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



Manaia is on the Waimate Plains, and near the sea, on the South Taranaki Bight, between the Kapuni and Kaupokonui rivers. It is almost due south of Mount Egmont, and forms part of the Waimate survey district of the Taranaki land district, and of the Waimate riding of the county of Hawera. Manaia is governed by a Town Board, and is also the headquarters of the Waimate Road Board. It has Anglican, Methodist, Roman Catholic and Presbyterian churches, and there is a resident Presbyterian clergyman. There are convent and public schools in the township, which has also an Oddfellows' Hall, a Town Hall, and municipal buildings, and local branches of the Banks of New Zealand and Australasia. The businesses include those of two bakers, two butchers, three stores, four drapers, two bootmakers, three hotels, and a general smith; and the resident professional men consist of a solicitor and a medical practitioner. The main road between Hawera and Opunake runs through the settlement, and there is daily communication each way by mail coaches; the distance to Opunake being eighteen miles, and to Hawera, ten miles. Manaia has a somewhat peculiar landmark in a tower which was erected by the Armed Constabulary at the time of the native troubles, for the purpose of a look out and redoubt. The settlement has a tri-weekly newspaper, named the Waimate Witness and Kaponga Advocate; also a local library, and racing club; and two large dairy factories are in operation in the immediate neighbourhood; one at Riversdale, towards Hawera, and the other at Kaupokonui, on the other side of the township. The local post and telegraph office has a telephone exchange. Manaia has a police station and a counthouse, and the Magistrate at Hawera periodically visits the district. The town is lighted by electricity, by the Hawera County Electric Company. In the octagon, a granine obensk, surrounded by an iron railing, commemorates the officers and men of the Armed Constabulary, and of the Patea Field Force, who fell in engagements with the Maoris in Taranaki in the years 1868–9.

The Manaia Town Board . Members for the year 1906: Messrs J. Hunt (chairman), A. G. Bennett, J. J. Meldon, C. Hunger, and W. S. Glenn. Mr. F. Archer is clerk and treasurer. The total capital rateable value of the town is £48,184; the unimproved value is £15,874, and value of improvements, £32,310. A rate of ¾d in the pound is levied on the capital value, and a rate of the same amount is levied by the county, in addition to which a sanitation rate of ⅗d in the pound is also levied. Manaia has a volunteer fire brigade, a public domain of thirty-four acres, and a cemetery of twenty acres, which are under the jurisdiction of the Board. In the year 1906 municipal buildings were erected in the main street of the town at a cost of £1,500. The Board meets on the third Thursday in each month.

Mr. John Hunt, Chairman of the Manaia Town Board, was born in London, England, and was educated at Merchant Taylors' School. He learned page 216 his trade with Messrs Cooper, Box and Co., outfitters and clothiers, of Queen Victoria Street, London, with whom he remained for five years. In the year 1879, he came to New Zealand by the ship “Ben Nevis,” landed in Auckland, and was for sixteen years employed by Mr. J. Hall, clothier, of Otahuhu. In 1895, Mr. Hunt removed to Manaia, bought his present drapery business from Mr. Thomas Green, and has since successfully conducted it. He has been connected with the Manaia Town Board for many years, and is also a member of the local school committee. Mr. Hunt takes a great interest in athletic matters, and is a member of the Egmont Agricultural Society. As a Freemoson he is a member of Lodge Harmony, 2180, English Constitution, and has held office as Worshipful Master. Mr. Hunt is married, and has two daughters.

Mr. Albert Gibbard Bennett, who is a member of the Manaia Town Board, is further referred to as a barrister and solicitor.

Mr. William Spiers Glenn was elected a member of the Manaia Town Board in the year 1904. He has a farm of 350 acres on the Waimate Plains, and carries on dairying. Mr. Glenn was born in Greymouth in 1878, and removed to Taranaki as a child with his parents, who settled at Manaia. He was educated in the Manaia public school, and brought up to farming. Later on he became an auctioneer in the firm of Steuart and Corrigan, with whom he remained in that capacity for three years. Mr. Glenn is secretary of the Manaia Tennis Club, and a member of the Egmont Racing Club, and of the Egmont Agricultural and Pastoral Association. He takes a keen interent in sport, and owns several thoroughbred brood mares and was part owner of the well known horse “Maniopoto.” Mr. Glenn has represented Taranaki in football since 1899; he represented New Zealand against the English team in 1904, and in 1905–6, he was a member of the New Zealand “All Blacks,” who toured the Old Country. Mr. Glenn is married.

