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

Mr. Henry Stokes Tiffen

Mr. Henry Stokes Tiffen, whose useful life closed on the 21st of February, 1896, was a prominent New Zealand colonist for over half a century. On the 9th of February, 1842, in company with several other surveyors, Mr. Tiffen landed at Wellington, under engagement to the New Zealand Company. He was one of the first to cross the Rimutaka Ranges to the Wairarapa. Leaving his cattle run in the Wairarapa, he journeyed overland into Hawke's Bay, taking with him a mob of sheep—the first introduced in the district—and leased a very large tract of country from the Maoris, on which he successfully carried on sheep-farming. He subsequently purchased his Greenmeadows estate. On the separation of Hawke's Bay from Wellington, Mr. Tiffen accepted the position of chief surveyor and commissioner of Crown lands, and on his resignation, some years later, was elected to the Provincial Council of Hawke's Bay. On the abolition of the provinces and the introduction of the county system, he was chosen first chairman of the Hawke's Bay County Council, and did much to put the affairs of the county on a firm footing. As chairman of the Hawke's Bay Hospital and Charitable Aid Board, and of the Children's Home, and as a liberal supporter of the High School, he exerted a beneficial influence that will be long felt. To the Children's Home particularly Mr. Tiffen was a tower of strength, and it is regarded as a monument to his energy and liberality. Speaking of the deceased gentleman, the “Hawke's Bay Herald,” in its obituary notice, said, “Even to the last he was actively engaged in trying to show by practical example how the rich lands of the Ahuriri Plains could be profitably worked as fruit farms and vineyards, while for several years he was engaged in experiments in growing beet-root sugar. Kindliness and sympathy with all who were struggling or in distress were ever his most prominent characteristics. Many a successful settler owes his start in life to the ready aid of Mr. Tiffen, and no case of genuine distress over appealed to him, and was sent empty away. Wealth came to him as the reward of his early years of hard, uphill work, but he truly held it as if in trust for others. To all religious denominations, Presbyterian, Baptist, or Roman Catholic, he was a generous friend, and his own beloved Church of England owes much to him. The fine cathedral, of which Napier was so justly proud, was made possible largely by his munificent liberality. Few knew so well how to use fortune, and none grudged him the success he achieved.” Mr. Tiffen left two brothers, a sister (Mrs. C. J. A. Haselden, of Wellington), and a number of nephews and nieces. One of the latter, Mrs. A. M. Randall, occupies the home in Tennyson Street, where Mr. Tiffen was to well known.

The Late Mr. H. S. Tiffen.

The Late Mr. H. S. Tiffen.