Pioneer Park, Raincliff, Pleasant Point, New Zealand

 Raincliff, South Canterbury

 Mt Dobson and Mt Ribbonwood to the left and Fox's Peak to the right, and the Clayton Heights.
Totara Valley Road with limestone outcrops and boulders, Two Thumb Range, Raincliff Reserve and Raincliff Road deer  - Nov. 14 2009

Previous Owners of Raincliff Station 

1853 - 1858

Raincliff Station 22 miles from north east of Timaru is bounded by rivers, limestone cliffs and native bush. Raincliff's western boundary, the Opihi River, separates the run from Albury (Run 416). The northern boundary is Ashwick.  The eastern boundary is Four Peaks and the southern boundary is Kakahu.  

The Star, May 19 1869

Michael John Burke, b. 1812, the first occupier of Raincliff Station, arrived in Canterbury in December 1850 on the Sir George Seymour He had received his education from Winchester College and Dublin University where he graduated as a barrister of law in 1839.  He took up "Halswell Station" in partnership with W. Guise Brittan.  In 1853 Burke took up the 34,500 acre Run 29, between the Opuha and the Opihi Rivers, later named "Raincliff."  The license was paid on 4 Oct. 1854 and was stocked with two cattle and 2,000 sheep by 29 November 1854.  Burke built his first home of daub and wattle slabs with a toi toi thatched roof and a wattle and daub chimney with an earthen floor ten feet by ten feet.  Burke had farm cadets work on his stations to gain experience for six months at a cost to them of 25 pounds each. There was a lean-to behind the daub building where the cadets slept.  Known cadets were Richard and Parker Westerna and Acland and Tripp. The cadet system: a system of labour in return for keep and experience often with the view to taking up a run of their own.  Ernest Gray, (later Hon.) was at Raincliff in 1855 and a man named Grace and his wife and daughter and Giles a shepherd. In March 1857 Burke applied for additional 15,000 acres - runs 157 and Run 157A - Sherwood Downs (rated later as 20,000 acres)

Michael John Burke (1812 - 1869)
Born 1 Jan 1812 in County, Galway, Ireland
S/o John Burke and Mary Anne Guinness
Husband of Maria Frederica (Minchin) Burke  married 12 Jun 1861 in New Zealand
Descendants: Father of Michael John Burke Jun., William Minchin Burke and Marianne (Burke) Adamson
Died 20 April 1869 in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.

Mary Anne Guinness
Born 20 Jun 1787 in Dublin, Ireland
D/o Arthur Guinness and Olivia (Whitmore) Guinness
Sister of Hosea Guinness LL D and 5 others.
Mother of Michael John Burke Sen BA (1812 - 1869) and 7 others.

Hosea Guinness LL D (1765 - 1841)
Born 12 Jul 1765 in Beaumont, Dublin, Ireland
Husband of Jane (Hart) Guinness.
Sister of Mary Anne Guinness b. 20 Jun 1787 in Dublin
Rector of St Werburgh's Dublin for 30 years
Father of Francis Hart Vicesimus Guinness JP and 14 others.

Francis "Frank" Hart Vicessimers Guinness died 18 Jul 1891 aged 71.
B. September 18, 1819 Dublin, Ireland
Son of Reverend Hosea Guinness and Jane Guinness (Hart)
Husband of Catherine Marian (Richardson) Guinness � married 1844 in Patna Indiamap
Parents of :
Edwin Rowland Guinness b. July 6, 1847 Patna, West Bengal, India
Arthur Robert Guinness b. Jan. 11, at Tirboot, Bengal, India
John Clephane Guinness b. March 3rd 1849 at Bunhaur, Tirboot
Frank Hart Guinness b. 1851 in Patna Bengal India
Catherine Mary Guinness b. 20 Feb 1856 in Christchurch
Benjamin Michael Valentine Guinness b. 1860
Emily Jane (Jennie) Guinness born 17 May 1864 in Greymouth, NZ


James McKenzie went on his sheepstealing episode up through the Mackenzie Pass in 1855 and a few months later Burke became the first man to take a bullock wagon through the pass that bears his name - Burkes Pass.  A monument to this Irish pioneer was erected in 1917 by T.D. Burnett  stands at the top of the long cutting at Burkes Pass is registered as a category 2 - Historic place of historical or cultural heritage significance or value. Once you reach the top of the "long cutting" you enter into the harsh environment of the Mackenzie high country. 

To Put on Record that
Michael John Burke
A graduate of the Dublin University
And the First Occupier of
Raincliff Stn
Entered this Pass known to the 
Maoris as Te Kopi Opihi
In 1855

Oh ye who enter the portals of the 
Mackenzie to found homes, take 

The word of a child of the misty
Gorges and plant forest trees
For your lives.  So shall your 
Mountain facings and river flats
Be preserved to your children's 
Children and for evermore. 


This Pass is 2200 feet
Above Sea Level

1858 - 1868

Burke sold his runs which he had named 'South Downs', 50,000 acres and 2000 sheep for  5,500 pounds in January 1858 to William Kirk PURNELL and his brother, Thomas Aurelius Purnell, who named it 'Raincliff Station' after their father's farm near Scarborough, Yorkshire, England. William and Aurelius arrived on the "John Taylor" in 1853.  Burke moved to Australia and died there in 1869.  The Purnells understanding was that it included Ashwick Flat, however a court case in 1860 was lost and Ashwick was separated from Raincliff.  Thomas Augustus "Gus" Purnell, another brother, lost his life c.1867.  on Sherwood Downs or Richmond Station due to exhaustion from snowraking. He was 26 and married.  In 1864 the Purnells held three runs so sold Run 157 too William Sherwood Raine and in 1867 advertised the run for sale, 34,000 acres and 14,000 sheep. In 1857 Edward Glaves Stericker (1830-1914) took up the Pass Station near Burkes Pass in partnership with George Hall.  Stericker also arrived in Lyttelton on the ship "John Taylor" in 1853 was later the Purnell's manager at Raincliff and continued as manager for the Packe brothers.  Stericker collected weather records as a hobby and supplied the Timaru Herald with the monthly statistics.

North Otago Times, 3 March 1868, Page 4
It is reported that the station of "Raincliff, belonging to Messrs Purnell has been sold for 22,000 pounds, but who the purchaser is I have not been able learn.

Timaru Herald, 23 August 1916, Page 8 Mrs Henry COLLETT [Ann Jane Davis married Henry Collect in 1864]
Another old identity passed away on August. 10th, in the person of Mrs Collett, relict of the late Mr Henry Collett, Daisy Hill, Opihi. Born in Glamorganshire, Wales, Mrs Collett came to New Zealand in the ship Zealandia in 1863 with the late Dr. and Mrs Christie, who were coming to visit Mrs Christie's brothers, Messrs Purnell, of Raincliff station. They landed at Lyttelton, coming by coach to Timaru thence to Raincliff, where she met her husband. They were married at St. Mary's, Timaru, in 1864. Both Mr and Mrs Collett were known far and wide for their generosity and kindness of heart. One gift in 1880 was to present all the freestone of which the magnificent Roman Catholic Church, Temuka, is built. It came off the late Mr Collett's property. Mrs Collett leaves three of a family, Mrs F. G. Matthews, "Waiaka," Waverley; Mrs H. Maxwell, "Greenhills," Kakahu; and Mr W. H. Collett, "Daisy Hill," Opihi.