Mr. J. Hunt's Premises.

Mr. J. Hunt's Premises.

Mr. John Joseph Meldon was elected to the Manaia Town Board in the year 1904. He was for a number of years in business as a storekeeper and flaxmiller at Oroua Bridge, and settled in the Manaia district as a storekeeper in 1903. He is further referred to on page 1126 of the Wellington volume of this Cyclopedia.

Mr. Andrew Leslie Young, formerly a member of the Manaia Town Board, was born in the year 1876, in Geelong, Victoria. He came to New Zealand with his parents at an early age, was educated at Patea and Manaia, and was brought up to farming. For a number of years he was engaged in country life, and then started in business on his own account in Manaia as a baker and confectioner. Mr. Young is a member of Lodge Manaia in the Order of Oddfellows, and has passed all the chairs. In 1901 he married a daughter of Mr. R. D. Nosworthy, of Blenheim, and has two daughters and one son. He is further referred to as a baker and confectioner.

The Waimate Road Board, which has jurisdiction over a populous and fertile district on the Waimate Plains, has its headquarters in Manaia.

Mr. Thomas Andrew Bridge, Chairman of the Waimate Road Board, was born at New Seat, Wanganui, in the year 1866, and was educated
Gungall, photo.Mr. T. A. Bridge.

Gungall, photo.
Mr. T. A. Bridge.

page 217 at Waverley, and also attended the Boys' High School at Wanganui for about eighteen months. He subsequently worked on a farm at Waverley with his father, who during the time bought 905 acres on Mangawhero road, near Kapuni, which his son leased from him in 1891, after managing it for a few years. Mr. Bridge resides at “Pine Grove,” a property of fifteen acres near Manaia, but has two farms; one of 120 acres of freehold, and another of 285 acres leasehold, situated on Mangawhero road, near Kapuni. There are three residences on the land, and dairying is the chief industry. Mr. Bridge was elected a member of the Waimate Road Board in November, 1898, and its chairman in June, 1901. He is a member, secretary, and treasurer of the Manaia school committee; a member of the Horticultural Society, the Egmont Agricultural and Pastoral Association, and the Kapuni branch of the Farmers' Union. He is also chairman and treasurer of the Kapuni Hall Committee, a member of the Hawera Hospital and Charitable Aid Board, and an elder of the Presbyterian church, Manaia, and also secretary and treasurer of the committee of management. Mr. Bridge is married, and has five children. He is further referred to as a member of the Hawera County Council.

The Manaia Post Office is centrally situated in the Octagon. The building is of wood and iron, and was one of the first post offices on the Waimate Plains. It contains a public office, mail and instrument rooms, a private lobby with thirty-six letter boxes, and a telephone exchange, with fourteen subscribers. About fifteen mails are received and despatched daily. The postmaster is assisted by a cadet and a messenger.

Mr. Thomas Edward Clough, who has been Postmaster at Manaia since 1904, has been in the service of the department since the seventies.

The Manaia Police Station has been in existence since the early days of the settlement. The premises stand on a three-quarter acre section on Manaia road, and contain an office, a residence two cells, and a stable.

Mr. Laurence Carroll was appointed Constable-in-charge of the Manaia Police Station in January, 1903. He became a police officer in Dublin, Ireland, and served seven years before joining the New Zealand force, about the year 1883.

The Manaia Public School was established in the year 1882, and stands on part of a section of ten acres. It is built of wood and iron, and contains three class rooms and two porches. There is a large playground of five acres, and a school residence. Accommodation is provided for 180 pupils; the names on the roll number 120, and there is an average attendance of 105. The staff consists of a headmaster, a mistress, and a pupil teacher.

Mr. James Kinloch Law was appointed Headmaster of the Manaia public school in the year 1890. He arrived in Wellington in 1882, and having previously qualified, became a teacher under the Wanganui Education Board.

The Waimate Witness and Kaponga Advocate was established in the year 1888. It consists of four pages, of eight columns each; about eight columns in every issue is devoted to reading matter, and the rest to advertisements. The paper is printed on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, and has a circulation throughout the Waimate Plains, Kaponga, Manaia, and the surrounding districts.

