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Early Wellington

The New Roads

The New Roads.

The Kaiwharawhara road was completed by the Company's labourers on the 20th March, 1841. Sam Phelps was the first to drive his bullock-dray over it to Pito-one. A bridle-road from Kaiwharawhara to Porirua was also in progress, as well as one from the town into an elevated valley of some extent, called Karori, situated a mile to the south-west.

Horses were now plentiful, and the new roads afforded delightful rides, a curious contrast being presented by the neat macadamised causeway, and the groups of workmen and wheelbarrows, among the primeval forest and wild scenery which they penetrated. At the Hutt, the cultivations and clearings looked cheerful and promising. From sixty to a hundred families were now permanently settled there. Neat cottages and luxuriant gardens appeared along the banks; the rich crop had induced many a doubting settler to clear some land, and the axe-men had begun to be a large and important class.

Cattle driving, too, on the pasture hills afforded exercise and excitement. Wakefield writes: “Owners of cattle brand their herd and let them run loose over the hills, and then drive them at a gallop into
Fig. 31—Pito-one Road, showing Wellington in the distance.

Fig. 31—Pito-one Road, showing Wellington in the distance.

page 84 the stock yard when they are wanted. The cattle get exceedingly wild and fast, so that it requires bold and hard riding in some instances to head them. The stock whip, a very necessary instrument for this work requires some description for English readers. A stout wooden handle a foot in length is attached to a heavy thong of plaited hide, about fifteen feet long, from the handle to the end of the lash. The whip is whirled two or three times round the head, and cracked with a report as loud as a pistol in the face of a stubborn animal. The wildest cattle when charging you will turn from it, if it be used with skill; but an inexperienced hand is very apt to slice his own face or injure his horse severely, without at all alarming the cattle.”