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



Puketapu is situated nine miles north-west from Napier, in the county of Hawke's Bay, and in the electoral district of Waiapu. It has a public school, with an average attendance of forty pupils. A coach plies daily between the township and Napier, via Taradale. Mails are received and despatched daily, and there is a telephone office in the township. Church services are held every Sunday in the school-house. Puketapu is a sheep-farming district; there are several large stations in the vicinity, and the land is also suitable for agricultural farming. The notorious Maori rebel, Te Kooti, after his escape from the Chatham Islands and defeat of settlers and volunteers, camped in Puketapu, on the banks of the river, from the 18th of August to the 28th of October, 1868, when he proclaimed himself “Saviour of the People.”

The Puketapu Post and Telegraph Office and Telephone Bureau was established over twenty-five years ago, and is conducted in Mr H. G. Ballantyne's store. There is a daily mail service to and from Napier.

The Puketapu Public School was established in the early days of settlement. There are fifty names on the roll, and the average attendance is forty. The teachers in charge are Misses H. Andrews and K. Rudman. Mr. Herbert G. Ballantyne is the chairman of the school committee.

Puketapu Hotel (F. T. Bradley, proprietor). This well-known house was built in 1885, and contains twenty bedrooms, two parlours, and a dining room capable of accommodating upwards of twenty guests. Since the early part of 1906, when the present proprietor took over the house, everything has been thoroughly renovated, and the whole business put on a first-class footing. Superior stabling is afforded, and conveyances may be hired at all times.

page 414
Kuripapango Mail Coach Crossing The Tutaekuri River.

Kuripapango Mail Coach Crossing The Tutaekuri River.

Mr. Frederick Thomas Bradley, proprietor of the Puketapu Hotel, was born in Napier in 1871, and is the son of Mr. George Bradley, an old resident of Taradale. After leaving the Taradale School, Mr. Bradley worked at various occupations, and subsequently spent four years in the firm of Messrs Murray, Roberts and Company, at the Spit. Afterwards he was engaged by Mr. George Rymner to drive the Fernhill-Napier coach, and was later transferred to the inland Patea-Napier route. Mr. Bradley drove the latter coach for nine years, and had some exciting and trying experiences during the flood of 1897, when he had to abandon the coach and pack the mails to the journey's end. During the South African war Mr. Bradley saw sixteen months' service with the Third New Zealand Contingent. He returned to the colony in 1901, and settled at Puketitiri. While resident there he was manager of the Hawke's Bay Timber Company's mills, chairman of the local school committee, proprietor of the Puketitiri Hotel, and secretary, treasurer, and handicapper of the Puketitiri Sports Society. He is a member of the Woodthorpe Racing Club, the Hawke's Bay Agricultural and Pastoral Society, and of the Court Captain Cook Lodge of Foresters, Napier. Mr. Bradley married a daughter of Mr. A. Lennie, of Christchurch, in 1901.

Bunting, photo.Mr. F. T. Bradley.

Bunting, photo.
Mr. F. T. Bradley.

General Store, Puketapu. This store is conducted by Mr H. G. Ballantyne, and is a two-storeyed wooden building, with three commodions store rooms at the rear. It is well stocked with drapery, boots and shoes, ironmongery, groceries, and general goods. A large wholesale and retail trade is carried on, and two waggons are continually on the road. Country produce, including oats, chaff, wheat and maize, is bought and sold.

Mr. Herbert G. Ballantyne, J.P., was born in Manchester, England, in the year 1869, and was educated at the Glasgow High School. He arrived in New Zealand in 1886, and for five years afterwards was engaged in the firm of Messrs Robjohns, Hindmarsh and Company, at the Spit, Napier, After a two years' trip to the Old Country, Mr. Ballantyne returned to the colony, and started his present business at Puketapu. He made another trip to England and Scotland in 1902, and returned via America and Canada. Mr. Ballantyne is chairman of the Puketapu School Committee, secretary of the local branch of the Farmers' Union, postmaster and telephonist; and a member of the Hawke's Bay Agricultural and Pastoral Society, and the Woodthorpe Racing Club. As a Freemason he is a member of the Blythswood Masonic Lodge, Glasgow, No. 817, S.C. He was made a Justice of the Peace in 1903.

Bunting, photo.Mr. H. G. Ballantyne.

Bunting, photo.
Mr. H. G. Ballantyne.

Apley Station (Nelson Brothers, proprietors; A. E. Griffiths, manager), Rissington, Puketapu. This station is situated sixteen miles from Napier, via the Wharerangi and Taradale road, and is a freehold property of 7,000 acres. About 7,000 sheep are depastured, chiefly Border-Leicester cross-breds, and the lambing averages ninety-five per cent. The stock also includes 750 head of cattle, of the polled Angus breed. A steam shearing plant has been installed, and accommodation is provided for sixteen shearers. Upwards page 415 of 200 bales of wool can be stored in the wool-shed, where there is also accommodation for about 1,000 sheep.