1868 - 1881

In 1868 Raincliff was next purchased by Acland and the Packe brothers, Lt. Colonel George Packe, formerly of H.M. Fusiliers, who was an estate agent and artist and brother William Packe.  The Purnells returned to Yorkshire. The Packe's had arrived in Canterbury in 1867.  At this time it carried 5,500 sheep up from 2000.  In 1879 the Packe Brothers, recorded carrying 1,6516  sheep and in 1880 - 1,5431 sheep at Raincliff.  George PACKE of Riccarton with freehold sections 6351 and 4815, 280 acres, Raincliffe (sic) station, above junction Opihi and Opuha, Waitangi was registered in the Gladstone Electoral District 1876-77.  William Packe (c.1840-1882) paintings were shown in a fine art exhibition in Christchurch in 1870 and in London in 1958.  He is known for his excellent sketches of Canterbury homesteads including the Samuel's Butler's homestead on Mesopotamia c, 1868, inside and out which is at the ATL, Wellington. Rob's Hut.

This painting by done by William Packe 1868c. is the second Raincliff homestead and was of unusual design for the period. The birds on the lawn are pukekos or swamp hens. Original is at the Canterbury Museum, Christchurch. Packe also painted the Raincliff homestead and station buildings at the same time. See Oliver Gillespie's South Canterbury A Record of Settlement; 1958 page 104.

John Nicholsons, UK 2006
"Lot 354: AN 1870 RENT COLLECTION CASH BOX FROM RAINCLIFF STATION, NZ. This small Native Lands Claims Department cash box was first used by Lt Col George Packe, a retired paymaster in the H. M. Fusiliers who had strong links to both the Wakefield family and the Canterbury Company. Mr Packe acquired the freehold of the massive Raincliff station and employed managers to collect rent from the many tenants and sheep farmers across Raincliff, Richmond and Orari Gorge. The next owner was Henry Hoare, a London banker who eventually went bankrupt, forcing the estate to be passed to the New Zealand Trust and Loan Company who divided the land into smaller plots. Arthur Hope purchased both Richmond Station and Orari Gorge. Later with his partners, the Grant brothers, they formed the Grant and Hope Land Co. Rent collecting was made on a monthly basis on horseback.  The Hope family were the last to use the cash box. Bearing the Hope plaque, that appears to have been added later, the cash box has the words 'TOTO O TE TANGATA, HE KAI, TE ORANGA O TE TANGAA HE WENA' which translates as: 'food supplies the blood of man, his welfare depends on the land'. 12 ins wide. "

1881 - 1901

In 1881 Raincliff was sold to Henry HOARE, a London banker.  Hoare was a great tree lover and carried out the extensive planting around the homestead  and he was responsible for the preservation of the native bush in Pioneer Park and for the Raincliff Forest. By ploughing Hoare increased the sheep carrying capacity of Raincliff to 30,000 sheep. Bad winters, summer droughts, winds and occasional floods took their toll.  From 1891 his brothers Alfred and Charles took over ownership during the hard depression years until 1901 and sold to the New Zealand Trust and Loan Company (so the Hoare family were bankrupt) and then the station was cut up into small holdings and sold. Henry Hoare was a cousin, Hon John Barton Arundel Acland, son of Sir Thomas Dyke Acland 10th Bt and his wife Lydia Hoare, had been farming a 100,000 acre sheep station at Mount Peel, Canterbury, since the 1850s.

In six months in 1889 the owner of Raincliff planted 86,176 trees, representing more than 40 species on his properly. This brought the total to 113,482 trees, whereas in the 1850s, there were only extensive tall tussock grasslands, small patches of valley forest in the foothills, and shrub lands in moister areas. From a memorandum held by the South Canterbury Museum. Raincliff Forest - A Pioneer's Memorial The planting of Raincliff Forest began in 1890, with the forest being purchased by the government in about 1900.

Raincliff Forest, 84 ha, planted in 1890 is managed and owned by Blakely Pacific. This forest contains a wide variety of exotic trees. The is a sign in the car park at the southern end of the forest that gives details on the hike - bike trails. The forest is down Middle Valley Rd, a few km up from Pioneer Park. No toilets here but there are toilets at Pioneer Park. Blakely Pacific have a standard policy for their forests, which is enter at weekends only and after 6pm during the week. Also not to enter during high winds.

Timaru Herald, 5 December 1898, Page 3 Raincliff Reserve
I have good reason to believe that H. Hoare is as well off as ever he was. From a spiritual point the Writer has good reason to believe that this is absolutely correct, much happier and better off than any man on earth can be. He Crossed the bar and joined the majority fully three months ago. Peace to his memory. For the information of whom it may concern, I venture to say, 1 I that any steps the Council choose to take 1 m this. matter,- they will get very little 5 out of the executors of the late Mr Henry Hoare. Certainly they may get experience, but no money. R. Mackay.

In 1869 Robert Mackay was appointed manager of the Double Hill station. When Double Hill was sold in 1874, Robert became manager of Raincliff station. Life was easier at Raincliff: it was less isolated and a governess, Lizzie Lambie, was employed to teach the children. Books and periodicals were readily available. There were two houses, one for the Mackays and one for the owner, Henry Hoare, when he visited. In 1892 the Mackay family moved to their own farm at the Trentham Estate. Elizabeth, Robert's wife, was unwell and died at Trentham on 1 February 1897, survived by her husband and eight children. Their daughter was the poet, writer and feminist, Jessie Mackay. In 1887 Miss Mackay, a school teacher, was appointed to the Kakahu Bush School where she remained for three years, she was the first school teacher to live in the Kakahu School House (demolished in 1972) with Eva Meredith, who later became a doctor in England.  She then became the first teacher at the newly-opened Ashwick Flat school in 1893. She gave up teaching for writing and wrote eight books. 


Lord of the sheep in the upland ways,
The snow locked plains and rocks
And the mazy, dazzling drift that kills,
Have mercy on thy flocks
Lord of the men that fear and seek,
Thyself went seeking too,
For frozen hearts in a drift of sin
Fight thou our battle through!
Lord, hear the saddest wind on earth,
The one that moans and mocks
The mid-most mirk of the shepherd's night
Have mercy on thy flocks.

Jessie Mackay

Canterbury Museum -
Raincliff Station diaries 1868-1871, 1896
ARC 1993.16  Letters written by Frederick H Hoare 1892-1895 in South Canterbury

The Raincliff Settlement, South Canterbury : particulars, terms and conditions of disposal and occupation of 538 acres 3 roods, open on Tuesday, 25th June, 1901. Wellington : John Mackay, Govt. Printer, 1901. 16 p., [2] leaves of plates (1 folded) : 2 col. maps ; 22 cm. Issued under the instructions of the Hon. T.Y. Duncan, Minister of Lands. Maps on leaves at back. Rex Nan Kivell Collection NK10,300. National Library of AUS. 

Timaru Herald, 18 October 1878, Page 4
The celebrated CLYDESDALE STALLION, YOUNG LORD EGLINGTON, WILL STAND and serve a limited num ber of Mares at Raincliff. First-class paddocks free till mares are stinted. All care taken but no responsibility. Terms 4 pounds per mare ; groomage 6s ; one mare in five (the property of one owner) served free. For Pedigree see card. R. MACKAY, Manager.

Timaru Herald, 13 December 1878, Page 4
TO FENCERS. WANTED TENDERS for TAKING UP, PACKING on Horseback, and RE-ERECTING about one and a quarter miles of WIRE FENCING at the Opuha Gorge. Apply, Mr John Mackay, Raincliff. Tenders to be forwarded to T. Edwards, Maltster, Christchurch, on or before the 23rd instant.

Timaru Herald, 30 August 1879, Page 3
TUSSOCK LAND TO LET on Raincliff for cropping. Apply to R. MACKAY

Timaru Herald, 4 April 1881, Page 4
TRESPASSERS on the RAINCLIFF ESTATE, in pursuit of Game or other wise, shall be PROSECUTED, R. MACKAY

Timaru Herald, 12 June 1882, Page 1
TENDERS will be received up to 27th June for PLOUGHING 5000 Acres of land (breaking up and stubble) on Raincliff. Conditions and specifications to be seen at the office of Messrs J. L. Morris, Pleasant Point; Maclean and Stewart, Timaru, and at Raincliff Station. Apply, R. MACKAY, Raincliff, Timaru.

