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Historic Poverty Bay and the East Coast, N.I., N.Z.



Edward Francis Harris (born at Turanganui in 1834) was the eldest son of Captain J. W. Harris, and was known to the natives as Eruera Hareti. As a young man he had charge of a property belonging to his father on the Ruataniwha Plains (H.B.). In 1858 he became registrar of the Native Land Court and clerk of the magistrate's court at Napier. During 1859, he opened a store on a sixty-acre block near Biggs's Corner at Matawhero, but, three years later, he disposed of the property to Captain Read at £2 per acre and went off to Gabriel's Gully goldfield. Before returning to Poverty Bay in 1873, he was for some years assistant clerk in the Native Land Department at Wellington. For many years, he page 106 carried on business in Gisborne as a licensed interpreter, and became prominent as an advocate in the Native Land Court. He played an important part in securing the individualization of the native titles on Kaiti, now a populous suburb of Gisborne. Under an appointment made by Sir Donald McLean, he compiled the genealogies of the more important native families in Poverty Bay and on the East Coast. Mr. Harris served on the Pouawa Road Board, Cook County Council, the Board of Hospital Trustees, the Licensing Bench and the Kaiti Road Board. He was a keen patron of bowling. His death occurred on 26 July, 1898.

John Hervey (born in Stirlingshire in 1816) went into business with a brother at Wellington in 1842, but their premises were destroyed by fire. In 1844 he opened a trading station on the Waipaoa River, his exports including salted pork for the Admiralty. After the Massacre he became storeman for Captain Read. He died on 13 May, 1904. During his 60 years' residence in Poverty Bay he never once journeyed outside the district.

Raharuhi (Lazarus) Rukupo, who supervised the building of Te Hau ki Turanga carved meeting house (now in the Dominion Museum) was a chief of Ngati-Kaipoho hapu, of Rongowhakaata tribe. Each season he planted large fields of wheat and kumaras. When he died on 29 September, 1873, Rapata Whakapuhia was accused of having bewitched him, but it was agreed by his friends that he had died from natural causes.

James Wilson (Hemi Wirihana) was born in March, 1836, at Maraetaha, where his father (who was known as “Yorkie” Wilson, and who claimed to have been an acting captain at the Battle of Waterloo) had a store. Wilson, junior, fought on the side of the rebels at Gate Pa in 1864. Afterwards he engaged in whaling. For many years prior to his death in 1919 he had a farm at Muriwai (Poverty Bay).

James Ralston Wyllie (born in Ayrshire in 1831) entered Captain Read's employ in 1854. He was the first husband of Kate, the eldest daughter of Thomas Halbert, senior. In 1856 they went to live at Tutoko. Loyal natives made a gift of “Kahanui” block to him as compensation for the losses which he suffered at the hands of the Hauhaus in 1865. He died on 19 December, 1875. One of his sons was murdered by the Te Kooti rebels in December, 1868. Another (Gavin) became a well-known auctioneer in Gisborne.

In 1840 there was a trader named Storey at Pakirikiri. James Wilson had a store at Maraetaha. Harry Cambridge was then Capt. Rhodes's agent at Karaua. Traders at Makaraka in 1845 were Jacky (Makaraka) Moore and Thomas Norcross.