Mr. Alfred Evan Griffiths, manager of Apley station, was born in Auckland in the year 1867, and has been employed in various large sheep station in Hawke's Bay. He was engaged as a shepherd at “Apley” in 1894, and promoted to his present position in 1901. Mr. Griffiths married a daughter of Mr. W. Reading, of Napier, in 1897, and has one son and one daughter.

Brooklands Estate, Puketapu, consists of 2,315 acres, all fenced and grassed. It was the property of the late Mr. Gavin Peacock, and is now managed by his son, Mr. W. I. Peacock, on behalf of the family. About 6,500 Lincoln sheep are shorn every season, and the stock includes 100 head of cattle, and about thirty horses.

Mr. William Irving Peacock, third son of the late Mr. Gavin Peacock, and manager of “Brooklands,” was born in Hawke's Bay, in the year 1869, educated at the Napier High School, and was brought up to sheep-farming. He is a first-rate cricketer and footballer, as well as a good golf and polo-player. He is a member of the Wharerangi polo team, which was “runner-up” for the senior cup at the New Zealand Tournament, held at Hastings in 1898.

Bicknell, Joseph, Sheep-farmer, “Willow Brook,” Puketapu. Mr. Bicknell operates a freehold property of 500 acres of good agricultural and pastoral land, capable of depasturing three sheep to the acre. The farm is well stocked with a flock of Lincoln Leicester sheep, and upwards of fifty head of cattle, and the lambing averages about eighty-five per cent. Cropping is carried on to a considerable extent, the flat land being rich in quality, and capable of yielding good returns. Mr Bicknell was born at the Hutt, Wellington, in the year 1853, and in the son of Mr. John Bicknell, an old settler, who arrived in New Zealand in the late “forties,” and who settled in Puketapu, on a property adjoining “Willow Brook,” in 1856. After leaving school Mr. Bicknell commenced farming with his father, and also assisted him in the carrying business, but subsequently sold out his interest to his brother, and in 1882 bought his present property, which he has since successfully conducted. Mr. Bicknell is a director of the Hawke's Bay Farmers' Co-operative Association, steward of the Napier Park Racing Club, chairman of the Puketapu branch of the Farmers' Union, member of the Hawke's Bay Agricultural and Pastoral Society, trustee of the Puketapu cemetery, and a member of the local school committee. He married a daughter of Mr. James Murray, an old colonist of Auckland, and has three sons and two daughters.

Mr. and Mrs J. Bickenell.

Mr. and Mrs J. Bickenell.

Codd, Charles, Sheep-farmer, Puketapu. Mr Codd occupies a very fine property of 369 acres of arable land, situated in a sheltered valley. About 100 acres are under crop, and the remainder is in grass. The land produces sixty bushels of oats and seventy bushels of barley to the acre; 800 Lincoln sheep are depastured, besides cattle and horses. The farm is furnished with the latest machinery and implements, including a Cambridge roller, combined threshing and traction engine, an elevator for stacking, three of Hornby's reapers and binders, two of Kersey's mowing-machines, a double-bagging chaff cutter by Andrews and Beaven, two double-furrow ploughs, sowing drill, disc and Tyne harrows, etc. Mr. Codd was born in Grainthorpe, Lincolnshire. England, in the year 1858, and is the son of a farmer. He was educated in his native place, and brought up to agricultural pursuits on his father's farm. In 1881 he came to New Zealand by the ship “Rakaia” (Captain Metealf), and landed in Wellington. Proceeding to Hawke's Bay, Mr. Codd found suitable employment with the Hon. J. D. Ormond, for over two years. He was afterwards with Mr. John Bennett and with Mr. Philip Dolbel, and closed his career as an employee with a few months in Mr. Lowmen's service. Removing to Taradale, he spent three years there as a contractor for ploughing, road metalling, carting, etc., and then, in 1890, he leased his present holding. Mr. Codd is a member of the Manchester Unity of Oddfellows, and when in Taradale was a member of the school committee. He married, in the year 1887, a niece of Mr. Philip Dolbel, and has two sons and two daughters.

Mr. C. Codd.

Mr. C. Codd.