Timaru Herald, 11 September 1882, Page 1
Tenders. PLOUGHING TO LET on Raincliff, in Blocks to suit Contractors. Fine rolling Downs. Price, 7s per acre. Apply to R. MACKAY, Raincliff, Pleasant Point.

North Otago Times, 8 July 1884, Page 3
Notice to croppers  2900 Acres of Turnip Land To Let on Raincliff, for One Crop of Oats, in Blocks to suit Contractors. Apply to R. MACKAY, Raincliff, Pleasant Point, near Timaru.

Timaru Herald, 3 June 1885, Page 4
TENDERS will be received by the Undersigned up to the 6th of JUNE for PLOUGHING (breaking up) on Raincliff. R. MACKAY, Raincliff, Pleasant Point

Timaru Herald, 27 July 1885, Page 4
Tenders wanted for Supply of WILLOW STAKES
1000, 6 feet long, not less than 4 inches in Diameter
4000, 4 feet long, not less than 2 inches in Diameter
Delivered at Raincliff on or before the 20th AUGUST NEXT. Tenders to be sent to the Undersigned on or before the 2nd August. R, MACKAY, Raincliff, Pleasant Point.

Tenders will be received by the Mount Peel Road Board for the supply of willow stakes
200 Six feet long, not less than four inches in diameter.
800 Four feet long, not less than two inches in diameter.
Delivered at the Road Board Shed, Raincliff, on or before the 20th day August next. Tenders to be sent to the Undersigned on or before the 2nd August. R. Irvine, Clerk of the Board.

Timaru Herald, 19 November 1885, Page 1 For Sale
2000 Merino Wethers, only full mouth this year, none broken
2000 Merino Wethers, guaranteed 6-tooth only
2500 Crossbred Hoggets, ewes and wethers, gran l line
500 Merino Wethers, full-mouth last year
3000 Merino Ewes.
The above Sheep are all in first class condition, and will be delivered off the shears, except the Merino Ewes, which will not be delivered till the middle or end of February, 1886. For particulars apply to R. MACKAY, Raincliff, Pleasant Point

Timaru Herald, 27 January 1886, Page 7
The first public commemoration in Timaru of the anniversary of the birth of Robert Burns, "Scotland's Poet," took place at the railway refreshment rooms on Jan. 25th. About sixty gentlemen sat clown to a first-class dinner, provided by Mr D. McGuinness. Songs by Mr R. Mackay and Mr Gilchrist.

Timaru Herald, 26 February 1886, Page 4
WANTED  A Good MAN COOK, on or before Saturday, 27th, Raincliff Station. Must be a good Baker. Permanent Situation. R. MACKAY

Timaru Herald, 2 September 1886, Page 1
Tenders will be received by the Under signed up to SATURDAY, the 4th September, for CROSS-PLOUGHING 3000 Acres of Land on Raincliff, in blocks to suit Contractors. R. MACKAY, Raincliff, Pleasant Point. Raincliff, 24th Aug., 1886.

Timaru Herald, 17 September 1886, Page 1
TENDERS will be received for GORSE CUTTING at Raincliff up to SATURDAY, the 18th met. Apply to the Manager.

Timaru Herald, 10 March 1896, Page 3
A Present. The town clerk laid on the table a large photograph of the Councillors who visited Raincliff Reserve some time ago, a present from Mr F. C Hoare ; a small copy being sent for each councillor.  A resolution was passed thanking Mr F.C. Hoare and Mr R. Mackay for their present.

Timaru Herald, 22 April 1897, Page 1
MOUNT PEEL ROAD BOARD ELECTION. AN Election will be held on FRIDAY, 7th May, 1897, to Return Three Members to the Mount Peel Road Board [Messrs Tripp, Dennistoun, and Mackay- retiring]

Timaru Herald, 26 July 1890, Page 3
Friday, July 25. (Before C. A. Wray, Esq., R.M.) Theft of Sheep Skins. George Tozer and John Tozer, father and son, of Pleasant Point, were charged with stealing 87 sheep skins, the property of Henry Hoare, of Raincliff, on or about the 17th inst. Mr White appeared to prosecute, and Mr Hay for accused. The skins were piled on the floor of the court, and made a bulky "exhibit." Sometime in June a number of hoggets belonging to Raincliff were running on turnips, in a paddock beside the Pleasant Point - Fairlie Creek road via Raincliff. Upwards of 200 of them died, and they were skinned and the skins hung on the fences to dry - on one fence alongside the road, the other running back from it. The skins were seen on the fences at mid day on the 17th, by James Robb, a shepherd on the station, but the next time he went that way, on the 19th, he missed a good many. Evidence was given to show that the two accused left Fairlie Creek on the 17th by the Raincliff road for the Point, having only a box of fish in their spring cart, and they were seen after 10 o'clock on the Point side of Raincliff, with their cart loaded with skins. Mr Mackay manager of Raincliff, with with the detective and in a shed at Tozer's house they found 91 skins, Jas. Robb and James Tondro. Geo. Gould, who saw accused with the load of skins; Jas. Braddick, who saw one on the road presumed to have been dropped by them off the cart; Constable Stanley and Detective Livingstone; and the depositions are of considerable length. Accused were committed for trial at the next sitting of the Supreme Court, bail being fixed at 100 pounds each and two sureties of 50 pounds each, for each prisoner.

TONDRO, James Age: 74 years
Address: Interment Date: 2/10/1916
Occupation: married
Cemetery: Fairlie Plot 53 Block: R3
Clergyman: REV. Le Petit
NOK Margaret TONDRO (Wide)

TONDRO, Margaret Beattie nee Leeson age 83
Date Deceased: 25/01/1935
Cemetery: Fairlie Plot 54 Block: R3
NOK James TONDRO (Husband)
Married: 1878

1901 - 1907

Arthur HOPE b. at Seaforth House, Seaforth, Lancaster, ENG. 26th Sept. 1853, s/o Thomas Arthur Hope, a Liverpool merchant, of Liverpool and Staton Hall, Bebington, Cheshire later Airlie-gardens, Kensington, London, came to New Zealand in the ship Waipa? in 1878.  He worked as a cadet on Longbeach Station near Ashburton and then for Andrew Grant on Rangitata Island.  The brothers Andrew and William Grant and Andrew Hope purchased Richmond Station in the Mackenzie in 1880.  In 1882 Hope married Frances Emily Tripp, [Fanny], daughter of Charles George Tripp, of Orari Gorge Station.  Fanny's mother was Ellen Harper, daughter of Rev. H.J.C. Harper. Arthur's sister Emily married the Rev. Walter Harper a brother to Emily. The Hope family went to England from 1897 to 1903. Hope had sold Richmond in 1900. 
Children were:
Henry Norman b. 1883,
Edith Mary b.1885
Owen Morley b. at Timaru 16th November, 1886
Selwyn Peter b. at Timaru 11th February 1889
Roma b. at Timaru 22 March 1890
Frances Vera b. (maybe she was born in England)
Arthur Howard b. 1903

 Arthur had the present homestead built from plans drawn up in Liverpool in 1903.  Hope retired to Timaru. [The Grant brothers had reached Lyttelton in early 1865 and had two dogs with them on board, C.G. Tripp of Orari Gorge Station, was on the wharf and seeing this invited offered them shepherding jobs. Andrew became manager of Orari Gorge.] sister chart  After Arthur sold Raincliff in 1907 he retired to Timaru but went into partnership with the Grant's in a farm, "Staton", near Fairlie.

