Too much land? : Maraekakaho Station, 1877-1929 : a thesis in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts in History at Massey University

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As a builder I built houses and farm buildings at Maraekakaho, on some of the pastoral farms that had been sub-divided out of the once vast Maraekakaho Station. Maraekakaho is a district situated about 20 miles southwest of Napier in Hawke's Bay, it has a landscape of rolling hills pierced and surrounded by fertile flat land. After retiring I did not have the need to visit the area for a few years until my grandson went on a holiday camp at Stoney Creek. I was astounded at the changes in what had been only pastoral country. I was driving across the Maori flatlands of Ngatarawa along the Bridge Pa – Maraekakaho Road that had once been the main highway from Napier towards the south and eventually Wellington. When Douglas McLean owned Maraekakaho Station it farmed land on both sides of this highway. Changing the landscape were vineyards, olive groves and alpaca farms, along with other land uses. My interest in Maraekakaho initiated with noticing the changing landscape. This had mainly occurred on the flat lands of Ngatarawa and Mangaroa. the country behind was still pastoral though even some of this was yielding to high intensity cropping. The steeper dry pastoral land was changing with lifestyle blocks and small plantations springing up. I was as surprised at the changes as Maori must have been when they saw pastoral farms appearing from the fern and scrub. I wondered whether the extent of the changes would mean the original hard work that the colonists and their families had endured would be remembered. Or would all this disappear like the history of many of the Maori people who had once lived there. [From Introduction]
Maraekakaho Station, History, Agriculture, New Zealand -- Hastings District