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

Hawke's Bay County Council

page 320

Hawke's Bay County Council.

The County Of Hawke's Bay has an area of 3,232 square miles, and a population of 7,700. The rateable value is £3,800,000, on which a general rate of ¾ d in the £ is levied. Upon the abolition of the Hawke's Bay Provincial Council, the County Council, incorporated in 1876, came into existence. It has the entire management of the public affairs of the county, and meets on the second Monday in each month, at the council offices, which are situated in Tennyson Street, Napier. The Council is elected triennially. Members for the year 1906: Messrs R. D. D. McLean (chairman), Stanley Bennett, I. Simson, W. K. White, J. J. Rathie, G. P. Donnelly, T. E. Crosse, T. M. Chambers, and W. Shrimpton. Mr. A. H. Ferguson is county clerk, Mr. C. D. Kennenedy, consulting engineer, and Mr. John Orr is road overseer.

Mr. Robert Donald Douglas McLean, Chairman of the Hawke's Bay
Emerson Street

Emerson Street

County Council, represented Napier in the House of Representatives from 1896 to 1899. He has been for twenty years a member of the County Council, and for a similar period a member of the committee of the Hawke's Bay Agricultural and Pastoral Society, of which he has been president, is one of the oldest members of the Rabbit Board, is a member of the Board of Governors of the Boys' High School and the Girls' High School, and has also served on the Education Board, the Hospital and Charitable Aid Board, and in many other minor public capacities. Mr. McLean was born in Wellington in the year 1852, and is the only son of the late Sir Donald McLean. He was educated at the Auckland Grammar School and at Clifton College, England, but was prevented from proceeding to the University on account of ill health, which necessitated his return to the colony. He was then articled to Messrs Hart and Buckley, a prominent legal firm in Wellington, and subsequently returned to England, where he was called to the Bar of the Middle Temple in 1882. Mr. McLean, however, did not practise his profession; he returned to New Zealand in 1883, and has since devoted himself to industrial pursuits, chiefly as a large station owner. His present property, known as “Marae-kakaho,” is one of the largest and best equipped stations in the province. Mr. McLean is a director of the Hawke's Bay Farmers' Co-operative Association and of the North British and New Zealand Freezing Company; and is president of the Highland Society.

Mr. Stanley Bennett, one of the members of the Hawke's Bay County Council, is a well-known sheep farmer at “Wharerangi,” Puketapu. He is the second son of Mr. John Bennett, of “Newstead,” and was born at Puketapu. He was educated at the Wanganui Collegiate School, and after- page 321 wards learned farming with his father. His property consists of first-class land, and carries a large number of sheep, cattle, and horses. On the football field Mr. Bennett has won honours as a representative of Hawke's Bay; he is a member of the Whare-rangi Polo Club, and took part in the tournaments at Hastings, Palmer-ston, and Auckland, and his club won the junior cup. In the year 1898 Mr. Bennett married the daughter of the late Mr. W. Balfour, of Mohaka.

Mr. Thomas Crosse, who for six years has represented the Heretaunga riding on the Hawke's Bay County Council, was for several years a member of the Patangata County Council, and for three years of the Waipawa County Council; he was one of the promoters of the Hawke's Bay Rabbit Board—which, by its splendid efforts and enormous outlay, effected the almost total extinction of the rabbit pest within the provincial boundaries—and for fifteen years was continuously its chairman; he has also served on the Clive River Board, the Hastings Borough Council, the Hawke's Bay Agricultural and Pastoral Society, the Napier High School Board of Governors, the Napier Licensing Committee, the Hawke's Bay Hospital and Charitable Aid Board, and other minor bodies. Mr. Crosse has actively supported the Government's closer settlement policy, and was selected as Crown Assessor in the purchase of nearly all the State-owned settlements in Hawke's Bay, and also acted in the same capacity in connection with the Flaxbourne estate in Marlborough. He takes a keen interest in polo and golf. Mr. Crosse was born in the year 1855, at Porangahau, in Hawke's Bay. His father settled on the Porangahau station, and Mr. Crosse was educated in Napier, at Marshall's Grammar School. He then returned to “Porangahau,” which he conducted for many years after his father's death. After leaving “Porangahau,” he bought the Kumeroa station at Woodville, which property was afterwards acquired by the Government for closer settlement. Mr. Crosse then purchased Patoka station and 800 acres of rich land near Hastings, known as “Woodland,” He works both properties in conjunction, and resides in Hastings.

Mr. George Prior Donnelly, who is a member of the Hawke's Bay County Council, is further referred to as a sheep-station owner.