Evening Post, 12 September 1924, Page 9
A recent wedding, in which much interest was taken, was celebrated in St. Mary's Church, Timaru, when Miss Vera Hope, youngest daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Hope (Tumanako) was married by the Very Rev. Dean Walter Harper (great-uncle of the bride), assisted by the Rev. G. V. Gerard, to Mr. T. F. Northcote, only son of Major Northcote (Highfield, Waiau, North Canterbury). The service was choral, and the church had been decorated with flowers and foliage. The bride, who was given away by her father, wore a gown of cream .chiffon velvet draped at one side and caught with a hand-made buckle of crystal beads from which foil a crystal tassel. The court train was of cream georgette embossed in silver tinsel and lined with georgette, long crystal tassels hanging from the shoulders. Her veil, which had been worn by her mother, was of cream net, held by a coronet of orange blossoms, and she carried a shower bouquet of white flowers. The two small bridesmaids, Ailsa M'Lean and Josephine Elworthy, were in cream georgette frocks tied with streamers, and a 'bunch of primroses; at one side. On their heads they wore bands of georgette, and they carried posies of primroses. Their amber necklaces were the gift of the bridegroom: Mr._ Albert Grigg was best man. Following the ceremony a reception was held at Tumanako. Afternoon tea, etc., was served in a large marquee, decorated with flags and foliage, and the tables were gay with primroses and yellow narcissi. Mrs. Hope wore a frock of black mauve and black and silver hat. Her bouquet was of red japonica.

Evening Post, 29 April 1927, Page 13
A wedding in which a great deal of interest was taken, and celebrated on Wednesday, was that of Margaret, eldest daughter of Mr. and Mrs. J. D. Ormsby, of Wallingford, Hawkes Bay, to Arthur Howard, son of Mr. and Mrs. A. Hope, of Timaru. The ceremony was performed at the drawing-room at Wallingford, the Rev. Bean Mayne (Napier) officiating, assisted by the Rev. D. Brierley. The bride's artistic gown was of quaint medieval style, of silver brocade, which was designed to fall almost to the ground, and lightly draped at one side, where the folds were caught with a large pearl ornament. The square-cut neck and close-fitting sleeves were outlined in pearls; and from the shoulders fell the train of pink-tinted georgette lined with tiny silver tissue frills, and bordered at the end with Brussels lace. The bridesmaids were Miss Sheila Ormond, the Misses Marjorie Nairn (Hastings), Margaret Tripp (Timaru), Margot Russell (Hastings), Bottle Williams (Atua), Katherine and Jacqueline Ormond, and Antoinette Wilder, and was completed by two small maids, Audrey and Decima Ormond, whose escorts were the pages, Beau Wilder and Michael; Ormond, in their suits of beige panne velvet. The maids' frocks were made alike, Of mist blue souple satin with cross-over bodices, and vests of tiny silver frills over pale pink georgette, the long sleeves being finished in the same way. The skirts were smocked and bordered with hems of the georgette, and the hats were of the same pink tint, each with a vivid rose at one side. Pink and blue flowers composed their bouquets, also the posies carried by the small maids. Mr. J. Acland, of Christchurch, the bridegroom's cousin, was best man, and the groomsmen were Messrs. Charles Tripp (Timaru), Bernard Thomas (Christchurch), John Ormsby, Harold Pinckney (Southland), Denis Ormsby (Timaru), Neil Watson (Invercargill), and Bevan Williams (Atua). Guests from all parts of New Zealand were later entertained by Mr. and Mrs. Ormond.

Evening Post, 2 April 1935, Page 11
The death occurred at Timaru yesterday of Mr. Arthur Hope, aged 82. Mr. Hope, states a Press Association message, was born at Liverpool, was educated at Rugby, and commenced his career at Liverpool, working for six years in offices with cotton brokers, West Coast merchants, and underwriters. He travelled extensively, being in Boston at the time of the great fire in that city. He came to New Zealand in 1876. After gaining pastoral experience he purchased a run of his own account in the Mackenzie Country and carried on sheep farming on a big scale till 1897, when he retired. He had lived in various parts of South Canterbury since. At one time he was a member of the Mackenzie County Council, but otherwise took no part in public life.

Evening Post, 27 September 1875, Page 2
On the 13th July, at the parish church, Bebington, by the Rev. Canon Feilden, M.A., the Rev. Walter Harper, M.A., son of the Right Rev. the Bishop of Christchurch, N.Z., to Emily, second daughter of Thomas Arthur Hope, Esq., of Stanton, Bebington, Cheshire.

Evening Post, 4 September 1875, Page 2
The Rev. Walter Harper, M.A., of Brasenose College, Oxford, sixth son of the Bishop of New Zealand, who was ordained to the priesthood last year, and has been officiating for two years as curate in the diocese of Chester, will arrive in Canterbury in the course of next December, and will reside there permanently.

Star 15 April 1879, Page 2 Birth.
Harper Easter Day, at the Parsonage, Southbridge, Mrs Walter Harper, of a daughter.

Star 28 September 1880, Page 2 Death
Harper  Sept. 27. at the Parsonage, Southbridge, Emily, the wife of the Rev. Walter Harper.

St James Anglican Church at Southbridge, Canterbury New Zealand was destroyed by fire in 1934 and with it the two stained glass windows one a 1881 memorial window given by the parishioners, depicting a female figure looking up to heaven. Underneath are the words "Thy will be done," and at the foot of the window the inscription. "In memory of Emily Harper. Died 27th September, 1880." The window was placed here by the Rev. Walter Harper during his incumbency of this parish. "At the western end there is a single-light memorial window, having a representation of the Virgin in diapered robe with blue mantle, and with head surrounded by halo and stars."

Evening Post, 16 November 1886, Page 2
The Shaw, Savill Albion Company's ss Arawa, which left Plymouth 9th October, is due at Hobart to-morrow.
Second saloon: Mr and Mrs A. Hope

Star 28 December 1901, Page 7
Mr and Mrs Arthur Hope, Canterbury, leave Torquay on Nov. 2, to winter at Brussels, and to supervise the education of two daughters there. One son is at Malvern College, preparing to enter Cambridge early next year, another at Rugby, and the third at a preparatory school for Winchester. The length of Mr Hope's stay in England is uncertain, but he is likely to return to the colony as soon as possible in order to reside on his new purchase, the Raincliff station.

Feilding Star, 12 July 1909, Page 3
Mr and Mrs Arthur Hope, of Timaru, have arrived here with their son and two daughters. They came by the Oroya, leaving it at Naples on March 26th. They then made a tour in Italy, spending three weeks in Rome on account of the illness of the three children, and five weeks altogether on the Continent. The children will go to school in this country, and Mr and Mrs Hope will pay a round of visits during June, and will go to the Isle of Wight for July, August and September. They hope to spend a year in the Old Country.

Star 12 October 1909, Page 1 MR C. M. ORMSBY
The death is reported of Mr C. M. Ormsby, of Timaru, at the age of thirty-one. He was the son of the late Mr Arthur Ormsby, who was for some years in practice as a solicitor in the early clays of Timaru. He was educated at Christ's College, and was noted in the field sports of the school, playing in the first eleven at cricket and the first fifteen at football. After completing his education, he engaged in farming at Grange Hill, Pareora. Mr Ormsby still retained his love for field sports, and was selected once or twice as a representative of South Canterbury cricket in matches against North Canterbury. He was well-known in the hunting field, and rode in amateur steeplechases. He was very popular in the district, and his death, which was unexpected, is' deeply regretted by a large number of people. He leaves a widow (a daughter of Mr Arthur Hope) and a child five months old.

