke, of Raincliffe, until 1855, when Westenra, not liking the idea of his sons continually crossing the rivers, exchanged this run for one Roland Campion had next Camla, his station on the Selwyn. He removed his share of the sheep there.

Campion's homestead was close to the present Hilton School, where a few big gum trees still mark the spot.

In 1861 Campion sold or leased the run to Alfred Cox, who worked it as an out-station of Raukapuka. Campion went to England intending to return, but was drowned at Fermoy, in Ireland, while showing them how people crossed New Zealand rivers on horseback. He should have been riding Doctor, his grand old grey, on whom he won a famous match from Timaru to Christchurch against another pioneer, with the freehold of Kakahu Bush as the stake. The other intending purchaser, knowing the Rangitata and Rakaia were in high flood, took the steamer from Timaru, and on his arrival in Christchurch from Lyttelton, was met by Campion, with the title deeds of the Bush in his pocket.

page 158

In 1870 Alfred Cox sold Kakahu to Hornbrook Brothers (The Major and William), who owned Arowhenua and Opuha Gorge, and a year later the Hornbrooks sold Kakahu and Opuha Gorge with 26,000 sheep to Studholme, Banks and Wigley. The story of Studholme, Banks and Wigley will come in better with Opuha Gorge, from which they worked the runs, using Kakahu as an out-station.

When the surviving partners, John Studholme and Wigley, divided, about 1892, Kakahu, with about twelve thousand acres, fell to John Studholme's share. He made the station over to his second son, William Paul Studholme.

W. P. Studholme carried 14,000 or 15,000 sheep there until about the time of the South African War, when he began selling off the land, finally selling the homestead and about two thousand acres in 1905, when he retired to live in England.

The homestead, after passing through one or two hands, was bought by Dr. Hargreaves for his sons. It now carries about 2000 sheep.