Tawa Historical Society



By Elsdon Best



    We will now turn from the red field of war and the daring exploits of the Porirua Navy, and see how the district became roaded, for Wellington was isolated for years after its first settlement, until the roads to Pae-kakariki and across the Rimutaka were made thus opening up the west coast and Wairarapa districts.


    This article is taken from the publication “PORIRUA :   AND THEY WHO SETTLED IT” by Elsdon Best that was serialised in the Canterbury Times commencing 4 March 1914.   Elsdon Best (1856-1931) was born on his father’s farm known as “Grasslees”, Section 48 Tawa, and became one of Tawa Flat’s notable son’s becoming a pre-eminent Maori scholar and historian.

    When Europeans first traversed the rugged bush-clad hills between Porirua and Wellington Harbour, they used the old Maori trails.   The first used by the pioneer was that running over the hills from the Korokoro stream to Tawa Flat and on to Porirua Harbour.   When the settlers occupied the site of Wellington city, the Native track from Kaiwharawhara across Paerau hill, came into use, which track junctioned with the first mentioned one at Takapu (Section 35).   This track was approved by the New Zealand’s Company’s workmen, and, when the line was run for the new road, the only deviation of any moment from the old track was that made round by Crofton, or Ngaio, in order to avoid the steep ascent to the Paerau peak.
    Another old Native track left Ngauranga near the site of Cameron’s mill, ran up a ridge east of the stream, and connected with one of the two mentioned above near Johnsonville.
    The track running down the Keneparu creek across Tawa Flat forked at Section 57, one branch running across the low hills to Takapu-wahia, on the western shore of the bay, the other continuing down the stream to the site of the present hamlet of Porirua, thence crossing the Aotea stream (Cameron’s Creek) and onward to the Native settlements at Papakowhia and other places on the eastern shore.
    In a report on the Port Nicholson district written by Captain Collinson of the Royal Engineers in 1848, appears the following: – “Between Porirua Harbour and the Hutt Valley there are three bridle paths used by the Natives, one from Pito-one coming out on to the cart road four miles short of Jackson’s ferry; this is called Korokoro track.   One from a place called Boulcott’s five miles up the Hutt from Pito-one, over the hills, coming out at Paua-taha-nui; this is called the Pare-raho track.   One from the cart road halfway between the gorge and Mungaroe (Manga-roa) over the hills, coming out at Paua-taha-nui; this is called the Purehurehu track, and is seldom used.”
    The track called the Korokoro above is shown as leaving the beach at the mouth of the Korokoro stream, ascending the hills and leaving the stream to the east, then descending to the Kenepuru steam at its junction with the Takapu (Section 35).   The second mentioned is the old Maori track from Belmont to Paua-taha-nui.
    The writer continues: – “There are two paths from Wellington to Ohariu, one going straight to it over the hills from the north end of Wellington, which is called the Otari path, and one by a place called Karori, three miles south-west of Wellington.   The first four miles of this is a cart road.   There is a path used by the Natives from the coast near Wai-nui (near Paekakariki) to the Wairarapa Valley, passing across the head of the Hutt Valley and crossing the Rimutaka range half a mile north of the bridle road.”


    This was certainly a pre-European track, and was used by the Hutt Natives in 1830 and 1840, when the first settlers arrived.   It was traversed by Mr E.J. Wakefield in March 1840, who tramped up the coast to Whanganui, with Natives to carry his baggage from him.   He left Pito-one on March 13 or 14, 1840, and says: “I started up the steep path beyond the ‘throat’ (Te Korokoro) stream.”   He continues: – “We ascended a steep hill, through extensive potato gardens belonging to Tuarau, and from thence had a noble view of the harbour and the infant settlement.   After a tedious march of two or three hours over very undulating ground on the top of the range. … We came to a brow of the descent, from which we had a view of a narrow wooded valley, and a peep of the sea of Cook’s Strait over a low part of the further hills.   On descending the hill, we found ourselves in a fine alluvial valley, through which a considerable stream brawled and cascaded.   Noble forest trees and plenteous underwood intercepted all view of anything but the beaten track along which we progressed.   Just about dusk, we emerged from the forest into a jungle of flax, shrubs and long reeds, at the spot where the stream discharges itself into an arm of the sea, which forms part of the harbour of Porirua. … Wooded hillocks of moderate height surrounded this arm, and gave it the appearance of a small inland lake, which trended away to the north-ward.   I was anxious to push on to the spot where Geordie Bolts (Thoms, the whaler) of Te Awa-iti, had his whaling station. … On advancing about a mile along the flat muddy beach of the harbour, I came to a hut where three Europeans were gathered round a fire.   They told me it was yet two or three miles to the station, and that the tide was now up to the foot of the wooded hills further along, leaving no dry path.   I therefore accepted their offer of a part of their hut.”
