Podocarp to Pasture – The Story of Patoka


The story of Patoka…

‘Podocarp to Pasture’ is a limited edition of 750 copies, published by the Patoka and Districts’ Reunion Committee.



The story of Patoka…


‘Podocarp to Pasture’ evolved from a chance remark that, as the districts of Patoka, Hawkston, Waihau, Mangatutu, Waipuna, Huiarangi and Hendley were having a reunion, it would be an auspicious and appropriate time to record the story of Patoka.

The history of any area inevitably involves people. Not only is this story of Patoka, a small sheep farming district some 45 km northwest of Napier, but it also a story of rural New Zealand.

The people, the ‘country people’, the settlers who moved to the hinterland of Hawke’s Bay to live, to work, raise their children, and make their home. It is a story of the past, the present, and the future.

While this publication does not purport to be a definitive record of the Patoka districts, an attempt has been made to rekindle and record the memories of the past for future generations. For without our past, what is the point of the present?

The following pages are dedicated, with respect and gratitude, to all those who have lived and worked in this small part of rural New Zealand that we proudly call Patoka.

Shona McDonald
Sea View
October 1985


This book provides an interesting glimpse of the past and the people who have left their imprint on the Patoka District. It clearly shows that the pioneer spirit of the people who first opened up the land for farming, the reasons they enjoyed the challenge despite the problem, is still with us today.

Sadly, as so often happens, to date, there has been very little of the early history recorded.

This book is a tribute to Shona McDonald who has been tireless in her research for a true and accurate record.

G. W. Halliday
October 1985


4.   THE ROADS   12
5.   LAND USE:   14
Hendley Mill   14
Patoka Mill   18
Whakatu Afforestation Trust   19
Farm forestry   20
Innovation on the farm   22
Orcharding and Market Gardening   24
Sheep farming   24
Cattle farming   30
Deer and Goat farming   31
Control of disease in livestock   32
The sale yards   37
Blacksmith’s shop   38
Scenic reserve   39
Memorial Hall   39
Churches   40
Travelling sales people   40
Rural fire unit   41
Mail services   42
Post Offices   43
The schools   46
200 mounted troops   63
Home guard   63
Sports Clubs   64
Crafts   67
C.W.I.   67
Red Cross   69
Federated Farmers   69
Young Farmers’ Club   70
9.   MEMORIES:  71
The reunion   72
Patoka 1912   76
The swaggers   76
Doug and Alan’s story   77
1910: Hawkston, Mangatutu, Te Kowhai   79
The rise and fall of Jock and Joe   80

Page 1


In the beginning a forest.

A forest of mixed matai, rimu, white pine and totara covered much of the Puketitiri area down as far as Hawkston and from there across to Patoka Hill, Hendley, and Te Pohue. In other areas of the Patoka district, the forest assumed a coastal character.

The forest was alive with birds and bats. There were pigeons, tuis, bellbirds, wekas, kakas, parakeets and kiwis. A small bush-dwelling moa lived and nested in the Patoka area, and the rarer larger moa could be found around the margins of streams and swamps in the lower areas. A ‘living fossil’ the tuatara, abounded in crevasses and caves. The petrels nested on the ranges, and the blue wattled crows (kokako) were plentiful. Thousands of ducks and teal lived in swamps and lakes. Pukekos, bitterns, rails and fernbirds lived a peaceful co-existence.

As Mr Ron Hartree, a local conservationist, notes “Much of the forest in the Puketitiri, Waipuna, and Te Waka areas was showered with ash and pumice during the Taupo eruption (c. 130 A.D.). The effect on the plant, bird and reptilian population was devastating. The passage of time did much to heal the scars in the ensuing ten to twelve centuries. Not only did the small moa reappear but also a heavy forest filled with birds re-emerged.”


Into this densely forested area man arrived (c. 700 A.D.) and initiated the first great interference in the time honoured scheme of climate, soil and the association of plants and animals.

Much of the forest and many species of birds were doomed to destruction. Huge uncontrolled fires swept through the drier lower country forest, killing off the ground dwelling birds and driving others to new habitats in the higher rainfall areas.

Ron Hartree notes “The moa and its eggs were sought after by these early people and were soon exterminated. The Polynesian rat (the kiore) flourished, and probably destroyed eggs and young birds. The Maori dog also took its toll. The tuatara was seen no more, the mutton birds forsook the ranges and the kakapo was lost.”

By the mid nineteen thirties the kiwi was seldom seen, and even the weka had succumbed.

Page 2

Then came the fires. Repeated fires, some natural, some deliberately lit by the first colonists, to flush out game and pursue enemies. It was these fires that prevented reforestation in the drier areas, although the Waipuna and Hendley areas were spared.

In the Patoka area there is no evidence of a large Maori population. It would appear that the Maori used to come up from the lowlands to gather pigeons, fern root and other food from the bush. Refugees would also pass through this inland route to Taupo and the transient occupants left adzes, heaps of fresh water mussel shells and cooking places.


The permanent involvement of the European in the Patoka area occurred in 1851 when Donald McLean purchased the Ahuriri Block from the Maori settlers. This vast tract of 265,000 acres was purchased at a cost of £1,500 and covered the area from the Ahuriri Lagoon to the top of the Kaweka Ranges.

Fern and scrub abounded, with areas of magnificent podocarp bush at Hendley (including the gorge behind the Patoka Hill, and a small block at Waipuna). It was into this environment that the European settler arrived. With an axe and a match, further humiliations were to be exacted on what was in the beginning…a forest. The majestic trees stood tall with straight unbranched trunks.


Colonel George Whitmore was among the first men to have title in the district. The Patoka titles formed part of the many he bought or acquired as Crown Grant in 1861. By 1870 he had ownership of some 110,000 acres that stretched from Wharerangi to the top of the Kawekas. Most of the titles he held in partnership with others e.g. Major McNeil.

Keen to further increase his land holdings, Colonel Whitmore bought out several other titles to add to his vast Rissington Estate. One he acquired was: Waipuna, from George Worgan in 1863.

By 1872 Whitmore’s Peka Peka holdings comprised some 70,000 acres and on that area he reputedly depastured some 28,500 sheep.

Photo caption – The majestic trees stood tall with straight unbranched trunks.

Page 3

The Property of R. H. RHODES & CO.,
Of about 330 to 5400 Acres each,



Page 4

Robert Rhodes of Canterbury showed an interest in the area, and in 1872 he leased some 30,000 acres of Patoka land from Whitmore. The following year Rhodes purchased 20,000 acres of Patoka, together with 30,000 sheep from Whitmore. The details of the transaction included transfer of title from Rhodes’ Clive property to Whitmore. (It is interesting to note that Rhodes paid Whitmore 10/- per acre for the land and in 1948 the same land was fetching £1, and in 1984, $745.)

In an attempt to sell the land Robert Rhodes and Co. offered the land for auction in 1882. Some twenty eight blocks were offered in the Estate auction, and they varied in size from 330 to 5,500 acres.

As the Hawke’s Bay earthquake destroyed many documents, records of transactions frequently appear incomplete. However, it does appear that many of the lots offered at the Rissington Estate auction on Thursday, April 13, 1882 were passed in.

Rechab Harding appears to have bought part of the land offered for sale, but as a result of the depression this reverted to Rhodes’ ownership.

Many of the original block names mentioned in the Estate plan still exist today, although invariably with modified or extended boundaries. For example: The Incline, Waihau, Emerald Hill, Ardlussa, Te Kuti, Dome, Mangahina, Little Bush, Gorge(s), Cascade(s).

These blocks were later to be sold by private treaty, some before and some after the turn of the century.

To illustrate: In 1901 A. S. Dunnage who had been a cadet on Patoka Station in Rhodes’ employ since 1889, bought Rangiora. Rangiora, was then a property of some 230 acres and Alf Dunnage reputedly ran some three hundred and fifty sheep. (This property is now farmed by Charles Thomsen).

Photo captions –

The original ‘lower Raumati’ homestead stands on the property of Mrs Joy Molenaar (nee Halliwell), and was built by Thos. Hallett. In 1897 Thos. Hallett is believed to have purchased an area of Patoka Station, including several of the Rissington Estate Blocks namely: Cascade Block, Macs Whare, Lower Gorge, Fern Paddock, Spring Hill, and Mt. Hassal. He named the farm Raumati. Today the name is continued with the block (Lower Gorge) being known as Raumati and owned and farmed by the Halliday family.

The present Raumati homestead was built in 1913. This photo was taken in 1959.

Raumati 1928: The Halliday family off for a picnic.

Page 5

The head shepherd for R. H. Rhodes and Co. at Patoka was Mr Lincoln. It is interesting to note that as early as 1882, a specific block had been earmarked for his occupancy. Lincoln officially purchased what was a 1,100 acre block in 1901. Today, the property is known as Glencoe and farmed by John Paterson.

At the turn of the century, A. C. Bennett, who had been called upon to manage Patoka Station for a brief time was so impressed with the Patoka area that he purchased the 3,000 acre Huiarangi Block.

In 1902 the remainder of Patoka Station was purchased by T. E. Crosse. Although the Crosse family have continued ownership of Patoka Station since 1902, some areas of the original holding have been sold. For example, in 1919, 2,300 acres was sold (now ‘Trigham’) but reverted back to the Crosse family in 1936. Later in 1948, the Government purchased some three thousand acres of Patoka Station, known as ‘The Dome.’

Photo captions –

1985: View taken from The Incline (part of the Waihau Settlement) looking towards the Patoka – Puketitiri Road.

Hawkston Station near the turn of the century: Left to Right: Charlie Hill, Chas. Hallett, Harry Lopdell, Tom Ball, Tommy Enright, Thos. Whittle, Norm Hughes, Alf Williams.

c. 1895: A shepherd on Te Kowhai.

Page 6

Hawkston was reportedly named by Michael Groome after the Hawkston Hills in England. The spelling of Hawkston survived until 1949 when purchased by Mr John (Jack) Alexander, who reportedly preferred the ‘Hawkestone’ spelling.

The Constabulary (commanded by Colonel Whitmore) were stationed at The Stockade’, now part of John Hartree’s property. However, it is believed that the Constabulary watered their horses at the Mangatutu Stream at Hawkston and even today, adjacent to the Hawkston bridge, the remnants of the Constabulary’s fireplace cum oven is still in evidence. Obviously, the ‘troops grazed’ while the horses watered – or maybe it was the other way around?!

In 1874/75 Michael Groome and Messrs Murray and Roberts are believed to have sold a parcel of Hawkston to Jas Hallett, and the remainder in the early 1880’s. Jas Hallett held title to properties now known as Hawkestone, Anawhenua, Taramoa, Rocky Hill, Sea View, Te Kowhai and Little Bush. These properties were all combined and run by Hallett as Hawkston.

In 1904 Hallett sold some seven thousand acres to Charles MacKersey, who also retained the name Hawkston. Ownership was to change several times until 1910 when Messrs Bell purchased Hawkston, Mangatutu and Te Kowhai. Ownership later passed to their daughters Mesdames Harrison and MacIntyre (Sir Richard Harrison and the Hon. Duncan MacIntyre, the sons of the former owners were later to become well known and respected Parliamentarians.)

In 1949 Mr J. Alexander purchased the property on behalf of Hawkestone Station Ltd., a private company consisting of himself and members of his family. Since that time part of Hawkestone Station has been sold to Mr Peter McDonald, but the remainder is still owned and farmed by the descendants of John Alexander.

In 1913, just prior to the outbreak of the First World War, the Waihau Settlement, (comprising the former Waihau, Peka Peka, and Ngaroto Stations) was offered for settlement by the Crown. Some sixteen thousand acres of land in all.

A general description of the land at the time of sale stated; “The bulk of the sections are well watered by permanent streams and on all the sections water is easily obtainable. There is a tri-weekly coach service from Puketitiri to Napier, leaving Napier Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, and returning Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. There are accommodation houses at Rissington and Patoka, and State schools and Post Offices at Patoka and Rissington.

“Right of access is reserved over the formed road to the Waihau homestead, until the main road from the Waihau to Ngaroto homestead, and the road on the northern end of the boundary running past the Raumati outstation, are formed and fit for traffic.”

Preference was given to landless applicants who had dependent children or who had within the preceeding two years applied for land twice unsuccessfully. The lessee was required to improve the land within one year to the value of 10% of the price, within two years to the value of another 10% and so on.

Many of the original names that appear on the 1913 Waihau Settlement map are still familiar in the area today; Halliwell, Hartree, Maulder, Horgan and Cockburn.

In 1862, the Pakiaka Rural Sections were offered for auction. Initially only four of these ‘bush’ sections were purchased by Messrs Butler, Sealey, Munro and Blair, and Proctor. Between 1862 and 1872 however further sections in the Pakiaka Block were taken up by settlers. This block was later to become part of Hendley Station.

Photo captions –

Mangatutu Station…1941.

Still standing…the original house on the Waihau/ Main Road corner. (c. 1927).

Page 7


By JOHN CHILTON LAMBTON CARTER, Esq., Superintendent of the Province of Hawke’s Bay, in the Islands of New Zealand.

I, JOHN CHILTON LAMBTON CARTER, Superintendent of the Province of Hawke’s Bay, do hereby Proclaim and Notify that at Noon on Saturday, the 31st day of May next, the Commissioner of Crown Lands will offer for Public competition, under the Provisions of the Land Regulations now in force in this Province, Town Sections at Clive, Suburban Sections at Havelock, and Rural Sections at Pakiaka, that are referred to in the Schedule hereunto annexed, and at the upset price mentioned therein.

Dated at Napier, this Sixteenth day of April, in the year of our Lord One Thousand Eight Hundred and Sixty-two.

J.C. LAMBTON CARTER, Superintendent.


No. of section.   Contents.   Upset Price

A. R. P. £. s. d.

1   34 0 0   21 5 0
2   44 0 0   27 10 0
3   33 0 0   20 12 0
4   19 0 0   12 0.0
5   93 0 0   13 7 0 4
6   30 0 0   18 15 0
7   35.0 0   21 17 0
8   36 0 0   22 10 O
9   41 0 0   25 12 0
10   49 0 0   30 12 0
11   39 0 0   24 7 0
12   33 0 0   20 12 0
13   49 0 0   30 12 0
14   34 0 0   21 5 0
15   32 0 0   20 0 0
16   48 0.0   30 0 0
17   43 0 0   26 17 0
18    42 0 0   26 5 0
19   43 0 0   26 17 0
20   45 0 0   28 2 0

No. of section.  Contents.   Upset Price

A. R. P. £. s. d.

21   36 0 0   22 10 0
22   36 0 O   22 10 0
23   42 0 O   26 5 0
24   38 0 0   23 15 0
25   57 0 0   35 12 0
26   69 0 0   35 0 0
27   54.0.0   33.15.0
28   52 0 0   32 10 0
29   99 0 0   50 0 0
30   70 0 0   35 0 0 31
31   105 0 0   53 0 0
32   104 0 0   52 0 0
33   92 0 0   46 0 0
34   100 0 0   50 0 0
35   96 0 0   48 0 0
36   83 0 0   42 0.0
37   88 0 0   44 0 0
38   89 0 0   45 0 0
39   61 0 0   31 0 0

NOTE. – The Valuation of Buildings and Improvements on certain Sections in the above Town will be added to the upset price at the time of Sale.

Commissioner of Crown Lands.
Crown Land Office,
Napier, 16th April, 1862.

Photo captions –

The Huiarangi homestead – 1915.

The fire surround is still a feature of the Huiarangi homestead today.

Page 8

In 1945 the Crown purchased the Hendley Block from the Bull Estate for £42,500. Hendley Station had until this time had a somewhat chequered career, being farmed, settled or milled for some eighty years.

At the time Hendley was offered for settlement it boasted a carrying capacity of 5, 000 breeding ewes, 800 ewe hoggets and 380 head of dry run cattle on an area of 3,374 acres.

In 1948 the Government bought three thousand acres of scrubland from the Crosse family for £1 an acre. This area known as “The Dome’ was in part sold to the Lands and Survey Department for development into Returned Soldier Settlement blocks similar to those established on Hendley Station.

These soldier settlement blocks were seen as a means of getting young men, young returned servicemen, onto the land; where otherwise the opportunity may have been denied. While many have been forced to move to town because of indifferent health, it is interesting to note that generally only those who had former ties with farming have remained today on these settlement blocks.

The Huiarangi Block which had formerly been purchased from Robert Rhodes and Company by the Bennett Family was sold to the Lands and Survey Department for soldier settlement in 1953.

The returned men and their spouses were an enterprising, hard-working and resourceful group. Through their efforts and influence, farming and community life in the area burgeoned.

Of the returned men who came into the area there are still many familiar surnames e.g. Andrews, Carswell, Gloyn, McCormack, McGonigal, Milne, McClunie, Thomsen.

In 1885 the Dunn family purchased some 11,300 acres adjoining the main Patoka-Puketitiri Road which they named “Dunmore.” Ten years later they added to the property with the purchase of some additional 1,150 acres from Robert Rhodes and Co. for 26/6d an acre. These properties, bisected by the Mohaka Fault, were farmed as one until 1945 when the property was sold to Messrs Ronald and William Hartree. The Hartree brothers renamed the property – ‘Manaroa.’

Adjacent to the Manaroa property is Waipuna which has been farmed for well over a century. Stock records indicate that as early as 1856 George Worgan was grazing some 500 sheep on the Waipuna Block. In 1863 Whitmore purchased this holding which was to become the outstation for his Rissington run.

In the 1890’s William Nelson purchased Waipuna and the property continued to be farmed as one block until it was subdivided for his grandsons in 1931. Douglas Lane took 3,300 acres adjoining Patoka Station, and John Nelson Lane took 2,833 acres, at the Te Waka end of Waipuna.

In the mid fifties Douglas Lane subdivided and sold his block to Messrs John Hartree and the late Jack Wedd respectively. Mr John Hartree continues to farm his property, and although the Wedd family have retained their portion of the original holding it has been subdivided for family members and the blocks are known as Punawai and Haunui.

The Te Waka end of Waipuna owned by Mr John Nelson Lane was managed from 1937 by Mr Arthur Carswell, who subsequently purchased the property in 1955. He continued to farm until 1978 when he subdivided Waipuna for family members. These blocks are now known as Ngarimu and Waipuna.

Photo captions –

1936: A BIG cabbage tree on Waipuna.

The Musterers’ whare which still stands at Waipuna is built of slab timber and contains a limestone rock fireplace.

Page 9


Many animals and plants which were deliberately released, later became pests. The environment was not only friendly but there was no natural predation.

Colonel Whitmore reputedly sent rabbits to his manager at Peka Peka (this holding covered much of the Patoka area) in the mid 1860’s and gave instructions for their release – specifically some distance from the homestead garden! He didn’t want them eating the lettuces! History records that they were “introduced to the area for sporting pleasure.” Others postulate that it may well have helped transform N.Z. from a country of rich runholders, to a land of small, yet prosperous farmers. However, in all fairness, little did Whitmore and others realise they were promulgating a plague. A grey plague, which would affect the lives, fortunes and environment of the Patoka district, not only in the 1880’s but more especially in the 1940’s.

Colonel George Whitmore (later Sir George) is also believed to have introduced ‘furze’ to the district in the form of 5,000 gorse plants! Ostensibly for fencing, it would be interesting to know if Colonel Whitmore envisaged these gorse hedges being regularly cut? He did instruct that the young gorse plants be “protected from the fern.”

Turkeys, pheasants, bees and blackberry were all supposedly ‘introduced’ into the Patoka District by Whitmore.

Pigs were plentiful at the turn of the century, and although deer were reported in the area in 1901 at Don Juan on Te Kowhai they did not greatly abound in other areas apart from ‘The Dome’.

By the 1920’s goats were thriving in the blackberry areas. Mr H. Hartree bought a purebred angora buck, in the hope that he would improve the quality of the feral population. To achieve this most of the male feral goats were shot. Some residents recall that up until the forties most of the feral goat population was white. Another resident, recalls that most of the feral goats with Angora strain wandered up the Tutaekuri River.

Some reports suggest that opossums frequented the Ngaroto area in the forties, however it is largely only in the last twenty years that the opossum has been present in significant numbers.

Weasels and stoats did make the occasional raids on the hen houses of the district; however, in the main, their numbers have remained constant.

And of course…the fires!

In 1779 Captain Cook recorded that smoke was clearly visible against the skyline as he sailed down the H.B. coastline. Fires were often lit by the Maori to flush out game and pursue enemies, and frequently these would burn out of control. The abusive and accidental burning by man inhibited the regeneration of the natural vegetation. Only the shallow rooted plants would grow between fires and this was particularly evident on the ridges, where the animals browsed and caused a breaking down of topsoil. The rain and water began to seep through the broken topsoil down to the underlying and unstable rock, causing slips and underrunners to form.

A former musterer said, “In my day we were given a box of matches and told to burn off where we could as we mustered.” This was a regular and accepted practice. Although the slash and burn principle provided for the rapid regeneration of the tutu, bracken and manuka it probably did nothing to improve soil quality.

The late Hugh Crosse (proprietor of Patoka Station) noted that a successful grass strike after burning was probably due in part to the potash from the burnt manuka. He also noted that the fires appeared to have killed the parasitic worms and, as a consequence the sheep were healthier.

The slump of the thirties helped to perpetuate this destructive cycle. Often the farmer could not afford the necessary fertiliser and grass seed. What happened? The scrub continued to encroach over the soils

Photo caption – A ‘burn off’ c. 1915.

Page 10

that had lost their virgin fertility. The sheep were mustered off and the deer and pigs moved in, so too did the rabbits.

In the forties a farmer was quizzed as to why he would want to buy a property “in that area.”
“Has it got any deer?”
“Not many.”
“Has it got any pigs?” “Not many.” “Well, what the h… did you buy it for?”

The Second World War may have finished but for the people of Patoka there was still another battle to be fought…the rabbit…


In 1895 when Mark Twain visited N.Z. he wrote, “The rabbit plague began at Bluff. The man who introduced the rabbit there was banqueted and lauded, but they would hang him now if they could get him.”

The late Hugh Crosse wrote: “The rabbits appeared on Patoka Station about 1885. By 1902 rabbits were established in small numbers and, from then on rabbiters were in constant employment. Kills of rabbits between the years 1902 – 39 varied only 100 – 200 per annum.”

Some authorities believe that the disappearance of the weka in the late thirties was linked to the emergence of the rabbit. Where fires would clear an area the predatory weka, that had a reputation fo1 keeping the rabbit in check, would also be denied its natural habitat. After burning, the soil was more friable and, in effect, the rabbit had the right environmental conditions. Conditions that enabled a doe to produce eight litters a year!

From the 1870’s a flourishing market for rabbit skins existed. For example in 1893 alone N.Z. exported 16 million rabbit pelts. With the advent of refrigeration rabbit carcasses were of considerable economic importance to those eking out a living off the land.

The first H.B. Rabbit Board was established in 1880 with T. E. Crosse as its Chairman. Attempts were made to grapple with the rabbit problem. The role of this Board however was to inspect, and not to control, eradication procedures.

