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



Kaupokonui is a dairy-farming district on the Hawera-Opunake road, twelve miles from Hawera, and about two miles from Manaia. It is the headquarters of the Kaupokonui Dairy Company, which conducts its large factory and store on co-operative lines. The business of the post and telegraph office is conducted by the company's secretary. Kaupokonui is also the name of a stream, which takes its rise in Mount Egmont, and discharges into the South Taranaki Bight, near the village. Mount Egmont is about due north from Kaupokonui. The settlement lies in the Waimate survey district of the Taranaki land district, and is in the Waimate riding of the county of Hawera.

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The Kaupokonui Co-Operative Dairy Factory Company, Limited, was formed in 1897, with a capital of £2000, which was afterwards increased to £10,000 in £1 shares. The offices are at the company's own buildings at Kaupokonui, and Mr. E. C. Barleyman is secretary. Though it started in a modest way, the company has so enlarged and extended its business that it has become one of the most important of its kind in Taranaki. In addition to the main factory there are six creameries, or branch factories, some of a large size. In the flush of the season the staff numbers about thirty-five. The factory was making cheese in the year 1906, and the output was about 1200 tons, equal to 560 tons of butter. A co-operative store, carried on by the company as part of its business, has proved a great success, and an immense benefit to the shareholders. For the year ending the 30th of June, 1906, £42,913 7s 8d was paid to suppliers for milk.

Mr. Ernest Charles Barleyman, Secretary to the Company, is a dairy farmer who holds several farms in the district, and is a staunch advocate of co-operation. He was born in Blenheim in 1866, and educated there and in the Nelson district; was brought up to commercial life, and served six years in law offices in Blenheim. In 1893 he removed to Taranaki, and gradually acquired his present properties. When the Kaupokonui Company was formed Mr. Barleyman was appointed secretary. He is local postmaster, a steward of the Manaia Racing Club, and local agent of the Royal Insurance Company. Mr. Barleyman is married, and has two children.

The Factory Of The Kaupokonui Co-Operative Dairy Factory Company, Limited, is one of the largest in Taranaki, if not in New Zealand. The buildings are large, roomy, and strongly constructed, and the plant is up-to-date and complete. The main factory, and five out of six creameries are fitted up for cheese making, as well as for separating. The motive power at the factory is derived from two twenty-five horse-power McCormick turbines, but there is auxiliary power in the shape of a ten horse-power Luke engine. The boiler is twenty-five horse-power, and the rest of the plant includes a twelve ton Humble and Son refrigerator, five Alpha de Laval separators, three Topliss chruns, each of 1000 pounds capacity, two six feet butterworkers, four insulated Humble cream vats, a very large pasteuriser, a Topliss butter pounder. Chambers' hoists, a Riddell's skim milk weighing machine, two seven beam Fairbanks scales, and a Sabroe cream hoist. For cheesemaking there are eight vats, with a capacity of 6400 gallons per day; eight gang presses, a McPherson curd mill, etc. There is a special testing room, with appliances for laboratory work. In the flush of the season, when cheesemaking is in hand, the staff at the main factory consists of two cheesemakers, and fourteen assistants.

Mr. Robert Thomas Souness, the Manager, is a native of Dunedin, where he was born in 1867. Until he reached seventeen years of age he worked on his father's farm, but then entered the Edendale Dairy Factory, in which he worked for two years. He then took charge of the Aparima cheese factory, near Riverton, and re[gap — reason: illegible] the position for nine years. On leaving Aparima he returned to Edendale as assistant manager. After four years spent there he obtained the position of manager of the Dannevirke Company's factory, of which his brother is now manager, and remained there three years. In August, 1904, he took charge at Kaupokonui. Mr. Souness is keenly interested in his work, engages in laboratory research, and makes his own alkaline solutions. When in Otago he took prizes for cheesemaking at the Winter Show of the Otago Agricultural and Pastoral Association. He is a member of the Wallace Lodge, Independent Order of Oddfellows (American Constitution), of which he was Noble Grand for two terms. As an engine-driver, he holds a certificate for stationary engines. Mr. Souness is married, and has six children.