Life in Early Poverty Bay
Together with other counties, the County of Cook was formed in 1876. Its boundaries at that time extended from Cape Runaway in the north to Paretu Bluff, south of Poverty Bay. The area was estimated to be not less than 2,000,000 acres. At the outset the capital value was held to be only £260,000 but, by 1890, on account of the growth of settlement, the rateable value had increased to £1,720,000. In that year the settlers in the northern portion of the district successfully petitioned for the constitution of a new county, which became known as Waiapu County, extending from Cape Runaway to Anaura. The new county had formed nearly one-half of the original County of Cook. By 1900, the rateable value of Cook County had advanced to £2,581,000. Subsequently Waiapu became subdivided, enabling the formation of the Matakaoa County. Cook County, too, became considerably diminished in area on account of the formation from within it of the counties of Waikohu and Uawa, whilst some southern areas have gone into Wairoa County.