The Patoka Rabbit Assn. was formed with Jack Sneddon as its first rabbiter, followed by Jack Young, Charlie Fraser and Fred Hale. Fred Hale recalls “My run covered some 44,000 acres which took about three months to get around. The rabbiter had to shift some twenty odd times. He would normally stay on the property of the farmer for whom he was working. The rabbiter was paid according to acreage. Rabbits were fairly scarce in the twenties and I well remember Charlie Fraser apologising for shooting only five rabbits on a property, adding he was sure one had escaped him!

“A rabbiter normally had around ten dogs, sometimes a few more since spares were needed. Dogs were often lost in watercourses or from distemper.

“The farmer normally provided some kind of dog tucker, and sometimes wild goats were shot for this use. However, this was not desirable as it taught the dogs to chase goats.

“The Rabbit Inspector toured every twelve months to see all was okay. He had inspectors under him who came around every two or three months.”

Rabbits were hunted with dogs, weasels, ferrets, dug from the warrens, shot, trapped, poisoned with phosphorised grain and strychnine, or gassed in their burrows with cynogas.

The immediate post war years saw the spread of the rabbit. Some recall ”whole hillsides moving” and generally add “and that’s no exaggeration either!”

H. E. Crosse writes: “I returned to Patoka in October 1944 to find rabbits everywhere, and from then on they came like a dirty mountain torrent in flood.

“For the years 1945 to 1947 no fewer than 120,000 rabbits have been killed on Patoka. I hope that for the coming year (1947-1948) the figure will have dropped to thirty thousand.

“The effect of stock-carrying has naturally been deplorable and disastrous.”

In 1948 what is now known as the H.B. Pest Destruction Board was formed. This Board took responsibility for the destruction of the rabbit, rather than just an inspectorial role. The rabbit too, became progressively decommercialised and consequently the meat and skin of the rabbit became less profitable.

By the 1950’s extermination procedures were streamlined and later the poison, sodium mono fluoracetate or “1080” was introduced with impressive results.

Page 11

The Hawke’s Bay Pest Destruction Board now engages in ‘night shooting’ or spotlighting of rabbits. One newspaper article stated that the gun-toting bikies eradicate anything from “mice to mothers-in-law” although their main concern is the control of the farmers worst enemy – Rabbits!

Employees are now based in town, and commute to their ‘shoot out’ spots. This is in direct contrast to the traditional ‘man on the spot’, who lived and worked in a particular community. In this area the local rabbiters lived at sites on the Hendley and Waihau Roads. Today, in line with their re-organisation policy, the Pest Board has sold these properties.

Some recall “whole hillsides moving with rabbits.”

The ‘jam gun’. The jam gun enabled poison bait to be laid with the push of a handle. This innovative idea of Maurice Halliwell’s was noted by the Rabbit Board Member Alex Cockburn, who had it further developed and improved by an engineer.

Rabbit Control 1985 style.

Les Turfrey, Max Hughes and Doug Cockburn with the ‘night’s haul’ from a small paddock!

Fresh earth turned by a plough or grubber attracted rabbits to jam baits, and after a couple of nights of prefeeding were poisoned by strychnine. The jam gun made the operation much quicker and more efficient.

Page 12


“An unremembered legion of labourers did this…Their tools were pitiful beside the obdurate strength of the land” (Denis Glover – “The Road Builders’).

In the 1860’s and 1870’s the militiamen stationed at the Patoka Stockade were responsible for building the road through what was then Colonel Whitmore’s property. This road not only served as a link with the Patoka Hill Stockade but continued across country to the Mohaka.

The militia undertook considerable ‘sidecutting’ during the construction and also attempted to follow a watershed as much as possible; which resulted in a relatively stable foundation for permanent roading. Naturally, with one or two bends!

The road was metalled in 1895 and for the first time there was all-weather access to the area. This enabled the stage coach run to be established in 1896. For the next seventeen years the Patoka District enjoyed a

Photo captions –

Mr Bob Alexander carting timber from the Hendley Mill c. 1914-18.

The Puketitiri Coach stopped at Patoka and in 1896 it took 6 hours to come from Napier to Patoka by Coach.

Page 13

regular coach service until the service ceased in 1913. The accommodation house, where the coach stopped at Patoka, was later to serve as the Patoka Station shearers’ quarters until 1971. It has since been demolished.

As the all-weather road access improved sheep, horses, coaches, bullock teams, and later traction engines, cars and trucks could move with relative ease.

It is interesting to note that in 1885 there were three proposed routes to Taupo. One of these was known as Hallett’s Line. It went by way of Patoka, Waipuna and Inangatahi. Although this route to Taupo attracted the H.B. County Council support a Government inspector opted for the present route. The rest is history.


By JOHN CHILTON LAMBTON CARTER, Esq., Superintendent of the Province of Hawke’s Bay in the Islands of New Zealand.

WHEREAS by a Proclamation issued in | the Government Gazette of the Province of Hawke’s Bay, and bearing date the 28th day of November, 1859, It was notified that, “in order to prevent an undue monopoly of Timber in the Pukititiri [Puketitiri], and Pohui forests, or of frontages to the proposed Main road to Taupo leading through the Pukititiri District; that the land included within the following boundaries, and estimated to contain about seventy thousand acres, will, from and after this date be reserved from sale till the road shall have been laid out, and the agricultural and bush Land surveyed, divided into sections, and be again notified as open for general selection, or sale by auction, as the case may be, viz.; All that portion of the Ahuriri ‘Block, bounded on the south-west by the Wai-iti , and the Manga-hou-hou stream ; on the South by an East and West line, so as to include the Puketitiri forest ; on the West by a Line from the westernmost point of the Pukititiri forest to the mouth of the Mohaka stream; towards the north by the river Mokahu as far as the Taupo path, on Messrs. Towgood & Campbell’s run, and towards the Northeast by the native path from Taupo to Ahuriri, Waikinaka-tangata and Mangaone.”

Now therefore I, John Chilton Lambton Carter, Superintendent of the Province of Hawke’s Bay, do hereby Proclaim and Notify that, the Land specified in the above-quoted Proclamation (excepting the Land set aside for sale by auction at Pukititiri Pukiaka, and Pohui [Pohue], and which land is delineated on the map of the Pohui District) shall be open for Public Selection at the Land Office, Napier, on and after Monday, the 31st day of March, 1862, under the Regulations of the 4th March, 1853, and the additional Regulations of 1855.

Dated at Napier, this 11th day of February, in the year of our Lord, One Thousand, Eight Hundred and Sixty-two.
J.C. LAMBTON CARTER, Superintendent.

With the infrequent appearance of the motor car the bullock teams and traction engines that plied the roads were sorely taxed! Royalty for the purpose of road maintenance was levied on the Puketapu Riding. For each 100 feet of timber carted a 6d levy was exacted. By 1913 the royalty had increased to [/1d per hundred feet. The cartage contractors felt they were being ‘got at’. They protested that their

Photo captions –

Over the years roads and vehicles have improved substantially.

Compare: The two hours to town in c. 1925, notwithstanding the punctures, with the 40 minutes it takes today.

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machines and animals were helping, not hampering road development. By the time the motorised vehicles were seen more frequently on the roads other forms of maintenance funding had been introduced and no longer was there a large volume of timber moving from the area.

The Puketapu Riding Members on the H.B. County Council who have served this area: –

1876-1884   John Bennett   8 years
1884-1885   Phillip Dolbel   1 year
1885-1900   John Bennett 15 years (23 in all)
1900-1903   J. S. Giblin   3 years
1903-1911   Stanley Bennett   8 years
1911-1914   Harold Arthur Russell   3 years
1914-1917   James Stirrett Orr   3 years
1917-1920   H. A. Russell   3 years (6 in all)
1920-1926   J. S. Orr   6 years (9 in all)
1926-1938   Wilfred Turner   12 years
1938-1941   Hugh Edward Crosse   3 years
1941-1947   Michael Horgan 6 years
1947-1950   H. E. Crosse   3 years (6 in all)
1950-1962   Edward Durning Holt 12 years
1962-1983   Douglas Alexander Cockburn   21 years
1983-    John W. Paterson

(Mr D. A. Cockburn was also on the N.Z. National Executive of the Counties’ Association.)



There is evidence to suggest that there were small temporary mills in existence in the area prior to the establishment of the Bull Bros. mill in 1910-11, at Hendley.


Life was hard but the camaraderie engendered was unique. Gwen Sutherland, nee Gilliard, (former pupil of Hendley School, now an author residing in Katikati), and Roy Smith, (former pupil, now Napier businessman), vividly recount their days spent at Hendley. Gwen recalls, “When I was six weeks old, my Mother carried me across country on horseback to the Hendley Mill settlement. It consisted of a timber mill, community hall, a row of single men’s huts and a scattering of married workers’ cottages.

“All buildings were of course wooden, unpainted, and without plumbing. The Mill sat on the southern edge of a gorge, perhaps two or three hundred feet deep. Huge felled and stripped logs were tramrailed to a ‘cutter’ chained together in bundles, and hanging from a giant wire cable, the logs were slowly winched across to the mill.

“My earliest understanding of horror was watching at night the burn off bush fires across the gorge. Trees became giant torches, sparks burst and flew like scattering stars. The smoke thickened the darkness. To a child it was a petrifying threat.

“Hard stores were brought up from Napier by a traction engine and dolly van, (like western covered wagons) every few months. A dip from a tin of condensed milk or a packet of jelly crystals was a high treat, more often pilfered than allowed.

“School was 1½ miles up a shingle track. We all wore laced up boots. My school experience there was during the First World War. Daily routine was standing under the Union Jack and singing ‘God Save the King’ and ’Keep the Home Fires Burning.’

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“Each child was given a small piece of red, white and blue ribbon and half a day off when the Armistice was signed. We ran home but had no idea what it was really all about.

“A Christmas stocking held few treasures in those days – an orange, a lucky packet, a chocolate stick and a pair of socks.

If we needed to go to Napier, some 48 miles away, over winding narrow roads, we went very importantly by horse drawn coach. Fifteen miles from Napier, at Rissington was a coaching house where the horses were changed and the passengers enjoyed a cup of tea in thick china cups, and luscious ham sandwiches.

“Young as I was, I remember riding in the coach to visit Grandma, wearing a golden brown teddy bear coat made by my impecunious but clever Mum.

“Well remembered also is the day when Father brought home our first Ford car. We had cleared the road of our mudpies and playtime pastimes. However, he failed to make a dignified stop and drove steadily through the slip sails and well up the orchard.”

The motor transport era had begun.

Photo captions –

The Hendley Mill.

‘The Cutter’ or ‘The Cage’.

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As Roy Smith recalls:

“My memories of the area are quite vivid. Farming from Patoka to Hendley was on a very small scale. The land was covered with scrub.

“Bull Bros., Hendley Mill was a spartan setup. A dozen small mill houses and the school made up the settlement. The matai, rimu and totara were felled on the northern side of the gorge.

“Mill workers were a breed apart. Each man was an expert in his particular activity. A free house and higher pay for bush mill workers plus overtime was an attraction for young family people struggling to exist. The men worked a nine hour day and Saturday mornings too. A team effort was required.

“My uncles, Artie and Charlie Wilson and Ted Sykes lived in a shack beside the hauler (2-3 miles from the Mill). They felled the trees. Other workers trekked up to the bush daily from the Mill settlement, Horses were the mode of transport. They were magnificent animals, docile, hardworking giants. The original massive draught horses are a breed long gone.

“Bill Lowe was the final master of the team that hauled the logs down the primitive tramway. Generally six to eight horses were required as small hills had to be negotiated. The brake man played a crucial role on the downhill sections!

“The logs were transported across the gorge on wire cables. (The Mill was unique in that it was separated from its timber supply by a gorge the thick cable remains in place today). The cage which plied the gorge was commonly called the ‘cutter’. This was a spectacular operation. A small wooden cage capable of holding ten people was used to carry the workers to and fro. There were three homes opposite the mill site for bush workers and the children had to use the ‘cutter’ on the journey to school.

“The first trip across the gorge was hair-raising. Familiarity breeds contempt however. The locals enjoyed escorting visitors across the fearful chasm. A snorting, rowdy boiler and a rickety, unstable, swaying cage was a sure cure for constipation for new chums!

“There were two tracks to negotiate the gorge. One single walking track immediately below the mill site and the other easier crossing half a mile downstream. Livestock managed the second crossing. Because it was shorter and closer to home the steeper and more adventurous track was the more popular route.

Photo captions –

A working day at the Hendley Mill.

Across the gorge.

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“The whole mill operation was conducted in a spartan manner. No electric power. One telephone at Tom Brice’s residence (Tom was Mill Manager at the time of the quake). No store, no wireless.

“Life was marvellous! Sunday was bath-day weather permitting! The free standing copper was boiled up in the back yard, and the tin bath placed on the kitchen floor. Bathing was not the fetish it is nowadays. If it rained the copper couldn’t be lit. We just stayed dirty. A wonderful thought! At eight years of age a bath was an unpleasant necessity. Mothers used dire threats and forceful methods on youngsters.

“Candles and kerosene supplied our lighting needs. Generally everyone was so tired that ‘early to bed, early to rise’ was a feature of our lives. Mothers baked bread daily. Homemade butter was another chore. Milking cows were supplied to mill hands with families. Father had to milk night and morning. No fridges. Cooking was done on ‘Orion’ wood-burning stoves. Tank water was a precious commodity in summer. ‘Longdrops’ too are a memory of a by-gone era (no flushing cisterns.)

Photo captions –

The ‘Ropey’ took the responsibility for the safe passage of a log from where it stood to where it was ‘broken out’ on to the hauler. N.B. The whistle string which enabled hauling to be stopped if necessary.

1980: This log skidder is extracting matai from the Mangaone gorge…the techniques employed contrast with those used in the 1920’s.

In the bush. Rolling a log onto the tram track.

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“Logs were not transported from the mill to town. The mill cut the various sizes that would be required by the building industry.

“Jim Wakeley had a couple of Reo trucks or lorries as they were called. He was contracted by Bull Bros. to transport timber to a timber yard and sawmill owned by the Bull family in Waghorne Street, Ahuriri, Napier. The Bull family also owned a building firm hence there was a ready market for Hendley timber.

“The timber trucks were our only means of transport. Prior to the earthquake I cannot recall any mill hand owning a car. The lorry brought up our stores from Napier. These Reos were reliable and sturdily built, but extremely slow when loaded. They crept along at a slow walking pace up hill sections. The shingle, corrugated and narrow roads coupled with solid rubber tyres did not make for comfort or speed. As passengers we children perched on top of the timber whilst our mother and the baby sat in the rowdy cab with the driver. On a frosty morning this was a freezing experience! | used to think that the drivers were wonderful men; resourceful, cheerful and amazingly patient.

After ‘the Earthquake’…

Port Ahuriri,
have recommenced business.

This notice appeared in a News Bulletin’ issued by the Daily Telegraph February 11, 1931.

“The dramatic earthquake of 3 February, 1931, followed by many, many shakes during the ensuing months forced the closure of the Mill. Initially everybody was evacuated. The tremors and quakes continued and caused slips and subsidence to the roads. This jeopardised the supply factor and really forced the evacuation. Men returned after several weeks to effect repairs to the Mill, but the boiler and chimney were the big problems. With no machinery available for lifting, manpower, horses and wire cables were used to set things right.

“Early May, 1931, the chimney was finally erected, but that night another massive ‘quake caused the smoke stack to crash down on the corrugated iron roof. This spelt doom for the mill and the few hardy folk remaining. Tom Brice and his family left for Puketitiri, Bill Lowe and his large family moved to Hastings.

“We Smiths, along with two Uncles, Artie and Charlie Wilson moved into one of the few remaining safe houses. The three men cut scrub for a couple of months until they obtained jobs at Holts and McLeod & Gardiners mill at Puketitiri.

“Mid-winter 1931, the Hendley Mill became a ghost town.”


A sign identifies the Patoka Timber Company as you near the settlement of Patoka.

Tom (Jock) O’Neill started the mill in 1946, some distance from the site on which it now stands and since the forties the mill has weathered relocation, closure and restoration.

Photo caption –

Hendley Mill…May 1931

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In 1960, with the backing of four local farmers Allan Elliott re-established the mill on its present site. One local recalls “Allan Elliott was the only man I know to go logging, and loading with a rope up a tree, by himself – even when he was an octogenarian!” However, in 1973 with advancing years and declining health he called a meeting to discuss the future of the mill. It was finally resolved that a limited liability company be formed so this local company could be continued and retained for the benefit of the district.

Accordingly, the Patoka Timber Company was reconstituted with fourteen shareholders. Thomas Crosse was elected Chairman of Directors and Ken Beams was appointed Company Manager.

Approximately, a third of the company’s annual production is used locally while two thirds of the company’s throughput goes to the Tomoana Freezing Works for use in pallet and building material.


In 1972 the Whakatu Meat Workers established the Whakatu Afforestation Trust. The initial aims of the Trust were to provide ‘off season’ employment, long term investment opportunities, and recreational space for members.

Of the original 4,000 acres at Te Kowhai, 915 hectares will be developed as exotic forest by the Trust. The

Photo captions –

The Patoka Mill   the early days.

1985…Patoka timber mill yard and celcure preservation shed.

1985…Inside the working mill.

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land which forms part of the Kaweka Forest Park, is leased from the N.Z. Forest Service. The lease period of 66 years should enable two crops of timber to be harvested from the forest.

As at 25 February, 1985 there were 1,571 shareholders. Although any interested persons may apply for Trust membership, the majority of shares are held by employees of the Whakatu, Tomoana, Pacific Oringi and Takapau meat works.

In 1980, the Trust expanded its operations with the purchase of a property near Wairoa. This property like the Te Kowhai holding is also being developed as exotic forest.



Although no accurate figures are available, many in the Patoka area are looking to forestry as a complementary enterprise to broaden their farming base.

At a very conservative estimate there are six miles of shelter belts in the district, consisting mainly of Pinus radiata, Thuja plicata, Lawsoniana, Eucalyptus and Alnus (Alder) species. Woodlots have also been planted and can be broken down as follows:

Radiata Pine   140 acres
Corsican Pine   15 acres
Douglas Fir   6 acres
Deodar Cedar   1 acre
Redwood   2 acres
Poplar   10 acres
Mixed Species*   40 acres

* Mixed species consist of: Eucalyptus species, Lusitanica (Mexican Cypress), Redwoods, Larch. Chestnut, Deodar Cedar, Macrocarpa and Acacia melanoxylon.

Photo captions –

Te Kowhai Homestead… c. 1890.

Today…from the exact location. The Whakatu Afforestation Accommodation Quarters and Workshop on right.

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At ‘Raumati’, property of the Halliday family, a shelterbelt trial of four varieties of Leyland Cypress Cupressocyparis leylandii) has been set up. Leyland Cypress is a cross between Macrocarpa (Cupressus) and Lawsoniana (Chamaecyparis). The trial is now eight years old.

Contract to cut Scrub on Monument block Hawkston Stn.

This is to confirm agreement between Chas. B. Bull Manager of Hawkston Stn. on behalf of Messrs Bell and Bell, on the one part and D. Toel on the other part.

D. Toel hereby agrees to cut all scrub (manuka and kanuka) in the Monument block on Hawkston Station.

All scrub to be cut not more than four inches (4 inches) from the ground and all small or feathery scrub to be cut close to the ground and all branches to be cut from stumps.  All cut scrub to be kept six feet (6 ft.) clear from fences and all scrub to be cut to the edge of native bush in Gorge.

D. Toel to provide all tools equipment and tucker.

The work to be carried out in a business like manner and to be completed by January […]th 1927 to the satisfaction of Messrs Bell […] per Chas B. Bull or their agent. If the work be not completed by Feb 28th 1927 Messrs Bell & Bell per Chas. B . Bull have power to put men on at current wages to complete the contract, such wages to be charged against the contract price.

The work to be stacked at the Eastern end of block and continued in a face to the Western side.

Messrs Bell and Bell per Chas. B. Bull agree to find meat at (5 pence) five pence per pound and pay at the rate of Eighteen Shillings (18/-) per acre on the work being satisfactorily completed.

Monthly Progress payments may be made at the rate of not more than (75%) seventy five percent on the actual scrub cut.

In the event of the work not being proceeded with in an expeditious manner, Messrs Bull etc per Chas. B. Bull, reserve the right to cancel the contract

G. Buckman

Chas. B. Bull

[…] and John […]

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In the 1800’s most intending immigrants were supplied with handbooks which advised of employment opportunities in the new colony. Nearly all stated ‘agriculture does not pay.’

Farmers in this area realised that in order to develop their farms, jobs had to be done as expeditiously as possible.

Many of the cultivation practices that had been employed in the U.K. were attempted here, frequently with little or no success.

The first major farm innovation was the colonial two furrow plough which had a big wheel at the rear and two smaller ones in front which controlled the depth and width of the furrow. These were generally known as Duncan, or Reid & Grey ploughs.

The methods of cultivation employed in the 1880’s changed little for some fifty years. Even up until fifty years ago, horses were generally the chief source of cultivation power!

To drive and care for a team of six to eight Clydesdales was a full time job. Mr Laurie Lannie, who as a youngster of fifteen worked on Hendley Station recalls: “The working horses were fetched before daylight and groomed and given their working rations before they were taken out for the days ploughing.” Caring for the horses involved planting crops of oats to feed them, and blacksmiths to shoe them. Harnesses too, had to be made and repaired.

Photo captions –

Giant discs – Hawkestone Station c. 1952.

c. 1950 Ploughing – Price-Cockburn Road


Another under runner!

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The coming of the farm tractor had a dramatic effect. Initially, it resembled something of a gauche, unwieldy monster. Not until 1929 however, were the horses replaced by a tractor on Patoka Station, but many other farms in the area continued to use working horses for ploughing well into the thirties.

Farm tractors gradually improved in capacity and design. By the late 1940’s the crawler tractor and the giant discs had begun to revolutionise farming in the area. No longer would the Patoka district be regarded as second class land.

The giant disc accomplished on the ground what the aeroplane did in the air. This unique combination enabled the area to be cultivated and transformed into reproductive farmland in the space of a few short years, particularly the decade 1945-55.

To the casual observer the most spectacular development in farm mechanisation came about with the

Photo captions –

1979: Discing with an Allis Chalmers H.D.5

1985: The Agricultural Contractor.

Supering The Hendley Settlement 1951.

The first innovation in super spreading – A tractor drawn spreader at “The Incline.’

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aerial application of superphosphate. Fertiliser became accessible to all areas of the farm. Gone were the days of spreading lime, basic slag, or blood and bone by hand.

In the 1940’s it was noted that established pasture could only be maintained through regular fertiliser application and many today would concur with this. Specially adapted four wheel drive ‘trucktors’, trucks, and tractors also apply fertiliser and lime on terrain that was once only regarded as suitable to be covered from the air.

With the emergence of the farm motor bike the working partnership of man, horse and dog, has been largely discarded. The farm motor bike, invariably of Japanese manufacture, is frequently seen with trailer attached. Jobs are attempted and accomplished which would formerly have been the strict preserve of a four wheel drive vehicle.

While many believe that with each successive innovation on the farm, a loss to the rural workforce results: it could also be argued that as the rural workforce diminishes, the need for innovation increases.