    The brawling stream above mentioned, which was reached at Earp’s place, is, of course, the Kenepuru stream, or Tawa Flat, an old name of which creek is said to have been Wai-hakatokato.
    We find that this track from Te Korokoro ran up the ridge, on the right bank of the stream, as marked in Collinson’s map.   In another account of the above trip Wakefield remarks that he shot a huia while ascending this track, and that the local Natives are in the habit of sending the skins of this bird as presents to the Natives of northern parts.


    One of the earliest tramps over the old Native trail from Porirua to Te Korokoro, made by Europeans, was that described by Mr J. C. Crawford in his “Recollections of Travel in New Zealand”.   This occurred late in 1839.   Most of the early writers were careless as to giving dates, and the Wakefield one of the most exasperating.   Mr Crawford came from Sydney to Kapiti in the schooner Success, together with Dr Taylor, Robert Jenkins, Messrs Todd and Rea and other early settlers.   From Kapiti he came on to Mana isle in Munn’s schooner.   “Anchored at Mana, I landed with Captain Munn and visited the Messrs Fraser, who then had a whaling station on the island.   They received us hospitably, that is to say, they gave us a glass of grog.   In the corner of the room sat a large Maori, wrapped in his mat.   He listened to the conversation, but said nothing.   At last, as if displeased, he uttered a hideous and prolonged grunt, and rose to his feet; I was struck with his height and imposing, although savage appearance.   He grunted again, and walked out of the room without speaking.   This was Te Rangi-haeata. … From Mana I was conveyed in a boat to the mainland, and I landed at Korohiwa with Hugh Sinclair.”
    Mr Crawford found that he would not be allowed by the Natives to proceed to Wellington unless he employed some of them as carriers and guides, which he was forced to do.   Ngati-Toa were extremely arbitrary in such matters in those days, not to say bounceable, albeit the oncoming stream of immigration put a stop to it in a few years.
    “The party consisted of the guides carrying potatoes, Thomas Wilson, Hugh Sinclair and myself.   Passing Titahi Bay, and the pretty shores of Porirua, we entered the main bush and travelled up the stream, in a line with whose course the present road stretches.   We crossed and recrossed the stream about seventy times, until at length the path ascended and led us over the summit of the range overlooking the Korokoro.   When I looked down upon the broad waters of Te Whanga-nui-a-Tara, I thought I had never seen a finer sheet of water anywhere. … Bright sunshine gleamed, reflected from the waters, which were dotted with canoes engaged in fishing.”
    Mr Crawford arrived at Port Nicholson soon after the departure of the Tory therefrom, and found only two Europeans thereat, Robinson, the original lone pakeha, and Smith, who had been left there by Colonel Wakefield.   Soon after his arrival he returned to Te Korohiwa, and with Hugh Sinclair, crossed the Straits to Queen Charlotte’s Sound in an open boat belonging to Arthur Elmslie.   On his return to Wellington, in a similar craft, he landed at Island Bay.   The Tory had left Port Nicholson on October 4.
    We beg to warn readers of both editions of Wakefield’s “Adventures in New Zealand” of the errors in his dates.   In many places he gives November, 1939, instead of October.
    The old Native track over the Kaiwharawhara Hill (Paerau) can still be traced, and up that steep trail many a bag of flour has been swagged by the early settlers on the Porirua road, nor were the carriers confined to the male sex, as our worthy friend Jimmy Mitchell could have told you.   We have tramped that trail many times ourselves, in days of yore, though the saints or someone else be praised, always minus the bag of flour.   This track followed fairly closely the route by which the old or first road to Porirua was taken, to Johnson’s Clearing, whence it seems to have run down the ridge west of the road to the frontage of section 21, thence down the left bank of the creek to the ridge above Pyebald’s Corner, at section 24, and along that ridge, apparently above the present road line, to the flat near the junction of the Takapu and Kenepuru steams.   From thence onward to the Porirua Bay it seems to have run principally on the left bank, but crossed the creek a certain number of times.