Mr. Abel Warburton, who has been proprietor of the Waimate Witness and Kaponga Advocate since the 1st of January, 1906, was connected with journalism at Cromwell, Otago, for several years, and was also headmaster of the Cromwell public school. He is more fully referred to on pages 725–6 of the Otago and Southland volume of this Cyclopedia.

Mr. Thomas Edwin Crowhurst, formerly of the “Waimate Witness,” was born in Sussex, England, in 1848, educated at Brighton, and served a term with a firm of architects and surveyors in London. At the age of nineteen he emigrated to New Zealand, where he had an adventurous and varied career on the gold-fields and in other pursuits, including four years in the Armed Constabulary. He finally married, and took up a farm in the Taranaki district. As a correspondent for several papers his writings soon became known, and he was induced by the late Hon. J. Ballance, then editor of the “Wanganui Herald,” to take a position on that paper. Subsequently he was offered and accepted the editorship of the “Waimate Witness,” Manaia. During his residence in Manaia he held many public positions, and was appointed a Justice of the Peace in 1895. He is an enthusiastic cyclist, and has won several prizes in racing events, one being a gold medal for a ten-mile track race. In his younger days he was a well known footballer and cricketer, and an expert rifle shot. Mr. Crowhurst has written many serial stories, as well as a number of burlesques, farces, and operettas, which have been successfully produced; and he is also an amateur actor. After leaving Manaia he resided successively in Stratford and New Plymouth.

The Manaia Magistrate's Court is conducted in a wood and iron building, which is a portion of the old Armed Constabulary barracks. There are rooms for the Magistrate, Clerk of Court, and witnesses. Sittings are held monthly by Mr. A. Turnbull, Stipendiary Magistrate, who resides at Hawera. The local constable acts as Clerk of Court.

Bennett, Albert Gibbard, Barrister and Solicitor, Manaia. Bankers, Bank of Australasia. New Plymouth agent, Mr. W. L. Fitzherbert. Mr. Bennett was born in the year 1870, in Auckland, where he was educated, and entered the office of Messrs Russell and Campbell, solicitors, in 1885. He was admitted a solicitor in 1891. He pays regular business visits to Kaponga every Friday in each week. Mr. Bennett has taken a leading part in athletic and local matters, and is secretary and solicitor to Lodge Loyal Manaia, No. 6801, Manchester Unity, Independent Order of Oddfellows, vice-president of the Waimate Football Club, treasurer of the Manaia Presbyterian church, president of the Waimate Horticultural Society and of the Manaia Town Board. He is also solicitor to the Kanpokonui Co-operative Dairy Factory Company, Limited, and agent for the Royal Insurance Company. Mr. Bennett is also a member of the Manaia Town Board.

The Bank Of Australasia, at Manaia, was opened in the year 1882, and occupies a site on the main south road. It is a single storey wood and iron building, and contains a banking chamber, a manager's room, a strong room, and a residence. The staff consists of the manager and two assistants. Mr. H. C. M. McLvor was appointed manager in the year 1905.

The Bank Of New Zealand at Manaia was opened as an agency in the year 1881. The original building was destroyed by fire in 1903, and the present premises, which were built shortly afterwards, contain a banking chamber, a manager's room, a strong room, and a residence. The staff includes a manager and two assistants.

Steuart and Corrigan, Auctioneers, Land. Commission, and Insurance Agents, Manaia. Head office, Broadway, Stratford. The Manaia branch of this business, which was bought in the year 1897 from Messrs Budge and Good, is in charge of Mr. S. B. Corrigan.

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Mr. Samuel Bradley Corrigan was born in Geelong, Victoria, Australia, in the year 1858, and was educated at the Geelong Grammar School. He came to New Zealand in 1872, passed the succeeding eleven years on a farm at Manutahi, and then went to Queensland, and was shipwrecked. After being for four years overseer on the Yamba run, Queensland, he took the management of Captain John Haines' Maurice estate in the western district of Victoria, and three years later went to New South Wales, where he managed Mr. R. Macfarlane's station “Rangawirra,” for about four years. At the end of that time he returned to New Zealand, and engaged in farming at Otakeho until he joined Mr. Steuart. Mr. Corrigan conducts the principal sale in the district surrounding Manaia, and at one memorable sale 2000 head of cattle passed under the hammer. Mr. Corrigan takes a keen interest in sport, and also in all local matters. He married a daughter of the late Mr. Edward Hilton, of Darwen, Lancashire, England.

