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Life in Early Poverty Bay

First Purchase Of A Town Section. — Consideration Includes Gunpowder

First Purchase Of A Town Section.
Consideration Includes Gunpowder.

As it so happened, however, the earliest residents of Gisborne, with but a few exceptions, could not, for a long time, obtain a “title” to a section near the port from the Natives. They made the best terms they could with the Natives for the right of occupation. It seems that the Natives could not understand why anybody should require more than the right to use a piece of land. The position was not different in respect of the country land suitable for grazing and farming.

It fell to the lot of Capt. J. W. Harris, grandfather of Mr. Frank Harris, to acquire the first section of land from the Natives. The section was the site where the Turanganui Hotel now stands and it was required in connection with the whaling station which he desired to start in the river. Officially the property became known in the State records as “Harris's Homestead.” It was bought from Kahutia (grandfather of Lady Carroll), Pototi, Turanga and others, and the consideration was:—

29lbs. of gunpowder.

1 axe.

48 pipes.

6lbs. of tobacco.