Dunnage, Alfred S., Farmer and Fruit Grower. “Rangiora,” Patoka, Puketapu. Mr. Dunnage took up page 416 his present property in the year 1901. “Rangiora” is a freehold holding of 300 acres, all undulating land. About 350 cross-bred sheep are departured. Fruit growing is, however, the main industry, every advantage having been taken of the sheltered and sunny slopes for that purpose. About one and a-half acres are laid down in strawberries, of several different varieties, and the Napier market is supplied from the middle of November to the second week in January. In addition there are four acres of keeping apples, one acre of pear trees, and one acre of general fruit trees. A modern residence of six rooms has been erected on the property, and there are also several substantial outbuildings. Mr. Dunnage was born in Christchurch in the year 1870, and is a son of the late Mr. George Dunnage, an old resident of Christchurch. He was educated at the Christchurch Boys' High School, and after engaging in clerical work for three years, removed to the North Island, and served an apprenticeship as a cadet on Patoka station, where, with a few absences, he remained for twelve years. Mr. Dunnage is a member of the Patoka school committee. He married a daughter of the late Rev. E. R. Otway, of Christchurch, in the year 1902.

Hakowai Station, Puketapu, the property of Mr. Hugh McDonald, is composed of two leasehold properties, nearly adjoining, one containing 1,133 acres, and the homestead section, 700 acres. It is situated twelve miles from Napier, on the main inland Patea road, and with the exception of about 300 acres of flat land, is all undulating country. The stock comprises 3,800 sheep, 300 of which are hoggets, and the remainder half-bred Romney-Marsh ewes, which are crossed with Border-Leicester rams. Lambing ran to eighty-seven per cent. in the year 1904, but in former years the per centage has been ninety. Upwards of 150 head of cattle are grazed, including a pure bred polled Angus bull.

Mr. Hugh McDonald was born in Rossshire, Scotland, in the year 1863, and was educated in Strathconan. He afterwards worked with his father, who was manager of the Right Hon. A. J. Balfour's estate. Mr. McDonald arrived in New Zealand in 1883, and for the first six years was engaged in the South Island. For the next thirteen years he acted as head shepherd for Messrs Studholme Brothers, Patea, and took up his present holding in 1902. Mr. McDonald is a member of the Hawke's Bay Agricultural and Pastoral Society, the Dunedin, Wellington, and Hawke's Bay Kennel Clubs, the Napier Park Racing Club, the Napier Highland Society, and is a steward, of the Woodthorpe Racing Club. As a member of the Hawke's Bay Gun Club he has won a number of sweepstakes, medals, and trophies. Mr. McDonald's chief hobby is the breeding of collie dogs, in which he has been singularly successful, and at the various kennel shows held throughout New Zealand he has been a notable exhibitor and competitor, having won innumerable trophies against all comers. One of his dogs, “Makaraka Ranger,” has won twenty-three first prizes, six championships, and fourteen specials. A silver link dog collar, presented by the New Zealand Times Company to the Wellington Kennel Club, with the condition that it should be won two years in succession to become the property of a competitor, was won right out by Mr. McDonald. He is now (1906) importing two prize rough-coated collies from Mr. Thomas Stretch, a noted Lancashire breeder. Mr. McDonald has been a great helping factor to the Kennel Club of the colony, and is the founder of the Hawke's Bay Kennel Club. As a sportsman he spends a few days each year in the back country, deer-shooting, and the heads which adorn the walls of his residence are evidence of his expertness as a rifle shot. He married a daughter of Mr. T. Whittle, of Puketitiri, in May, 1903, and has one son.

Moteo Station, Hawke's Bay, owned by Mr. Lawrence Higgins, is a fine run of 4,000 acres of mixed flat and hilly limestone country, stocked with 10,000 Lincoln sheep, 200 head of shorthorn cattle, and a few horses. The land has a considerable frontage to the Tutaekuri river. It is well watered in every part, and contains a large quantity of rich swamp soil, which is being drained and scientifically treated.

Mr. Lawrence Higgins was born in Ireland in the year 1853, is a son of Mr. Francis Higgins, a farmer and stock dealer, and was educated in his native town. He came to New Zealand in 1866, by the ship “Strathallan” (Captain Paddle), and entered into business in the boot trade, at which he did very well for five or six years. He then went to Gisborne, and built the Shelbourne Hotel at Makaraka. He conducted this hotel for about four years, and then sold out to Mr. George Saunders. In 1878 Mr. Higgins took up his present property, all unimproved native land, which he has cleared, ploughed, sown in grass, and also fenced and sub-divided.

Patoka Station (T. E. Crosse, proprietor; William H. Roil, manager), Puketapu. This run is a freehold property of 10,800 acres, situated about twenty-seven miles from Napier, on the Puketitiri road. About 1,000 acres are covered with fern and native scrub, but the work of eradicating this nuisance is being pushed on, and when cleared the run will carry about 15,000 sheep. From 12,800 to 13,000 Romney-Marsh and Lincoln cross-breds are depastured, and upwards of 100 head of cattle. The lambing average is about eighty-five per cent. About 4,000 acres are ploughable, although undulating, the most of which is sown with turnips and oats for station use. “Patoka” is well watered, and has numerous creeks and natural springs. Shearing is carried out with the latest machinery, and accommodation is provided for eight shearers, who usually put through about 1,500 sheep a day. Six persons find constant employment, whilst all the ploughing and grubbing is done by contract. The buildings on the run include the manager's residence, an accommodation house, a wool-shed, and several stables, barns, and outbuildings.

