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

Flockowners in 1877

Flockowners in 1877.

The principal European flockowners in the Poverty Bay-East Coast area in 1877 were:

Barker and McDonald, Whataupoko, Kaiti and Pouawa, 30,470; J. W. Johnson, page 322 Maraetaha, 11,047; G. R. Johnson, Te Arai, 8,564; E. Murphy, Tolaga Bay, 9,045; Duncan Fraser, Waikohu, Oweta, and Puhatikotiko, 5,547; A. B. Newman, Ngakaroa, 5,242; A. C. Arthur, Tokomaru Bay, 5,150; J. Allen, Waikanae, 5,047; W. K. Chambers, Repongaere, 5,067; A. Reeves, Tolaga Bay, 3,820; R. Noble, Tolaga Bay, 3,270; G. Scott, Kaiteratahi, 3,730; C. Westrup, Goodwood, 3,322; C. J. and A. C. Harrison, Rangatira and Whatatutu, 3,025; F. E. Tatham, Anaura, 3,025; R. D. McDougall, Lorne, 2,761; A. G. Burnett, Tangihanga, 2,462; J. Robertson, Hicks Bay, 2,295; H. Davies, Pouparae, 2,089; C. Agnew Brown, Whakawhitira, 2,050; E. Robson, Koukouhiki, 2,030; Johnson Bros., Lavenham, 1,975; S. Parsons, Matawhero, 1,957; J. B. Poynter, Bushmere, 1,780; S. C. Caulton, Combermere, 1,507; and F. W. Helyar, Ormond, 1,500.

The merino was the first type of sheep tried in Poverty Bay. Grazed on damp, heavily-grassed paddocks, it proved very liable to footrot. Harris and Ferguson introduced Cotswold rams at Opou in 1870, but the cross was not persevered with after 1874, when the Lincoln began to oust the merino. Prominent early stud breeders of Lincolns included: G. Scott, J. E. Espie, W. W. Smith, F. W. Helyar and H. Harris, and, subsequently, Smith Bros., Alex. McKenzie and D Kirkpatrick. Heavy mortality among the Lincoln cross hoggets in the late 1880's led many growers to return to the pure Lincoln, but without avail. Messrs. McKenzie and Kirkpatrick then began to experiment with the Romney, and, later, they were joined by J. C. Field and others. Romneys were first shown in Gisborne in 1891 and Southdowns in 1902. Thomas Todd (Gisborne Herald, 4 May, 1946) claimed that, within 10 years, a Romney type was developed in New Zealand which was not only much better suited to New Zealand conditions than the English Romney, but which is now able to challenge its prototype even in England. “This,” he added, “is something of which New Zealand might well be proud. Here, in Poverty Bay, we had a share in that work, and the fact is worth preserving.”