    There was, however, in the old Maori days, a track that left the above near the old Halfway House at Section 23, and ran up the ridge across Section 21, presumably to connect with the Takapu-Korokoro track.   There was a little clearing on this ridge on Section 21, through which the track ran, and this was a taumata or resting place such as were found on all Native tracks.   After the bush was felled the space occupied by this small clearing became overgrown with manuka.   From this point the track ran up the ridge across Broderick’s place, where in after days, stood one of those old-fashioned clay walled cottages the old-timers often built.   The hollow rut of this old track was still visible in some places in the early seventies.
    When the road was laid off, it followed pretty closely the old track, save that it went round by Crofton, but when the graders, under Captain Russell, proceeded to make it, some alterations were effected in the route, as at the Halfway House, also at Sections 35, 45, 52, etc., hence the blind road by the schoolhouse at Tawa Flat and the double road frontage of some sections, for the road line was altered after the sections were surveyed.   An old New Zealand Company’s map of 1848 shows the original road line.   The deviation at Johnsonville, to avoid Russell’s Folly, was a much later thought; the military ran their road line on the western side of the church and held a steep grade down into the gully south of the Drake homestead.
    Mr Stokes, surveyor, in his report of October 21, 1840, reckons that a “convenient and easy road” might be made from Thorndon or Kai-wharawhara to Porirua, “avoiding equally the hills and the river.”   This “river” was the Kenepuru creek.   He also thought that the road would cross the harbour and run up the valley from Taupo (Plimmerton) over the saddle at Pukerua, thence down to the beach.   Paua-tahi-nui and Horokiri was terra incognita at the time to Europeans.
    The Porirua track began to know horse traffic as early as 1840.   Crawford rode up the coast from Wellington in December, 1840, and states that a party, including Colonel Wakefield and Francis Molesworth, had preceded him.   They went by the old Maori track that ran over the Kai-wharawhara hill.


    Early in 1841 the “New Zealand Gazette” remarked: – “The road from Wellington to Kai-wharawhara is nearly completed.   Sufficient improvements have been made thence to Pito-one to enable foot passengers hand horses to pass conveniently at all times of tide.   The road party is now engaged upon the road from Kai-wharawhara to Porirua.”
    In a report made by Captain Smith in January, 1841, he remarks: – “I am now working hard from hence to Porirua, a pretty and useful little harbour.   … I have two parties opening the route, and I believe we have found the best line for a road.   I hope soon to be able to give out country sections on both sides.   The land is very rich and the timber as fine as I have seen.”
    Captain Smith was the principal surveyor at Wellington at the time.   His “best line for a road” did not give satisfaction.
    From Pipitea Point, Wellington, to Jackson’s Ferry, by the old track over Kai-wharawhara Hill, was a distance of eleven miles sixty-nine chains, while that by the road when made round by Crofton was thirteen miles seven chains.
    Mr E.J. Wakefield, who returned to Wellington from Whanganui on April 19 (?1841), says: – “In the six weeks during which I had been absent, a road long in progress round the west side of the harbour (Port Nicholson) had been completed by the Company’s labourers, and Sam Phelps (he who condemned Shortland’s eyes to perdition) had been the first to drive his bullock dray to Pito-one.   A bridle road from Kai-wharawhara to Pori-rua was also in progress, as well as one from the town into an elevated valley of some extent, called Karori, situated a mile to the south-west.”
    In May, 1841, the “Gazette” announced that the road from Wellington to Kai-wharawhara and thence to Porirua was nearly finished.   This simply meant that a rough track had been broken out as far as the connection with the Korokoro-Porirua Maori track.   The early journals applied the term road to the most primitive track.   Some of the statements made in the “New Zealand Journal” in the early forties as to roads, etc., were quite incorrect.   In a letter from Mr Stokes, dated Wellington, April 13, 1841, the writer states: “Colonel Wakefield has lately directed a road to be cut from this place to Porirua, which is half done.   Persons may now walk there by this route, and in six weeks’ time may ride there.”   That “road” was a nightmare to early settlers.
    In July 1841, the “New Zealand Gazette” stated: – “The road from Kai-wharawhara to Porirua is completed, and has been traversed the whole distance by several horsemen.   (This was a rough bush track with a few small ‘bush’ bridges over creeks.) We walked out a few days since, and could not abstain from congratulating ourselves on the formation of the country about Port Nicholson.   Had the land been level, we should have had the most forbidding of all possible sights, long, straight roads leaving the town in all directions.   Luckily for us, the character of the country forbids this.”   Gallant editor! Of a verity Samuel was a Mark Tapley.