Timaru Herald, 23 October 1915, Page 3
The engagement is announced of Miss Roma Hope, second daughter of Mr and Mrs Arthur Hope, Tumanako, to Major Spencer-Smith, London. The wedding takes place at New Year.

Otago Witness, 3 June 1908, Page 40
Clearing Sale. The sale at Mr A. Hope's, at Raincliff, on May 15, was the talk of the whole countryside for a long time before it came off. Being 25 miles away, I had to get up early in the morning, and when we arrived we found a start had been made. There was a very large gathering of farmers, and others from long distances, the fine day doubtless causing the attendance of many who were anxious to see Raincliff, which is considered one of the show places of South Canterbury; and I think it can claim to, be so, particularly in autumn. There is a large collection of English trees, and Mr Hope has built a new white stone house. The place recalls to memory Mrs Hemans's lines 
"The stately homes of England,
How beautiful they stand
Among the tall ancestral trees
Over all the pleasant land."
I think Raincliff can fairly claim to be one of the places so described, as it would be difficult to equal the beauty of the grounds and the surroundings. Their was a good sale. For sheep the highest price was �1. and 10s was the lowest. Horses realised 45 pounds to 55 pounds each. The other lots went at good prices. I noticed that Mr Hope has paid great attention to the men's quarters. There were two bathrooms for the men, with hot and cold water laid on. A telephone was provided to wake up the men in the morning. The quarters were excellent.

Timaru Herald, 5 February 1900, Page 3
The next station offered was Rhoborough Downs, near Lake Pukaki, the lease of which has 19 years to run, and which carries 15,316 merino sheep. It was offered by the Farmers' Co-operative Association and Messrs Guinness and LeCren, to wind up the partnership between Mr S. Mackenzie, and the late Mr G. McMillan. Mr Bourn again read the conditions of sale and Mr Guinness said that the numbers of the stock given were approximate, The increase in lambs this year had been 70 per cent. the rent was only 200  pounds a year, and the term of lease 19 years, an exceptionally favourable term. The wool from the station had always commanded a high a price as any in the Mackenzie Country, and as the present proprietors had always been careful about rabbits, they were practically very few. In the memorable winter of 1895, this station had come out as well, if not better than any other. Those present knew why a sale was being made, and the station was practically in their hands. He would take a lump sum to start with. An offer of 5000 pounds was made, and just to make it easy bidding Mr Guinness said that he would take 100 pounds advances. Bidding from two quarters rapidly rose to $6000 and slowly to 6200 pounds when there was a lull, but before the hammer descended 6300 pounds was forthcoming, and at this figure Mr Simon Mackenzie became the purchaser. He was one of (he late partners. Mr Mating (of Messrs Mating and Shallprass) next offered Richmond Station, the property of Mr Arthur Hope, 89,000 acres with 11 years to run at a rental of 250 pounds per annum, and 1695 acres freehold, close to Three Springs. The station carries between 20,000 and 21,000 sheep, and Mr Maling explained that the station was in the market for sale as Mr Hope had decided to remain in England. Mr Hope had put a low reserve on it, the station was well known, and would compare favourably with any other station in the Mackenzie Country. The property as a whole was first submitted, but no bid was forthcoming, and it was then put up in two lots, the station leasehold and the freehold at Three Springs. No offer, Mr Maling then said that the property was for sale, and his firm would be prepared to treat for it privately.

Reynolds, David and Donnithorne, Louise Two Raincliff pioneers / by David Reynolds, Louise Donnithorne.
Christchurch : D. Reynolds, 2006. 284pages. Dewey Class: 993.87 Z Subject: Arthur HOPE & Edward James GOULD
With illustrations, the letter books and diaries of two early European settlers of South Canterbury, giving much information on farming and personalities of the mid to late 19th century

1908 - 1920

Raincliff was sold to W.H. Orbell who transferred the property to George Murray who after six weeks sold the property to Simon McKenzie.??

Ashburton Guardian, 5 October 1907, Page 1 LAND SALES.
Messrs Guinness and LeCren, Ltd., Timaru, report the sale of the following properties during the past fortnight:
On account of Mr C. L. Orbell, 154 acres, being part of the Rolling Ridges, situate at the Levels, to Mr A. G. Hart;
on account of Mr W. H. Orbell, 317 acres, being part of the Rolling Ridges, situate at the Levels, to Mr J. Divan;
on account of Mr Arthur Hope, his well-known Raincliff estate, Pleasant Point, containing 2154 acres of freehold and 1200 acres of leasehold, together with new stone and tiled mansion, containing 25 rooms, and farm and station buildings, to Mr Geo. Murray.

Ashburton Guardian, 20 June 1908, Page 4
Messrs Guinness and LeCren, Ltd., Timaru, report the sale of the following properties during the past month: for Mr George Murray, his "Raincliff" estate, situated at Pleasant Point, containing 2133 acres of freehold and 1197 acres of leasehold, also sheep, horses, cattle and farming plant, to Mr W. H. Orbell.

1920 - 1926

Simon Grant MacKENZIE owned Raincliff from 1920 to 1926. He purchased Clayton Station 30th July 1925 for his three sons and then sold Raincliff.  Simon was born in Australia and came across to Canterbury in the 1880s and started buying up land and stock at a time when the very depressed prices of the time were on the rise. He was related to William Grant who worked with him.  They had previously owned stations in the Mackenzie and Simon had interests in four stations in Queensland, Australia.  In 1881 the brothers William and Andrew Grant was in partnership with Arthur Hope in Richmond station in the Mackenzie. [William Grant retired to Timaru, purchasing Elloughton Grange from T.W. Hall, continued as a successful sheep dealer. Andrew d. 9 Sept. 1889.]

1927 - 1955

Major Percy Hawkins Johnson (1868 - 1955) was originally from Billerica, England owned Raincliff from 1927 -1955.  He ran Angus Aberdeen cattle on Raincliff.  He was very knowledgeable in exotic and native trees and an advocate in forestry to halt erosion.  Died in Christchurch in 1955.  He climbed the Mount Cook region with Marmaduke Dixon and G.E. Mannering. A large lichen covered boulder from the Mount Cook region with three plaques outside the Pioneer Park gate records his adventures. Johnson was a foundation member of the New Zealand Alpine Club and with G. Mannering and Marmaduke Dixon, came close to being the first to conquer Mt Cook.

Star 27 February 1892, Page 2
Johnson - Dixon. Feb. 24, at St James's, Cust, by the Rev. T. A. Fendal, Percy Hawkins, fourth son of H. Warton Johnson, of Seven Oaks, Kent, England, to Amelia Mary Elizabeth, youngest daughter of Marmaduke Dixon, Eyrewell, West Eyreton.

Poverty Bay Herald, 1 August 1918, Page 3
Mr. Marmaduke John Dixon, of West Eyreton, who died yesterday, was widely known. He was the eldest son of Mr. Marmaduke Dixon. After completing his education at Christ's College he joined his father on the estate in North Canterbury. In 1893, under his father's direction, the late Mr. Dixon successfully carried out the first large irrigation scheme in Canterbury. The home estates came to Mr. Dixon on the death of his father in 1895. In his younger days Mr. Dixon was an enthusiastic alpinist, and had ascended to within 100 feet of the summit of Mt. Cook. In 1890 he took an active part in exploring the region's round Mount Cook and the Tasman glacier. Leaving Mt. Cook in company with Mr. Guy [George Edward] Mannering, he paddled his canoe down the Tasman river and down Pukaki lake and river and the Waitaki river. The following year Mr. Dixon was one of the three founders of the New Zealand Alpine Club. In 1897 he was married to Miss Mabel Courage, of Seadown, Amberley.