Stewart, James Reid, Land and Commission Agent, Surveyor and Engineer, Manaia. Agent for the National and South British Insurance Companies. Mr. Stewart is a native of Scotland, and was born in 1855; he came to New Zealand at an early age with his parents, who settled in Otago, was educated at the Otago High School, and afterwards studied for his profession, which he followed for some time in the Otago, Southland, and Canterbury districts, before removing to the North Island. For two years he was in Wanganui, and then removed to Manaia, where he received the appointment of engineer to the Waimate Road Board. He held this position for ten years, and then established himself in business in 1894. Mr. Stewart has been a member of the Waimate Road Board and Hawera County Council, chairman of the Manaia Town Board, and a member of the Hospital and Charitable Aid Board; and was captain of the Waimate Football Club for many years.

Stevenson, Edwin Henry, Baker, Pastrycook, and Confectioner, Manaia. Mr. Stevenson's business was one of the first of its kind in Manaia, and a good connection has been worked up by him. Three persons are employed, and there is a large daily output from the bakehouse. Mr. Stevenson was born in Nelson, and educated at the public schools. He learned his trade with his father at Opunake, and remained with him until he took over the present business in the year 1891. Mr. Stevenson is a member of the Order of Oddfellows.

Mr. E. H. Stevenson's Premises.

Mr. E. H. Stevenson's Premises.

Young, Andrew Leslie, Baker and Confectioner, Manaia. This business was established in the year 1903, by the proprietor, in a wood and iron building, containing a double-fronted shop with a verandah, a refreshment room, and a residence. There is also a modern bakehouse, under the charge of a competent baker, and stables. Bread is delivered within a radius of ten miles from Manaia, and two carts are employed in the business. Mr. Young is further referred to as a member of the Manaia Town Board.

Mr. Edwin Antrobus, Manager of the Manaia Dairy Factory, was born in Cheshire, England, in the year 1859, and is a son of the late Mr. T. Woodward Antrobus. He was educated at Halton Grammar School, and learned dairyfarming at New Hall Farm. Stockham, Runcorn, the residence of his father. Mr. Antrobus came to New Zealand in the year 1883, by the s.s. “British King,” landed at Lyttelton, and went to Ashburton, where he joined Mr. Harding, at the Flemington cheese and butter factory. In 1886, he was appointed manager of the Manaia Co-operative Dairy Factory, and two years later became manager to the Crown Dairy Factory Company. During the ten years he was with that company, he held, at different times, the managership of the Opunake and Kaihihi-Okato factories. In 1898 Mr. Antrobus was again appointed manager of the Manaia factory, by the Kaupokonui Dairy Factory Company, who had purchased it from the Crown Company. During the season of 1905–6 with the help of his five assistants, Mr. Antrobus turned out upwards of one ton per day. He was on several occasions a member of the Manaia school committee, the committee of management of the Presbyterian church, and of the Egmont (Hawera) Agricultural Association. In the year 1896 Mr. Antrobus married Miss Rose Emeline Putt, the third daughter of Mr. John Putt, Okato, and has four daughters. He has never, in all his travels, met with land that approaches in richness that of the well-watered Waimate Plains.

Craig and Company (David Craig), Tailor, Manaia. This business was established in the year 1890. It is conducted in a wood and iron building, which contains a shop, a cutting room, a workroom, and a residence.

Mr. David Craig, Sole Partner in the firm of Craig and Co., was born in County Sligo, Ireland, where he was educated. In the year 1879, he came to New Zealand, and landed in Port Chalmers, where he learned his trade. He then removed to Waikato, Auckland, where he was engaged in connection with his trade for some years, and afterwards was in business on his own account at Te Aroha. He afterwards returned to Dunedin, where he worked for one year before settling in Manaia. Mr. Craig was a member of the Manaia Town Board for three years. In 1889 he married a daughter of the late Mr. James McFarlane, of Waikato, and has two daughters.

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Waimate Hotel (Evan Davies, proprietor), Manaia. This hotel, which was rebuilt in 1906, stands in the centre of Manaia, at the junction of the Opunake-Hawera road. It is a two storied wooden building, and contains, downstairs, a billiard room, a commercial room, three sitting rooms, offices, etc.; and, upstairs, fifteen bedrooms, two sitting rooms, and two bathrooms. There is an acetylene gas plant, and electric light has also been installed. The table and accommodation are good, only the best brands of liquors are kept, and the tariff is moderate.