Mr Alfred Dunnage who farmed ‘Rangiora’ on the Hendley Road supplied the Napier market with strawberries prior to World War 1. The Dunnages grew several acres of keeping apples, cherry and pear trees. Gwen Sutherland recalls “the Dunnages had every imaginable fruit and vegetable growing – for that matter some marvellous trees. It was under their hazelnut trees that we used to scramble for nuts among the fallen autumn leaves. I very well remember the rows of lush raspberry canes, apricots and so much more.”

Mr Alf Tollison, who subsequently purchased the property, planted more cherry trees and not only did they ripen later and yield well but also fetched high prices on the local market. Since 1972 the Clayton family have grown seed and table potatoes commercially on their Waihau Settlement Road property.

Cherry trees have also recently been planted in the area as a commercial venture.

To augment their incomes today many women sell surplus eggs and field mushroms [mushrooms], while others rear pigs for the weaner market.


Patoka has continued to evolve as a community because of sheep farming.

Even in recent years still at least 70% of the average Patoka farm income has been generated from sheep (i.e. wool, lambs, surplus ewes etc.)

The area is dependent on sheep farming for its existence. However, the success of sheep farming is dependent not only on the farmer, the producer, but also the processors, sellers, and consumers.

As early as the 1850’s Patoka was recognised as a sheep farming area. Sheep were generally farmed for their wool alone in the Patoka area, and for this reason the merino was pre-eminent. However, the merino in this area was reputedly susceptible to footrot, and, as a consequence the fleece deteriorated.

Whitmore experimented with several breeds of sheep but opted for the Lincoln which he found was slow to mature and the carcass was high in tallow content too. The Lincoln also produced wool that was less

The sheep on ‘Hendley’ c. 1927.

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likely to be damaged by rubbing against the fern, and less likely to be pulled by protruding stumps and roots. However, it seems the Lincoln too was susceptible to footrot, and apparently did not thrive on pastures that had reverted.

Prior to the 1880’s many culled fat sheep were rendered down for tallow. However, as the rendering down process excluded the meat, it was considered something of a wasteful process. The solution came in the form of refrigeration, and also in the freezing industry which was to develop as a result. (The Tomoana Works opened in 1884).

With the advent of refrigeration in the 1880’s meat became a viable adjunct to wool. There was a move away from the lean dark meat of the Merino and, by the end of the century the Merino and Lincoln had become superseded by the Romney.

The early settlers reported that the Romney was eminently suited to this area. Not only was the Romney early to mature but lambing percentages were generally higher than other breeds, and the Romney had an excellent constitution.

There have been three main classes of sheep farmed in this area since the 1850’s:

Longwool: (Generally a large framed sheep with a heavy fleece). Leicester, Border Leicester, Lincoln, (Kent) Romney, Drysdale, Perendale, Coopworth.

Mountain: (Generally these sheep are smaller and the fleece is lighter in weight. However, rarely since the turn of the century have these sheep been farmed in the district). Swaledale, Cheviot, Merino.

Photo captions –

Charles Thomsen first purchased Drysdales in 1970, and says “The Drysdale ewes exhibited very good mothering ability and the lamb losses in adverse weather were minimal due to their woolly coats at birth.
Because of difficulty in purchasing acceptable sires plus the extra workload associated with horns, and general market resistence, the decision was made to increase the Romney flock numbers.”

The Swaledale Sheep at Te Kowhai c. 1890.

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Down: (Generally produce an early maturing carcass for the meat trade). Dorset, Southdown, Hampshire, Suffolk.

Since the 1880’s mutton and lamb exports have significantly influenced farming in this area. The proportion of breeding ewes in the flocks has steadily increased, and the longwool breeds have continued to be pre-eminent.

Mr Mason Waterworth who was one of the first to pick fat lambs in this area recalls: “Often I would get up and leave home by 2.30 am in order to get to a property and draft lambs by daybreak. No lambs were held over at the freezing works, they would be drafted and killed the same day and the owner would be notified of his lamb weights by nightfall. This procedure continued well into the 1950’s.

“Before 1920 forward selling and delivery was a common practice. You would sell ewes in October / November for delivery in the first week of January for example (similar to the futures market today). All stock that was killed at the works was at the schedule rate, there was no such thing as owner’s account. However, it is interesting to note that in the years 1925-30 some thirty per cent of all fat lambs were sold at the H.B. Show.”

Mason Waterworth also recalls that up until 1935 stock firms would base their mortgages on standard values. “The standard value was based on the number of sheep you had, it really didn’t matter what the sheep were like.”

This scheme appears to have had striking similarities with the stock incentive scheme which was introduced in the 1970’s to encourage farm production. It is reported that in 1935 it was not unusual for good quality sheep to be sold and replaced by sheep of lesser quality, in order to qualify for a more substantial mortgage.

However, it wasn’t until 1951 when better prices prevailed that sheep farming in the area was given that added impetus – better prices, better pastures, better production.

Mr John McKinnon the H.B. livestock manager of a large N.Z. stock and station firm says “In the last 25

Photo captions –

The swim-dip at Patoka Station February 1934.

Tailing (docking) at Hendley Station 1927.

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years Patoka has produced some of the finest quality stock in the North Island and a premium is paid for Patoka stock at the Stortford Lodge sales.

Typical of the Patoka area too, is the calibre of the farmer. Not only are they noted for being above average in their care and concern for stock, but they are also men who match the country.

“With the climatic conditions that normally prevail from January through to late autumn, Patoka lambs kill on the average about a kilogram above the H.B. provincial area average.”

Today, in 1985 with the dramatic increase in on and off farm costs, plus an ever diminishing financial return, sheep farming in the area is in a precarious predicament. Historically, when poorer prices have prevailed, poorer pastures and poorer production has resulted. Nineteen eighty five could well mark an epoch, not only for sheep farming, but for the district.


It has been said that the most important farm building is the shearing shed because, in it, the farmers’ efforts are harvested and appraised. The shearing contractor and the shearer are the vital links in the chain of harvesting and appraisal. Unfortunately, the highly skilled shearer and rousie are frequently not accorded the recognition they deserve in the annals of farming.

Photo captions –

Lending a neighbourly hand – haymaking in the 1940’s with farmers combining implements.

Haymaking at a leisurely pace. c1930

This chaff cutter was a vital piece of farm equipment at Hendley Station.

Shearing gang and shepherds at Waipuna – 1938.

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In 1892 Mr Lewis (who later settled at Puketitiri) recalled being paid 16/8d per hundred for shearing full wool sheep on Patoka Station. We noted too that most farm workers at Patoka in 1892 earned 25/- per week for their labours.

Mr Tahau, a shearing contractor who served the area for many years said that the wool in the area was very ‘pumicy’ up until the mid fifties, but as the pastures improved so did the wool. In 1948 a shearer could expect to receive three pounds ten shillings per hundred sheep shorn, and 7/ 6d for every hundred sheep crutched. “Shearing was a way of life in those days – somehow you felt part of it.”

Up until the 1960’s shearers were paid according to the wool price index. If wool prices were high the shearer earned a higher rate per hundred sheep shorn; the converse naturally also applied. Today however, rates are generally set at the beginning of each season. This year (1985), the shearer is netting around sixty dollars per hundred sheep shorn.

Shearing and allied farm services employ a large number of people. One shearing contractor remarked that over the last twenty years he had brought around 1,200 people into the Patoka district for either shearing, fencing or docking.


From the writings of the late Hugh Crosse the vicissitudes of farming in this area are clearly illustrated. “In 1902, the sheep taken over on this place was predominantly Romney, but Lincolns had been used. A strain of Cheviot was run into the flock and brought about a marked improvement in stamina, but after a time the clip showed considerable decline, and by 1912 Romney rams had completely replaced Cheviots.

“By 1912 all the hoggets were carried over, and the two-tooth wethers were sold off the shears.” The observation was also made that by 1912 the five year ewes on Patoka had perfect mouths, but by 1947, this was no longer so.

Photo captions –

Shearing at the Hendley woolshed – 1940’s.

The Patoka Station Woolshed – 1985.

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In 1919 lambing percentages were around the seventy per cent range which was “due primarily to the invariable shortage of feed in late winter and spring. Frost and cold cut back the old feed, danthonia and suckling clover are still the most important feed elements, but are very late spring beginners.”

Wool production was also affected, “this situation continued for ten years…until the time that the sound method for growing English grasses was established.”

By 1930 the average clip at Patoka had become about 120 bales. The brand ’PATOKA’ was reputedly first used in 1868 and survives to this day in the hands of the Crosse family.

By the 1930’s wether lambs were being fattened, aided by the improved pastures. The ewe flock increased and lambing improved. The unemployment subsidies enabled manuka to be cut and production from the rough country to be maintained in the years 1933-36. Had it not been for these subsidies this development work would have been economically impossible.

By 1938 some nine hundred acres of Patoka Station were established in English grasses and overall there were 4,400 breeding ewes. Of the three thousand, eight hundred lambs, six hundred and fifty went off their mothers at the first pick, and a further eleven hundred were fattened on rape.

With the outbreak of war, the cutting of the manuka ceased, and the rough country hurried on its decline. In 1947, H. E. Crosse notes it did not carry anything regularly, although a small number were grazed on the (reverted) block for about five weeks during winter.

“During the war my manager pursued a policy of ploughing the danthonia paddocks and on my return from World War II) had increased the breeding ewes to 5,000 and the clip to one hundred and ninety bales. This, in spite of the deterioration of the rough country and the enormous reduction in fertiliser.”

Today Patoka Station covers some two thousand, eight hundred acres and, under capable stewardship, is now a highly productive farming unit that winters over eight thousand sheep and over seven hundred head of cattle.

Sheep from Patoka Station are renowned for their quality and evenness and are keenly sought by buyers from throughout the North Island who are seeking high class Romney sheep.

Post Script: In 1985 over 7,000 lambs were docked from the 5,050 ewes that were put to the ram.


Glencoe Stud aims to achieve: good wool weights, strong wool types and easy lambing, high fertility, carefree feet, good lamb weights and open faces.

Selection of the stud’s elite flock began in 1974. However, since 1979, the stud has been performance recorded with sheeplan and sires have been acquired throughout N.Z.

Last year the stud sold 200 rams, but in future years the emphasis will be on improving the quality of the ewes rather than increasing the size of the stud.

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The Patoka Community took ‘reflected glory’ when John Paterson (Glencoe) was named H.B. Farmer of the Year – 1983. The competition, organised by the H.B. Agricultural and Pastoral Society, aims to promote both farming, and farmer efficiency.

SHEEPLAN: (The national flock recording scheme)

Messrs Roger Thomsen (Falomai), Alan Andrews (Newark), and Michael Halliday (Raumati), have registered with the flock recording scheme. All aim to establish and develop their stud flocks.


In 1968 Harry Downes (Mangahina) joined the H.B. Romney development group. This group. established a central flock, and used recorded performance techniques rather than the traditional ‘eye appraisal’ approach. Mangahina was registered with the flock recording scheme ‘sheeplan’ in 1970.


Kawatiri was noted for its stud Suffolk rams and Fernglen as a Romney stud 1958-69.


Colonel Whitmore imported Shorthorn cattle as well as Lincoln sheep to his Peka Peka Estate. Few cattle however were grazed in the area prior to the 1920’s, although in 1906, Hawkston Station was carrying some 200 head of cattle.

Mr David Lewis cited a letter from his grandfather dated 1892, “wild cattle were shot at Waipuna, and 15/- was paid for each carcass.”

In 1947 another resident said “The country is not suited to cattle…the creeks are very boggy and then run into precipitous gorges, which means that losses through bogging and going over cliffs are heavy. Nevertheless, cattle play such an important part in establishing new pastures in this very light land.”

Today most farms in the area run cattle with the Angus and Hereford still being the preferred breeds, although Charolais, Simmental, Limousin, Shorthorn and Murray Greys continue to win favour with many farmers.

Some diversification into dairy bred beef has also occurred in recent years and although there are no all- beef farms in the area, cattle are now fully regarded as meat producers, and not the ’domestic servants’ of the sheep farming enterprise.


A number of cattle studs have existed in the area including: –
Fernglen (Noel Price) – 1964-1970 Aberdeen Angus
Weem (Tom McCormack) – 1962-1968 Aberdeen Angus
Thirlestane (Alastair Aldridge) – 1977-1984 Murray Grey

Photo caption – ‘Glencoe’ 1983.

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The Longview Stud was established in 1969. Between 1972/1974 seven Charolais stud cows and a bull calf imported from France were acquired. In 1978 Longiew [Longview] undertook to introduce Polled Charolais from U.S. bloodlines into the herd.

In-calf heifers were bought or leased from successful herds in the United States, taken to Canada for calving and the progeny imported to N.Z. via Soames Island Quarantine Station in 1980. Since inception, Longview cattle have enjoyed considerable success in the competition arena, from A. & P. shows to beef carcass competitions. For personal health reasons a complete dispersal sale of the stud took place on May 2, 1985, and the property changed hands.

KAWATIRI ANGUS STUD (Vivienne & David Bone)

This stud was founded in 1974 and is situated on the Hawkston Road.

For the last four years an annual sale has been held on the property, and this has attracted considerable interest.

To further enhance the stud’s credentials the semen rights of a renowned American sire were acquired this year (1985).


After years of shooting deer and goats for sport and pasture control, an increasing number in the Patoka area are diversifying into these ‘pests’. According to Joe McClunie, (a Patoka deer farmer), Patoka is the ideal deer breeding area. Not only has it the rainfall for good summer growth, but also produces good feed for milking hinds and by April weaners are well grown. Moreover, the easy contour, natural habitat and sheltered valleys give warmth, water and shade when required. Joe’s maxim: “Don’t shoot them, farm them!” Today many believe deer are a more viable economic proposition than sheep or cattle.

Photo caption – A Kawatiri Angus Sire.

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Times are a-changing! Not so long ago farmers paid enterprising schoolboys to eradicate feral goats. Now they’re more likely to offer reward for their live capture.

In this era of diversification, the previously despised goat has been elevated to the lofty position of ‘profitable enterprise’. Feral goats have become a commodity in demand in the race to achieve purebred Angora flocks, which are considered the ultimate as fibre and meat producers. Today embryo transplants can bridge the feral-to-purebred gap in a single breeding season.


Services to the area are provided by the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries for the control of contagious abortion and tuberculosis.

The control of hydatids and sheep measles is overseen by the Hawke’s Bay County Council. The present dog dosing officer Ernie Saker has made many regular visits to the farms and dosing strips in the area for the last twenty five years. He has a reputation for knowing all the dogs by name, and it’s said that the dogs know him too!

Prior to the establishment of a National Hydatids Council the County Council employed dog rangers. One former resident recalled with a twinkle in her eye “It was surprising how quickly we all knew that the ranger was making his rounds, no C.B. radios in those days but methods just as effective! We had at least four dogs and I was told to ‘get in the shed with Niki’ which I promptly did. The only thing was Niki and | didn’t shut up long enough. The result, we were sternly reminded that the registration fee for dogs was half a crown, so, in the midst of a depression the bank was broken for another 2/ 6d.”


Many women came to this area with their spouses. Through their background, ingenuity, enterprise and vigour they supported their spouses, raised their children and ran their households. Times were frequently difficult and trying.

Here is the story of one truly remarkable lady as told by her daughter Mrs Catherine Downes. It stands in tribute to Mira Crosse and therein to all women of her era

Photo captions –

Dog dosing day

The late Mrs Mira Crosse

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Delmira Bokenham was born in 1889 in London, and educated there and in Switzerland. She became an actress, and in 1919 travelled to Australia under contract to J. C. Williamson. On the voyage to Australia she met Hugh Crosse, returning from a visit to his sister in India, and when her contract expired in 1921, she married him.

At first they farmed at Bay View. In 1923 Hugh took over management of his father’s property, Patoka Station, which was his and Mira’s home for the rest of their lives. It must have been a rude shock after her comfortable home in a London suburb, and the serviced theatrical lodgings of her working life. A hungry wood stove, dirty and labour-intensive wood fires, kerosene lamps and heaters and bedroom candles replaced electricity and gas. Groceries were ordered by the truckload twice a year, over a very inefficient earth-return telephone system, at first operated by wet batteries which were later replaced by less dangerous dry cells.

The small Post Office at the corner of the Puketitiri and Hendley Roads housed a primitive telephone exchange, but no general store. It was run by the blacksmith’s wife, his forge stood across the road. There was, however, a mail service from Monday to Friday, carried by a freight and passenger service car that ran daily from Puketitiri to Napier and back, a lifeline for farming and mill people in those days when cars were scarce and few women could drive. Each weekday Mrs Crosse and her children walked up to the Post Office to collect the mail, which probably made a welcome break from the domestic round.

Although times were hard, Patoka Station usually employed about three men who were housed in a cottage and cookhouse on the property, and fed at the homestead. There was usually a girl to help with the vast amount of work entailed. At first the unfortunate bride had an experienced housekeeper to show her the ropes, but later staff varied from competent cook-generals to willing but inexpert daughters of friends. Bread and butter, jam and preserves, cakes and puddings and regular meals were made in enormous quantities, great heaps of household linen were boiled in a big copper, other clothing was scrubbed in a large wooden tub, all in a wash-house open to the morning sun – when it shone – and hung on long lines ina drying green surrounded by fruit trees. It also housed a beehive or two, and from time to time the bees on their cleansing flights would soil the wash so severely that it would have to be done again. Taking the honey was another big job, though more often performed by the men, and for weeks great muslin bags of honeycomb hung dripping in a corner of the dairy, beside the barrel of corned beef growing steadily more salt and less edible as the year went on. The preparation of beef was man’s work, but Mrs Crosse attended to the bacon, turning the heavy flitches daily and rubbing them with salt and brown sugar. She also brewed an excellent light ale.

When the elder children reached school age a governess was engaged for the two girls. She and her two successors were not a great success with children as timid as these, and Mrs Crosse, encouraged by a friend’s success with a correspondence course, decided to turn teacher, leaving the housework to the cook-general and giving as much help as she could. The correspondence course that she chose was from England, based on the methods of Rudolf Steiner and Montessori. It placed a lot of emphasis on history and literature, languages and citizenship, art, music and nature study. The children became familiar with the works of Shakespeare, Dickens, Scott and many others at an early age, before embarking on the history and religious beliefs of many parts of the world.

Mr and Mrs Crosse took a great interest in world affairs, and read widely on such matters. They owned a wireless set, and were able to hear the news and a few other programmes, but the short life of wireless batteries must have limited their listening severely, and magazines and book clubs supplied most of their information. Mrs Crosse remained interested in the theatre, of course, though seldom able to attend a performance, and as the children grew able to study independently, and the road and the family car improved, she was able to go into town to shop and see a film quite often, and visit friends in Napier whom earlier she had very seldom been able to see. It was a great joy to her after those early days when a trip to town was a major exercise, undertaken only two or three times a year, and squeezing in as much shopping as possible with dentist appointments and visits to the in-laws although during the Depression very little shopping was in fact possible for any hill country farmer.

The earthquake of 1931 brought further problems. The house came through it well, being a sturdy wooden structure, but lost all its chimneys and the rainwater tanks that supplied the wash-house. The contents of the walk-in pantry were a horrible mess in the middle of the floor, and had to be cleared with shovel and barrow and simply dumped. That morning Mr Crosse was miles away on the farm, and his wife and her niece had to cope with the children and their own terrors and anxiety for some hours before he could make his way home over the distorted land. When he reached home to find his family safe and sound he was able to provide for the immediate needs of catering and accommodation by producing a camp oven and tent. The next day the family drove into Hastings, via the appalling ruins of Napier, to make sure that Mr and Mrs T. E. Crosse had come safely through the disaster. They had, and were spending the day visiting Patoka! No sooner were the chimneys replaced than in April, a brisk tremor brought them back down. By then the camp oven had been replaced with a colonial oven, a more

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conventional stove that stood in the drying green near the back door and kept the wolf from it for the family and the succession of tradesmen who helped to bring order out of chaos, and even added a small bedroom to one end of the house.

By 1939 the children were all at boarding school, times weren’t quite so hard, and Mrs Crosse was able to pay what she expected to be a short visit to her family in England. She spent a few wonderful months with them and the many friends whom she had left behind in 1919, but as she was ready to come home the war broke out and she was not immediately able to get a passage. Her friends were reluctant to see her run the gauntlet of the submarine war but her husband wouldn’t have her exposed to the bombing of London any longer than could be avoided. He won that argument, and she reached New Zealand in March 1940 to everyone’s relief. Once she was safe, Mr Crosse joined the army and a few months later was posted to Egypt, via England. While he was away, with Patoka Station in the hands of a manager, his wife looked for a job, and from 1941 to 1944 she applied her mothering skills to work as a housematron at Wanganui Collegiate School, which left her free to spend the school and university holidays with her growing children.

At the end of 1944 the family was back at Patoka, and when the holidays ended a different pattern of life developed for Mrs Crosse. With only her husband to look after she had time to indulge her passion for gardening as well as for reading, and to visit her friends and the cinema in Napier as often as she wished. The comparative prosperity that followed the end of the war allowed the Crosses to enlarge their kitchen and living room, and install a small petrol generator to light the house, which made life more comfortable and less laborious. They replaced the battered furniture with handsome antiques and enjoyed choosing new curtains and covers for the expanded living space.

In 1947 their younger daughter Susan married Max McGlashan of Canterbury University College, and in 1948 Catherine, the elder daughter married Harry Downes, an army officer. In 1952 Catherine and Harry returned to take up 500 acres of Patoka Station, part of which was at that time being sub-divided for settlement by returned servicemen. In 1954 Thomas Crosse married Jane Wood, from Napier.

In 1962 Mr Crosse died. Mrs Crosse remained at Patoka, enjoying her grandchildren, her garden and travelling. For many years she had been troubled with arthritis, and this became increasingly severe, but she never allowed it to impede the active life she chose to lead.

She died at Patoka in November, 1971.

Photo captions –

Patoka Station Homesead [Homestead] c. 1958
An aerial view of the Patoka Station buildings (left to right). The original woolshed built c. 1860 but later used as implement shed, and swaggers’ bunkroom; the accommodation house, dating back to coaching days and the homestead, which developed from a shepherd’s whare.

Mustering…Patoka Station.

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PATOKA IN THE FORTIES The spirit of the forties and early fifties is poignantly captured by Mrs Gwenyth Carswell. Mrs Carswell came as a young bride, with her husband Len, to take up a block at Hendley.

This is her story

“I recall a far off dejected land, silent, inhabited only by millions of hungry rabbits, and trillions of flies.

“White tea tree lined the roads. It was a land waiting for habitation, telephone and power.

“The only telephone available was two miles away. On one excursion to use the telephone I well remember my horse was reluctant to start for home, and the neighbour said “I’ll fix it!” and disappeared into the house. Before I could protest, she pricked its rump with a fork. The horse leapt in the air, with me clinging courageously to its back. It raced for home without touching the turf!

“During the day we kept the rifle by the kitchen window and kept up a continuous barrage at the rabbits (there’s a notch still in the sill to prove it!) At night we lured rats with a loaf of bread, and shot them by lantern light.

“We were fortunate to own a small lighting plant and an old Millar lamp. A kerosene refrigerator was a wondrous machine and, well worth the effort of regular cleaning. Ambition ran high!

“First, fence off the gorge, which was claiming the life daily of our precious stock, then fell the standing kanuka and manuka, which towered high, and sow crops and resow pastures.