    As early as July, 1841, the Natives are said to have injured the Porirua “road” and destroyed several of the bridges thereon.   At the same time the beach near Otaki was made tapu by the Natives on account of a drowned Native having been washed ashore there.   A letter from “one of the most active settlers at Port Nicholson,” dated July 8, 1841, states that trees were also felled across the road, and that the Natives had been “set on by white scoundrels.”   Two months later it was said of this “road”: “At a very early period it will be necessary to improve it greatly.”   This is quite credible.   The improving was estimated to cost “about £10 a section.”
    Wakefield states that Te Rangi-haeata and his followers destroyed some of the bridges on the Porirua road, “and in some places, trees were purposely felled across the narrow path with a view to prevent the easy passage of travellers.”
    In his work on peregrination in New Zealand and other lands W. Tyrone Power gives the following illustration of the custom of tapu: – “A road or path, or particular tract of sea-coast was frequently made tapu to annoy a neighbouring tribe.   The last of this kind was a path through the Pukerua Bush, at that time the only road between Wellington and the coast, and which was put on by Te Rangihaeata and Rauparaha to annoy the settlers and troops.   They were not long in breaking it, and it was the first path I travelled over; even the Natives did not hesitate to make use of it when they found the imposers were not in a position to vindicate their prerogatives.”
    An old book in the Lands Department gives the distance from Paremata Point to Pukerua by the coast as seven miles sixty-seven chains, and from Pukerua to the Rocky Settlement at Te Paripari as three miles.   In those days, however, persons did not travel between the first –mentioned places by the coast, unless, possibly, when the hill track was tapu.
    Our old friend M’Killop, of Porirua naval fame, records the following: – “Rangi-haeata placed a tapu on the Porirua Road by calling it his back-bone and consequently no one dared trespass on such tender ground, thus cutting off the only means which the out settlers possessed of bringing their cattle and other goods to Wellington for sale.   On its being attempted by an Englishman to drive some cattle along this road in spite of the tapu his cattle were seized, and himself threatened with death.”
    In a report furnished by Mr Mathew, surveyor-general, October 20, 1841, the writer remarks that a track had been cut through the forest as far as Porirua, “which is looked upon as the principal outlet from Port Nicholson and the great means of communication with the interior of the country.”   He speaks of the difficulty in getting a good line of road from the native pa at Kai-wharawhara up the steep hills over which the track runs.   Nor was his opinion of the track much better.   “On reaching the summit of the range, the track descends with almost equal abruptness into a deep and rugged ravine, which forms the channel of a creek (the Kenepuru stream), whose waters flow into the harbour of Porirua.   The track is carried along the side of the ravine, at a greater or less elevation, until it terminates at Porirua.   It would be difficult in my opinion, to select a worse line of road than this for the first ten or twelve miles, the cutting round the spurs would be exceedingly laborious and very difficult and expensive to keep in repair, while the number of bridges required … would be a source of endless expense and trouble.   At a distance of about twelve miles, the road descends into a flat of very good land (Tawa Flat), but of very limited extent.   I have no doubt that a much better line of road than this may be discovered.”
    That better line of road was afterwards discovered in the Nga-uranga line.
    A letter dated October 24, 1841, (“New Zealand Journal”, 1842, p.94), states, “Colonel Wakefield has made two roads, one, a very good one, from this place to Pito-one, the other from Kai-wharawhara to Porirua.   This latter, though a great public benefit, wants breadth and mettling (sic).   In its present state, being through the forest, and a clayey soil, it becomes very muddy in wet weather.   Several people are going to settle on the Porirua Road.”
    From descriptions of this first track made, as given by Mr James Taylor and other early settlers, we can quite grasp that it needed breadth, length, depth, “mettling”, and a few other things.   The first settlers on this “road” located themselves in the neighbourhood of Crofton and Khandallah, or rather that part of the “road” between Kai-wharawhara and Johnson’s Clearing.   This section is often termed Porirua in the early journals.
    In one of his despatches Colonel Wakefield estates, “I commenced my journey northward on horseback on the 30th of November (1841) in company with Captain Daniell, Mr Molesworth, and Mr G. Duppa.   The bridle road to Porirua presented no difficulties, and we reached the harbour in three hours.”   He also remarks that he had lately had the beach track from Pukerua to Te Paripari improved by means of removing many of the rocks and stones.   Mr James Taylor, of Tawa Flat, accompanied Colonel Wakefield on the above trip.
    Heaphy, who left Wellington in November, 1841, remarks: – “The Porirua Road, or bridle path commenced at the Scotch village of Kai-wharawhara.   It winds up the face of the hill to the westward, and after running about four miles on the comparatively flat tops of the hills, it descends to the Kenepuru Valley, and following the course of that stream it emerges from the forest on to the Porirua harbour, along the beach of which it proceeds four miles to the whaling station and village.   This road is not more than five feet in width, and therefore only serves for the passage of cattle and pack horses.   The difficulties which the road party had to contend with on this line were certainly great, as, throughout its while length, it is through dense forest.”