Captain Evan Davies, Proprietor of the Waimate Hotel, was born in Cardiganshire, Wales, in the year 1855. He went to sea at thirteen years of age, and when twenty-four years of age was master of a vessel in the China trade. From that time he commanded vessels continuously for twenty-five years, and never once had a mishap. He is qualified to act as his own pilot in most parts of Australasia. Amongst the vessels commanded by Captain Davies, were the barques “Othello,” “Alexa” (in the Home wool trade), “Clifton” (five years in the China and South African trade), “Alcestis,” and “Wenona” (of which he was part owner). He commanded for some time the ship “Republic,” trading between Puget Sound and Honolulu, and was part owner and captain of the “Wosung,” sold in Fiji at the end of 1905. As a Freemason, Captain Davies is a member of the Marine Lodge, Port Chalmers, Lodge of Mark Masons, and Lodge Royal Arch, and is a vice-president of the Waimate Football Club, and of the Manaia Jockey Club. He is married, and has one son—who is in business in Wellington—and one daughter.

Gilmour, John, Storekeeper and General Merchant, Manaia. Bankers, Bank of New Zealand. Mr. Gilmour's fine business was established by him in 1882. The building is of two stories, and contains a large shop and a dwelling house; and extensive stocks of groceries, ironmongery, and other goods are kept by the proprietor. Mr. Gilmour has worked up an excellent connection in Manaia and the surrounding districts. He is a son of the late Mr. John Gilmour, of New Plymouth, who was an old settler, and well known in business circles. The subject of this notice was born and educated in New Plymouth. He entered the Customs in Auckland, whence, after a while, he was transferred to Christchurch; but in the year 1882 he resigned in order to enter business on his own account at Manaia. Mr. Gilmour has taken an active interest in local matters, and has been a member of the Manaia Town Board. He is married and has two children.

Mr. J. Gilmour's Premises.

Mr. J. Gilmour's Premises.

Mr. Robert Watson Sinclair was for a number of years well known as a business man in Manaia, where he kept a store, and did a large trade throughout the district. He was born in Glasgow, Scotland, in the year 1861, and was brought up to commercial life. In 1880 he arrived in Dunedin, New Zealand, and was for some years employed by various firms in the South Island. He settled in Manaia in 1895, became secretary to the school committee, and also took an active interest in other matters affecting the district. After leaving Manaia Mr. Sinclair became agent at Stratford for Nathan and Company, Limited.

The Late Corporal J. Tait.

The Late Corporal J. Tait.

Tait, Charles, Farmer, “Mill Farm,” Manaia. Mr. Tait, who is a well known settler, has several properties in the district. He was born in London, England, and arrived in Australia in 1845, with his uncle in the ship “Henry Reid,” landing at Port Phillip. For some time he was on the Bendigo diggings, and came to New Zealand in 1857. He engaged for some years in mining in Nelson, and also spent some time on the West Coast. In 1870 he removed to the North Island, and took up land in Hawera, where he lived for twelve years. On removing to Manaia he was engaged in sawmilling on his own property for about three years, and then entered into farming. Mr. Tait is married, and has seven sons and one daughter. The picture of the late Corporal James Tait, Hawera Cavalry, is that of Mr. Tait's fourth son, who was accidently killed in the year 1897.

Mr. C. Tait.

Mr. C. Tait.

Mr. Thomas Scott, Sometime a farmer at Manaia, was born in the year 1847, in Ayrshire, Scotland, and was partly educated in his native country. He came to New Zealand with his parents in the ship “Mersey,” and completed his education in Auckland. His father took up land near the North Cape, and after working with him for about fifteen years, and at Otahuhu for five years, Mr. Scott bought a farm of 400 acres, known as “Glencairn” near Manaia, at the first Government land sale in 1880. For many years he was successful as a prizetaker at Hawera and New Plymouth with young stock, and was an page 220 exhibitor at Auckland and other places in the colony. Mr. Scott took a great deal of interest in all local movements, and was one of the promoters of the Riversdale Dairy Factory. He married a step-daughter of the late Mr. Lewis Richards, of Rangitikei, and had three daughters. Mr. Scott died some time ago.

The Late Mr. T. Scott.

The Late Mr. T. Scott.