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RAUKAPUKA.

ITS FORMER OWNERS

The Raukapuka estate^ which was submitted to public auction at Geraldine on Wednesday, was the homestead block and the remainder of a once much larger area of freehold that was all that remained of one of the earliest pastoral runs ; occupied and settled upon m South Canterbury. The run was taken up m 1854 by Mr _ Alfred Cox, a young Australian, who is alive and resident m Christchurch, and-he settled there m 1857, getting built a dwelling, woolshed and stockyard suitable for cattle as well as sheep, for the run comprised swamp land east of the present railway best suited for cattle, and dry pfains well suited for sheep: The location of the homestead was decided by the existence of two or three small creeks rising from springs not far away. Mr Cox had prepared a comfortable home before bringing his wife from Australia. In one of his letters to her, he wrote that they had everything essential to keeping them m good condition —plenty of milk and butter, vegetables and fruit, beef and mutton, and occasionally wild ducks and pigeons. It was, he said, a favoured land. The sheep on the station, he wrote further, wore free from scab, which at that time was not uncommon m Canterbury; and cattle, horses and shoep were doing exceedingly well and thriving on the native grasses. Mr Cox eventually acquired adjoining runs, until he held a large block of country under pastoral leases. He lived at Raukapuka till the early seventies, when the effect of the public works policy m the rush for agricultural lands reduced the pastoral area to small dimensions. Mr Cox, being a pastoralist of the old school, disliked this contraction of hi* ell^v >n and therefore leased Raukapuka to Mr Thomas Selby Tancred (now the eighth baronet of his house, and a resident of England), and sought fresh fields m the centre of the North Island, and lost much money there. Mr Tancred did not long retain Raukapuka, now wholly freehold, and m 1875 sold to Mr W. Postlethwaite. In 1888 the latter leased the property to Mr M. C. Orbell, who held it till, on the expiration of his lease, Mr Postlewhaite (who had settled m California) sold the estate to Messrs Campbell Bros. A notable fact m connection with this homestead is the fact that, except the present owners, all previous occupants of it were men of public affairs. Mr Cox was a member of the Provincial Council and of its executive, and a member of the General Assembly. Mr Tancred was a civil engineer, who played some part professionally m the construction of the New Zealand railways. His parents, Sir Thomas and Lady Tancred, lived at Woodbury for some time while he held Raukapuka. The Tancreds are members of one of the oldest families of England, m which they have held lands since before the Conquest., Mr W. Postlethwaite had had experience of affairs at Home before coming to New Zealand. Amongst other public offices he had held, he had been High Sheriff ;of Cumberland for some years, and he became a member of the County Council and other local bodies on settling at Raukapuka, and a director also of the Farmers' Co-operatiy© Association. Mr M. C. Orbell, his successor m the occupancy of the homestead, had spent some years m Otago, had been elected Mayor of Waikowaitai (then a more important centre compared with its competitors than it is to-day), and was also a member of the Otage Provincial Council, and a member of its executive m llr Vogel's day. Mr Orbell was an enihusjast regarding the frozen meat trade, and has continued to work m its interests. —Timaru Herald.

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Permanent link to this item

https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/AG19090514.2.41

Bibliographic details

RAUKAPUKA., Ashburton Guardian, Volume XXIX, Issue 7795, 14 May 1909

Word Count
620

RAUKAPUKA. Ashburton Guardian, Volume XXIX, Issue 7795, 14 May 1909

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