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Life in Early Poverty Bay

The March of Progress

The March of Progress.

“The real progress of the district,” said Mr. deLautour, “dates from the establishment of the Valuation Court and the appointment of the late Mr. George Elliot Barton, who was considered rather eccentric, but who was an excellent lawyer and had plenty of courage. I think he found his courage of far more value here than his knowledge of the law. His Registrar, Mr. H. C. Jackson, was of great assistance and these gentlemen did fine work, freeing large areas of land and making them available to settlers. With their titles established, the settlers were able to offer security for backing and progress really commenced. Other men who did fine work for the Crown were Mr. S. Locke and Major (afterwards Colonel) Porter. Mr. Locke was a magistrate and a sort of resident agent of the Crown. The work of these two stands out as compared with that of many others employed at the time.”

page 160

Mr. deLautour pointed out that the great difficulty facing settlers in the early days was the lack of markets. Of stock there was little and the only produce that was marketable outside the Bay was rye-grass seed and maize. It was Mr. Nelson who started the first freezing works in the district, at Taruheru, but, prior to that, the only use for wethers was to boil them down. Carts went round the township selling legs of mutton at 1/6 each Some twenty-eight years later, Nelsons Ltd. had so reduced their prices that the farmers, to guard their own interests, decided to establish their own works and the Gisborne Sheepfarmers' Freezing Company came into existence.