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The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 10, Issue 12 (March 2, 1936)

The New Station at Hokianga

The New Station at Hokianga.

The Wesleyan party returned from Kerikeri to Sydney by the first vessel, but they were soon back, determined to succeed in their crusade. This time they chose the other coast, the West. Hokianga invited them because of the friendly character of its people and the convenience of its great system of internal waterways for travel from place to place. Patuone, that chief who had so befriended them on that alarming encounter in the forest, was anxious that they should plant a station in his territory. So John Hobbs returned to pioneer the land anew. He was joined by the Rev. J. W. Stack. A site was selected at Mangungu, about twenty miles up the great tidal river. Here an estate of 850 acres was bought, with deep-water frontage, a house was built, and cultivations were begun. It was a place of beauty, fertility and pleasant climate, no more kindlier home for a pioneer station in New Zealand. Hobbs and Stack gradually built up their institution, they taught and preached and introduced the better part of civilisation to the Hokianga tribes. The neat buildings and fencing and cultivations were a lesson to them all.

In 1830, the Rev. W. White joined them. The proselytising campaign was gradually extended down to the Kaipara, to the Waikato and to Kawhia. The Rev. James Wallis and his wife arrived in 1834, and he and the Rev. W. Woon and the Rev. John Whiteley were the pioneers of the West Coast stations. Nathaniel Turner returned in 1836—he had been in Tonga—and with him came James Buller, a stalwart Cornishman; he was at that time a tutor to Turner's family, Every year now brought more recruits for the mission work.