Star 29 July 1891, Page 1
The adjourned meeting of the recently formed New Zealand Alpine Club was held at the Commercial Hotel last night. Fourteen members were present, and Captain Hutton presided. The rules were considered seriatim, and adopted. Among the provisions were that both ladies and gentlemen are eligible as members and subscribers, that the annual subscription for members be 1 pound ls, and for subscribers 10s 6d, that the annual meeting be held in November, and that an annual dinner be held. Twenty-seven gentlemen were elected as members of the Club, and live as subscribers. The following office-bearers were elected for the ensuing year:  President, Mr Leonard Harper ; Vice-Presidents, Captain Hutton (Christchurch), Mr E. P. Sealy (Timaru), Mr Malcolm Ross (Dunedin) and Mr J. H. Baker (Wellington); Secretary and Treasurer, Mr A. P. Harper; Editor of Journal, Mr G. E. Mannering ; Executive Committee, Messrs M. J. Dixon, G. P. Williams, P. H. Johnson, J. T. Meeson, F. Graham and C. H. Inglis ; Qualification Committee, Messrs Mannering and Dixon. Mr Dixon showed an ice axe of local make, manufactured by Mr Martin, of West Eyreton, which he (Mr Dixon) pronounced equal to any imported axe. The meeting then closed.

St Thomas's Eyreton gravestones. Eyreton is just north of Christchurch on the South Eyre Rd.
JOHNSON - Catherine Amelia Mary Elizabeth, d. 2 Oct. 1939, age 69, dau. of Marmaduke Dixon of Eyrewell and wife of
JOHNSON - Percy Hawkins, b. Billericay, Essex, 1868 - 1955, late Raincliff & Mount Torlesse.

Also at buried St. Thomas' is SPENCER-BOWER - Olivia, (artist) April 1905 - 8 July 1982, twin of Marmaduke
SPENCER-BOWER - Agnes Rosa Marion, 1866 - 1960 dau. of Marmaduke & Eliza Dixon
SPENCER-BOWER - Anthony Marmaduke Orme, (of Claxby) 13 April 1905 - 27 Feb. 2004, age 98, twin of Olivia s/o Agnes Rosa Marion (nee Dixon) & Anthony

Mrs Rosa Marion Spencer-Bower nee Dixon (1865-1960) was born at "Eyrewell" West Eyreton, Canterbury d/o Marmaduke Dixon. She studied at the Canterbury School of Art. In 1901 studied at the Slade School of Art, London and with Signor Nardi in Rome. Married in England. Painted famous gardens for owners. In 1919 came back to live in Canterbury bringing her son and daughter (Olivia) Best known for watercolours of English woodland scenes. Reference: 19th Cent. NZ Artists Una Platts

1955 - 2002

The W.J. Quantock family purchased Raincliff. Peter and Shirley Quantock and family ran the property, diversified by offering farmstays and sold the property in 2002. 

2002 - 2005

The Swedish born Hans Rausing, a billionaire, lives in England, made his fortune from the sale of milk cartons now owns Raincliff.  The Ingleby Company Ltd, owned by The Ingleby Trust of the U.K., had approval to acquire Raincliff Station for $NZ9,450,586 from the Quantock family, April 2002, for three times its valuation. The Ingleby Trust of the U.K. is a holding company of the Rausing family. The tax avoidance obsessions of the richest man in Britain, Hans Rausing, were the subject of an investigative article in the Guardian. Playing the System, by Nick Davies, 11 April 2002. Ingleby proposes, to operate the property as an intensive cattle finishing and a deer breeding and finishing farm, and will upgrade and improve the property to run increased stock numbers, enhance productivity and product quality. Under recent changes to tighten rules on foreign ownership of farmland, overseas buyers are only be able to buy property first offered to New Zealanders on the open market and prove the purchase was in the national interest.

The Dominion Post | Thursday, 2 August 2007 - Ingleby already owns Raincliff and an adjoining property in South Canterbury, Pakira, Waikura, Puketoro, Waitahaia, and Ruatahunga in the Gisborne district, and Puketiti and a farm near Piopio in the King Country. The Rausing family has won approval from the Overseas Investment Office to buy the 595-hectare (about 1500-acre) Katoa Station at Te Araroa, in the Gisborne district.


Blakely Pacific purchased Raincliff Forest, off Middle Valley Road in South Canterbury, in 2003 from the Maoris, Ngai Tahu. There is an open invitation to use the walking tracks. Walking and cycle access is permitted in weekends, public holidays and weekday evenings after 6 pm without the requirement of a permit. In all other forests a permit is required for all access. In times of high fire risk or strong wind, public access may be restricted.


David Morgan and his family migrated to New Zealand from Bwlch, Brecon, Wales in 2002 to manage Raincliff Station for an English investment company. David was into deer farming in Wales and had established the family firm Welsh Venison Centre. When the investment company put the farm on the market in December 2005, David Morgan along with his wife Janet and a 50-50 equity partner-purchased it. Raincliff Station Ltd, incorporated Feb. 2006. Mr Morgan runs a mixed livestock enterprise consisting of 5000 deer as well as 2500 breeding ewes and 3000 cattle of which 1200-1500 are dairy grazers. They also grow 80 hectares of cereals, 20 hectares of potatoes and 200 hectares of winter feed.

May 2011 statement by Mr Morgan NZ Deer Conference, Timaru  May 20011. I became involved in the deer farming industry in 1983 as an 18-year-old working on deer farms in New Zealand. On my return to Wales, I started farming deer on my own account. I developed a totally integrated value chain, incorporating farming, slaughtering, processing and marketing to hotels, restaurants and the retail sectors. In 1991 I gained a Nuffield farming scholarship studying venison and lamb processing and marketing. In 2001 we secured a farm in New Zealand and in 2002 moved here to manage a mixed livestock farm with huge potential to expand. This was on behalf of an investment company based in Europe. In June 2006, Janet and I took over the business on our own account in an equity partnership. We run about 20,000SU of which deer make up 40 per cent.

Dream of deer farming life now a reality by Ruth Grundy
The Timaru Couirer
David and Janet Morgan are living their dream. But for these Welsh born South Canterbury deer farmers it is a dream well grounded in reality and sheer hard work. Deer are my life and my life is my deer, Mr Morgan said, as he welcomed 190 visitors to Raincliff Station. The visit to the station inland from Timaru was part of the Deer Industry New Zealand conference. Mr Morgan and his family migrated to New Zealand in 2002 to manage Raincliff Station for an overseas invest ment company. When the investment company put the farm on the market in December 2005, the Morgan's went into an equity partnership and bought it. The family run an integrated farming system deer, sheep, cattle and some cropping over two blocks covering 1761ha on the historic South Canterbury run. Just over 300ha is irrigated with water from the Opuha Dam. As well as venison, the Morgan's and their staff work to produce quality velvet stags and some trophy stags. Through various presentations throughout the day delegates to the conference were told timing and balancing the needs of the various stock with the feed resources and market were key to making sure the integrated system worked successfully. For Mr Morgan it has been a bit of a transition since he arrived in New Zealand on his first ever trip away from home wanting to be a world champion sheep shearer. Realising that was not quite the dream he was trying to catch he signed on for lambing on a large scale on South Island high country stations, notably Mt Linton. He had arrived at the tail end of the chopper days the days of live deer capture by helicopters pioneered by Sir Tim Wallis, and got the deer bug. He returned Wales and farmed during the Maggie Thatcher days. After a mishap on farm his prize deer became venison, which he took to the Austrian chef at the local pub to cook and serve to customers. The result was a revelation. We could see this was the way to go. Once customers had the opportunity to try chef cooked venison they wanted to try it at home, an example of market driven demand. The Morgans began to kill one or two deer a week and soon established a successful processing and marketing business, and survived the BSE challenge and the outbreak of foot and mouth all the while keeping in close contact with friends in the New Zealand industry. When he was approached by an investment company which wanted someone to get involved in New Zealand he was falling over himself to get in. It was a young man,s dream . . . good backers, good advice. However, deer proved not to suit the long term goals of the owners and so in 2005 Mr Morgan was told by the company it wanted to sell. It was then all resources were pooled and the dream became reality. After a long haul things are finally starting to drop into place: Passion and drive can get you through a lot, but it is good to see all the ducks lined up this year. In 2002 the Morgans set as their goal the production of 400kg of product per hectare. This year they reached 322kg per hectare. That's the challenge... That's when it becomes a bit of fun because that's when there's a bit of profit, Mr Morgan said. And he had not forgotten those earlier days in Wales, when he was able to get close to customers. I'm really keen on getting the consumer to have what they want . . . Markets are looking for quality red meat. Then we have to tell a story and a good story.  Raincliff Station was a finalist in this year's Ballance Farm Environment Awards.