Mr. James Johnston Rathie, who represents Clive riding on the Hawke's Bay County Council, has been a member of the Clive River Board for several years, and of the local school committee for fifteen years, ten years of which he has been chairman. He has also been a member of the local Lodge of Foresters for sixteen years, and is a member of the Hawke's Bay Agricultural and Pastoral Society. Mr. Rathie was born in Berwickshire, Scotland, in the year 1854, and is a son of a Presbyterian minister. He was educated at the parish school, and afterwards devoted his attention to farming. In 1874 he came to New Zealand by the ship “Tintern Abbey,” under engagement to Mr. John Scott Caverhill, of North Canterbury; two years later, however, Mr. Caverhill sold out. Subsequently Mr. Rathie had a varied experience in pastoral work at Longbeach (Ashburton), Heslerton (Rakaia), Moa Flat (Otago), and Ardgour (Central Otago). In 1882, he removed to Hawke's Bay, under an engagement to. Mr. John Roberts, of Clive Grange, where he remained for seven years. Mr. Rathie then bought a small block of land, and started farming on his own account. His property now (1906) consists of 84 acres of rich freehold land, devoted to mixed farming. Mr. Rathie is married, and has two sons and seven daughters.

Bunting, photo Mr. J. J. Rathie.

Bunting, photo Mr. J. J. Rathie.

Mr. Walter Shrimpton, who represents the Okawa riding on the Hawke's Bay County Council, is one of the oldest members of that body, and has filled the office of chairman on nine separate occasions. He is also a member of the Charitable Aid Board, is a trustee of the Napier Hospital, a member of the East Coast Native Land Trust Board, the Hawke's Bay Agricultural and Pastoral Society, and is a steward of the Hawke's Bay Metropolitan Jockey Club. Mr. Shrimpton has also served as chairman of the Okawa Road Board, and has given his time and attention to other important public bodies. He resides on his property at Matapiro.

Mr. H. Ian Simson was elected a member of the Hawke's Bay County Council for the Meanee riding, in November, 1905. He is also a member of the Meanee River Board, the Hawke's Bay and Napier Racing Clubs, the Hawke's Bay Agricultural and Pastoral Society, the Greenmeadows Bowling Club, and is vice-president of the Taradale Rifle Club. Mr. Simson was born in Waikaia, Otago, in the year 1871, and is the third son of Mr. Hector N. Simson, of Auckland, and grandson of the late Mr. H. N. Simson, sometime one of the largest and most successful horse breeders in Australia. He was educated at Gore, and by private tuition, and afterwards entered the warehouse of Mr. W. J. Hurst, grain and seed merchant, Auckland. In 1887 he returned to Gore, and joined his uncle, an auctioneer, and was subsequently engaged by Messrs H. S. Valentine and Company, of Riversdale, as auctioneer and stock salesman. During the mining boom in Auckland and the Thames, Mr. Simson established himself in business in Paeroa, as an auctioneer, and was later appointed as Government Valuer for the Ohine-muri County. Relinquishing his northern interests, he again returned to Gore, and in partnership with a brother, took over his uncle's business, which they successfully conducted until 1899, when Mr. Simson sold

page 322 out his interest and settled in Hawke's Bay, purchasing properties at Clive, Pakowhai and Meanee, where he established large dairy farms. He is now (1906) one of the largest milk suppliers in Hawke's Bay, and is also a successful breeder of horses. Mr. Simson has already stated his intention of contesting a seat at the next general election, probably in 1908.

Mr. William Kinross White is a member of the Hawke's Bay County Council. He is further referred to as a member of the Napier Harbour Board.

Mr. Charles Dugald Kennedy was appointed Engineer to the Hawke's Bay County Council in the year 1881. He was born in Napier in 1858, and is a son of the late Mr. Alexander Kennedy, of Napier—sometime captain of No. 2 Company Napier Militia, who was wounded at the memorable Omaranui fight. Mr. Kennedy was educated at the Napier Grammar School and at the late Rev. D'Arcy Irvine's private school at Waipukurau. He passed the junior Civil Service examinations in 1873, and joined the Public Works Department, in which he remained four years. In 1877 he entered the Survey Department, and was in the King Country when the surveyors were stopped by a party of eighty armed natives, under the late Major Kemp. He was placed in charge of an expedition of sixty armed native volunteers, and saw a good deal of rough work. In 1881 the Hawke's Bay County Council asked Mr. Kennedy to undertake the road and bridge engineering work of the county, and he has also acted as consulting engineer for the Patangata, Heretaunga, and Maraekakaho Road Boards, the Clive and Pukehou River Boards, the Wairoa County Council, and the Harbour Board. In 1885 he decided to study law, and passed the final examination in 1889. Mr. Kennedy was lieutenant in the F Battery Artillery Volunteers, and has a high reputation as a marksman. When in England, in 1893, he won several prizes at the Bisley meeting, and was included in the prize list of the “Queen's Prize,” and also gained a place in the following competitions: “Alexandra,” “The Armourers,” “Wantage,” “City of London,” and “Extra Prizes.” Mr. Kennedy is a good footballer, tennis player, and bowler. Though now unattached, as a Freemason, he is a Past Master of the Irish Constitution.