“The well-off bought a chiming clock, all must have one. It was to be eight years before electricity came our way. At least there were no holdups with power cuts at shearing time, we had a motor and a belt that ran off a tractor.

“There were many exciting firsts both personal and district.

“How well I remember the first leg of hogget cooked in the wood stove, which uncurled and pushed open the oven door, to establish itself as a quarter and not a mere leg!

“The first sponge cake, straight from the new oven, and carried across the ploughing at such speed, the men thought the house was on fire. Later, the cake was devoured under a tractor as a hail storm struck.

“The first trout to be dropped in by an intrepid fisherman, boned by mistake and baked fit for royalty.

“The first pheasant caught in a rabbit trap, and left almost too long to cook, but devoured under the eye of the wild life ranger was anything more tasty?!

“The first fern-decorated woolshed dances, inexpensively run with a local pianist or accordian player and a delicious home cooked supper.

“We provided endless cups of tea for contractors and agents. The thermos flasks were for the patient topdressing pilots, in their wonderful Tiger Moth aeroplanes. They would sit and play cards and wait for the wind to drop. On one occasion the wind dropped a glider in our area, and we entertained the unhurt pilot for three hours while his wife hurried to fetch him. On another occasion, a pilot borrowed a needle to sew his aeroplane wing up, as he had dropped his thermos through it. Fortunately, he patched it up sufficiently to get back to the aerodrome. The needle was an ordinary crewel, as I was leaving for town and couldn’t find a larger one, nor, was I told what it was to be used for. The needle was returned to the kitchen table and the bloody cotton told its own tale.

The day a contractor pulled up for a chat, just as the cow was being brought in for milking, and drove off with the milking bucket in his tray (partly filled with warm water) and bound for Hastings.

Photo captions –

Gwen Carswell, Elsie Thomsen and children at haymaking.

Stuart Ward “How we got our milk and eggs in the 1940’s.”

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“And the night, one of many, when we booked in at the Puketitiri Pub, for a night of revelry. As was customary we came home at dawn. We shakily took a glass of ‘Andrews Liver Salts’ before retiring, but mistakenly held the tin under the tap instead of the glass!

“…There was the wag who kidded me into staring the large black poly bull in the eye because he said tears would run down its face. They did fall, but they were tears of ecstasy shed by all the shepherds who had been drafting sheep nearby! Their laughter finally penetrated my concentration!

“The local store stocked everything, or would get it. However, misunderstandings did occur, e.g. cheese for peas. One day when asked the customary question “Anything else?” I jokingly replied, ’Six perching pullets.” They came! We found ourselves reluctantly erecting a hen house in the rain.

“Being a ‘Towny’ and completely ignorant of farm life. I found to my surprise that there is no rest or peace in the country. Although Patoka was far off and silent at first, it soon became as noisy and industrious as any town.

“Patoka has shown a friendly hospitable face to all who travel north-west on the winding road. It is well known to many as being on the fringe of the green belt. The inhabitants are appreciative of its prosperity, where once there was nothing but dreams”


With electricity came a change in lifestyle. The greatest visible impact was with lighting. No more candles or lamps, just a flick of a switch.

Power was switched on to the Waihau Road in 1950, but Patoka, Hendley, Hawkston, Manaroa areas had to wait until 1955. Waipuna later still.

Consumers were required to ‘guarantee’ that they would use a minimum number of units of power. This in effect, helped the H.B. Electric Power Board defray the cost of installation and supply of electricity.

It is said, that, for a number of years, people didn’t worry whether their lights were left on. However, once the guarantee period ran out, people tended to switch off a few more lights!

In 1968 the Patoka Sub-Station was erected by the H.B. Electric Power Board in an attempt to improve supply to this area and ensure that there were less voltage variations.


Prior to the thirties radios were scarce and few residents had one.

At the time of the 1931 earthquake Waihau residents recall Mrs Horgan relaying the news of the Napier Earthquake from the wireless, to other residents in the area via the telephone.

Many former residents too, recall the programmes of the thirties, like Dad and Dave and Eurone. Eurone’s theme was travel in outer space, which then, was regarded as pure fantasy

Photo captions –

House-moving – 1940’s style!

The Hendley Station homestead c. 1948.

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Two residents of the area, Lyn MacLeod and Maureen Reynolds began Safi Sana in 1978. With their children away at school they were looking for some additional activity for the winter months.

Brochures were sent out, and it was not long before the orders started to come in. Each outfit was individually designed both in colour combinations and styles, thus making the whole venture more creative and interesting.

The rural services were used to get the materials and orders to and from town. Local sports outlets were provided with a range of garments for the ‘skier’ in early autumn, i.e. Jackets, vests, jumpsuits and trousers.

To get underway in the first year or two they employed part time sewers just for the very busy times. All work was done in the Shearers’ Quarters on the Reynolds’ property, Huiarangi Road. After help from their husbands and an electrician, the quarters looked very much like a mini-factory, with large sewing tables, plenty of lighting and a large open fire.

The year started in March and finished during the August holidays. It fitted in very well with their ‘life on the farm’. However, after five years they decided that it was time for a change and the business was sold to a Napier buyer.

The name Safi Sana is Swahili for ‘the very best.’



Once a year the Patoka countryside echoed to the auctioneer’s call as the annual stock sale got underway. The sales originated at Patoka Station (circa 1909) but later moved to the property of Mr J. Walker, where now the Longview woolshed stands.

Two tooth wethers were usually bought and sold to build up local stock numbers. Four tooth wethers would also be sold, generally to the freezing works. However, Mr Bob Peddle recalls hearing that the stock sold would be driven across Marshall’s Crossing and thence to Waihi where they would be slaughtered to provide the burgeoning goldmining population with meat.

Sale day was a lively occasion, as Mrs ‘Kiwi’ Hale (a former resident) recalls. “Before the sale we had to clear the yards of dog daisy, what a job! Mr and Mrs Walker would arrive with huge packing cases, full of bread, block cake, cooked beef and ham. The bread was sliced with an old bacon cutter, the mustard mixed with butter, and then you started…buttering… buttering…and buttering. Seemingly endless piles of sandwiches were made. The hot water was boiled in a copper, to make the never-ending cups of tea. The cost of a cup of tea with cake and sandwiches was one shilling. The stock sold frequently wasn’t much dearer than the tea!”

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Another sale-goer recalls, “The country hospitality – nothing quite like it! Mr Charlton from the Carlton Club Hotel would arrive the day before with ‘the grog’.” It seems some vendors and buyers would really enter into the spirit of the occasion!

Most of the stock that didn’t find its way back to local farms, would in fact find its way to the local freezing works. There was a very efficient band of drovers who for the sum of one pound a day drove stock long distances all over the country.

The last Patoka sale was held in 1930 as the 1931 sale which was scheduled to take place the week after the earthquake was cancelled.

By the late 1930’s the trucks were starting to make their presence felt, and the Patoka stock sales were just a memory.


The smithy was situated just opposite the present Post Office. The blacksmith, Mr Charles Mackey, shod farm and mill horses from as far afield as Puketitiri, Te Waka, Te Pohue, Waihau and Waiwhare. When the Mackey family left Patoka in 1945 the contents of the forge were bought by the Horgan family, and today still remain in their possession.

Photo captions –

1913 Jack Walker’s Saleyards on the sight of the present Long- View Woolshed.

After a day’s droving…Eddie Krogh outside the Patoka P.O. c. 1933.

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This memorial reserve was bequeathed in 1961 by William Hartree’s widow, Audrey, to the people of New Zealand.

William (Bill) Hartree was a man who encouraged young and old alike to appreciate the native flora and fauna of the area. Not only was he an ardent conservationist but an archeologist of repute, whose knowledge of the moa was extensive.

As a further fitting tribute, the William Hartree Memorial Prize for Nature Study is awarded annually by the Patoka Country Womens’ Institute to a pupil at Patoka school.


A meeting was held at the home of Mr and Mrs G. W. Halliday, ‘Raumati’, July 27, 1950 to discuss the desirability of a local hall and to set up a steering committee.

Mr Halliday was chairman of this committee and other members included: Messrs C. R. McIntosh, Alex Cockburn, W. R. Paterson, A. S. Tollison. C. P. Thomsen, J. Adams, D. Cockburn, J. Alexander, J. Waldon, H. E. Crosse and later, H. Downes. Mesdames W. Paterson, G. Halliday and S. Ward.

Various sub-committees were formed to investigate finance, materials, site. dimensions and design.

By mid 1953 the present site at the Hendley Road intersection had been procured.

The Post Office land and building was at that time vested in a trust of local landowners. It was mooted that this be sold and funds channelled into the hall project. However, problems of title arose. What in fact resulted was an amalgamation of trusts (Post Office and Hall). This amalgamation qualified fora War Memorial Subsidy with the proviso that ex-servicemen be represented on the Trust.

The Post Office was sold in 1956 for two hundred and fifty pounds.

Work on the Hall construction began in November 1954. Much of the labour was voluntary. The total cost was two thousand, seven hundred and twenty one pounds, fifteen shillings and fivepence.

Mr C. Harker, M.P., officiated at the opening on April 23, 1955.

The present supper and kitchen area were added in 1961 and in 1983 over $3,000 was spent on upgrading and redecorating.

The present board of Trustees includes: Messrs C. P. Thomsen (Chairman), T. H. Crosse, L. D. Carswell, D. A. Cockburn. R. H. Kirk, J. Elliot, M. M. Halliday (Secretary), Mrs C. Downes.

Photo captions –

The Patoka Blacksmith’s Shop.

The Patoka Memorial Hall under construction c. December 1954.

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A record of the services held in the area is not in evidence, however, it is known that from 1928 the Reverend Geddes took regular services in the Raumati homestead. These monthly services continued to be held at the homestead until 1955 when they were transferred to the newly built Patoka Hall. Today the monthly services still continue at the Patoka Hall. Vicars to have served the area over the years include the following: The Reverends Colwill, Geddes, Hyde, Anderson, Waymouth, McGechie and Williams.


The Catholic Church has been holding services in the Patoka Hall over the past twenty years.

During the late twenties and early thirties Father Aubrey of Meeanee visited Catholics in the district and occasionally held services at ‘Dunloe’ the home of the late Michael Horgan and later at the Waihau School.

In 1957 after a lapse of several years, services were resumed at Wavehill, the home of Mr and Mrs Scott Horgan.

By the mid sixties however, numbers had increased and more regular services were held by Father Minehan and Father Fitzsimmons. Father Fitzsimmons introduced Mass twice monthly and these services continue to the present day.

During the 1970’s special day-long Christian doctrine instruction courses for children were held at various homes and were generally followed by Mass, a barbecue, hangi, or a high tea. These occasions were immensely popular with children and parents alike.

Latterly, two Anglican – Catholic combined services have been held.

Mrs Joan Horgan says “After our Sunday services we have a cup of tea and this informal time together serves to keep us abreast of the spiritual, sporting, farming, political and cultural happenings that affect the district.”


Alaistair [Alistair] Isdale (a former resident) recalls, “In the twenties the Presbyterian Minister would give lantern lectures, e.g. Ben Hur, in a hall at the Hendley Mill. There was also a building near the accommodation house which was used for church services, and these which we went to were of both Anglican (Rev. Colwill) and Presbyterian (Mr Norris) denominations.”

Some former residents recall services beginning in the early thirties with Reverend Martin.

Another ex resident recalls, “In the thirties the ministers would visit periodically. One left us off his visiting list after one of the dogs grabbed him by the trouser cuff. He charged my dad for repairs to the said cuff!”

Since 1958 Communion has been celebrated once a month. Services first commenced at the Patoka School but were later transferred to the Hall where today they are still held monthly.


In the sixties it was proposed that an inter-denominational Church be built in the area to serve the needs of the community. Although, this idea received support from some quarters it was felt there was insufficient interest amongst the community at large to proceed.


In the early days the women of the district had little contact with others outside the household. Many had large families to care for and all baked their own bread, preserved food, cleaned, sewed, mended, washed and ironed. The travelling salespeople were a welcome relief from the day to day routines.

Former residents of the area recall Misses Snelling and Bull visiting the area in the 1920’s. These two former nurses had a beautiful western-style covered wagon which was drawn by two horses.

Photo caption – Scott and Joan Horgan’s first mode of transport to town and church…a Dennis truck belonging to Michael Horgan Snr.

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“Their wares were beautiful and consisted of women’s clothing, and lingerie, although much too expensive for us, we loved looking. They had a large Russian wolfhound that used to accompany them some said for protection.”

Mr Bill Marr also recalls visiting the area in the 30’s. He had a travelling grocery at the rear of his Ford 10. Usually he would visit the area once a fortnight. He’d often weigh the tiny babies on his grocery scales for the mums who wanted to be quite sure that their baby was thriving. His threepenny ice creams were sought after and enjoyed by the older children.

Mr Robert Magill’s Chevrolet also frequented the area in the years 1932-1939. Men like H. Campbell, Neville Smith, and Reg Mercer often drove the van. Their pure woollen socks sold for sixpence a pair!

Mr Percy Watson too came with fish, fruit and vegetables every second Saturday.

Mrs Mellis recalls even a travelling circus in the late thirties. Apparently the circus arrived in the form of four horses and a covered wagon, plus attendant dogs!

Later in the fifties people like Nita Hughes and Lance Carr serviced the area selling items of clothing and haberdashery.

Since the fifties the bevy of salespeople has continued. Some selling animal and human remedies, mineral mixes for stock, tractors, motor bikes, clothing, brushes and brooms, encyclopaedias, photographs, paintings, drapery, offal holes.

In more recent years the sophisticated selling methods (e.g. party plan) have infiltrated the district too.


The Patoka Rural Fire Unit is sited adjacent to the Patoka sub-station and was reportedly advocated by the Patoka Federated Farmers in 1957. In 1978 it became operational under the control and direction of the Hawke’s Bay County Council.

Unfortunately, over the years many accidental fires have occurred. For example, in 1966 a hunter dropped a match after lighting a cigarette at Te Kowhai, and by the morning of the next day approximately 400 acres had been burnt as it neared Mangatutu. When finally brought under control a day later, 900 acres had been burnt.

Wind too, has been responsible for several fires, including the 1983 fire at the Hartree Memorial Reserve. Fire was also responsible for destroying the two former dwellings built by Mr Hallett at Anawhenua and Hawkston (both part of the large Hawkston run). These buildings were identical in design to the homestead built at lower Raumati, now the property of Mrs Joy Molenaar (nee Halliwell).

Photo captions –

c. 1932 Bill Marr’s travelling grocery.

1983: Fire!   William Hartree Memorial Scenic Reserve.

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Mr Edward Hayes is believed to have been the first mail contractor to ply the Puketapu – Ngaroto – Waihau route in 1917. This once-weekly service continued to be operated until 1932.

c. 1904 Mail from far and wide reached Patoka.

The mail delivery was then upgraded when Mr Fred Hale began a two day a week service (Tuesdays and Saturdays). As was customary, Mr Hale would call at the various firms to collect orders. On one particular day he visited de Pelichet and McLeod. However, without thinking he drove back onto the railway line only to be met by the midday express. The express caught his truck and shunted it and Mr Hale a couple of chains down the track. Fortunately, Mr Hale emerged unscathed, the truck however, was fatally injured! However, through the kindness of Mr Peach from a well known Napier motor firm, Mr Hale was hurriedly supplied with a new vehicle to ensure that the mail did get through to the residents!

Dave Walker, a rural carrier, then had the mail run for many years, starting one day a week and increasing it to three days weekly. In 1964 the run was sold to Sherwood Transport, but during that time Bill Sutton delivered the papers.

Since 1969 Derek Vesty has contracted the Hastings based run which still services the Puketapu – Waihau – Patoka area and is known as R.D.6 Puketapu. He at present travels 200 kms daily delivering mail, milk, papers and many other household or farm items five days a week, with just papers on a Saturday. He recalls an antique sideboard delivered recently to a Huiarangi Road property “A hair- raising experience, I could only guess the value of my cargo and it made me very nervous.” Derek’s most frightening experience was when one young boy hid in a roadside box on a winter’s evening. As he opened the door to put in the mail a loud ”BOO” greeted him. ”I shook for hours,” said Derek.


The Napier – Waipuna mail service was established in 1862. This 39 mile route from Napier went via Taradale, Puketapu, Peka Peka (Rissington) to Waipuna. In 1864 the contract price for this service was sixty three pounds per annum. It was not until 1906 that mail was conveyed by motorised means!


The first office was situated at Patoka Station and was opened in 1887 with E. Harding as postmaster. The office was contained in the original homestead and was later to form part of a bathroom where the postal slot is still in evidence although with a slip of tin over it!

In 1889 W. J. Hopkins was appointed postmaster and was later followed in 1890 by Isaac Winter. On 31 July, 1894 the post office closed. In view of the closure a request for the establishment of a post office at Hawkston was made but refused.

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However, the alternative of coach and horses remained until 1921. Some of the earlier mail contractors included:

1893:   A. A. McIntyre
1900:   Alfred Hill
1904:   F. T. Bradley
1907:   G. H. Kemp
1910:   H. B. Motor Co.
1923:   A.A.P.W. Motor Service
1927:   Aard Taxi Service
1931:   W. J. Stevens
1934:   W. C. Fletcher
1937:   H. B. Motor Co.

Today, the mail contract is held by Mr and Mrs Mark Wilkins from the Patoka Store. Mail is delivered five days a week and the service is known as R.D.4 Napier. Some residents have mail addressed to the Post Office sub-branch office at Patoka, while others prefer to be Napier Private Bag holders.



This office was situated some 24 kms inland from Peka Peka (Rissington) and the mail came to Waipuna via the Peka Peka office. In 1862 George T. B. Worgan (flockowner) became the first postmaster. When Colonel Whitmore purchased the property from Worgan it is thought that the office closed (circa winter 1866).

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In 1901 the Patoka office re-opened with Augustus Crawford as postmaster, but later this moved to the residence of Mr Albert Williams in 1902. It seems the post office then returned to Patoka Station where William H. Roil continued to be postmaster from 1902-1916.

In 1917 the district’s original school building was moved to the site of the present store and post office to become the first post office agency building on that site.

Edwin Harding, Patoka’s first postmaster appointed in 1887.

The Mackey family at the Patoka Post Office c. 1923.

1956: The Patoka Post Office was renovated and modernised to accommodate a store.

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Although telephone facilities were first offered in 1909 it was not until 1961 that the service was dramatically altered with the introduction of the automatic telephone exchange to replace the former manual switchboard.

In 1955 the first country store was established by the Rossiter family at the post office and this enabled residents to have a five day shopping facility close by.

Full banking facilities were later offered in 1962, although a limited service had been offered prior to this.

Since 1916 the postmasters have included: (Year of appointment) Gavin Black (1916), Robert Wallace (1918), Ethel Mackey (1918), Edith Mackey (1944), Betty Mackey (1945), May Whittle (1945), Hilda Rossiter (1956), Florence Hawthorne (1958), Winifred Scott (1968), Jennifer Kiddie (1974), Judith Casford (1979), Allison Wilkins (1985).


In 1862, forty one bush sections situated at ’Pakiaka’ (now Hendley) were auctioned by the Crown for settlement. Records show that the Patoka Post Office was named Pakiaka in 1902. Later in 1903, it closed. Augustus Crawford was the postmaster throughout and, it is interesting to speculate that the post office could well have been situated at Pakiaka (Hendley) for a time.


The telephone directory is an invaluable source of information which reveals a great deal about the people and the district it serves.

The Patoka private line owners in 1912 were: A. C. Bennett, Bull Bros., E. R. Dampney, A. F. Dunnage, G. Joll, J. Mills, J. F. Orr, W. McCrae Peacock.

The 1921 list of private line owners included the following: K. Allen, J. B. Bell (Mangatutu), T. S. Bicknell, Bull Bros., (Hendley Mill), H. Caldwell, P. A. Cockburn (The Incline), J. S. Dunn (Dunmore), Harry Halliwell, J. C. Hale, Hendley Station, Hawkston Station, Isdale (Raumati), McLennan, J. C. McKay (Mt. Hassall), F. Mullin, W. Roil, C. L. Spencer (Waihau), J. Thompson, Jack Walker, James Walker.

Telephone Directory as it appeared in July 1961.

July 1961
62 Patoka




AMBULANCE   DIAL 111 & ask the operator for service required

The operator who first answers your 111 call will connect you promptly to the service you ask for. You should then explain to the service the nature of your emergency. Do not hang up your receiver before you give the address of the emergency otherwise the service will not know where to go.
Do not put in any money when dialling 111 from a slot telephone.


Inland & Overseas   Dial 0
For direct dialling to subscribers at certain neighbouring exchanges see calling instructions on pages 2, 3 and 4.
Note – Subscribers who are called by means of a code ring cannot dial toll calls direct. They must dial 0 and ask the operator.

For reporting telephone faults
TELEPHONE ACCOUNTS ETC    Dial 0 & ask for service required

When lodging toll calls or telephoning telegrams give the name of your EXCHANGE, your NUMBER and your NAME.

Adams J M   Te Hau   566
Alexander J O   Emerald Hill   526
Andrews N N   Parikimai   804

Burling F H A – R D Puketapu   568

Carswell A S   Puketitiri   805
Carswell E D   Puketitiri   525
Carswell L D   512
Cochrane D   Ama Kura   855
Cockburn A   The Incline   557
Cockburn A A   Waihau   R D Puketapu   587
Cockburn D A   The Gorges   833
Cockburn D A   Cottage   830
Cornwell J R   527
Couper W A X   Puketitiri   553
Crosse H E   838
Crosse T H   840

Davey R N   824
Dewes A S   Glenore   513
Dooney W J   Dunloe   546
Downes H E P   835
Dunloe Cottage   516

Elliott A C   823
Elliot J   Waihau   Puketapu   588
Elliot J   Farm Cottage   Waihau   598
Emerald Hill Cottage   556

Fox F R    802

Gloyn F W   Niloch   572
Grant A   Bracken Brae   826

Halliday G W   831
Halliday G W   Cottage   832
Halliwell M & J   558
Hartree J R   837
Hartree J R   Cottage   825
Hartree W H   Puketitiri   549
Hartree W H Jun   Patoka   R D 4 Napier   828
Hartree W H Jun   Cottage   Patoka   R D 4 Napier   829
Hawke’s Bay County Council
H Nicholls   Puketitiri   514
M E Nicolls   Puketitiri   574
Hawkestone Station   853
Hawkestone Cottage   851
Hawthorne Dudley I   842
Holt G C   563
Holt John Ltd   Cottage No 1   Puketitiri   564
Cottage No 2   554
Cottage No 3   523
Horgan M S   596
Horgan M S   Farm House   576
Hotel Puketitiri   545

Kirk R H   Patoka Private Bag Napier   854

Lands & Survey Dept   Balls Clearing
H H Maxwell   Manager   589
Langslow C B    Ranelagh   856
Lemmon L D   Puketitiri   585
Lemmon L D   Cottage   Puketitiri   565
Lewis J G   Puketitiri   529
Lomas D G   Longview   822

McClunie J S   846
McCormack T P   Huiarangi Rd   801
McGonigal John W R   Braeburn   803
Mangatutu Station   Puketitiri   577
Mangatutu Station Cottage   Puketitiri   567
Milne L   Trig Downs   845
Mullooly B P   852

NZ Forest Service   Caretaker   Puketitiri   583
Nicholas J E   Puketitiri   509
Northern Hawke’s Bay Rabbit Board
Hendley Rd Rabbiters Cottage   841
Patoka Rabbiters Cottage   827
Puketitiri Rabbiters Cottage   524
Waihau Rabbiters Cottage   548
Waipuna Rabbiters Cottage   508

Pakaututu Station   Puketitiri   559
Parris R T    Hirarangi Rd   858
Paterson W R   Glencoe   849
Paterson W R   Farm Cottage   844
Patoka School   821
Patoka Station Cottage   836
Post Office   842
Price A N   517
Puketitiri School Teacher   544

Read R B & Sons Ltd   Avoca Hills   857
Rumble D   Potters Rd   Puketitiri   515

Simcox G D   Te Wairere   Puketitiri   575
Simcox T G    Te Wairere   Puketitiri   555
Sutton O F   847

Thomsen Cecil P   Falomai   542
Thomsen C P   Cottage   582
Thomsen Erlin J   Longridge   522
Tollison A S   Fairfield Farm   562
Tollison T R   Rangiora   839
Turner T S   Glenore   Puketitiri   573

Waihau School   528
Waldon J   Waihiri   518
Ward S J   Hendley Rd   552
Wedd J C   Farm Cottage   Punawai Stn   806
White R A   Waihau Rd   820
Cottage   848
Whittle R A   Little Bush   P B Napier   850
Whittle T   Puketitiri   519
Whittle W R   Puketitiri   569
Wood G   834
Wright E W A   Puketitiri   579

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1958: The school children of the Patoka District


Patoka School

1.   Patoka Station 1902-25
2.   Hendley 1925-44
3.   Patoka (Raumati Homestead) 1947-49
4.   Patoka (Present site) 1949

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The school is the life blood of any rural community and its log is like a timepiece which records the pulse of the district. Jottings have been selected in an attempt to illustrate the variform events and activities that reflect the experiences of children, parents and teachers through the years.


