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The Cyclopedia of New Zealand [Taranaki, Hawke's Bay & Wellington Provincial Districts]

Mr. William Courtney

Mr. William Courtney was born in Dublin, Ireland, in the year 1840, and landed at Auckland, New Zealand, with his parents in 1851. He afterwards started farming at Epsom, and remained there for about ten years, when he determined to try his luck on the Otago goldfields, where he worked for about three years with considerable success. Then he joined the rush to the West Coast, and subsequently commenced business as a contractor. On obtaining certain concessions in land he erected a tramway from Brighton to St. Kilda, and another from Westport to Orawaiti; both for passengers and goods. In 1868 he revisited England, but returned in 1869 to the West Coast, where he remained until 1873, when he left for New Plymouth. He again went to England on a lecturing tour in 1884, and nine or ten times afterwards. In this way he was successful in inducing fully a thousand persons to settle in New Zealand, and of that large number the majority have proved themselves to be very suitable settlers.