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


page 315

The Pioneer Runholders—Bushfelling on Widespread Scale—W. L. Rees's “Co-operative Colonisation” Plan Rejected by British Government.

Settlement in Poverty Bay received two serious setbacks—firstly, during the East Coast War (1865), and, then, on account of the Te Kooti revolt (1868). Crown Plan No. 1921 (red) in the Gisborne Survey Office shows most of the blocks that had been taken up by 1870. It is described as: “Plan of Surveys in the Poverty Bay District in the County of Stafford.” Omissions include the areas around Opou which were held under lease by Harris and Ferguson and Captain Read's scattered interests in and about Matawhero. Details in parentheses do not appear on the plan.

Kaiti: 4,350 acres (rent £20 per annum)—Captain G. E. Read. (1856: Harris and Read.)

Biographical notes concerning Harris and Read appear elsewhere.

Pouawa: 19,200 acres—G. S. Cooper (1865).

George Sisson Cooper came out to New Zealand in 1841. Six years later he became assistant private secretary to Governor G. Grey. In 1852 he was appointed Native Land Purchase Officer for Hawke's Bay. He was, for a time, owner of Woodlands (Hawke's Bay). In 1861 he was R.M. at Napier, and, later, Under-Secretary for Native Affairs.

Whangara: 21,450 acres—H. R. C. Wallace. (1867: Wallace and J. Broadbent.)

In 1875, upon coming into an estate in Ayrshire, Mr. Wallace, who had spent a lot of money on the run, sold his lease to James Seymour, who in turn, before returning to Australia, sold out to his brother Charles in 1881. When Mr. Wallace died in 1888 he left £7,000 to establish a lifeboat on the Ayrshire coast. The residue of his estate went to Edinburgh Royal Infirmary. Charles Seymour (born in South Australia in 1841) died on 5 March, 1901.

Whataupoko: Area, not shown, but about 20,000 acres—W. Parker, senior (21 years' lease, rental £200 per annum). (1864: W. and H. Parker.)

William Parker (born in Cheshire in 1823) migrated to Hawke's Bay in 1859. He and his brother Henry were induced to take up the run by Henare Ruru, senior, Otene Pitau (elder half-brother of Wi Pere) and Tom Jones, also a half-caste. Frederick Parker (one of W. Parker's sons) was, for a number of years, manager of the Gisborne branch of the Bank of New South Wales. Another son, William, who had been on the staff of the Lands and Survey Department in Napier, spent the evening of his life in Gisborne.

Maraetaha: Area not given, but about 20,000 acres—G. R. and page 316 J. W. Johnson (1867). (1866: Captain J. Wilson and T. Lowry, of Napier.)

References to Captain Wilson's career appear in the section dealing with the Poverty Bay Massacre.
George Randall Johnson (born at Lavenham, Sussex, in 1833) graduated M.A. at Cambridge in 1860. He settled in Poverty Bay with his brother (J. Woodbine Johnson) in 1867. When he was appointed to the Legislative Council in 1872 he was a resident of Wellington. He had been living in England for two years when he resigned in 1892. He died on 24 November, 1919.
James Woodbine Johnson, “a fine old English gentleman,” gained his B.A. at Cambridge in 1865. He and his brother had lived in Queensland for two years before they settled in Poverty Bay. He participated in the fighting against Te Kooti; was Poverty Bay's first representative on the Auckland Provincial Council; and the first chairman of Cook County. He died on 11 October, 1899. Lady Pomare is a daughter.

Te Arai: Area not given, but, eventually, 10,691 acres—Charles Westrup (1867). (The Hon. G. R. Johnson later obtained the freehold, and it was taken over by the Crown.)

Charles Westrup (Te Parukamu to the natives) was born in England. He served in the Waikato War (1863–5) with the Forest Rangers under Major von Tempsky and Captain Jackson; assisted in the East Coast War (1865); was the only senior officer who escaped during the Poverty Bay Massacre, and became O.C. the district. At Paparatu he was in charge of the Crown force, and he fought under Colonel Whitmore at Ruakituri and Ngatapa. He took over the Waiohika end of the Whataupoko run in 1875. In recognition of the firm stand which he adopted with the Government when Te Kooti threatened to return to Poverty Bay in 1889 the settlers presented him with an illuminated address and a purse of 106 sovereigns. He died at Wellington on 23 June, 1903. Fortune had frowned upon him towards the close of his career, and, for a time, he had been reduced to selling newspapers on the street.

Repongaere: 9,900 acres—G. N. Dodd and R. Peppard (1867).

Both were slain by the Te Kooti rebels in November, 1868.

Ngakaroa: 12,360 acres—J. B. Poynter and C. Evans (1867).

James Benjamin Poynter served as chairman of the Poverty Bay Highways Board and was the first president of the Poverty Bay A. and P. Association. In the 1880's he went to Tasmania to engage in mining, but without success. Eventually he settled in South Africa. Charles Evans (born at Wolverhampton in 1830) migrated to Australia in 1852. He had also lived in Tasmania before he came on to New Zealand. In 1867 he moved from Castlepoint to Poverty Bay. At Paparatu he was wounded. For a number of years he was manager of Te Arai station. He died on 26 July, 1916.

Ruangarehu: 3,146 acres—George Scott (1867).

Northumberland was Mr. Scott's birthplace. He started life as a shepherd in Australia, and, later, followed that occupation in Hawke's Bay. Upon settling in Poverty Bay he invested his savings in Ruangarehu. He served throughout the Te Kooti campaign in Poverty Bay. His death took place on 30 March, 1896.
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Pukepapa: 11,000 acres—Arthur Kempthorne (1867). (1867: Kempthorne and Roskruge.)

Born in London in 1841, Mr. Kempthorne came out to Auckland in 1842 with his parents. From 1857 till 1860 he was on the teaching staff at Waerenga-a-Hika mission station. It was on that account that the natives always called him Mita Aata (Mr. Arthur). Then, for five years, he worked on a sheep station in Hawke's Bay. He was present at the Siege of Waerenga-a-Hika and served in the Te Kooti campaign. He died on 17 April, 1910.

Opou and adjacent lands: (1868: Henry Harris and John Ferguson.) (1835: Captain Harris.)

Henry Harris was the second son of Captain Harris. He was born in Poverty Bay in 1837. When Opou was taken over by John Clark he established a stud sheep farm on Waikanae. He died on 29 November, 1882.
John Ferguson (born at Glencoe, Scotland, in 1838) came out to Hawke's Bay with his parents in 1862. For six years he was employed on Mangatarata (Hawke's Bay). When he and Henry Harris dissolved their partnership in Opou he took up Glencoe, which, later, became “Glencoe Settlement.” He died on 21 January, 1912.

In the Tolaga Bay district Andrew Reeves had, in 1865–6, secured leases of several blocks, and, two years later, Joseph Rhodes and Samuel Locke, of Hawke's Bay, took up Paremata.