As all log books relating to the years 1902-39 have been lost, the School Inspector’s Reports give some insight into the intervening years.

1905: Teacher: Miss Olive Dugelby   Pupils: Harvey Roil, Jessie Roil, Alex Roil, George Roil, Harold Roil, Violet Smith

1907: Teachers: Misses Spackman and Murray

1908: Teacher: Miss Bennett

1909: Teacher: Miss E. M. Woodward   Pupils: Alex Roil, George Roil, Samuel McBurney, Horace Todd, Harold Roil

1911: Teacher: Miss Woodward   Pupils: Edward Brice, Gertie McDonald, Donald Munro, Leslie Mills, Harold Roil, Jessie Johnston, Emily Brice, Alice Munro, Lily Brice, Violet Munro
The Inspector reported “This small school supplies the needs of mill hands and those resident near Patoka Sheep Station. The building is quite full with ten children. There is no water provided.”

1912: May 15: School recently closed by Mr Roil the owner of the building in which the school is held. Arrangements have now been made by which the building will be made available until a new one is erected by the Board.

1913: Teacher: Miss Rundle   Pupils: Lily Brice, Myra Luck, Richard Pattison, Willie Pattison, Ethel Persen, Olive Persen, Larry Jourdain, Frances Persen, Rita Tuck, Edward Brice, Leslie Mills, Alex Robertson, Harold Roil, Edward Pattison, Ashley Tuck, Emily Brice, Daphne Pattison, Mary Robertson, Myrtle Pattison

1913: Aug 9: “A new building erected on a portion of an education reserve by Mr Bull.”

1914: The Curriculum for the Senior Children included: Geography, Drawing, Handwork, Nature Study, Elementary Science, History and Civics, Moral Instruction and Health, Singing, Physical Exercises, Needlework

1916: Teacher: J. A. White

1917: Teacher: G. Bayly

1919/20: Teacher: E. Stevensen

1921: Teacher: E. M. Walker

1922/26: Teacher: Mrs Flora Taylor   Mr D. A. Strachan the Inspector commented, “This is one of the finest country schools I have met this year.” (Roll 32)

Photo caption – Miss Olive Dugelby taught at the Patoka School until 1906.

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1927: Teacher: W. A. McKenzie

1929: Teacher: E. D. Edgeley

1930: Teacher: Mr H. Lumm (Roll 10)

1939: Teacher: Miss Halliday
“This school has been re-opened after a long period during which the children have taken correspondence lessons. Buildings are very old and the grounds overgrown with fern.”

1939: 24 July: Commenced school after it had been closed for eight years. Girls: Joan Tollison (s.3), Beryl Tollison (s.2), Fay McCormack (p.2). Boys: Douglas Tollison (s.2), Trevor Tollison (p.4). Brian Bulled (p.4).
4 September: Began school at 10 o’clock in order that children might hear broadcast of H.M. the King’s speech ‘against’ Germany’s invasion of Poland.
6 December: Examination in arithmetic and spelling.

1940: 28, 29 March: Holidays as mark of respect to the Right Honourable M. J. Savage.
30 May: Cut fern and cleaned windows.
3 July: Burnt scrub at back of the school.

Photo captions –

PATOKA PUPILS – 1919 Back: M. Nisson, O. Roil, O. Persen, M. Roil, F. Persen, P. Persen.   Middle: H. and T. Pinkerton, A. Persen, S. Persen, P. Pinkerton, B. Pinkerton.   Front: B. Watson, J. Railton, B. Reeve, E. Crawford, G. Persen, G. Gilliard.

PATOKA PUPILS – 1943 L. to R.: Trevor Tollison, Alan Cockburn, Douglas Tollison, Brian Bulled, Beryl Tollison.   In front: Gladys Bulled.   Teacher: Marcia Milligan.

1947: Patoka School at Longridge just prior to moving to present site.

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18 June: Caught three mice.
30 October: Cut blackberry.

11 September: Heavy fall of snow.
14 December: Planted yellow daisies.

15 April: Laid rabbit poison – 9 pieces.
24 May: Reopened after vacation. Found boys’ outhouse completely blown over. Rabbit scratchings numerous.
6 September: Owing to floods no school held.
10 September: School closed on account of Italy surrendering to Allies.
29 October: Children gave Red Cross Concert at Patoka Station and sent thirteen pounds eight shillings and sixpence to Sick and Wounded Fund.

1944: 5 May: Closed school due to shortage of pupils.

24 February: School reopened. Roll number – six.
16 June: Visit from District Nurse.

2 March: Reopened school after being closed for three months due to Infantile Paralysis. (ten pupils.)
11 March: Men shifted lavatory from Waihau.
23 November: Received letter from Puketitiri school children inviting Patoka school children to their bazaar on 15th.
18 December: Patoka Women’s Institute gave children Xmas tree at school.

1 February: Seventeen children on the roll.
16 March: First film shown on film projector.
7 July: New piano arrived in excellent order.
2 August: Receive football given by Rugby Football Union, also Trades Alphabet, School Journals and blotting paper.
14 November: During weekend school was officially reopened by Mr T. B. McDonald (Chairman H.B. Education Board).

27 May: Children attended showing of film ‘Empire Games’ at State Theatre, Napier.
12 October: Parents’ Day held. Many parents and other visitors attend.
25 October: Pupils visit airstrip at Hendley to see aerial topdressing plane and talk to pilot.

19 February: School Medical Officer and District Health Nurse visit school to examine children.
27 March: Janet and John pictures from Department arrive.
21 June: Visit from Automobile Association officer.

1952:  Today is a holiday owing to the death of ’His Majesty the King George VI’. I flew the flag at half-mast.

1953: 29 May: School Coronation Ceremony for H.R.H. Elizabeth II

1954: School opened with a roll of 28 pupils.

25 March: Power should be turned on this weekend.
7 April: Started using radio broadcasts for classroom instruction.
29 July: School Social and Dance was held for raising school funds. Sixty five pounds raised.
17 August: The School combined with Puketitiri and played Rissington in various games.

Photo caption – 1949: Patoka School.

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Educational visit to:
a) Awatoto Fertiliser Works
b) Napier Telephone Exchange
c) Hawke’s Bay Museum
d) Beacon’s Aerodrome
2 August: Mr R. Williams (Junior Naturalist Club) visited. Also present were the teachers and children from the Waihau and Puketitiri Schools. His topic was ‘Natural History of the Sea’, and a tape recording of questions and answers was taken for broadcast from 2YZ on 21.8.56.
24 October: School presented with a United Nations flag from Patoka Country Women’s Institute.

Roll of 28.
April Fool’s Day as Ross Martin recalls: “Teachers are very observant of their pupils’ moods, actions and their whereabouts on this day, as I was, until told that an accident had occurred in the cutting immediately behind the school and that those involved had been taken to the post office. I dashed to the post office but was not needed as all had been attended to.   “Hearing the school bell ringing, I rushed back to school, flopped down in my chair to write an accident report and immediately rose again. My pupils had sprinkled drawing pins on my chair! To add insult to injury, my rear-end punctures became infected.”
15 July: Polio vaccinations held in Hall.
9 August: School alterations, classes in Hall.

Roll of 32.
24 February: Mr W. H. Hartree visited the school and gave a talk on Patoka its topography and history.
19 April: School Gala Day this afternoon. A large attendance of parents and residents supported the many stalls and competitions to the sum of eighty three pounds three shillings.
14 October: School bus commenced running on Hendley Road. Driver, Mrs Langslowe. Twenty children are transported.
5 November: Road in the vicinity of the School and Store had an initial tarsealing.
7 November: At 6.40 pm fire to burn the felled trees in the horse paddock was lit, there was no wind. Mr Walker, Fire Officer, was present. Most helpers went home at 11.00 pm, but were called back soon after. A breeze had sprung up. Meeanee Fire Brigade called and arrived 1¾ hours later. Decision to put out fire was made and completed at 6 a.m. A watch was kept thereafter.

Photo caption – c. 1956: The Patoka School, Hall and Post Office.

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1959: Roll of 50.
16 June: Mr J. Tait (Ward Member H.B. Education Board) and the Secretary Manager, Mr Page, made a visit to the School.
10 August: Moved into schoolhouse during the weekend.

Roll of 55.
16 March: Hawkston school bus commenced.
23 May: The Venerable Archdeacon Waymouth commenced religious instruction with classes Standard 2 to Form 2.
21 November: Continuous rain since last Wednesday. 16.11.60 – 24.11.60, 10.94 inches of rain fell.
13 December: Rain over the last 9 days totalled 8.97 inches.

Roll of 51.
17 August: Planted oak tree by lower horse paddock gate to commemorate Arbor Day.
23 September: Official opening of new automatic telephone exchange at Patoka Hall.
16 October: Visit to Wellington. Visits included:   a) Government Printer and Wharves.   b) Railway Workshops.   c) Vesta Batteries, International Paints, Film Unit, Hannahs, Zoo, Patent Slip and Workshops.

Roll of 43.
3 July: Mass X-ray Unit at Patoka.
22 September: Fancy Dress Ball for children in Puketitiri, Waihau, Patoka held at Hall 4-7 pm.
28 September: The death of Mr H. E. Crosse occurred this evening. Mr Crosse gave the land on which the present school stands. He was a much respected and loved figure in the district.

Roll of 44.
6 March: County Council workmen felled large pine beside school gate. Estimated age 60 years.
4 June: School closed. Teachers could not return because of flood damage (3 June 10.07 inches of rain fell.)
14 October: Napier Frivolity Minstrels performed at the Hall. Proceeds to school funds.

Roll of 55.
23 October: Several children attended a gathering in Taradale to see the Governor General, Sir Bernard Fergusson.

Roll of 59.
24 June: Mrs Wilson – district organiser for the Junior Red Cross – talked to the children and as a result, a Red Cross Organization was formed in the school, to be taken by Mrs Crosse for one hour each fortnight.
26 October: Work commenced on new school room and toilet block, necessitating the removal of the concrete tennis court.

Infants Patoka School 1966.

Back L. to R.: Amanda Groen, Wi Allan Taunoa, Gary Ashwell, Guy Wright, Lois Cooper, Frances Kiri Kiri, Bayne Card, Gaylene Collins.   Middle: Caroline Hartree, Robert Ibell, Hamish Alexander, Vivienne Grant, Daniel White, Mark McChesney, Robyn Woodford, Viki Anderson.   Front: Dean Wright, Warren Morgan, Neil Cushen, Ian Carswell.

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Roll of 79.
3 February: Five and a half inches of rain recorded.
5 April: Playshed shifted to new site from rear of new classroom. It is to be converted into a coke/wood shed, physical education and tool storerooms.
26 April: Visit from Psychologist and Speech Therapists.
18 July: Parent-Teacher Association formed.
27 July: Arbor Day observed by planting a Thuja orientalis pyramidalis in a plot by the new classroom.

Roll of 71.
27 February: Maximum temperature in the shade – 96° F.
12 October: Work on horse paddock finished. Area sown with grass seed and trampled in by driving a flock of sheep over it. Should be an asset to the school. (see photo). School used as a polling booth for Local Body elections.
1968: The horse paddock became a playing field.

Roll of 61.
10 February: District Teachers’ meeting held at Patoka Schoolhouse. Discussed swimming sports and the year’s programme.
14 February: Block wall at rear of main building completed.
9 July: Children from Standard | to Form 2 travelled to Hutchinson Domain, where each child planted two native trees. This is part of a tree planting project being conducted by the five district schools and it is hoped it will become an annual event.
8 August: School gymnastic team took part in Hawke’s Bay Schools Gym Festival. Placed third in Country Schools section for the second year running.
5 November: Visit from four Colombo Plan students.
25 November: P.T.A. meeting, 21 present. Mr McLeod (Senior Vocational Guidance Officer for H.B.) spoke on the work of the Vocational Guidance Centre.

Roll of 60.
30 July: Mesdames McCormack and Paterson planted a walnut (English papershell) to commemorate the diamond jubilee of the C.W.I. movement. Children were given a bottle of fizzy drink and cake, the adults had afternoon tea in the hall: provided by C.W.I.
29 September: Children travelled to Hutchinson Domain where they planted 200-250 white pine trees and also pruned established trees.

Roll of 56.
10 March: P.T.A. meeting. Mr Thompson, Psychologist to the Education Board, addressed the meeting.

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Visit of Rooms 1 and 2 to an orchard in Hastings.
17 March: Post Office Savings Bank representatives spoke to the children.
28 April: Nine children from Patoka Play Group visited the junior room on a familiarisation Visit.
29 June: P.T.A. meeting. The Crime Prevention Officer from Napier talked and showed a film ‘Child Molesting’, a valuable experience for those present.
24 September: Anti-litter campaign.

Roll of 53.
26-27 April: Interchange of pupils between the four district schools. 2 June: Grocery parcel raffle drawn. Children sold almost $40 worth of tickets. The money is to go to the Wellington Trip Fund.
16 October: P.T.A. meeting combined with Y.F.C. in the Hall with guest speakers Mr J. Harrison (National Party Candidate) and Mr D. Butcher (Labour Party Candidate) addressing the meeting.

Roll of 53.
21 June: Visit to Whirinaki Pan-Pacific Ltd. pulp mill and Odlins timber treatment plant and mill.
7 December: P.T.A. showed a full length feature film in the Hall in appreciation for the District’s tremendous support in raising money for the projector which arrived yesterday.
Roll of 53.

5 May: Leave for Camp Kaitawa by H.B.M.C., Napier at 10.00 a.m. (Cost per child $11).
11 October: School attended a performance by the N.Z. Ballet Co. in Napier.

Roll of 58.
20 March: Garden Day. Parents assisted with pruning, edges, weeding and clipping.
17 July: P.T.A. Annual General Meeting in Hall. Guest speaker Dr John Harre, Principal of the H.B. Community College. A large attendance ensured a very interesting and worthwhile open meeting.
23 July: School closed due to snow.
1 August: Arbor Day. Parents attended official opening of the native reserve. Mr D. Cockburn addressed the gathering.

Roll of 59.
29 June: A series of health lessons with the senior room commenced. The series will include: The respiratory system, circulatory and nervous system. The tutors will be the registered nurses in the district.
9 September: Severe rain and flooding school closed.
30 October: Halloween Evening held. 53

Photo caption – THE ANTI-LITTER CAMPAIGN The children collected approx. 70 Ib of rubbish from a three-mile area around the school.

Page 54

10 DECEMBER 1977

The Federated Farmers from Footrot Flats, in their familiar farmers’ uniform, paraded at the Patoka carnival on Saturday. AT RIGHT: Part of the decorated bicycle parade in the school grounds.

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Roll of 65.
9 March: Tennis coaching by parents commenced. 10 March: Swimming carnival held at Patoka pool.
2 August: Visit to Patoka by Standard 3 and 4 children from Taradale School.
10-14 October: Senior room trip to Camp Kaitawa. Cost $20 per pupil.
10 December: Carnival Day a memorable Christmas parade involving 40 floats, vehicles and novelty entries. Special floats entered by Puketitiri, Rissington and Patoka Schools. More than $2,000 raised.

Roll of 59.
31 March: ’Kite Day’. Practical demonstrations and talks on ‘gliding’ and parachuting. Children also made their own kites.
3 July: Mid-year interviews with parents.

Roll of 65.
28 February: Visit by music adviser to give assistance with school music programme and music scheme.
17-21 September: Health Week, including hydatids talk and two films taken by Mr Saker from the County Council.

Roll of 81. Four teachers at Patoka. The Waihau School is closed.
26 November: Visit and display by Army Personnel – school shown use of Army computers etc.

Roll of 74

NEW BLOCK FOR SCHOOL Patoka School’s new $35,000 administration block (left) was opened yesterday afternoon.

School teacher Mrs Jocelyn McClunie is pictured leading the children in song during the opening ceremony on 9 April 1981.

The block includes a library, staffroom and medical room. The chairman of the school committee, Mr John Paterson, said the growth of the school and now the new building showed the growth and strength of the district.

The school’s roll has risen to more than 75. Last year the school’s fourth teacher was appointed.

But Hawke’s Bay Education Board chairman Mr Bert Halford said the school was not entitled to a fourth classroom until the roll reached and held at 91.

He also said, however, that the board’s chief architect and building supervisor were investigating the possibility of finding another room.

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Roll of 78.
4 February: Visit by Street Theatre.
14 October: Members from Rabbit Board visited school and brought a mobile display.
16 December: School Roll 91.

Roll of 78.

9 February: Photocopier arrived.


Prior to the establishment of a sub-base at Patoka the school children were required to travel to Napier for dental treatment.

In 1969 the dental clinic was opened, and operated as a sub-base of the Marewa clinic (now Greenmeadows clinic).

Four schools were served by the clinic when it opened as a sub-base in 1969: Patoka (roll 60), Puketitiri (roll 20), Waihau (roll 20), Pakaututu (roll 11).

Mrs Sharon Edwards the present dental nurse says, “The improvement in the children’s dental health over the years reflects the national pattern, not only have attitudes improved but the children are more dentally aware.”

The clinic at Patoka is opened for four weeks every six months.


Every individual recalls very different things from the era or the environment in which they have lived.

Alistair Isdale Recalls

“We went to Raumati in 1919. We had our own Governess, and the Mackey children from the Post Office used to come.

“By 1920 my sister Julia and I were ready to ride the four miles to school on our ponies Sandy and Sylvia. In the first year or two we had trouble with the horses. Sometimes, on the way to school we would meet the traction engines hauling trailers loaded with sawn timber. Later, these were superseded by motor trucks which scared the horses less.

“At that time there was quite a settlement around the sawmill. The families which spring to mind are the Persens, Stevens, Dewars and Millards. There were also people from the Patoka Station and Mackeys from the Post Office.

These, far from detracting add yet another dimension and quality to our history.

Photo caption – 1985: ‘Raumati’, the present home of Mr & Mrs G. W. Halliday.

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”An occasional visitor to the school was Francis Hutchinson of Omatua, Rissington, who would tell the children nature lore, including geology. As I was particularly interested he gave me my first magnifying glass.

“School picnics were sometimes held by the river at Rissington as a variation from more local sites. For the greater part of my time at Patoka the teacher was Mrs Taylor, an educator well in advance of her time. She had what would now be called enrichment programmes for gifted children.

“Of the Millards living at the mill, Edna, married a Mr Porter and became the mother of the film actress, Nyree Dawn Porter. I saw her in George C. Scott’s version of Jane Eyre, and she looked very much like her mother. (Mrs Porter now lives in Napier and vividly recalls the occasion when she and Alistair did a duo for the school concert!)

“Edna also taught the singing games on the school playground:

“Poor Jenny is a-weeping, a-weeping, a-weeping.
Poor Jenny is a-weeping,
On a bright summer’s day…
“Bell horses, bell horses,
What time of day?
One o’clock, two o’clock,
Three o’clock and away”…

‘This was done moving around in a ring at the top of a hill, then going faster and faster and down the hill, till the ring was flung apart in disorder

“Sheep, sheep come home”
“Can’t we’re scared of the wolf”
“The wolf won’t hurt you,
So sheep, sheep come home.”

“The line of children on our side of a space then tried to run across to the other. Those caught by the wolf, joined the wolves for the next try!!

The school stove was supplied with loads of waste slabs from the sawmill. The boys would build rival forts, and throw slabs to smash down those of their opponents, in the face of barrages of chips. It was understood chips were used against people and slabs only against forts. Somehow nobody got hurt.

“On May 9, 1924, the school went to see the British Fleet. With the rest of the school remaining on shore, Mrs Taylor went with Archie Dewar and myself on board the Hood, then the greatest battleship in the World. We saw Lord Jellicoe of the great naval battle of Jutland walking past on board. We were very Empire patriotic in those days, particularly about the Navy, and we used to save pennies for the Navy League. We did have a school flag which we understood in a British as much as a New Zealand sense.” (Alistair now lives in retirement at Thames where he continues to pursue a wide range of interests in addition to his current position as curator of the Thames Mineralogical Museum.)


Waihau opened in 1916, and remained so until 1918 when it closed until 1924. Like Patoka school the log books have been lost for the years preceding 1958.

Headmaster: M. Jeffares.
Roll: Grace Spencer, Olive Spencer, Zita Spencer

Photo caption – Another game and quite a balancing act!…Ron, Bill, Joan, Betty and John Hartree at Ngaroto.

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1923 (Nov.)
Teacher: Miss Leach (Roll 8).
The Inspector reported “Order, discipline and tone excellent.” N.B. For the Board: A six acre school site adjoins this house. Inquiries are being made into the provision of a school.

Roll: Margaret Leach, Frederick Hale, Jack Butler, Jim Butler, Herbert Butler, Leonard Butler, James Hale, Phyllis Hale.

Teacher: Miss Goldfinch (Roll 9).
“The building is new, having been opened twelve months.”

Teacher: Miss I. Noedl
The Teacher reported “The children are bright, very good workers and have made good progress in their work especially in reading and oral composition.”

Teacher: Mrs Murphy

Teacher: Mr Horton

Teacher: Miss E. MacFarlane

Teacher: M. Little

Roll: Doug Cockburn, Maurice Halliwell, Dorothy Price, Mary Horgan, Scott Horgan, Mary Cockburn, Barbara Horgan, Noel Price, Douglas Major, Nola Horgan, Dawn Howard, Billy Price.

