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The Cyclopedia of New Zealand [Nelson, Marlborough & Westland Provincial Districts]



Nikau is the name of a railway siding on the Westport-Mokihinui branch line of Government railway, and of the bush district that surrounds it. It is twenty-five miles from Westport, and six miles from the terminus at Mokihinui Mine. Nikau is in the Karamea riding of the county of Buller, in the electoral district of Motueka, and in the provincial district of Nelson. As a farming settlement it dates from 1894. There are a number of small farms in the locality, within the Mokihinui survey district. In the early gold digging days a considerable amount of mining was carried on along the terraces. The post office at St. Helen's, three miles distant serves the settlement, which has a public school at Summerlea, two miles away, adjoining the Mokihinui railway station, between Nikau and St. Helen's. The population is small, and was not separately enumerated at the census of 1901.

Niven, Gilbert , Farmer, Nikau. Mr. Niven is one of the early settlers of the Nikau district, and holds a farm of 100 acres, about one-third of which is cleared. He devotes his land chiefly to market gardening, and sells the produce at the Denniston and Millerton mines. Mr. Niven was born in Kirkcudbrightshire, Scotland, educated in Ayr, and learned farming. He came to New Zealand in the year 1879, and settled in the Oamaru district, where he managed a farm for Mr. Elder, at Maheno, and, later, a farm for Mr. Hay, at Waiareka. Some vears later. Mr. Niven removed to Westport; then, for two or three years, he worked at Denniston, and in 1894 took up his present holding. Mr. Niven married a daughter of the late Mr. Thomas Graham, of Ayrshire, Scotland, and has four sons and three daughters.