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



Wanstead is an outlying district in the county of Patangata, twelve miles south-west from Waipukurau, and sixty miles from Napier. It is devoted solely to sheep farming, and there are several large stations in the district. The Porangahau mail coach passes through Wanstead daily. The township has one hotel, a school, a public hall, and a post and telegraph office, with telephone connection with Waipukurau.

The Wanstead Hotel (William Storah, proprietor), Wanstead. This hotel is a commodious two-storeyed wooden building, and contains eleven bedrooms, two parlours, and a clean, comfortable dining room. The cuisine is good, while the liquors are of excellent quality. Mrs. Storah attends to all the domestic arrangements.

Mr. William Storah, proprietor of the Wanstead Hotel, was born in Limerick, Ireland, in the year 1844, and came to New Zealand at four years of age, accompanied by his parents. On the voyage the crew mutinied, and in order to get another crew the ship put into Hobart, and afterwards into Auckland, finally landing her passengers in Wellington. The Storah family first lived at The Hutt, but afterwards settled in Wellington, page 524 where Mr. Storah attended the Catholic school in Bowkett Street, which was afterwards destroyed by the great earthquake of 1855. In 1856 Mr. Storah went overland from Wellington to Porangahau, with a mob of cattle, the journey occupying seven weeks, and remained on Mr. D. Hunter's station for eighteen months afterwards. He then returned to Wellington, and was engaged in the aerated water business for one year. Later, Mr. Storah proceeded to the Wairarapa, and found employment on Donald station near Masterton, where he remained for a period of three years, after which he removed to Hawke's Bay. Mr. Storah then joined a small coastal steamer, finally left the vessel at Akitio, and accepted an engagement as a bullock driver for Mr. John Chambers, at Havelock. A few months later he shipped in the s.s. “White Swan,” on her ill-fated voyage from Napier to Wellington. The vessel was wrecked on Flat Point (without loss of life), and Mr. Storah walked over the hills and through the bush into the Wairarapa. After working for a while on the Taurua and Donald stations, the Maori war broke out, and Mr. Storah journeyed to Wellington, and joined the Colonial Defence Force. When he was mustered out he proceeded to the Wakamarina gold-fields, but, being unsuccessful, he returned to the North Island, and found employment on various stations. In 1864 Mr. Storah went to Tikokino, and in company with a partner cut the timber for the first public house built in that township, after which he returned to the Wairarapa, and was employed for nine years by Mr. Richard Barton. Returning again to Hawke's Bay in 1876, he worked on Motuotaraia and Akitio stations, and was afterwards appointed manager of a hotel. Subsequently Mr. Storah was employed for twenty-one years on Mangatarata station, and afterwards farmed in the Waipawa district. He subsequently sold his property, bought the Wanstead Hotel, and entered into possession in May, 1902. Mr. Storah is a member of the Waipukurau Jockey Club, and the Porangahau Racing Club. As a Freemason he is a Past Grand Steward of the Grand Lodge of New Zealand, and he is also an Oddfellow of many years' standing.

Storah's Wanstead Hotel.

Storah's Wanstead Hotel.

Bunting, photo.Mr. W. Storah.

Bunting, photo.
Mr. W. Storah.

Flemington Station, Wanstead, was taken up by the late Mr. David S. Fleming, in the year 1863, and comprises 6,000 acres, of which 3,000 are freehold, and the remainder leasehold native land. When taken up the country was in its virgin state, but it is now one of the finest properties in Hawke's Bay. The winter stock comprises 9,500 Romney Marsh-Lincoln cross-breds (of which 4,000 are breeding ewes), a stud flock of 400 pure-bred Lincolns, a herd of 500 head of polled Angus cattle, 100 horses (including thirty brood mares), and the stallion “Cock o' the North.” There are two homesteads on the property, also a wool-shed, stocked with eight stands of Smoko sheep-shearing machines, a large granary, stables, and several other out-buildings.

Mr. Robert John Fleming was born at “Flemington” in 1876, and is the eldest son of the late Mr. D. S. Fleming. He received his education in Waipukurau and Wanganui, after which he returned to the station,
Bunting, photo.Mr. R. J. Fleming.

Bunting, photo.
Mr. R. J. Fleming.

page 525 and took over the management of the property in 1899, Mr. Fleming is a member of the Agricultural and Pastoral Society, the Farmers' Union, the Hawke's Bay Gun Club, a steward of the Waipukurau Racing Club, and vice-president of the Waipukurau Football Club. As a Freemason he is a member of Lodge Bedford, Waipukuran, No. 25, N.Z.C. Mr. Fleming married a daughter of Mr. J. Merry-lees, of Waipukurau, in April, 1902, and has two sons.

Motuotaraia Station (W. Sanders, proprietor); Robert Johnstone, manager), Wanstead. This valuable freehold property was acquired by Mr. Sanders in the year 1879, and contains nearly 15,000 acres of good grazing country. The winter stock comprises 26,000 Corriedale Merino-Lincoln cross-breds, and a herd of 800 head of polled Angus cattle. There is also a stud flock of Lincolns, numbering 300. As many as 35,000 sheep have been carried in the summer season. Lambing averages about ninety per cent. The wool is invariably sent direct to the Home market. The wool-shed, a large up-to-date building, 112 feet long by 40 feet wide, is fitted with sixteen stands of Wolseley shearing machines, driven by an eight horse-power Hornsby engine. Upwards of 100 miles of fencing have been erected. The homestead is a two-storeyed house, sheltered from the wind by large plantations of pines, blue gums, and other trees.

Motuotaraia Homestead.

Motuotaraia Homestead.

Mr. Robert Johnstone, who is a nephew of Mr. W. Sanders, was appointed manager of the Motuotaraia station in 1879. He was born in Lockerbie, Dumfrieshire, Scotland, came to New Zealand in 1871, in the ship “E. P. Bouverie,” and landed in Port Chalmers. Mr. Johnstone was with his uncles, Messrs W. and J. Sanders, on their Kyeburn station, where he remained until the property was sold. He was then for a time with Mr. Watson Shannon, and was afterwards manager of “Conical Hills,” Tapanui, before taking up his present duties.

Bunting, photo.Mr. R. Johnstone.

Bunting, photo.
Mr. R. Johnstone.