Photo captions –

Those attending from rear: Phyllis Walker, Mr Horgan, Mr Halliwell, Mr Halliwell Snr. Mr Day, -, Mr Williams, S. Williams, Mr Archibald, Dan Toel, Mr Culley, Mr Trent, Mr Walker, -, Mr Waldon, Mr Mackey, Eddie Williams, –
Middle row: Mrs Holt, Mrs Krogh, Mrs Day, Mrs Halliwell, Mrs Waldon, Mrs Mackey, Miss Langley, Mrs Williams, Mrs Walker, Mrs Trent, Mrs Archibald, Mrs Culley, Mrs Horgan, Miss Ridgeway, Barbara Horgan.
Front row: Helen Krogh, Kiwi Krogh, Mary Mackey, Scott Horgan, Mary Horgan, Jock Archibald, Joy Halliwell, Keith Halliwell, Dolly Walker, Lad Halliwell, Bob Archibald, Norine Culley.

Front row: R. to L.: Mary Cockburn, Mary Horgan, Nola Horgan, Barbara Horgan, Joy Archibald, Maurice Halliwell, Doug Cockburn.
Middle and back row: Laddie Halliwell, Keith Halliwell, Jock Archibald, Joy Halliwell, Phyllis Hale, Dolly Walker, Norine Culley, Nancy Williams, Bob Archibald.

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Teacher: Miss H. Monteith
The Inspector reported that “The poor attendance during the visit was due to the absence of the children at the exhibition.”

Teacher: Miss A. M. Price

Teacher: D. I. Simonsen

Teacher: M. Falconer
(Since opening in 1916, 68 pupils have attended Waihau.)

Teacher: A. F. Punch (Roll 4).
The Inspector reported “It is doubtful whether there will be sufficient children in attendance next year to warrant keeping the school open.”

1955: Teacher: I. E. Jones (Roll 10).
The Log Book Records

19 August: Combined sports afternoon held with Rissington, Puketitiri and Patoka, on Mr Jock Elliott’s airstrip.

School Roll 26.

15, 17, 18 February: Swimming days held at J. Alexander’s pool.
23 March: Medical inspection of all pre-school children and primers by Dr Overton. One case of short sightedness and one tonsilitis, otherwise children in good state of health.
1 June: Two sacks of coal and one of coke delivered by mailman. Very mild weather so far this winter and only one fire needed so far.
1 July: Visit by two members of the National Film Unit re film of outside of school. Children excited about prospects.
8 September: Site for school house bulldozed.
10 November: Outbreak of scarlet fever.

Roll 18.
29 July: Party of 11 boys and teacher went to French v Maori game at McLean Park in Napier. Children thrilled as they met members of the Maori team in the morning.
9 October: Six children left with the Kaweka School contingent to visit Mirimar [Miramar] School in Wellington.

Roll 20.
15 April: Terrific wind knocked down many trees and lines. No power or telephone for several days.

Roll 16.
13 August: Snowed. Believe this is the first real fall for ten years at the school.
18-20 August: Visit to school by Commonwealth Fellowship Students.
30 November: Parliamentary Elections. School used as Polling Booth.

Roll 16.
18 May: Collected £87 of books from Whitcombe & Tombs. The remainder to be forwarded on arrival.
20 July: Received a letter of congratulations and appreciation from the Chief Postmaster on the commendable effort made by the children. He states “The Waihau School ranks very highly amongst the schools in H.B. for the number of deposits lodged…”

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Roll 23.
28 June: “Heaviest fall of snow since I’ve been here,” commented Mr J. Elliott. (He’s been here for 20 years). Everything is covered in a mantle of snow.
13 December: Return completed for Dr Arvidson of the University of Auckland on results of spelling survey.

Roll 28.
September 28: Eleven pupils still away with the measles.

Roll 18.
February 1: Received from the Department one practice set of the new decimal currency.
March 22: Work started on the building of the new tennis court.
August 14: Mothers played children at basketball. A most enjoyable afternoon.

1968: Roll 21.
February 26: First swimming sports held at Rissington with Patoka, Puketitiri, Waihau and Rissington taking part.
October 14-18: Children at Kaitawa with the Kaweka Schools.
November 21: Group of children to Napier to see N.Z. Ballet Co. production of Coppelia.

1969: Roll 22.
11 April: Approval given by District Senior Inspector for employment of Teachers’ Aide.
28 April: School visited M.V. Brittanic in Napier and Melrose Orchard in Hastings.
4 June: School visited by Mr Page, (General Manager, H.B. Education Board). Almost certain to have new room within three months. Drainage pipes will be supplied by Board for back of toilets
25 June: School closed. Teacher took wife to maternity home.
8 July: Tender advertised for new classroom/staffroom of 910sq ft (493sq ft in present block).

27 January: School bus arrived for the Mangatutu run.
Certainly a red letter day for Waihau. For the first time ever a second teacher commenced employment.
19 March: Mangatutu children couldn’t cross the bridge as the river was over it. A slip also blocked the road.
8 September: County Council started to prepare road for sealing outside school.
28 November: New classroom block and baths officially opened by Mr Lewis (Chm. H.B.E.B.). Good turn out of local and Patoka people.

1971: Roll 20.
29 June: School visited places of interest in Napier and Hastings incl. Harbour Board, Botanical Gardens, Railway Station, Fantasyland. The proposed visit to the Ice Cream factory had to be cancelled as the boiler had exploded.

9-14 April: Senior pupils visit to Auckland. Places visited included: Wairakei, Atiamuri and Mere Mere power stations, Auckland Zoo, launch trip around Waitemata Harbour, Crown Lynn Potteries, Harbour Bridge Authority, Chelsea Sugar Co., Farmers Trading Co., Dominion Motors and Sanitarium Foods.
13 December: Received notice that school will drop to sole charge next year.

Roll 13.
7 February: Extreme heat conditions, 92 degrees fahrenheit in classroom. 27 July: Visited Omahu Marae.

Roll 19
8 February: A pre-school child died this morning after a fall from the Mangatutu bus.
15 October: Printed Vol. 4 of the Waihau Newspaper. Great deal of work involved, but is producing good results.

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26 May: Second term commenced. 13 on roll.
10-14 November: Stds. – F2 on an educational visit to the Bay of Plenty to study the dairy industry.

10 September: Mangatutu bus didn’t run. A chain of roadway has been taken away by flooding. Could be over a week before the bus can get through.

Roll 23.
19 October: Pool cleaned and children swam.

Roll 13.
7 August: School travelled to Puketitiri for first music festival.
27 October: Mr J. Lewis an exchange student from Y.F.C. came to school. He showed slides and talked to the children about farming in the U.K.

Roll 6.
7 February: Letter from Education Board zoning pupils to attend Waihau if they live within a 4 km radius.
19 April: School children visited Mangatutu Station for the first time.
26 October: CLOSURE: Mr J. A. Brownlie told the board he could not see the roll of the Waihau School being high enough for the school to reopen.
The school closed at the end of 1979 after the principal requested a transfer and the school roll dropped to only six pupils (the required minimum is nine.)
The board had earlier regarded the closure as provisional and subject to7 review after 12 months. Satisfactory school transport arrangements were made on the school’s closure for pupils of Waihau School to attend Patoka School 11.6km away.
Mr Hardie said the pupils of Waihau School would be educationally better off at Patoka.
Waihau School had two classrooms, a modern residence, good grounds and a swimming pool the board was told.
Patoka School has 82 pupils with four teachers and three classrooms.


Two years after the closure of the Waihau School in 1979 a trial programme to meet the special needs of individual children was established.

In 1983 the Hon. Merv. Wellington (Minister of Education), visited the project and endorsed the trial scheme. The result, was the formation of a legal trust with a licence to occupy the site for ten years with the right of renewal for a further ten.

The project aims to assist pupils who come from home backgrounds which do not provide the prerequisite social and/or educational skills necessary for effective participation in school, and in the community at large.

Schools which use this facility (maximum 15 children + 5 adults) include: Napier Central, Maraenui, Richmond, Hastings Central, Peterhead, Camberley. Scout and Church groups also frequently use the project’s facilities.

1985: The former Waihau School. Now the Waihau Education Project Inc. uses this facility.

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The Patoka P.T.A. was formed in the 1960’s and since that time has met regularly. Since its inception, the P.T.A. has endeavoured to foster closer, and more effective co-operation between home and school.


Over the years these school committees, elected by the householders of the district, have performed their ‘management’ role with dedication, and distinction.

NGAROTO SCHOOL Although this school was only in existence for a few years the impact made on our district by many of its former pupils has been considerable.

The school opened. Farm quarters were used until the new school was built.

School opened as a “Household School’ with a roll of 7 pupils. Miss E. Smale was the first teacher. The roll included: William Hartree, Ronald Hartree, Gough Hughes, Joan Hartree, Betty Hartree, Kathleen Williams, Peter Hartree.

The Inspector mentioned on an infrequent visit “The outhouses need attention.”

Teacher: Miss Steel.

Teacher: N. Henderson.

1941: Roll 11.
The Ngaroto School was closed and pupils attended school at Puketapu. The school building was subsequently moved to Otamauri [HBKB – Waiwhare].


In 1984 a Memorial Trust Fund was established when Mr Morris Johansen bequeathed a memorial donation in memory of his son Mitchell. Mitchell was a pupil at the Patoka School from 1971 to 1978.

The Trust aims to help not only disadvantaged children from the Patoka District but also current pupils, and hopes to become functionally operative in the near future.

The Trustees are: David Bone and Peter McDonald.


Twelve pre-school children formed the ‘nucleus’ for the first play group at Patoka, which was instigated by local mothers: Di Thompson, Allison Halliday and Phyllis Lomas.

Initially Patoka hall was the venue for the pre-school group which met weekly on a Wednesday afternoon.

Photo caption – 1931: The Ngaroto School under construction.

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The group continued to grow from strength to strength as the parents gathered money, equipment and children!

In 1977 the group was offered its current ‘home’ at Patoka Station and by 1979 the roll had peaked at 29.

Today, as before, the play group performs a vital role in bringing young rural parents and pre-school children together on a weekly basis. Unfortunately, there are now very few pre-school children in the district, and the play group roll stands at eight.



In the 1860’s a Colonial Defence Force of some 150 to 200 men was stationed under canvas at Rissington. From 1863 to 1865 while still under the command of Colonel Whitmore, the troops moved to barracks on top of Patoka hill.

‘A’ Company was headed by Captain Lossair and Lieutenant St George, while ’B’ Company was headed by Captain Anderson and Lieutenant Fred Gascoyne.

In 1865 a fire destroyed ‘the stockade’ and the force moved to Waipawa.

Today, only grass grows where the stockade once stood, however, there is a long held belief that somewhere on the site a brass cannon still lies buried.


The Home Guard was approved by the N.Z. War Cabinet on August 2nd, 1940.

Initially it was treated as something of a joke, however after the Japanese assault on Pearl Harbour in 1941 the threat to the Pacific Nations became very real.

The Patoka platoon, commanded by Albert Price comprised some fifty men drawn from the Rissington area northwards.

Initially, the Patoka unit was a mounted troop, but after several months it became an infantry troop. Rumour has it that some of the local horses were somewhat unprepared for mounted troop duty! The platoon included men who had been exempted from overseas service and those in the forty to sixty age bracket. The collective skills and knowledge of the more mature members coupled with some youthful vigour made the local lads a formidable force!

Parades were held on Sundays at the metal pit some 200 metres north of the Longview woolshed, or at a site adjacent to the Patoka swimming baths.

Initially, the men took their own rifles and shovels. Improvisation was obviously the key-jam tin bombs, Molotov cocktails etc.

The Patoka demolition squad was a force to be reckoned with.

The local platoon dug slit trenches all around the Glengarry and Seafield areas. The aim was to arrest the Japanese advance, should an invasion take place. All the dirt removed from the trenches had to be carried away by a very circuituous [circuitous] route so that the Japanese planes could not detect the trenches.

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Gun emplacements, tank traps, and rifle ranges were all built. In May 1942, with the battle of the Coral Sea the Japanese were driven out of Guadalcanal, and the threat to N.Z. receded. As the danger receded the parade ground came alive on Sunday mornings with the atmosphere taking on something of a picnic air. Mary Whittle (nee Cockburn), a resident of Patoka during the War recalls, “Mum and I seemed to bake for a whole day in preparation for the parade.”

On the infrequent overnight camps a little revelry it seems was permitted. Walter Hughes, (who hailed from Rissington) the camp cook, was usually responsible for acquiring a keg. Beer it seems was unrationed, although reportedly weaker than it is now.

Men were known by their christian names, and natural leaders inevitably formed in the ranks and strangers became friends.

The Home Guard received no accolades, fought no battles, had little in the ways of arms or ammunition, but the members were there in case of need, and they deserve recognition.

Post Script: It is interesting to record that for four years service in the Home Guard two local members received ninepence pay, and one recalls receiving tenpence.

A practice hand grenade was ploughed up in 1948 in the range paddock on Patoka Station – without  mishap!


Unfortunately, club records were destroyed. However, it appears the dog trials began at Patoka in 1918. Apart from the war years 1939-45, the trials have continued to be an annual event, usually held in March, though locations have varied. On one occasion the trials were held at Rissington. The Rissington school log records “Committee granted holiday for Patoka dog trials which were held at Rissington on 24 June 1931.”

Prior to the 1930’s the dog trial dances were a feature of the social calendar. One resident recalls “Getting the woolshed in order after the busy season was strenuous work, however, all the locals joined in. Often a bag of chaff would be pulled around the dance floor, and the children would sit on it. Great fun! Talcum or boracic powder would be sprinkled on the floor, and hey presto, the dance was underway!”

Another former resident recalls the dances which were held at Patoka Station and Raumati. “The music was by the Moteo Maori Band. That band could really play dance music.”

Photo captions –


1927…The Dog Trials at Patoka.

1985…View from the same spot.

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Between 1954-1964 the members of the C.W.I. staffed the dog trials. One lady recalls “The primitive kitchen and servery. What with fleas jumping on our legs and smoke filling our eyes. Men chopped wood for our stove to heat the water and the pies. In the shed, cum kitchen, we ladies had a ‘peep’ hole where we loved to watch the goings on and listen to the yarns. What fun we had!”

Today the size and scope of the dog trials has grown. In recent years over 1,600 sheep are used in the two day ‘trials’. The long head, short head, zig zag and straight hunt are run, for the four classes. Some 360 entries were processed in 1982.

The honorary life members include: Mesdames J. Gloyn, B. Price, P. Cockburn and Messrs T. H. Crosse, G. W. Halliday, A. S. Tollison, D. A. Cockburn, A. Carswell, J. Elliott, A. Cockburn, J. Cornwell. The present officers include: President (M. Wedd), Secretary (Craig Wedd).


Puketitiri has generally played host district for these activities which are enjoyed by a great number of Patoka and Waihau residents.

Venues have included the now demolished Puketitiri Hall, Arohiwi airstrip and latterly, the Hutchinson Domain. The Domain at Puketitiri is able to offer a wide range of facilities to all residents of the Patoka, Waihau and Puketitiri areas.

The annual, stock firm representatives, versus the residents matches, are frequently the focal point of the cricket and golf clubs’ activities.

However, without exception, the keen competitive country spirit has prevailed in all the clubs.


Michael Dinneen recalls…
“About 1920 the three Brownlie brothers of Puketitiri offered to play for the Celtic rugby club. They assured the coach that they would do their training on the farm in readiness for the Saturday games. The Celtic coach turned them down because he wanted his team to train together. The coach obviously lived to regret his decision as the three brothers were soon to become ’All Blacks’ of world renown in the rugby world.

“Between the wars 1918-1939 a social rugby team was in existence. They were a strong team of rugged bush men and farmers who played any team who cared to challenge them! An annual match Shepherds v Bushmen (otherwise known as Woolies v Sawdust) was also played.”

“The Carswell seven-a-side team of that era consisted of seven big Carswell brothers who I’m told were capable of beating most opponents even at senior level!

“During the sixties a club was formed at Puketitiri which drew players from the region, but later disbanded.

“In 1980 the Kaweka rugby club was formed. It enters a primary school team in the Napier Junior Advisory Board’s Competition each year. Matches are regularly held on the Patoka airstrip.

“The club has enjoyed tremendous support from parents who see a need for their sons to know something about the game. Who knows we may produce another Maurice Brownlie one day!”

KAWEKA PONY CLUB (Branch Heretaunga Pony Club)

In 1978 under the expert guidance of Mr Bill Dooney the club was formed. Later Bill was joined by instructors: Deborah Turner, John Holt and Shirley Simmonds.

Photo caption – Although the districts cricket and golf matches are now held at Puketitiri it seems that in the 1930’s the Ngaroto area boasted a cricket and golf team of renown!

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The original 20-30 members wished to improve their riding to a more competitive level. Through the generosity of Messrs John Hartree and Morris Johansen the Club was given a ‘home base’ at John Hartree’s property. Each year a gymkhana is held.

Highlights for the Kaweka Pony Club have been:

1979:   A 3 day club trek of the Heretaunga Pony Club around this district.
1980:   A seven day camp with 93 riders taking part.
1985:   A one day event attracting some 85 riders.
Miss Catherine Adamson gaining her ’B’ Certificate.
Miss Angela Holt winning inclusion in the H.B. A.I. Team which competed at the N.Z. Pony Club Championships.


After some initial discussions the first meeting of the Patoka squash club was held in 1980. The decision to build a squash court met with considerable support.

The foundations were poured in 1982. Apart from the electrical work all labour was voluntary. In March 1983 the court opened for a cost of under fifteen and a half thousand dollars.

In the first year of operation the club boasted a membership in excess of 75.

The officers are: President: Andrew McGonigal, Secretary: Alan Armstrong, Club Captain: Alastair Aldridge, The Patron (Saint): Peter Reynolds.

PATOKA SWIMMING CLUB INC. On December of 1956, a meeting chaired by Mr W. R. Paterson discussed the ways and means to provide a public swimming pool for the area.

The baths were built with voluntary donations and labour in 1957 at an estimated cost of £525.

At the time of the official opening on 21 December, 1957, the subscriptions were:

Life Membership   £15. 0. 0.
Annual Membership   £1. 0. 0.
Secondary Students   15. 0.
School Children   free

Power was installed at the site in 1966 and a year later a filtration plant was fitted.

Today membership comprises 27 families who pay an annual subscription of $15. The Patoka School has made use of this facility since 1957, and currently a membership subscription of $15 is required of every family with children attending the school in an attempt to help defray costs.

Photo caption – Awaiting the dressage event…

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On June 17, 1975, a meeting of local people interested in forming a pottery group was held at the Patoka School. Mr Brian Wansbrough chaired the meeting which was attended by some twenty four people. Apologies were received from others who indicated support and interest. One June 26, 1975, the first firing of the kiln took place, three years and two weeks after the first bricks were laid. In 1977 the group disbanded, however some individuals have continued to pursue their interest in pottery.


In the 1950’s a group of women who were interested in spinning gathered together to share their knowledge.

One of the ‘early’ members of this group was Mrs Dennis Simcox. Pam already had considerable expertise in spinning, and was recognised nationally as a talented artist, spinner and weaver. This district and the nation benefited from the outstanding contribution Pam made to the wool industry. In 1971 Pam was awarded the B.E.M. [M.B.E.] for her services to the community.

It is a tribute to Pam and the other early ‘instigators’ of this group that the twice monthly ‘spin-ins’ are still held, and still continue to attract the skilled and novice spinners alike.


For many years the C.W.1. has provided support and training for rural women. Patoka is no exception, and this branch has been particularly strong in camaraderie.

When Miss Jerome Spencer held the inaugural meeting at the home of Mrs G. Halliday (Raumati) on 5 May, 1948, it was resolved to form the Patoka Country Womens’ Institute. Mrs W. Paterson became the first president and Mrs Tollison the first secretary.

Photo captions –

The pottery kiln under construction…

A ‘spin-in’ at the home of Mrs Pat Gordon.

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When the newly formed institute met at Mrs Alf Tollison’s home (Rangiora), the emblem Tui on a red gum’ was adopted.

From the outset the library was a well patronised feature of the Institute, as was the bring-and-buy sales table. While the sales table is still a regular feature of today’s Institute, the interest in the library appeared to wane in the mid sixties.

When the Institute was first formed, food was still rationed in the U.K., and many commodities were very scarce. The Patoka Branch had a ‘link’ with a Gloucestershire Institute and sent numerous parcels of sweets, honey, jelly crystals, dripping and soap to the grateful membership. In one year forty tins of meat were sent! The last parcel was dispatched in 1956, some eleven years after the end of the Second World War.

Annually articles of work are submitted for display at the H.B. Agricultural and Pastoral Show and over the years several placings have been earned by members.

In 1949 members began a local hall fund and, each month a member would donate and raffle an article for this cause. In War. Annually articles of work are submitted for display at the H.B. Agricultural and Pastoral Show and over the years several placings have May, 1955 the first Institute meeting was held in the newly built Patoka Memorial Hall. Over the years Institute members have contributed substantially to the ongoing improvements made to the hall; for example, the replacement of the hall stove and the purchase of a very large extension cord, vinyl in the women’s toilets and heaters in the supper room, not to mention the regular hall cleaning bee that is invariably instigated and executed by members.

In 1981 the hall trustees invited the current president of the C.W.I. to become a member of their committee for the duration of her presidential term.

Since 1953 the Institute has regularly participated in the Federation Drama Festivals. These performances have been enjoyed by participants and audiences alike. In 1976 the Drama Group won the Northern H.B. Federation Drama Cup with its pageant “Eighty Years of Institute” and went on to the prestigious drama final at Dominion Conference.

Between 1955-56 dressmaking classes under the auspices of the Adult Education Scheme were instigated. Drafting and patternmaking were also included. The students were then required to mannequin their creations! A millinery class was also held. This year, 1985, nineteen attended patchwork classes run by the Hawke’s Bay Community College at Patoka Hall. An ongoing theme this year has been ’back to the basics of sewing and knitting’.

The annual flower show, which still attracts interest from all residents in the district was first staged in 1956.

In 1959 a Garden Circle formed. Members would meet monthly, and in 1965 their floral court at the Industrial Exhibition gained first prize. This group was later to disband. Today, however, a new nonaligned garden group has formed and draws people from all over the Kaweka area. This group meets monthly at various locations to view, discuss and be instructed in all aspects of gardening.

In 1955 a singing circle was formed to entertain throughout the year and at Christmas, but this was later to disband.

In 1971 the President and Secretary attended the fiftieth anniversay [anniversary] of the foundation of the movement at Omatua, Rissington. In 1973 the twenty fifth jubilee of the Patoka C.W.I. was celebrated, and several foundation members were in attendance.

In 1978, Mrs Catherine Downes was elected to the Dominion Executive of the Institute and later in 1980 was elected National Vice President of the Institute. It was therefore appropriate that this was the year to

Photo captions –

c. 1951 An Institute meeting at Hendley.

The Institute Christmas party…1955.

