Make your own free website on

Early Kaipara

1839-NZ Company's instructions to Col. Wakefield for Preliminary Expedition
1840-News received of the grounding of the Tory at Kaipara
1840-An Estimate of the European population in New Zealand
1841-Early Export of NZ made flax rope from Kaipara
1845-Wesleyan Missionaries request to leave Hokianga & Kaipara
1846-Merits of the Kaipara District (Extract from article on the merits of Auckland as a capital over Port Nicholson)
1848-Murder at Kaipara and the justice served out

Back Roads Home | Early Hokianga | Early Kaipara | Kaipara Journeys | Happenings Pahi | Great Yarns | Albertlanders | The Settlers | Scandal of 1902 | Batley | Tanoa | Agriculture | Kaipara Wrecks | Crime | Natural History

New Page 1

The Dealings of the New Zealand Company

Extract from the Instructions given to Colonel Wakefield, the Company's Principal Agent in command of the Preliminary Expedition: -

NZ Spectator 6th September 1839

Considering the excellent sailing qualities of the Tory, and that you are amply supplied with provisions and water, we trust that you may reach Cook's Strait, without touching anywhere, by the end of August.  As soon as you have completed your business there, which we are in hopes may not occupy you more than two months, you will proceed to Kaipara, and thoroughly inspect that harbour and district. You will also take the best means in your power of ascertaining whether there is; to the southward of Kaipara a spot more suitable than that port to become the seat of the commercial capital of the North Island; and if you should discover such a spot, you will endeavour to make an extensive purchase there.

At Kaipara you will exhibit to the natives the original contracts of Lieutenant McDonnell, and will claim, on behalf of the Company, the lands therein named.  You will also inform the natives, that Lieutenant McDonnell intends to proceed to New Zealand ere long; you will deliver to the chiefs the letter, whereby he informs them of his having transferred his lands there to the Company; and you will take whatever steps you may think most expedient, to obtain possession of this tract in the name of the Company.

Supposing you to have selected from any purchases that you may make in Cook's Strait, or in the neighbourhood of Kaipara, or in the district of the Company's lands at Kaipara that spot which you shall deem the fittest for a first settlement, - that spot which shall present the most satisfactory combination of facility of access, security for shipping, fertile soil, water-communisation with districts abounding in flax and timber, and falls of water for the purposes of mills, - and where the native inhabitants shall evince the greatest desire to receive English settlers, and appear most anxious to obtain employment for wages; there you will make all such preparations for the arrival of a body of settlers, as the means at your disposal will allow. Amongst these it occurs to us that the natives should be employed at liberal wages, in felling the best kinds of timber, taking the logs to the place which you may have marked out for the site of a town, and so in collecting and preparing flax and spars as a return freight for vessels which may convey settlers to the place.  You should also make the native thoroughly aware of the nature and extend of the intended settlement, so that they may not be surprised at the subsequent arrival of a number of large ships.  At this spot, when you quit it, you will of course, leave such persons as you may be able to spare, and shall be willing to remain, for the purpose of assuring the natives of your return, and of pursuing the labours of preparation.

Thomas McDonnell (Snr)

Grounding of the Tory at

NZ Gazette & Wellington Spectator 14th November 1840

The latest news received from Colonel Wakefield by the Company
appears to be dated 14th December (1839) from Hokianga. A report of the
grounding of the 'Tory' at Kaipara had reached England about the same time.

Population Estimate of
Europeans in New Zealand in 1840

NZ Gazette & Wellington Spectator 31st October 1840

The following is a rude estimate of the white population in
New Zealand:-

IN COOK'S STRAITS: - Cloudy Bay - 150; Queen Charlotte's Sound
- 60; Kapiti and Mana - 200; Port Nicholson - 1600.

EAST COAST : - Banks' Peninsular - 100; Port Otago and
neighbourhood - 250; thence South - 300.

NORTH ISLAND - EAST COAST: - Poverty Bay - 30; River Thames -
200; Bay of Islands - 600; Wangaroa and other places to the North - 100.

NORTH ISLAND - WEST COAST: - Hokianga - 200; Kaipara -
Manukau, Kafir, &c. - 100.

TOTAL - Four thousand and fifty persons

New Zealand Made Rope

NZ Gazette & Wellington Spectator 30th October 1841

It is with much pleasure that we notice in this day's paper, a
sale by Brown and Campbell, on Thursday next, of two tons of rope, manufactured
we understand at Kaipara, from the native flax.  We have inspected it, and
can truly say that is does great credit to the maker.  We trust it may
realize for him a handsome profit to encourage him to continue a branch of
industry, of so much importance to this country.  The flax grows naturally
in great abundance in various parts of the Island, and can be cultivated to
almost any extent, so that we want nothing beyond labour and capital to raise
from this source alone, a most valuable and extensive export. - Ibid.