Mr. William Henry Roil, manager of Patoka station, was born in Nelson, in the year 1852, and after leaving school was for a time in the employment of Bishop Suter. He afterwards removed to the North Island, and found work on several large sheep stations, taking up ploughing contracts, and gaining experience in agricultural and pastoral matters. In 1891 he was engaged by Mr Crosse as a shepherd, and was subsequently promoted to the managership of Kumeroa station, near Woodville,
Bunting, photo.Mr. W. H. Roil.

Bunting, photo.
Mr. W. H. Roil.

page 417 where he remained until Mr. Crosse disposed of the property to the Government, in March, 1902; he was then appointed manager of “Patoka” in April of the same year. Mr Roil is chairman of the Patoka School Committee, and a member of the Hawke's Bay and Woodville Agricultural and Pastoral Societies. As a Freemason he is a member of Lodge Ruahine, Woodville, No. 80, N.Z.C., and is also a Druid of many years' standing. Mr. Roil married a daughter of Mr. Alexander Todd, of Eskdale, in the year 1881, and has four sons and three daughters.

Puketapu Station, the property of the North British and Hawke's Bay Freezing Company, Limited, was formerly owned by the late Mr. John Heslop, and worked conjointly with Omaranui station, then owned by Mr. William Heslop. A few years after the death of Mr. Heslop the estates were divided, and purchased by their present owners. Puke-tapu station is situated about eight miles from Napier, and is a fine block of grazing country. It is well improved, and there is a modern dwelling house, up-to-date outbuildings, a wool-shed and men's quarters. Upwards of 5,000 Lincoln-Leicester and Romney-Marsh cross-breds and 214 head of cattle are depastured. A large acreage of the land is plough-able, and well adapted for yielding good returns in root and other crops.

Mr. Malcolm Allan MacLeod, manager of Puketapu station, entered upon his present duties in January, 1906. He was born in Struan Skye, Inverness-shire, Scotland, in the year 1877, and after his schooling days worked with his father, and later gained more experience with Mr. P. McLean, of Struan Skye. Mr Mac-Leod arrived in New Zealand in 1899, and was engaged by Mr. D. Macfarlane, then manager of the Hakatara-mea station, near Waimate. Subsequently, when Mr. Macfarlane bought the Teviot station, in Central Otago, Mr. MacLeod accompanied him there, and acted as his head shepherd for eighteen months. Before coming to New Zealand Mr. MacLeod was a piper in the Skye Volunteers connected with the 4th Battalion Cameron Highlanders. During his residence in the South Island of New Zealand, he was a member of the Dunedin Gaelic Society, and was also Pipe Major of the Roxburgh Caledonian Society.

Bunting, photo Mr. M. A. MacLeod.

Bunting, photo Mr. M. A. MacLeod.

Springfield Station, Puketapu, is the property of Mr. Richard Dolbel, and is managed by his sons, Messrs R. C. and Philip Dolbel. It is a freehold estate of 2,000 acres of good pastoral land. The whole property has been cleared of manuka scrub, ploughed, and sown with English grass, and carries a flock of 4,000 Romney-Marsh cross-breds, and 150 head of cattle. Lambing averages eighty-seven per cent, and the wool clip seventy-six bales. The homestead is a large twelve-roomed house, and is surrounded with substantial outbuildings. Mr. Dolbel has also a twenty-one years' lease of the Kai-waka station at Eskdale. This property contains 30,000 acres, and depastures 33,000 sheep and 200 head of cattle. There are upwards of eighty miles of fencing.

Mr. Richard Christon Dolbel was born in Napier in the year 1865, and was educated in Taradale and at the Napier High School. Subsequently he spent three years on the Kaiwaka station, and has since, with the assistance of his brother, been engaged in managing Springfield station. He is a member of the Napier Park and Woodthorpe Racing Clubs. Mr. Dolbel married a daughter of Mrs. Kerry, of Napier, in 1889, and has two daughters.

Mr. Philip Dolbel was born on Springfield station, Puketapu, and was educated in Taradale, and at the Napier High School. He resides at “Redcliffe,” and in conjunction with his brother, manages the Springfield station. He is a member of the Napier Park and Woodthorpe Racing Clubs, and the Taradale Rifle Club. Mr. Dolbel married Miss Martin, of Taradale, and has two daughters and one son.