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look towards assisting the wider community. For example, Swinburn House in Napier was adopted by the Institute and collections of bottled fruit, cakes, jams, eggs, play equipment and clothes were made for this establishment. Collections of tin foil and bottle tops were made for the N.Z. Foundation for the Blind which would enable them to purchase and train a guide dog. At Christmas time in the same year bon-bons were made and donated to the Christmas appeal of a local radio station.

By 1981 C.W.I. membership stood at 43 members, and along with other groups in the area the C.W.I. continued its sponsorship of a child in Africa through the Save the Children Fund. In 1984 a special raffle was held to raise this annual amount.

As Mrs Helen Halliday Jnr. says “The Country Womens’ Institute continues to provide a valuable meeting time for rural women, young and old. Some go on to become leaders in our movement, but most work tirelessly and without reward.”


The inaugural meeting of the branch took place at the home of Mrs Alex Cockburn (The Incline), on October 18, 1952.

The foundation members included: Mesdames A. Cockburn, L. Carswell, J. Alexander, S. Ward, W. Paterson, C. and E. Thomsen, J. and A. Elliott, G. Halliday, W. and T. Whittle, D. Fleming, S. Horgan, W. Dooney, R. White, A. Tollison, and Miss P. Batchelor (Mrs D. Cockburn).

These inaugural members were soon to be joined by others. All took a keen interest in the international affairs of the Red Cross. The memberships concern, support, and aid was extended to many countries.

One of the first fund raising activities undertaken by the branch was a New Years’ Eve dance in 1953. Admission was 2/6d…and it made a profit!

In 1955 the branch was instrumental in having a first aid box placed at the Patoka Post Office, where it still remains. Many other activities which were also initiated in the 1950’s continue to this day.

In 1981 Mrs Thomas Crosse was awarded the M.B.E. for her service to the community, and in particular, for her long and distinguished service to this branch, and to the movement at a regional level.

Meetings are still held tri-monthly and are well patronised by interested and enthusiastic members. The branch has also been fortunate in having local members elected to the Northern H.B. Centre Executive. Recently Mrs Alan Cockburn (The Incline) was elected to the National Executive of the Red Cross.

RED CROSS YOUTH (Junior Red Cross)

Children from the Waihau and Patoka Schools have for many years been involved in the Red Cross Youth movement.

In 1984, the children organised and ran a shop day for the children of Ethiopia. Through the children’s efforts over $300 was forwarded to the Ethiopian Disaster Programme.


The first recorded meeting of the branch took place on Tuesday 13th August, 1946. The notes selected from the minutes, are intended to reflect in part, the interests and concerns of the branch members over the years.

1946:   Remit expressed concern about the Australian magpie and sought its removal from the protected list.
1947:   Graduated subscriptions were introduced. If your farm value was less than £4,000 then your sub was £1.10.0. If your farm value was over £10,000, then your sub was £5.0.0.
1948:   Concern voiced over ‘desertion’ of free lance rabbiters to more lucrative jobs in town.
1949:   Proposal to hold separate 2th and 4th ewe fairs.
1950:   First meeting of branch to be held at Patoka 16th February.
1951:   Hydatids Eradication Scheme in Southern H.B. discussed.
1952:   Shearing price per 100 – £3.1.6., crutching 15/-.
1954:   99 financial members in the Branch. Seminar held at Patoka. Pastures, grazing, sheep fertility, hormone spraying discussed.
1955:   Difficulties associated with aerial topdressing and the shortage of pilots and new trainees discussed.

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1956:   Minimum charge for aerial topdressing £13.10.0. per hour. The hireage of a front end loader additional.
1957:   A successful approach was made to the Daily Telegraph regarding publication of stock sale reports.
1959:   Pest Destruction Board set up a pilot scheme for the eradication of ‘possums. Import duty on woollen garments reportedly between 15-27%. The import duty on synthetics generally attracting a 3% duty.
1961:   Wool was costing approximately 3d. per pound to freight to U.K.
1962:   Proposed that the branch became a foundation member of the Outward Bound Movement.
1964:   Concern expressed at the increase in rabbit population. Freight costs on a 32 pound lamb to the U.K. now 7/9d.
1965:   The proposed Farm Cadet Scheme supported by members.
1967:   Reports of increase in numbers of trespassers on properties. Venison keenly sought and high prices offered.
1968:   Reportedly costing $2.62 to tranship a lamb from the farm gate to Smithfield.
1968:   Concern expressed over increase in opossum numbers and their devastating effect on the environment.
1970:   The branch largely instrumental in the establishment of an Owner’s Account for beef killed.
1972:   Sheep Retention Scheme introduced. Branch voiced opposition to the total acquisition of wool by the proposed Corporation.
1973:   Shipments of live sheep to Iran encountered some opposition in the branch.
1974:   Agricultural Workers’ Amendment Bill gave rise to Farm Workers’ Assn. Branch received reports that excessive fat was now considered evident on lambs sent to U.K. and Europe.
1977:   Regional Authority set up. Wool selling by sample commenced. Shearing costs $65 per 100. Cost to send a bale of wool to Europe $59.
1978:   Branch opposed to the Land Purchase Bill. Phosphate poisoning of ewes in district reported. 1981: Some opposition to the introduction of Supplementary Minimum Price Scheme voiced.
1983:   One of the driest summers on record.
1984:   A stock drive raised over $1,400 for the H.B. Helicopter Service. (Over the years Federated Farmers have held many similar ‘drives’ to support social service organisations.) Several members of the Puketapu Branch of Federated Farmers from this district have gone on to serve the organisation at a national level. They include: Messrs H. E. P. Downes (first National Chairman Agricultural Training Council) and T. H. Crosse (H.B. Representative on the Electoral College.)


Twenty people attended the foundation meeting on 24 May 1960. Membership peaked in the early 1970’s when the Club was reputedly the strongest in the Heretaunga district.

Many events were undertaken by the Club and included scrub cutting, hogget crutching, shearing competitions, stock judging, debating, and local district dog trials. An annual dance run by the Club was always well patronised.

In the late 1970’s membership dropped away and the Club was ‘wound up’.

Records and accumulated funds were placed at the Heretaunga District Office.



Initial interest in the movement was aroused in 1958 when a youngster wore his cub uniform to school.

As a consequence, Mrs Helen Halliday ’co-ordinated’ the ‘Lone Cub Pack’ for some ten years. Many of these lads were to ‘advance’ to the “Scout Troop’ which at that time was led by Mr Neil Alexander.

In 1977 Mesdames Jane Crosse and Pat Halliwell revived interest when they formed an ‘active pack’! Seventeen boys came from as far afield as Pakaututu, Waihau and Rissington to the Patoka Hall. This active pack continued with the help of many able voluntary helpers until 1984.

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Today, Mrs Christine Thomsen now ‘oversees’ ten young enthusiastic ‘lone clubs’ who meet together as a group on a monthly basis.


In 1958 a lone ‘Brownie Pack’ was locally co-ordinated by Mesdames Elsie Thomsen and Audrey Hartree for three years.

In 1975 Mrs Margaret Holt (Brown Owl-East Coast Lones), encouraged the girls to meet regularly. A strong and enthusiastic pack developed. One notable highlight was in 1976 when the pack attended the 50th Jubilee of Lone Brownies held in Wellington.

Since 1982 Mrs Judy Taylor (Te Awanga) has continued to reach the ’Lones’ through correspondence. The group now meets bi-annually. A pack holiday is also held at Omatua.

Photo caption – Cubs…at Eskdale Camp 1979. An exciting fun-based atmosphere is encouraged. The cubs learn practical skills and new interests develop.


Patoka gets together for birthday

Mrs Olive Sheffield (nee Roil) who started her schooling at Patoka School in 1911, and Katrena Alexander who started at the same school last October, share the honour of cutting a cake to mark the school’s 83rd anniversary, on Saturday. Three hundred and fifty people turned up to the celebrations which included a tree-planting, a lunch and photo session, a cocktail hour and dinner dance. The chairman of the celebrations committee, Mr C.P. Thomsen, said it had been decided to hold a reunion this year to include the whole district because “we thought if we left it any longer there would be older people who would no longer be with us.”

TRACEY LOMAS, 11, from Patoka School, presents Mr Edward Pattison with his name tag at the school’s reunion today. Mr Pattison was the oldest “old boy” at the all-day celebration, having attended the school in 1908. The school opened in 1902.

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Official school photographs…Through the decades…

1911-1920 Left to Right: Edwin Persen, Lionel Persen, Olive Roil now Sheffield, Hilda Brooks now Carney, Sam Brooks.

1921-1930 Front Row Left to Right: Don Hutchins, Keith Smith, Roy Smith, Norma Mellis (nee Mackey), Elsie Trail, Leonard Butler.
Rear: J. L. Butler, J. E. Butler, Daniel Butler.

1931-1940 Front Left to Right: Joan Hamlin (nee Tollison), Marcia Barlow (nee Milligan) (Staff), Margaret Halliday (Staff), Patricia Lowes (nee Adams).
Back: Beryl King (nee Tollison), Trevor Tollison, Alan Cockburn, Doug Tollison.

1941-1950 Front Left to Right: John Paterson, Colin McIntosh (Staff), John Carswell, David Paterson.
Rear: Jane Averill (nee Paterson), Anne Paterson, Ruth Nowell-Usticke (nee Fleming), Peter (Eddie) Halliday.




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On Saturday the 23rd March 1985, at 9.30 am, cars started arriving for the Patoka School and District Reunion. People travelled from far and wide ranging from Christchurch to Auckland, and one man, Mr Mark Hartree, travelled all the way from New York.

They were all ages ranging from former pupils and teachers to headmasters. The older ones could vividly remember the early Patoka School days. The first school was started in 1902 in a small room.

At 11.00 am the opening welcome was held. There were speeches by Mr Thomas Crosse, Mr Tom McDonald (the former Education Board Chairman), Mr Tony Brownlie (an Education Board Ward Member) and Mr John Durno was the Master of Ceremonies. At 11.30 am a memorial tree was planted by Mr Edward Pattison, a pupil of the school in 1908.

At midday it was time to unpack your picnic lunch. Soft drinks and apples were supplied for the children and tea and coffee for the adults. Around 1.15 pm lunches were being packed away and people were gathering around the marquee ready for the roll-call and photographs. The photographs were taken in decade groups. For example: A = 1902-1910, B = 1911-1920, C = 1921-1930 and so on.

At approximately 2.30 the photographs were finished and the cutting of the cake was done by Mrs Olive Sheffield (nee Roil) who was a pupil in 1911. At 2.40 the pupils of Patoka School presented a number of songs ranging from 1902 to 1985. Afternoon tea was then served in the marquee. Icecream and softdrinks for the kids and tea and coffee for the adults were provided.

Between 3.20 and 5.00 it was time for social talking and a tour around the Hendley Road on the big bus. At 4.30 there was a lollie scramble run by Mr Robert Ellingham. There were children diving for lollies everywhere. Following that was a barbeque for the children again run by Mr Ellingham. At 5.45 children watched a video while the adults had their tea in the Hall.

Before the adults had their tea there were speeches by Mr John Paterson, a school committee member, and a toast to the Queen by Mr Cecil Thomsen the Jubilee Chairman. Grace was said by Rev. Ken McGechie.

At 7 o’clock the video had finished and the adults had had their tea. Another lollie scramble, this time in the marquee, was held for the children. Their pockets were bulging. At about 7.45 pm there was a dance that lasted until around 12.30 am on Sunday. I am sure that everyone had a most enjoyable day.

by Kynan Thomsen (Pupil – Form one)


I have been asked to record my impressions of this day, held at the School on Saturday, 23rd March 1985, and I could well do so with a few very complimentary words, but I do not believe that the indomitable Chairman of the Jubilee Committee would accept such an approach nor do I think it would suffice the occasion. I shall endeavour to record the events of the day also, as I believe they are complementary to the main purpose, which was the bringing together of old friends, pupils, teachers and parents for a day of enjoyment and renewed acquaintanceships while at the same time celebrating the eighty-three years of the existence of the. Patoka School. I believe, as do many others, that a School existed in the area before 1902 but unfortunately no records can be found to substantiate it as a fact.

Geoff Wood recounts the days events…

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When I brought my family to Patoka twenty-eight years ago we travelled from Napier on unsealed road surface from Poraite [Poraiti] onwards. How pleasant it was to return today on its very good dustless counterpart. I recall that the sealing finally reached Patoka in 1971, the year prior to our departure.

In 1957 the School had but one teacher. It consisted of one old and added onto classroom with dividing doors midway between old and new, there was a lunch or playshed, a sort of outside toilet facility, a small grassed play area, a small sealed play area now built over, a horse paddock and a stand of pine trees. I can imagine the astonishment and delight of those of you returning from that time and before, to see the transformation to that which exists today. A largish rural school with character and modern facilities set in delightful surroundings and pleasant countryside. It gave me a warm feeling to behold it and to know that in a small way, some years ago, I had made a contribution.

All people previously or presently connected with the School, be they pupil, parent, teacher or friend will have some nostalgic recollections of their participation. Parent support has always been excellent, teaching staff have been caring and capable and in turn participated in the life of the district. Pupils have been happy and successful. All these things are reflected in the excellent response to the call to gather on this day. Some 330 souls including six of the last eight principals and nine assistant teachers.

And so we all gathered. A line of happy smiling faces waiting to register and receive name tags; to then refresh ourselves in the marquee with cups of tea and country fare. Excited meetings as we found old friends and faces. Faces of today, faces of yesterday some hard at first to put name to, but all with joyous countenance and eager chatting lips. Not surprisingly the smiles lasted all day, through the rain that was to fall and into the night until it was time to take leave.

The formal part of the day followed with John Durno, present School Committee Chairman acting as Master of Ceremonies for the day, introducing the official speakers.

Thomas Crosse, third generation resident and Jubilee Committee Member made the welcoming address to the gathering and thanked the official guests, Mr Tom McDonald and Mr Tony Brownlie for joining us. He spoke in glowing terms of the work done by the Jubilee Committee and in particular of its Chairman, ‘C.P.T’. Cecil Thomsen and its Secretary, George Lomas and the able assistance given him by his wife Phyllis. He made special reference to the two earliest pupils present, Mr Ted Pattison who attended the School in 1908 and Mrs Olive Sheffield (nee Roil) who was a pupil in 1911, also recording that the newest pupil of today is Shaun Andrews.

At this point presentations of floral sprays were made by a troupe of small girls in the care of Helen Halliday Jnr. to the wives of the Jubilee Committee members and other helpers.

John Durno then introduced Mr Tom McDonald who, as Chairman of the H.B. Education Board of the time, officially opened the School at its present site in 1949. He spoke of this and older times recalling for our interest the days of the Hendley Mill and the traction engines of those days.

He was followed by Mr Tony Brownlie, present Deputy Chairman of the H.B. Education Board and local Ward Member, who in the main spoke of the Board’s activities, its makeup and staffing.

Both speakers spoke in complimentary manner of the School and its Jubilee Day.

It was fitting to the occasion that two generations of members of the Board were present and their presence was greatly appreciated. I was disappointed, however, that a senior member of the Board’s staff did not accept the opportunity to be present at what was for the School a most important day in its history. Times change I suppose.

There followed a tree planting ceremony and Mr Ted Pattison (1908), skilfully planted a Liquidambar ably assisted by Shaun Andrews the newest pupil. This tree will remain a permanent reminder of eighty- three years of School history and the successful and happy day that celebrated it. How fortunate is the School to have such an array of lovely shrubs and trees to enhance its grounds and the Arboretum, brainchild of George Lomas, which graces the eastern corner of the playing field.

The morning programme came to an end with the prospect of rain in the air and the multitude gathered at their cars to restore their energy with picnic lunches. Soft drinks donated by the Apple and Pear Board were distributed among the children.

Early in the afternoon official, and many unofficial, photographs were taken. This was accomplished

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by pupils and teachers being grouped by decades relative to the years at School. Opportunity was also taken to record on film the original founding Committee of the Patoka-Waihau Red Cross, a branch of which was founded in 1952 with 18 members.

Rain now began to fall in earnest so, sadly, items by present pupils had to be held in a classroom which fortunately did not dampen the delightful performance by very cheerful and enthusiastic young people but the audience was unfortunately restricted by the space available. How different were the songs they sang from those of yesteryear. “California Here I Come” has surplanted “John Peel” I am sure forever.

In the rain, but not at all dispirited, Mrs Olive Sheffield (1911) cut the Jubilee cake to the applause of the gathering. She was assisted by Katrena Alexander, new pupil October 1984. There were in fact three cakes, all baked by Leonora McCormack and beautifully iced by Linda McGonigal, and they tasted just as good as they looked.

The rest of the afternoon was ‘free time’ to enable everyone to look round the School and to view the interesting collection of photographs depicting bygone days of School and District history. A superb aerial map of the area kindly loaned by Mr David Napier of N.Z. Aerial Mapping Ltd. supplemented the display. The photographs were delightfully interesting and I have no doubt brought back many memories for those who looked them through.

Late in the afternoon John Durno loaded the School bus, mainly with older folk and drove them down the Hendley Road and through the “Falomai” paddocks to the old Mill Site. A trip thoroughly appreciated by the passengers and no doubt one of nostalgia for some. In spite of the rain and wet grass, I am told John did not spin a wheel and his charges at no time felt insecure.

The evening entertainment for the 180 people who stayed to attend the dinner began with a social and cocktail hour in the marquee erected beside the Patoka Hall. While the adults were thus engaged the children were bar-b-qued at the School by Robert Ellingham who later kept them amused with a Star Wars video. A thoroughly enjoyable time for the young, but I believe Robert heroically sacrificed his dinner to entertain them.

Prior to sitting down for the very good and ample meal which we were about to enjoy in the Hall, John Paterson (1948), Jubilee Committee man and present H.B. Council Riding Member entertained us with an amusing speech of anecdotes and reminiscences punctuated with more serious complimentary words concerning stalwarts of the district and Jubilee Committee.

Cecil Thomsen, resident since 1948 and unrelenting force behind the Jubilee organization, proposed the Loyal Toast and Gordon Halliday resident since 1928, the Toast to Absent Friends. Grace was said by the Rev. Ken McGechie and dinner followed in the Hall.

Cecil Thomsen, The Chairman, and instigator, of the Patoka and Districts’ Reunion, 1985.

The floral centrepieces which decorated our dinner tables, I learned, had been arranged by the playcentre children and infant pupils at the School. They were much admired and a credit to their handiwork.

A long day but a very happy one and the hour or so after dinner saw the departure of many of the older guests, myself included, but | understand that the resilient young stayed on to dance the rest of the evening away and from all accounts had an enjoyable and energetic time.

Sadly a day must end. This day will be remembered for enjoyment, for happy faces, for recollections and friendships renewed and in particular for success and accomplishment for the Jubilee Committee whose dedicated pursuit of their goal gave this memorable day to us. Our sincere thanks to them for making it happen.


The committee comprised: Messrs C. P. Thomsen (Chairman), George Lomas (Secretary), Gordon Halliday, Robert Ellingham, John Durno, and Thos. Crosse, and Mesdames Leonora McCormack, Helen Halliday Jnr. and Shona McDonald.

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Mr Keith Woodward a youthful visitor to the Patoka area in 1912, recalls his impressions of the people and the place.

“Through the kindness of the Roil family I had approximately six months as a member of the family at their home at Patoka. My sister, then Evelyn Woodward (later Evelyn Shanks), was the sole teacher at the Patoka School in 1912, and boarded with the Roil family. She offered to have me for a change, to the delight of my parents… Mr Roil was the Manager of Patoka Station and his family were actively engaged in farming the property. They were a wonderful family and I will try to recall some of the details of my arrival there, and the stay for six months.

“Firstly, my sister and I went to Napier from Gisborne by the ’Arahura’. We boarded the ship in the Gisborne Roadstead and arrived at Napier early the next morning with many other passengers. We were met in Napier by Mr Thos. Hyde, a well known Napier Resident, who was a relative of our family by some happy turn of events. We went to Mr and Mrs Hyde’s home in a motor buggy, which I won’t try to describe except that it had the engine at the back and was cranked for starting at the side. After a couple of days at the Hydes, we went by coach to Patoka, and from there | started school.

“The school was a small building on the left hand side of the road to the Patoka saw mill, and there would have been perhaps two dozen children for my sister to teach. It must have been pretty hard on her with different lessons for each class, but she seemed to manage it. The school would have been some two miles from the Roil homestead and we walked the short distance every day (no motor vehicles at Patoka).

“Harold was the youngest of the Roil sons, and he and I were good mates and had a lot of fun together. Timber was carted from the Patoka saw mill in to Napier, and this was by traction engine and trailer. It was always a busy scene on the road with four or five traction engines hauling the loads, and sometimes getting stuck on the incline at the Patoka gate. We had great fun getting rides on the traction engines a boy’s delight. Mr Roil was quite severe, forbidding us to ride on the engines. He was quite right and straightened us up quite a bit on this point!

“On one occasion Harold and I were at the top of Patoka Hill and we discovered a pipe sticking up in the ground about three feet long, which we excavated and took down to the homestead. Mr Roil immediately identified it as a surveyor’s survey pipe and he straight away ordered us to turn round and cart this object back up the hill and fill in the hole we had dug. I have never forgotten this little incident from the past

“The Roil homestead was never short of visitors and plenty of activity, with good principles of conduct and excellent food. After the period my sister had arranged for me to stay we did the reverse trip back to Gisborne, and again had the great adventure of the sea trip, with the famous tender the ‘Tuatea’ collecting the passengers in the Roadstead and taking them to the Gisborne wharf.

“I conclude by saying that my sister and I were very much indebted to the Roil family for their kindness and we experienced many happy occasions to think of later.

“Over the years we have off and on been in touch with members of the family, and we never forgot the kindness they showed to me and my sister.”


With the great collapse in prices for primary produce in the late 1880’s the era of the swagger began.

Photo caption – c. 1910: Mr Roil cutting oats on Patoka Station.

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If a man was out of work there was often no other alternative for him but to roll his swag and walk. The swaggers in this area apparently followed a specific route.

Generally they would want tea and food, and in return would often undertake to do some small jobs. If they were well treated they would leave a stone on the gatepost as they left. This would inform the next swagger that it was a good house.

One well known character in the area was dubbed ‘Rangitiki Jack’. He carried a tobacco tin, with a paper and pencil, and on each successive visit to a farm, would ask that the directions to the Rangitiki River be written down. Residents however doubted his deafness. He had been known to have heard perfectly well over the noise of a tractor, yet always feigned deafness when he visited a house.

No one knows what became of the man affectionately dubbed ‘Rangitiki Jack’, however the body of an old man was found in the kanuka, on the banks of the Tutaekuri, and never identified.
‘Across the country far and wide
He walked until one night he died…’

Another swagger was hired as a farm worker on Patoka Station. Apparently, he wasn’t very popular when he was found washing the milking buckets in the trough where the dogs swam!

The era of the swagger passed when the dole was introduced, however there were a few still around at the onset of World War ii and later. Maybe it was the improved communications that took the swagger into history and folklore.

In 1913 the Cockburn family took up a farm in the Waihau Settlement Block, and the grandsons of the former owner Peter Cockburn, Messrs Douglas and Alan, wish to record their family involvement in the area.

This is their story…

“A history of the Patoka-Waihau district would not be complete without the mention of Alex Cockburn and Gwen Pedersen who married and took over the Incline property from Alex’s father, Peter, in 1923.

