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



Born in Scotland in 1854, John Clark came out to New Zealand with a cousin, David Dobbie, in 1876. Another passenger by the same vessel was William Graham, of Ormond. Clark and Dobbie took over Okahuatiu run (30,000 acres) in 1876. Their first home was a one-room whare. When the partnership was dissolved in 1882 Mr. Dobbie remained on the property, as manager for the Auckland Agricultural Company, till 1899, and then took up Totangi. Mr. Clark, in 1882, secured Harris and Ferguson's rights in Opou and adjacent lands, and became one of Poverty Bay's most successful sheepfarmers. He was the lessee of Te Arai station (10,691 acres) when the Crown took it over from the Hon. G. R. Johnson in 1907 at £106,502, and he received £7,447 as compensation in connection with the termination of his lease. He told the Compensation Court that he had paid £135,000 for Waipaoa (34,000 acres), together with 30,000 sheep and 1,400 cattle; that he also held Papatu (5,000 acres), which was partly leasehold; Opou (4,000 acres), the greater part of which was then leasehold; and had partnership interests in Mangapoike. These properties carried, in all, 47,000 sheep and 2,400 cattle. He broke in 18,000 acres of Waipaoa, and replaced the Lincoln flock with Romneys. Mr. Clark served on Cook County Council and Gisborne Harbour Board, and was a director of several leading commercial concerns. He died on 22 April, 1930.

Ewen Cameron (born near Inverness in 1840) was a son of a noted Scottish cattle dealer. He arrived in Auckland in 1860, and served with the Militia in the Waikato. Between 1865 and 1870 he was shepherding in Hawke's Bay. He took up Toanga in 1871. Upon the property stood a redoubt, which had bullet-proof walls 20 feet high. He dug a wide moat round it, and constructed a drawbridge. This was his first home there. Known as “The Laird of Toanga,” he was one of the district's most capable farmers, and, for a number of years, its largest exporter of livestock. He died in February, 1929.

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Arthur Bruce Newman (born in India in 1852) was only a lad when he came out with his parents to Hawke's Bay, where he learned sheepfarming. In 1876 he acquired Ngakaroa. He was a successful breeder of racehorses, and an authority on pedigrees. He died on 18 April, 1928.

William Lee Rees (born at Bristol in 1836) migrated to Victoria in 1850. He was ordained a Congregational minister in 1861, and was called to the Bar in 1865. He moved to the West Coast (South Island) in 1866, and was admitted to practice in New Zealand. In 1869 he went to reside in Auckland; in 1873 he was elected to the Auckland Provincial Council; and, in 1876, he became M.H.R. for Auckland City East. For a brief period he then resided at Napier. He made his home in Gisborne in 1879. Returning to Auckland in 1889, he was again elected to Parliament for his old seat. During a stonewall he addressed the House for 24 hours! In 1890 he resigned and contested the Hon. A. Cadman's seat, but was defeated. He returned to Gisborne in 1894. Mr. Rees was the author of Sir Gilbert Leigh, a story dealing with the Indian Mutiny, From Poverty to Plenty, and, in conjunction with Miss A. L. Rees, Life and Times of Sir George Grey. He died on 18 May, 1912.