In 2009 the breeding block - 1850 acres, finishing block - 1750 acres (1000 irrigated)
Rockpool unit (separate block for stags and bulls)  - 670acres. A further 1250 acres is leased.
Wintered stock numbers: 2500 breeding ewes with all lambs finished. 400 - 500 hoggets that are put to the ram. 2000 breeding hinds and 800 - 1000 stags. 800 - I year old bull beef, 300 - 2 year old bull beef, 1250 dairy heifers on tack. 500 acres of winter feed. (Fodder beet, Kale or Swedes) 50 acres of potatoes, and 100 acres of barley. The labour on the family farm consists of David and six other members of staff, with help from his wife Janet and the three children.

2010: 23,000 stock units on the 4,500-acre deer farm.

2019 Beautiful. Reminds me of T.D. Burnett's Wanted ad from 1889 now in 2019 a modern variation with a coloured image with a reply via email.


Raincliff Homestead -  March 2002.

The 1,330 hectare Raincliff Station, 12 R.D. Pleasant Point, in rural South Canterbury, 19 km from Pleasant Point and Fairlie, 35 km from Geraldine, has a ten bedroom two-storey homestead at the end of a 2km driveway flanked by poplar trees looks unchanged on the outside since the 1950s is surrounded a manicured lawn. The house was built in 1905 from limestone quarried from the property.  It is on private property and is not open to the public. The station 14km from Pleasant Point has five houses and the homestead.  Maori rock art can be found on private property on the limestone bluffs in the Raincliff area.  

The Raincliff Youth Camp and Conference Centre has accommodated groups, since 1971. In 2011 1038 youth and 901 adults made use of the Raincliff Camp and the camp was utilized on 152 days by 49 groups throughout the year. Cliff Robertson of Timaru has clocked up an impressive 45 years' service with the Raincliff Youth Camp. He drew up the original plans, helped raise the funds and build the facility, served 15 years as chairman, 25 years as treasurer, and now is a project manager, and heavily involved in the ongoing development of an adventure playground.

South Canterbury NZGenWeb Project

Evening Post, 31 May 1899, Page 2
The Timaru Borough Council has relet its reserve of 2000 acres at Raincliff, 400 acres at 3s 6d, the rest at 3s. The Council was offered 5s an acre by the late tenants before the litigation over the lease. This litigation cost the Council 600 pounds.

Hawera & Normanby Star, 6 April 1905, Page 2
M. Gudex, the winner of the long jump (open) at the Timaru High School sports, underwent several changes of costume during the progress of the event. Starting (reports the Herald) in full ordinary dress including boots and even cap, he jumped 14ft 3in. Thinking he might do better with less weight, he removed his coat, and, thus lightened, his jump went to 15ft. The shedding of his vest added another six inches. By this time he was getting warmed up to the game, and armed himself with proper pumps. The effect was immediate  he covered 17ft. Then he disappeared, and when he was ready for action again he was in full athletic costume. Thus garbed, he established a school record by covering 18ft 6in.

Wanganui Herald, 13 November 1907, Page 4
In Canterbury the Department was fortunate enough to purchase a very fine plantation some fifteen years old at Raincliff, containing 50,000 trees, principally larch. Oak, ash, sycamore, elm, chestnut, and lime, as well as the more prominent conifers, are also to be found growing there with amazing rapidity.

Evening Post, 17 December 1909, Page 3
CHRISTCHURCH, This Day. A scientific expedition, consisting of Dr. L. Cockayne, Mr. Speight (assistant curator at Canterbury Museum), and Messrs. Gudex and Wigley (Canterbury College students), has returned to Christchurch from a visit to the head-waters of the Rakaia River. The members were away for ten days, and were very successful in their work, gaining a great deal of fresh knowledge of the region they visited. Mr. Speight traversed the Lyall glacier to its source in the snowfields 5000 ft above sea-level, and Dr. Cockayne botanised with considerable success, and found much to interest him. Instead of the usual beech forest of the Canterbury sub-Alpine region, there is one of totara, within which the native holly grows to enormous dimensions, stretching out widely -spreading branches horizontally for 40ft or more, pale brown in colour, and with long hanging papery strips of bark. In the forest, also, there is the mountain ribbonwood, gaya ribifolia, which in the proper season is covered with its dewy-like white blossoms. This particular species does not go beyond the regions of the western rainfall, being replaced in the dryer eastern locality by' the closely-related gaya ribifolia. Much of the totara forest has been destroyed by fire, but Nature is ' making a brave effort to repair the damage, and a new growth, corresponding with that of the higher regions, and made up of various kinds of shrubs, is rapidly being reinstated, while it "is almost certain that this in its turn will be transformed into such forests as were there originally. The rarest plant of the region is Godley's buttercup, which is confined to the central Southern Alps between Mount Cook and Browning's Pass. In appearance it resembles the well known mountain lily, but the flowers are yellow instead of white, while the leaf has no shield like the stalk in its centre. "Generally speaking," said Dr. Cockayne, in describing the results of the expedition, "bird life was not conspicuous. We saw one or two wekas in the open, and- a few tiny riflemen in the forest. On the river-bed of the lake stream, about as far from the sea as it was possible for them to get, was a nesting colony of the- common blackbacked gull. The only birds in any abundance were Paradise ducks. These we could both see and hear everywhere on the river-beds. Blue ducks were rare, only one or two pairs being noted. As far as the botanical results of the little expedition are concerned, I did not find any new species or any great rarities, but I will be able to prepare a list which will probably embody three quarters of the Alpine plants of the district, and I have mapped out with some degree of accuracy the plant formation hitherto quite unknown up to an altitude of some 5000 feet."

Evening Post, 22 February 1910, Page 7
CHRISTCHURCH, This Day. Results of the University degree examinations are being communicated to candidates, subject to confirmation by letter from the English agent. Of Canterbury College students, Clifford N. Stubbs gains an M.A. degree, with double first-lass honours in mathematics and chemistry. He has also been awarded the 1851 Exhibition science scholarship. D. B. M'Leod has secured the M.A. degree, with first-class honours in chemistry. A. H. R. Amess gets second class honours in mental science, M. C. Gudex second-class in French and German, M. A. Farrow second-class in botany, H. P. Kidson second-class and Irene Wilson third-class in languages and literature. Helen Levereedge passed the final for the B.A. degree, and was awarded a senior scholarship in French. E. A. Jackson passed the final of the 8.A., and was bracketed for a senior scholarship in heat. J. Mann, Ella Garland, Gladys Griffiths, F. V. Frazer, and Gladys Marriott passed the final of the B.A. C. C. Mayne passed the final of the LL.B. J. W. M'llraith, M.A., LLB.