“Through Alex’s hard work running a contract shearing gang, mustering and droving, while Gwen stayed at home milking cows and bringing up a family of two boys and a girl, the property which was said to be only suitable for growing trees, developed into one of the most fertile farms in Hawke’s Bay with the surplus Romney breeding stock being keenly sought. This showed what the district was capable of with foresight and hard work. In the mid 1930’s Alex and Gwen acquired the adjoining property of Burnbrae.

“Association with Patoka extended to Alex occasionally managing Hendley Station and during the second world war years taking over the complete running of Patoka Station. They were both active during the war years in district activities for raising funds for the welfare of soldiers overseas. They returned to The Incline after the war and in 1946 assisted their eldest son, Doug, to purchase The Gorges, a property that had been passed over by the Land Settlement Board as unsuitable for settlement by returned soldiers. Doug and his wife Pam continue to farm The Gorges.

“Gwen and Alex continued to pursue a full and busy life in the district with community work taking up a great deal of their time. Gwen played a full and active part in women’s activities including C.W.I. and Red Cross and Alex gave much time to local affairs, in particular the H.B. Rabbit Board.

“In 1965 they retired to Mangateretere leaving their younger son Alan and his wife Joan and their family on the farm. Their daughter Mary married Bill Whittle and lives at Puketitiri.

“Several years later they moved to Hastings where Alex died in 1979. Gwen still lives in Hastings.”

Photo caption – C. CROSSE

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Waihau Settlement



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Sir Richard Harrison, a former Speaker of the House of Representatives had a family association with this area…

“As far as the memories of my informants go, it appears that my Grandfather James Bell, came to Hawke’s Bay after the sale of Hillersden (the Carter Estate), in the Wairau Valley, Marlborough and bought Hawkston, Mangatutu and Te Kowhai about 1910. Wanting to take his daughters, Esther (later Mrs MacIntyre) and Jean (Mrs Harrison) on the grand tour’ of England and the Continent, he took his younger brother Adam, into partnership with him soon afterwards.

“James Bell died in 1925. His daughters Esther and Jean, were the beneficiaries of his estate, and his brothers, Adam and Robert, were the trustees. An early manager of the properties was John Bull. He was followed by Sam Allen, who also owned a farm at Waimarama. He managed the three stations as one, until the estates of James and Adam Bell were wound up about 1938 or 1939, Adam having died in 1936. The estate of James Bell took Hawkston, and the homestead block of Te Kowhai, and the estate of Adam Bell took Mangatutu, and the Peak Flats Block of Te Kowhai. In his will, Adam Bell left these properties to his sons, William and Peter. Peter was killed in World War 11. Bill managed the properties for a time,

Photo captions –

EARLY MUSTERING : A mustering gang at Te Kowhai c. 1900.

1942: Wild sheep mustered from the Tutaekuri Gorge – with great difficulty!

1942: The first time trucks had been to Mangatutu across the Tutaekuri River.

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but sold them to Lew Harris. When the estate of James Bell was finally wound up, his daughter Esther took Kohatutaka, a station near Kaikohe in Northland, and Jean was left with Hawkston and the homestead block of Te Kowhai. Ken Wilson was appointed manager. He undertook considerable development work, cutting scrub, erecting fences, putting up shelter plantations, giant discing for fodder crops (e.g. chou moellier), and sowing pastures of English grasses (rye grass, white and red clovers), and using superphosphate for topdressing.

“About 1946, the Te Kowhai homestead block, which had become uneconomic to farm, was given to the N.Z. Forest Service.

“About 1948 Hawkston was sold to J. Alexander. As a boy, I used to accompany my mother when she went to Hawkston on her periodical visits. I also went there from time to time to shoot turkeys and goats. The goats I believe, were introduced by Adam Bell to eat the blackberry. In the May holidays, Hamish MacIntyre, Bill Hyslop and I armed ourselves with an assortment of guns and rifles, borrowed a couple of ‘pig dogs’ from Bridge Pa, based ourselves in the Te Kowhai homestead, and stalked and shot whatever we could. Our bag did not include deer or pigs, but we did shoot some goats, a swan, and a pheasant. I swam across the lake at Hawkston to retrieve the swan, and nearly froze. Halfway across, my naked swim was made even less comfortable by the shouted encouragement to watch out for eels!”


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Jock and Joe were cockies out Patoka way,
South-west of Te Pohue, inland from Hawke Bay,
They scratched a meagre living, as Kiwi farmers do,
Providing the hungry thousands with lamb and mutton stew.

It had been a bad year for the wool clip and the weather now was grim,
The paddock grass had shrivelled up and the sheep were growing thin.
Joe McClunie shook his head, “I’m afraid this is the end,
They’ve gobbled all our winter feed and we’ve nothing left to spend.”

They sat down in Jock’s kitchen and sipped upon a beer,
Their hopes were all in tatters and the future wasn’t clear.
They were sitting there in silence when Joe leapt to his feet,
“What’s wrong with us, a pair of fools, to think that we are beat?”

His eyes were as wild as a rampant tup’s and his mind was in top gear;
He paced about the kitchen floor, then swallowed down his beer.
Jock sat in expectation, for he was a patient man,
But the tension grew too much for him and he cried out, “What’s your plan”

Joe then cracked a little smile and said, “This is my scheme
We’ll put our heads together and build a farm machine,
For we New Zealand farmers have gained much world attention,
Because of our ingenuity and powers of invention.”

So Jock drew up the construction plan, while Joe searched through their sheds,
And picked out nuts and bolts and springs and the ends from two old beds,
The gearing of a suction pump, some wheels and tractor tyres,
An engine from a Holden car and a rusty pair of pliers,
Old knives and forks, some bottling jars,
Lengths of wire and strong steel bars,
Gardening tools, three broken clocks,
A racing bike and an old gear box.

They worked for hours, day and night, to get the thing complete,
Screwing on the knobs and gears and welding down the seat.
Joe was long and rangy, while Jock was short and round,
So Joe worked on the upper parts and Jock those near the ground.

Then one day their sons rushed in and cried, “The sheep are dead.
The cattle also sickly, we’ve lost a hundred head.”
Jock got up and wiped his brow and grunted, “Well who cares!
When this beauty’s finished we’ll all be millionaires.”

Their wives didn’t like the plan, but nor did they reject it,
And when the thing was finished they went down to inspect it.
The ladies entered gingerly, their mouths dropped in surprise,
Then Mary said, “How super!” but Hazel closed her eves.

Jock wrote to the ministry and said, “We’ve something here
That will save the Government ten million a year.”
A man came up from Wellington to view the new machine.
It was the most amazing thing that he had ever seen.

When they put it through its paces he gaped in admiration;
He saw at once that it would be a boon to the whole nation.
He took Jock and Joe aside and said in words discreet,
“To hell with all these subsidies, the farmer’s obsolete!”

There followed fierce bargaining, that lasted day’s and nights,
But at last the man obtained the full production rights.
“One favour,” asked Jock McGonigal, “Just before you go,
We’d like to demonstrate this thing down at the Royal Show.”

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The man agreed, so some weeks later, in the secrecy of dark,
They towed their new invention into Tomoana Park.
Next day the gates were opened and the cockies flooded through,
They headed straight for the machine to see what it could do.

They’d heard disturbing rumours, that came from far and wide,
But when they saw the new machine they laughed until they cried.
“It’s like a ten vehicle accident!” a farmer made a crack,
And tugged upon a handle that jutted out the back.

No sooner had he done it than the thing broke out in roars,
Then rumbled through the stock sheds castrating all the boars.
It shot and hung the best ewes, fertilised the sows,
Plucked and steamed the laying hens, dehorned and milked the cows.

It caught and sheared a hundred sheep at a terrific rate,
Laid sixty yards of fencing, rehung the Showground gate,
Sprayed and ploughed the paddock, then all stood back in fear,
As it shot into the tavern and drank up all the beer.

The cockies called a meeting and said, “This is not good,
For sure this new invention will steal our livelihood!”
So they threw poor Jock and Joe into their machine.
The engine coughed and spluttered, you should have heard them scream.

For a moment the whole thing faltered, they thought that it would crack,
But to their disappointment Jock and Joe shot out the back,
They came out white and trembling and stripped of their attire,
All their hair and manhood gone, trussed up in baling wire.

While folk milled round complaining it shuffled off once more,
Straight to the forest section where it began to saw.
The engine now was purring, it could have sawn for years,
But a massive Maori axeman upped and thumped it in the gears.

Everybody gathered round to watch the poor thing die.
The wheels and levers tumbled off, the engine gave a sigh;
The drive shaft cracked and buckled, it couldn’t stand the stress.
And all the dreams of Jock and Joe fell in a tangled mess.

So if you’re round Patoka and see a weird pair,
That talk in squeaky voices and lack both teeth and hair,
Just you listen carefully they’ll tell a tale of woe,
For they are those fateful cockies by the names of Jock and Joe.

Basil Hall (1977)

“The Triumvirate”…Looking down on the social heart of the District 1985.

Page 83



Mr Thomas Crosse speculates on the future of the Patoka district, (with some reluctance!)

The recent past has proved without question that we have a unique blend of factors which make it easy to achieve high standards in animal production because of the climate. topography and well-watered yet free-draining soil. A 58 inch rainfall, usually well-spread, ensures the chance to bring out young stock through the summer, thus making it a first rate breeding stock district. Animal production will always be the top of the list here, but for those that wish for diversification, the aforesaid attributes also make timber production worthwhile, and those with special skills will be able to get worthwhile results from limited cereal production.

The animals themselves will vary depending on personal preferences. Romney sheep will predominate together with different approaches to beef production and a few goats and deer for those that are good with them will also have a place on our farms. The district has always been blessed with high standards of endeavour and achievement from its settlers, and these are the only factors that will see us through the ups and downs which have always been a part of rural life – whether it be manifested by economic reasons, droughts, floods, snow storms, but not forgetting the perfect spells of weather that also come along. The need to follow what we can do best is vital and the importance of lifting per head performance and monitor it how you wish, will become increasingly important as the pressure on animal production increases both from overseas for political reasons and within our shores from the servicing industries. The ever increasing greed of New Zealanders is fast strangling ’God’s Own Country’ as everyone fights for more at the expense of others along the chain. This will not be halted for us till stock numbers fall and we are more flexible in our trading pattern and put pressure on servicing industries to vie for our products. New Zealand will diversify its products and our meat and wool will become more sought after as we tailor it more to customer requirements. But our internal costs must be brought into step with our trading partners which will happen after much pain and districts such as Patoka are the best able to stand the pressure. Readers in the 21st century will remember that this publication goes into print when the primary industry is experiencing massive increases in farm costs – contract wages, manure bills, fuel, transport and worst of all, interest, combined with large falls in gross incomes.

Our district will be able to withstand these pressures but will find it harder to weather the torments of racial strife which we see being fostered throughout the country at all levels by those that wish to destroy New Zealand. The New Zealanders’ attitude of ’she’ll be right’ will continue until it is too late and the world’s evolution of the races may curb the white man’s agricultural skills in New Zealand as it has in Kenya. To combat this, the urban drift may be reversed and the district see an increase in population whereby a labour pool lives in the area to become part of the community and service us with shearing, crutching, fencing, silviculture and so on. The cost of machinery and its operation will become too high for the return, so maximum production must fall, but this will give us the flexibility to extract ourselves from the grips of our servicing industries.

The present overseas policies of self-protection by subsidy will collapse and freer trade will return to help us continue our present land utilisation, but the other internal problems already mentioned must be overcome before the Patoka district can relax and return to the easier times of the 1960’s. But we may be reassured and God-given advantages will always stand by those that stay here and battle against trials and tribulations that will always beset the primary industry in New Zealand.

Thomas Crosse
Patoka Station
October 1985

Page 84

APPENDIX    Jottings

Rainfall – Patoka Station.
Some random selections from Patoka Station records:-
1930:   41.61 ins.
1931:   40.10 ins.
1938:   100.59 ins. (more than 10 ins. fell in January 1938 in 24 hrs.)
1982:   43.60 ins.
1983:   43.26 ins.

Mr Ron Hartree reports average rainfall for the past 20 years is over 60 ins.


Sheep Returns:

…“Every owner of sheep shall, between the first and fourteenth days of May in every year, deliver…a written return…of the total number of sheep of each sex owned by him on the thirteenth day of April preceding…

Every owner of sheep shall, on or before the first day of September in every year, pay to such persons as may be authorised by the Governor…the sum of two shillings for every hundred or fractional part of a hundred sheep owned by him on the last day of April preceding…”

Sheep returns were submitted to the sheep inspector and registrar or stock brands, Napier. In 1893 the returns made from the Patoka area included: Ardlussa – Estate M. R. Miller – 7969 sheep (later part of Waihau settlement).

Mangatutu – Arthur Shield [Sheild] – 6323.
The Incline – Carswell and Sons – 2150.
Hawkston – Thos. Hallett – 16,474.
Lincoln’s Block – John Lincoln – 700 (Glencoe).
Dunmore – Dunn Bros. – 1000 (Manaroa).
Hendley – S Peddle – 6100.
Patoka – (Trustees R.H. Rhodes) – 38,949.

(All the interpretations listed below have been cited in N.Z. publications and illustrate the widely varying interpretations place names can be given.)

PATOKA:   Pa on the rocks
The hill above the pa is conspicuous on account of its limestone formations.
Village in the rocks.
Pa by the rock.

WAIHAU:   Wind and water.
Windy water.
Water and wind.

WAIPUNA: Little spring
Spring of water.

MANGATUTU:   Mountain covered with poisonous plant.
Stream of tutu.

Page 85


Published Material

CUNNINGHAM, Sheila H.   1983   Hawke’s Bay For the Happy Wanderer (S. H. Cunningham)
HALL, Basil   1977   Gimme ½ Dozen (Alistair Taylor Publishing)
LANGLEY, J. B.   1982   Life With The Dogs (Article H. B. Farmer)
MALCOLM, I. W.   1969   Bibliography of Hawke’s Bay (I. W. Malcolm/ Lions Club, Taradale)
MARRIS, B. P.   1972   New Zealand Agriculture (Government Printer)
MARSHALL, B. & STARTUP R.   1984   From the Bay to the Bush (Jubilex ’84 Committee)
MASTERS, Lester   1960   Back Country Tales (L. Masters)
McGREGOR, Miriam 1970   Early Stations of Hawke’s Bay (A. H. & A. W. Reed, Wellington)
McGREGOR, Miriam   1975   Pioneer Trails of Hawke’s Bay (A. H. & A. W. Reed, Wellington)
MOONEY, Kay   1973   History of The County of Hawke’s Bay – Four Volumes (Hawke’s Bay County Council)
N.Z. CYCLOPEDIA CO.   1908   New Zealand Cyclopedia (Volume 6) (New Zealand Cyclopedia Co., Christchurch)
REED, A. H.   1958   The Story of Hawke’s Bay (A. H. & A. W. Reed, Wellington)
REED A. W.   1975   Place Names of New Zealand (A. H. & A. W. Reed, Wellington)
ROBERTS, A. A.   1982   A Family Affair – A History of Murray Roberts & Co. Ltd. (Fletcher Challenge)
SIMPSON, Thomas E.   1973   Kauri to Radiata – Origin and Expansion of the Timber Industry in New Zealand (Hodder & Stoughton, Auckland)
SUTHERLAND, G.   1983   Katikati Advocate _ (Article ’Child’s Eye View’)
TAIT, G.A.   1957   Farms and Stations of New Zealand (Volumes 1, 2, 3) (Cranwell Publishing Co.)
WILSON, J. G.   1939   History of Hawke’s Bay (A. H. & A. W. Reed, Wellington)

Unpublished Material

CAMPBELL, T.    1984   Waihau Project
CROSSE. H. E.   1947   History of Patoka Station
CROSSE, Thomas   1984   Short History of Patoka District
CROSSE, T.H.   1968   A Brief History of Patoka and The Surrounding District
DOWNES, Catherine   1985   Mrs H. E. Crosse
HALLIDAY, Helen   1968   Historical Essay: Patoka Country Womens’ Institute
HARTREE, R. H   1985   Prior To the Coming of The Polynesians

Page 86

WHITTLE, Margaret   1973   Adios Don Juan Thesis: Temperature – Predominant Factor of Erosion
WRIGHT, Matthew 1984 A History of The Eastern Kaweka Ranges (N.Z. Forest Service, Napier)


CROSSE, Christopher G.   1985

Personal Communication

– including letters and notes

H. Adamson, Roger Alexander, Hamish Alexander, Alan Armstrong, Jack Butler, Arthur Carswell, Gwen Carswell, Alan Cockburn, Doug Cockburn, Gwen Cockburn, Thomas Crosse, Michael and Rachael Dinneen, Robert Ellingham, Mona Elliott, Joyce Gloyn, Fred and Kiwi Hale, Gordon Halliday, Michael and Helen Halliday, Maurice Halliwell, Sir Richard Harrison, Ron Hartree, Joan Horgan, Scott Horgan, A. M. Isdale, Kathryn Kuggeleijn, L. Lannie, J. Langley, David Lewis, Lyn MacLeod, W. Marr, Ross Martin, Joe McClunie, Andrew McGonigal, Norma Mellis, David Napier, ‘Bubs’ Price, Cyril Pickering, Roy Smith, Robin Startup, Rangi Sullivan, Gwen Sutherland, K. Tahau, Chris Thomsen, Kevin Thomsen, Sue Upton, L. Wakeley, Stewart Ward, M. Waterworth, Marie Watts, Michael Wedd, Bill Whittle, Tom Whittle, May Whittle, K. Woodward, Ed Wylie.

and personnel from:

New Zealand Post Office, New Zealand Forest Services, Department of Lands and Survey, Hawke’s Bay Education Office, National Archives, Hawke’s Bay Museum and Art Gallery, New Zealand Aerial Mapping, Hawke’s Bay Pest Destruction Board, Hawke’s Bay Electric Power Board, Hawke’s Bay Catchment Board.


This publications has only been made possible through the generosity of the following individuals and organistions [organisations] whose support is acknowledged with gratitude and thanks: –

Eastern and Central Trustee Bank, Mr Paul Tollison (Tollison Groundspreaders), W. Richmond Ltd., H.B. County Council, H.B.F. Transport Holdings, Whakatu Afforestation Trust, Kawatiri Angus Stud, Glencoe Romney Stud, Mr and Mrs M. Halliwell, Mr and Mrs Alan Cockburn, W. Tucker Ltd., Crichton Ford Ltd., Carter Holt Ltd., H.B. Stock and Station Agents’ Association, Mr Gil Christensen, Townshend Motors Ltd., McDonald Transport Co. Ltd., Shell Oil (N.Z.) Ltd., Patoka Jubilee Committee, Longview Charolais Stud (Lomas family), Mr Peter McDonald, Mr and Mrs Kevin Thomsen.


To: Lyn MacLeod, Joan Paterson and Hazel McClunie for assistance with typing. Kathryn Kuggeleijn, Jenny Langley, Christopher Crosse, Thomas Crosse and Ronald Hartree for constructive advice and assistance. Carmel Bullot, Jocelyn McClunie, Jo Kittow and Mary Fisher for proofing the manuscript. Max Printing Service (1982) Ltd. for layout and printing. My husband Peter, and sons Hugh and Angus for sacrifices made and support given. The unnamed many who provided materials and assistance towards this publication, including my Mother, who died during the preparation of the manuscript.


Corrections and/or further information which would make for a fuller historical record are welcomed, especially if documentation and/or authorities can be quoted.

S E McDonald
Patoka, 1985.

Original digital file



Surnames in this book –

Adams, Adamson, Aldridge, Alexander, Allen, Anderson, Andrews, Archibald, Armstrong, Ashwell, Aubrey, Averill, Ball, Barlow, Batchelor, Bayly, Bell, Bennett, Bicknell, Black, Blair, Bokenham, Bone, Bradley, Brice, Brooks, Brownlie, Buckman, Bull, Bulled, Bullot, Burling, Butcher, Butler, Caldwell, Campbell, Card, Carney, Carr, Carswell, Casford, Clayton, Cochrane, Cockburn, Collins, Colwill, Cooper, Cornwell, Couper, Crawford, Crosse, Culley, Cushen, Dampney, Davey, Day, Dewar, Dewes, Dinneen, Dolbel, Dooney, Downes, Dugelby, Dunn, Dunnage, Durno, Edgeley, Edwards, Ellingham, Elliot, Elliott, Enright, Falconer, Fisher, Fitzsimmons, Fleming, Fletcher, Fox, Gascoyne, Geddes, Giblin, Gilliard, Gloyn, Gordon, Grant, Groen, Groome, Hale, Halford, Hallett, Halliday, Halliwell, Hamlin, Hardie, Harding, Harker, Harre, Harris, Harrison, Hartree, Hawthorne, Hayes, Henderson, Hill, Holt, Hopkins, Horgan, Horton, Howard, Hughes, Hutchins, Hutchinson, Hyde, Hyslop, Ibell, Isdale, Jeffares, Johansen, Johnston, Joll, Jones, Jourdain, Kemp, Kiddle, King, Kiri Kiri, Kirk, Kittow, Krogh, Kuggeleijn, Lambton Carter, Lane, Langley, Langlsow, Lannie, Leach, Lemmon, Lewis, Lincoln, Little, Lomas, Lopdell, Lossair, Lowe, Lowes, Luck, Lumm, MacFarlane, MacIntyre, MacKersey, Mackey, MacLeod, Magill, Major, Marr, Martin, Maulder, Maxwell, McBurney, McChesney, McClunie, McCormack, McDonald, McGechie, McGlashan, McGonigal, McIntosh, McIntyre, McKay, McKenzie, McKinnon, McLean, McLennan, McLeod, McNeil, McRae Peacock, Mellis, Mercer, Millard, Miller, Milligan, Mills, Milne, Minehan, Molenaar, Monteith, Morgan, Mullin, Mullooly, Munro, Murphy, Murray, Napier, Nelson, Nicholas, Nicholls, Nisson, Noedl, Norris, Nowell-Usticke, O’Neill, Orr, Page, Parris, Paterson, Pattison, Peddie, Pedersen, Persen, Pickering, Pinkerton, Porter, Price, Proctor, Punch, Railton, Read, Reeve, Reynolds, Rhodes, Ridgeway, Roberts, Robertson, Rochfort, Roil, Rossiter, Rumble, Rundle, Russell, Saker, Scott, Sealey, Shanks, Sheffield, Sheild, Simcox, Simmonds, Simonsen, Smale, Smith, Spackman, Spencer, St George, Startup, Steel, Stevens, Stevensen, Strachan, Sullivan, Sutherland, Sutton, Sykes, Tahau, Tait, Taunoa, Taylor, Thompson, Thomsen, Tiffen, Todd, Toel, Tollison, Trail, Trent, Tuck, Turfrey, Turner, Upton, Vesty, Wakeley, Waldon, Walker, Wallace, Wansbrough, Ward, Waterworth, Watson, Watts, Waymouth, Wedd, White, Whitmore, Whittle, Wilkins, Williams, Williamson, Wilson, Winter, Wood, Woodford, Woodward, Worgan, Wright, Wylie


Date published


Format of the original


Creator / Author

  • Shona McDonald

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