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Life in Early Poverty Bay

An Historic Station

An Historic Station.

Continuing, Mr. Harris said that Opou station took its name from a small block of land containing about 60 acres. Opou was one of the most historical places in the Bay. It was taken up in the early days by his grandfather, Captain J. W. Harris. The first horses, cattle and sheep brought to the district were taken on to Opou, Such was also the case in respect of the first willow, oak and ash trees. Many of the first fruit trees were also planted there. An oak was said in 1876 to be the largest in New Zealand. Kupenga, part of Opou in the early days, was the home of the Dunlop family. Te Kooti destroyed this home in 1868, the family escaping, with others, through the bush to Mahia. Mr. Harris remembered seeing the remains of the home, as well as those of other settlers which had been burnt out by the rebels. The once fine orchards and gardens had now gone. A few hundred yards beyond Dunlop's, on the banks of the Te Arai river, the Forest Rangers were stationed and he understood that the embankments made by them were still in existence. They were disbanded about 1865. The pa at Tapatahi had left traditions of the great loyalty of its people. Assuredly, the timely warning given from the pa to the Harris family had robbed Te Kooti of many victims.