Life in Early Poverty Bay
Just on 60 Years Ago. Poverty Bay's Runholders
Just on 60 Years Ago. Poverty Bay's Runholders.
Among the run holders in Poverty Bay in 1868 (says Mr. W. Parker, of Mangapapa) were Randall and Woodbine Johnson, who occupied about 13,000 acres at Maraetaha (the homestead later was called Wairakaia).
Then there was Charles Westrupp, who had Te Arai—11,000 acres. Westrupp in 1863 was a Lieutenant in the Forest Rangers, and was a renowned officer of that famous body of fighting men. Evidence of that fact is to be found on a brass plate placed in the hall at the entrance to the public library in the City of Auckland, on which the names of two officers are mentioned—one being Captain Wm. Jackson and Westrupp the other who, with forty-seven men of their company whose names are also placed on the brass plate, captured a large flag carried on the 13th December, 1863, by the rebels in an engagement in Paparata. The flag is also deposited in the hall referred to, and attracts considerable attention on entering.
Harris and Ferguson occupied the Opou run and other lands adjoining. Their homestead was at Tapatahi, at the junction of Te Arai stream with the Waipaoa river.
Dodd and Peppard occupied Repongaere. They were both murdered on the 10th November, 1868. Their cook, Charlie Rathbone, escaped from the homestead, but was killed near the redoubt at Toanga, where he was overtaken, when probably making his way to Turanganui.
Arthur Kempthorne was in possession of Pukepapa, a block of 11,000 acres. He had previously been employed at the Mission Station at Waerenga-a-hika, and all the Maoris in the Bay called him Mita Aata (“Mr. Arthur”), no doubt owing to his position at the Mission Station.
George Scott was at Ruangarehu, a very nice block of about 3000 acres between Ormond and Te Karaka.
Poynter and Evans occupied Ngakoroa, a large block on the opposite side of the Waipaoa river to Scott's.
George Sisson Cooper occupied portion of the Pouawa block. His manager was W. H. Tucker, who was so very well-known in the Bay for many years. Cooper, at the time, was a Resident Magistrate in the southern part of Hawke's Bay, and afterwards became permanent Under Colonial Secretary.
Capt. G. E. Read occupied four or five thousand acres koown as Wainui, and my father (Mr Parker, senr.), had Whataupoko.
Living on the southern side of the Waipaoa was Frederick Green Skipworth, who had been in the Colonial Defence Force. He married one of the Miss U'Rens of Makaraka and resided at Te Rahue.
William Scott Greene lived on a very nice property on the northern side of the Waipaoa, but when that river changed its course that property was left on the southern side. Greene also married one of the Miss U'Rens.
Another settler on the southern side of the bay at that time (1868) was William W. Smith, who lived at Rakau Kaka—about three miles beyond page 102 Te Kohanga, the Dunlops' residence. He was a good all-round man, and nothing came amiss to him—he could spay a heifer or caponize a rooster. He sometime, after the Massacre, made his home at Waitaria. across the Waipaoa, near Bushmere.
The Mission Station farm, of about 400 acres, at Waerenga-a-hika in 1868 was in the occupation of one, Clarke, who came from the Bay of Islands. He used the farm for cattle-rearing and fattening and was a shipper of cattle to Auckland. Bob Atkins, now of Patutahi, was his head stockman, and, on the day preceding the Massacre, was engaged shipping cattle at Turanganui. He rode home to the farm that night late, it being nearly midnight when he rode through Matawhero, and the next morning, having to return to Turanganui, he took the track through Matawhero again, just about daylight, and, totally unaware of what had taken place there, reached Turanganui safely.