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The Cyclopedia of New Zealand [Auckland Provincial District]


Poroti is situated about twelve and a half miles from Whangarei. It was formerly a native settlement, and is now the centre of a considerable kauri gum trade. The total area of the gumfields is upwards of 24,000 acres, and they have been known for many years past as affording the best diggings north of Auckland. A large portion of the soil is of a volcanic character, and ranks with the best class of land to be found in the county for agricultural purposes. The whole district was formerly in the hands of the natives, and it was not till Mr. Rawnsley's advent at Poroti, and by dint of energy and perseverance on his part, that he succeeded in obtaining the gum rights over the land, at a cost to him of over £3700. The deposits on this field are of a superior quality, known as East Coast, and have always been worked in a systematic manner with a limited number of men. Poroti is situated at the junction of the Mangakahia and Wharekohe roads, and on the Ngairua and Wairoa rivers. The surrounding country is more or less covered with native bush, so that in years to come, when one portion of Poroti is a worked-out gumfield, the remainder will be available for development and will keep a number of settlers fully employed. The Whatiti Block, on the southern boundary of Whangarei, has become a place of verdant pastures which surround the small township, consisting of the schoolhouse with master's residence, and post office, in addition to the dwellings of the settlers. There is telephone connection and regular mail communication, besides the ordinary savings bank and money order facilities.