A Request to leave the Kaipara and Hokianga

NZ Spectator & Cook Strait Guardian 21st June 1845

We learn from the Rev. Mr. Aldred, the missionaries at Hokianga and Kaipara have written to Mr. Lawrie, superintendent of the Wesleyan mission in New Zealand, requesting him to charter a vessel to remove them and their families, as the natives with whom they are living cannot guarantee their safety during the present excited state of their countrymen.

Seat of Government

Extract from an article in the New Zealander 18th April 1846 - An argument  for Auckland as a capital in preference to Port Nicholson (Wellington) A description of the Kaipara District's merits and industry

By the head of the Waitemata there is easy access by land, in less than two days to the Kaipara district, which is the most beautiful, as well as the very richest in New Zealand.  It is traversed by two splendid and navigable rivers for many miles into the interior, on the banks of which, are found not only the richest description of alluvial soil, but also the most available and largest forests of Kauri in New Zealand.  The beautiful vale of Kai-u, which is about six miles in length, and three in breadth, is on the banks of one of one of the rivers, and is celebrated for the productiveness of soil, as well as for the gigantic Kauri trees which, by the river are easily transported to Kaipara for shipment.

That port and district is, at present, the busy scene of profitable labour to the natives, as well as of lucrative trade to the Europeans.  There are now nearly four hundred natives actively employed by Mr Webster, in felling timber in the forests, and hauling them to the creeks and rivers, to be floated to the harbour for shipment.

No less than six vessels are obtaining cargoes of spars, timber, and plank, viz.: the brig Protenia, the schooner Lowestoffe, the barques Strathisla, Cecelia, Haidee, and Mary Catherine.  These vessels all clear our from Auckland, it being the only port of entry of the Waitemata district.  Vessels likewise, with cattle for Auckland, from New South Wales, land them at Kaipara, as they can be driven less than two days, overland to their destination; which obviates the necessity of continuing their voyage round the North Cape, and down the east coast to Auckland.


The Late Murder at Kaipara

New Zealander 29th March 1848

We have been enabled to obtain an account of this affair,
through the kindness of a gentleman who has just arrived from the Kaipara
District, which we believe may be depended upon.  A Native called Kapu,
remarked for general eccentricity of conduct, in a hut on the mountain of
Tangiuhe, suddenly struck another Native of the name of Jacky, in the forehead,
with a squaring axe and killed him.  The murdered man was sleeping at the
time, but there were many other Natives in the hut, all engaged in their evening
prayer, in which the murderer himself was joining at the time he struck the
blow.  The surprise and confusion were so great that he was suffered to
escape into the bush, where he remained for a while, but presently returned,
when he was secured, and his hand bound behind his back.  The sufferer is
reported to have been of exceedingly mild and inoffensive disposition, nor could
any other cause than insanity be assigned for the perpetration of the crime. 
Early the next morning, by break of day, Tirerau was informed of the
circumstance and immediately repaired to the spot, in the company of Rev. Mr.
Buller, Wesleyan Missionary at Kaipara, where the Natives, relatives and
brothers of the murderer, sat in judgement, and immediately pronounced him
worthy of death.  They seemed, however, unwilling to carry out the sentence
into execution; which disinclination Mr. Buller immediately took advantage of,
and commending them very much for their forbearance, advised them to carry the
prisoner to Auckland, where he would be dealt with according to the forms of
English law.  Their answer was - "Who would take the trouble to carry such
a fellow, a murderer, to Auckland? No! we'll execute judgement ourselves." We
have learned, from another source, that they likewise asked what payment they
would receive for their expenses? and who was to be responsible for it? a
question which Mr. Buller was of course unable to answer.  Some proposed
that Kapu should be killed by the axe with which he had committed the deed, but
were overruled by the others, on the ground that shedding of blood was contrary
to the Scriptures.  It was therefore at last determined, that as Jacky was
buried, Kapu should be buried likewise.  When asked what could have moved
him to the commission of so foul a deed? he replied that long ago he had
received some provocation from the deceased: but the excuse was held so
frivolous and unsatisfactory, as to meet with the utmost contempt from his own

The next day a deep pit was prepared, into which he (Kapu) was thrown, having
pleaded in vain for a respite, on the ground of having several others to kill,
amongst whom was Chief Tirerau himself, and was covered up with all expedition. 


Comments & Feedback Email