My 3 boys and I

July 17, 2008

New Zealand and My Home Part 4

Filed under: Home and Family,New Zealand — by my3boysandi @ 3:58 pm

Where I am Now

The Hawkes Bay

Throughout the years the Hawkes Bay has changed a lot. This was mostly caused by the 1931 earthquake. This earthquake caused the largest loss of life and most extensive damage of any quake in New Zealand’s recorded history. More about that tomorrow though.

Maori arrived in the Hawkes Bay. They settled in the river valleys and along the coast where food was plentiful. They arrived by canoe, travelling down the coast from the north. They lived well here. By the sixteenth century there was a large tribe living here.

Captain James Cook and his crew upon the Endeavour discovered the Hawke’s Bay in October 1769. He named the bay after Sir Edward Hawke, First Lord of the Admiralty.

Whalers and flax traders arrived in the early 1800s, and a few Europeans came and went. The first permanent resident was Austrian botanist and nurseryman Frederick Sturm. He set up a plant nursery here in 1865.

In June 1840, the Treaty of Waitangi arrived in Hawkes Bay for signing.

In 1844 the missionary William Colenso. Who was also a botanist, printer and politician, arrived to establish his mission station at Waitangi, south of Napier. Today one of the high schools in Napier is named after Mr Colenso.

The first grape vines were brought and grown in the Bay in 1851. They were for French Catholic missionaries. Today there are 229 vineyards in the Hawkes Bay. Our area of New Zealand is responsible for some of the best wine in New Zealand.

In 1848 James Northwood and Henry Tiffen leased 50,000 acres of land for grazing sheep. One of the areas they set this farm up was where Mr Wonderful was born and raised until they moved into one of the twin cities of the Hawkes Bay. In 1849 Henrys brother Fred herded 3000 sheep up to this farm from Wellington.

Donald McLean was able to gain much land in the area. He was able to work closely alongside the Maori peoples to gain this land. He was made Land Commissioner to prevent uncontrolled purchasing and leasing of Maori land. In 1863 he was elected Superintendent of the Hawke’s Bay Province. From 1866 to 1876 he virtually ran the province. Due to being well respected in the area and his knowledge about the way Maori people did things lead to him being the Government Agent on the East Coast in 1868. Over the years till a month before his death he was also Native Minister and Defence Minister.

By the 1870s, grand homesteads were being built for farmers. There they were able to where live in the manner to which they were use to. They probably were able to afford these grand houses because of the great farming that could be had in this country.

Most of the new settlers however, were more of the working class people. They were arriving in great numbers. They were taking jobs on sheep-stations and settling in the towns which were being established

clicking on the map should give you a more closer look

The Hawkes Bay has 2 major cities.

Napier the port city in the Hawkes Bay was named after Sir Charles Napier, the hero of the Battle of Meeanee in the Indian province of Scinde.  Early Napier consisted of an oblong mass of hills almost entirely surrounded by water. The town flourished and became a well established commercial centre with a growing port, servicing a wide area. And Hastings – named after , India’s first Governor-General.

Sir Charles Napier and  Warren Hastings

The British Army came to Napier in 1858 as both local Maori and settlers were concerned about fighting between Maori chiefs.

In 1858 Hawkes Bay gained independence from Wellington Province2, and until the abolition of provincial government in 1876 was governed by the Hawkes Bay Provincial Council from its building at the foot of Shakespeare Road in Napier.

I feel that the Hawkes Bay in someways is still isolated from other parts of the North Island. I havent traveled very far in the last 3.5 years. To go north one has a few options but we tend to go along the Napier Taupo road. In the early days this was worst though. The Ruahine and Kaweka ranges formed a barrier to the west. Horse drawn coach services were available but the journey to Taupo took two full days. It now only takes a matter of hours.

Travel to Wellington became much easier after railway construction started in Napier in 1872, reaching Hastings in 1874 and Takapau in 1877. It wasnt until 1887 that Woodville was reached, and the line was connected to Palmerston North via the difficult Manawatu Gorge in 1891. The northern line was not commenced until 1912 but did no reach Gisborne until 1942.

A hydro electric power station that is still functioning today was built in 1892. John Chambers built it at Mokapeka Station. (page 4 and 5 of this document) This power station is probably the oldest operational one in the world.

1912 saw the first cars in the Bay. There were also swimming baths, theatres, parks, electric lighting systems being built in Napier and Hastings, and a tram service in Napier.

Of course the area also had older important places already like a hospital and many schools.

Info sourced mainly from here



  1. jen!!!
    *loving* reading your memories and life story.
    so glad you are in such a happy place now.
    love that you still had sunshine during some of your life’s “downs”.
    you have much joy in your heart, jen.
    mwah X

    thanks my darling friend 🙂

    Comment by katie — July 17, 2008 @ 7:05 pm |Reply

  2. Another excellent post!

    thanks my sweet friend 🙂

    Comment by Melissa Markham — July 18, 2008 @ 12:39 am |Reply

  3. a very interesting post jen! i learned more about your country!!

    thanks my dear friend 🙂

    Comment by she — July 18, 2008 @ 12:42 am |Reply

  4. You have done and are doing a great job about this Jen…so intersting and enlightening….Thanks so much!

    your very welcome 🙂 bless you

    Comment by Jessica — July 18, 2008 @ 3:58 am |Reply

  5. This is really interesting, thanks for sharing.

    Comment by Denise — July 18, 2008 @ 11:25 am |Reply

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