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The Cyclopedia of New Zealand [Auckland Provincial District]


The Paparoa district, situated on the Kaipara, at the junction of the Pahi and Arapaua rivers, was first settled in 1862. The pioneer settlers took their land under the land grant system for immigrants paying their own passages from England; and each adult received forty acres of land, and children twenty acres. The intending settlers arrived in Auckland in September, 1862, by the ships “Matilda Wattenbach” and “Hanover,” and belonged to a large party formed under what was then known as a Nonconformist Colony scheme, originated by a Mr. John Brame. The Government put three blocks of land—the Orauwharau, Paparoa, and Matakohe blocks—apart for this special scheme. The first land selection sales took place at Mangawai, on the east coast, in December. Some of the newcomers had been to see the land, but in most instances intending settlers selected by the map only. No roadmaking had been done, and surveys were incomplete, and many had to live at Pahi, the deep water port of the Paparoa block, for some months before they could get on to their land. The district was in an isolated condition for some years, and it was only the productiveness of the good land in which their lot had fallen, and the help they received through judicious expenditure in road making, by Mr. Williamson, Superintendent of Auckland, and Mr. Allwright, the Provincial Engineer, that saved the settlers. Later, in 1884, under the Homestead Act, all Crown lands on the far side of the Paparoa block were quickly taken up. This made Paparoa one of the most thriving districts north of Auckland. The district is solely a grazing one, and partly, of limestone, partly of sandstone soil, and most of the land has been in forest and light bush. There are some good orchards, and vine growing for wine-making has been under way during the last two or three years; a Co-operative Wine-making Company is (July, 1901) in the course of formation at Wakapirau, on the opposite side of the Pahi river, where Mr. Jackson has been wine-making in a large way for a number of years. Pahi, the port, about four miles from the Paparoa village, is visited by vessels from all parts to load with timber from Messrs Chandwick and Sons' mill. There is a Government post and telegraph office, stores, a public hall, school, police station, and a butcher's and a blacksmith's shop. Paparoa village, four miles and a half by road, has also water communication with Pahi by the Pahi and Paparoa rivers, and all heavy goods are taken that way; coaches running for the passenger traffic. It has Church of England and Wesleyan places of worship, with parsonages, a school, a cheese factory, stores, and the shops of saddlers, butchers, and blacksmiths. Paparoa is the headquarters of the Otamatea Mounted Rifles, and the orderly-room and rifle range, 1000 to 1200 yards, are close to the village. The post and telegraph office has been carried on for years at one of the business places, but the Government has just (July, 1901) bought a section of land on which to erect buildings. Regular monthly auction sales of stock are held at Mr. Wakelin's yards. Communication has so far been by rail from Auckland to Helensville and then by steamer to Pahi, but in the course of a few years the north of Auckland railway will, though not touching the village, give a better and more direct mode of communication.