Built in 1879, Mangawhare is one of the oldest homesteads in not only Hawkes Bay, but also New Zealand. The earliest European settler recorded was Samual Begg, a wool broker. David Balflour & JG Kinross - both Scottish born - were two major figures in the early history of Mangawhare. Balflour kept extensive diaries from 1873 to 1889, which are kept in the HB museum in Napier.
Orginally noted in 1874 as a 86,886 acre farm, Mangawhare Homestead has been owned only by a few families, and was once in the hands of George Waterhouse, the seventh Prime Minister of New Zealand (1872-1873). The Waterhouse family remained at Mangawhare for 34 years.
The story of Mangawhare Station, the homestead and the people and families who lived and farmed there has been well documented in two books - West of the Annie: Renata Kawepo's Hawke's Bay legacy by the RD9 Historical Committee and Early Stations of Hawke's Bay by local historian Miriam MacGregor.
Another historian who helped write West of the Annie, David Hildreth, said the homestead was one of the oldest slices of Hawke's Bay history.
"It was one of the first stations built here. I used to live in it from 1928 to 1948, but even before that it was old." He said "it used to be the only house on the only road from Hawke's Bay to Taihape, and one of the first to get a phone line along that route. It used to be the place to stop off, and the man who built it built the closest hotel, too...."
Come join us at Mangawhare, experience a slice of real New Zealand and make your own history.
Thanks to the Hildreth & Tolley Families- who loved Mangawhare and shared a piece of their history with us.
David Balflour - an early influence on Mangawhare - (Source Patrick Parsons - From "west of the Annie".