Otago Witness, 10 October 1889, Page 14
From Gapes Valley through to the Kakahu Valley the country is pretty much the same. Some time ago the Timaru people got up a little excitement about minerals in the Kakahu district, but the inspection of certain scientific gentlemen rapidly allayed the excitement. There is little chance of much mineral wealth where limestone is the country rock. A small seam of coal has been struck in one place, and that has been chiefly used for lime burning close to the pit. From the Kakahu district the country does not change, with the exception that limestone shows up more freely, till the Opihi is struck again. I crossed the same river over a long bridge at Temuka, and here another bridge crosses it again ; but following up the valley some little distance instead of crossing the river, the Raincliff homestead is seen, not far from the main road to Fairlie Creek. Raincliff estate consists of 20,000 acres of freehold, owned by Mr Henry Hoare, England, and is without; exception one of the finest estates in South Canterbury. The soil is limestone, and is of excellent quality throughout. About 14,000 acres are laid down in English grass, and this season 800 acres are in crop. I saw the best braid of wheat on the Raincliff estate that I have as yet seen this season. The estate is managed by Mr R. McKay, who certainly deserves credit for the first-class order which everywhere prevails. The homestead is very prettily situated amid a forest of foreign trees. Very extensive plantations have been made over the estate, something near to 800 acres having been planted in all. During the last two seasons a quarter of a million trees have been planted out. The trees, consisting of various kinds of pines and hardwood, such as oak, ash, beech, sycamore, &c, were all raised on the estate. The plantations are chiefly on broken spurs and waste corners, near the roads which pass through the estate. Most of these plantations are young, but in half a dozen years hence they will add ranch to the appearance of a place naturally beautiful. There is some native forest as well in the gullies, and this yields valuable timber, being chiefly totara, black pine, and white pine. There is abundant evidence of the whole country around Raincliff having been at one time covered with totara forest. The estate is bounded on one side by the Opihi river, and on the other by the Ophua, a tributary of  the Opihi. Not far from the homestead these rivers join. There is a very large plantation of tall pines just behind the house, and in front there are beautiful lawns enclosed by trees, and an extensive orchard which" yields large quantities of fruit in the season. This season another large orchard has been planted out on a rich piece of alluvial soil. A sunny face below a limestone cliff has been planted, with peach trees, fig trees, grapes, and olives, which, under the combined influence of the sun's direct rays and the heat; reflected from the white limestone rocks, should ripen well. , The estate runs about 40,000 sheep. A stud flock of merinos is kept on the estate. The parent flock was imported from the flock of Mr James Gibson, of Bellevue, Tasmania. The stud ewes have each a lamb at foot, and some have two. In the latter case one is taken from the mother, and hand-fed; The stud flock is a really splendid one, as the hoggets, will prove to anyone capable of judging. The breeding ewes are all choice animals. There is also a stud of brood mares, and the progeny of young bloods and strong hacks, yearlings and two-year-olds, show to advantage. On the whole the Raincliff estate is a splendid one, well managed, tidily laid off, and well farmed. The farming is chiefly done at the upper end of the property, which is handy to the railway station at Fairlie Creek.    

Adjoining the Raincliff property is that of Allandale, the estate of Messrs J. and S. Wilson, 9500 acres in extent. The Messrs Wilson carry on a system of mixed farming. They have about 1500 acres in crop this season, of which half is wheat and the other half oats. In addition about 1700 acres will be sown in turnips. The rest of the property is in English grass.  The estate is a particularly good one, consisting mostly of nice arable ridges, all on the limestone formation, and quite close to the railway station at Fairlie Creek. Wheat yields from 85 to 45 bushels, and winter-sown oats last season yielded up to 40 bushels to the acre. A good business is done in the frozen meat trade. From 11,000, to 17,000 sheep are run on the estate. Last season 20,000 bushels of wheat were sent away from the estate. The Messrs Wilson plough with their own teams, and have 11 teams at work at the present time. They have a steam threshing mill, and do all their own threshing. The winter wheat is looking extremely well, and after the welcome rains will coon cover the ground. On account of the dry winter the sheep have done unusually well. At the time of my visit the ewes were in the thick of lambing, and there were scarcely any deaths. The sheep were fed very successfully through the winter on turnips, with straw chaff and bran in the proportion of one bag of bran to 10 bags of chaff. The bran induced the sheep to eat the chaff freely, and had a good effect in the way of keeping them in health. Ten tons of bran were used up in this way. All the chaff used was cut on the premises. Altogether Allandale is one of the best farms anywhere around, being very little inferior to the best farm in South Canterbury. Leaving the Allandale estate, the road descends to the river flats of the upper Opihi. The soil is good, but the shingle comes too near the surface. On Mr Milne's farm of 2400 acres very large heaps of stones have been piled up, and these must have cost a good round sum to pick up. Every ploughing brings up a fresh lot of stones to the surface, so that if this land is farmed stone gathering can go on indefinitely. These river flats are better adapted to grazing, and sheep fatten remarkably well after grass has been surface sown.

The Ashwick Station, belonging to Messrs W. and J. Brown, Scotland, is the next estate entered upon. The estate consists of 6700 acres freehold and 32,900 leasehold. Mr D. M'Intyre, formerly of Cottesbrook, in Otago, is the manager. The freehold is mainly river flats and the foothills of the Ashwick range. A good part of the flat land is under cultivation, and produces very fair crops, but these flats are better for grass. Being near the mountains rain falls frequently, so that grass is in general abundant. The homestead stands at the base of a pretty wooded hill planted out with foreign trees. There is a nice plantation also around the house, with a neat lawn in front, beautiful with streams and ponds. The leasehold run is rather high  and rather poor. The snow lies low down on the Ashwick range for the greater part of the winter, though sheep fatten well in summer if the run is not too heavily stocked. About 23,000 sheep are run on the estate, principally merinos, which suit the high country best. The sheep are run for wool only, and last season there was a very good clip. In favourable seasons the high country grazes pretty well, but often it is too dry. The freehold of Ashwick lies between the rivers Opihi and Ophua. Across the latter there are some other large estates, which I did not visit. Ashwick is about 40 miles behind Timaru, quite close to the gateway of the Mackenzie Country at Burke's Pass. I fain would have entered this wild country, and gazed upon the marvellous beauty of Mount Cook, but it is too early in the season yet to do so with safety.

 On the return track, after pretty well heading the Opihi, which I crossed where it is no bigger than the Water of Leith several other magnificent estates are passed through. Of these I can only mention the Three Springs estate, just opposite Ashwick, and Albury station, lower down. The manager of the former I did not succeed in finding at home. The Albury station consists of 15,000 acres freehold and 13,000 leasehold. It is held by the Bank of New Zealand, and is managed by Mr E. Richardson. The bulk of the freehold is good low ridge land on limestone. It is pretty well all laid down .in grass. A big trade is done in sheep freezing off this estate every season. Albury runs ' about 35,000 sheep, chiefly crossbreds. The freehold land is some of the best in the district. The homestead is remarkably pretty, overlooking the Tengawai river, a tributary of the Opihi, and with the Albury range behind. About 200 acres of plantation have been laid out. This is a really splendid estate, and it is a great pity that it is not held in good farming areas instead of being held in one large block.

Timaru Herald, 23 July 1879, Page 3
Mount Peel Road Board
The Overseer was instructed to invite tenders for the following works :
(1) Ploughing 50 acres at Reserve 1859, Sherwood Downs;
(2) Shingling the road near Peel Forest;
(3) Forming the road through Worthington's section, Raincliff.

Pioneer Park. photos A better spot to view Maori rock art is along the Kurow-Duntroon Rd. Tracks about Geraldine

South Canterbury NZGenWeb Project