    This improved track followed the old Maori trail from Kai-wharawhara up to the summit of the hill, which was known as Paerau to the natives, and where there was a taumata, a small cleared spot used as a resting place by wayfarers, an old Maori usage.
    Strange sights were seen in the realm of Kararu in those days, and of a verity were curious creatures encountered in the old Porirua trail.   Wakefield describes his meeting a party of young “surveying cadets” just out from the wilds of London: “I had met some of these on the Porirua Road, when I came into town, with labourers and theodolites and other baggage, starting for Manawatu.   I remember laughing at their dandified appearance. … Everything about them was so evidently new; their guns just out of their cases, fastened across tight-fitting shooting jackets by patent leather belts; their forage caps of superfine cloth; and their white collars relieved by new black silk neckerchiefs. Some positively walked with gloves and dandy-cut trousers; and to crown it all, their faces shone with soap. … They were carefully picking their way over muddy places. … They stared at me as though they had considered me one of the curiosities of the interior, turning up their noses at my rough garments. … gaping with horror at my long hair, unshaven beard and short black pipe … viewing with some distrust a sheath-knife with which I was cutting up negrohead tobacco.”   This encounter seems to have taken place in 1841.
    Bishop Selwyn has in his journal the following notes of a walk through the Porirua district: – “I … left Wellington on the 10th October, 1842, with a train of twenty-eight Natives (lucky Bishop!) carrying tents, beds, food, clothes, etc, etc.   My English companion is Mr St. Hill.   Our first day’s walk was only nine miles.   At 6 p.m. we encamped in the middle of a wood, with the river Porirua (Kene-puru stream) running by our side.   The Natives soon made large fires and gathered fern for our beds. … The scene after dark was very beautiful; with the groups of Natives round their fires, and the dark foliage of the wood overhead, with our little white tents under their shelter.   (This at Tawa Flat.)   On Tuesday, October 11, we walked five miles (?) to the estuary of the Porirua (Kene-puru) River, and, as it was low water, skirted its shores for three miles, and then crossed to a small inn, kept by a Widow Boulton; whose two children I baptised.   Our course then lay through a wood to Puke-rua, a Native village, built on the top of a steep bank, commanding a beautiful sea view.”
    Boulton’s accommodation house was situated near the old barracks at Paremata, and the Bishop and his party crossed by the ferry near the barracks.
    In 1842, it was said: “From Puke-rua to Te Pari-pari is generally considered the worst piece of road between Port Nicholson and Whanganui.”
    In a report dated January 28, 1813, Colonel Wakefield remarks: “The new road to Porirua, which passing through the valley of the Kai-wharawhara, avoids the steep ascent of the old Native path which we had converted into a bridle road, opens some of the finest sections of this neighbourhood, and forms a good commencement of a junction with the bridle road which has hitherto been in use.”
    Apparently this new road (long since known as the old Porirua Road) joined the bridle track (or old Native track over the summit) somewhere about where Dick and Mat Hammond lived in the early days.
    The Colonel also states: “The bridle road to Porirua is occasionally obstructed by trees, which I am now removing, and this will widen the line to the extent of twenty-six feet, thereby admitting the sun and wind, without making a dray road.”   This was about all the N.Z. Company did to the Porirua Road, for the days of that company were numbered.
    On April 1, 1843, Mr Brees reported: “The Porirua Junction road has just been completed.”
    When Captain Daniell took up a farm in the vicinity of Crofton, he hired men to make a bridle track from Kai-wharawhara to his property.   The sawmiller who operated a mill in the stream near the present Ngaio R.R. Station, held timber-cutting rights over Daniell’s land, and continued the road to the mill.   This was the commencement of the road to Porirua.   “It was found that Captain Daniell’s bridle road might be continued into that leading to Porirua, so as to avoid some hundred feet of ascent over the first hill out of Port Nicholson by about a mile of circuit, and the company completed this line so as to admit the passage of a dray.”   So says Wakefield.   This means that the bridle track was widened and the road graded and formed to its junction with the old foot track that led from Kai-wharawhara over the high hill above it, and thence on to Johnson’s Clearing, as the site of Johnsonville was originally called.
    In January, 1843, says Wakefield in his “Adventures in New Zealand,” the Company’s agent issued a contract for the clearing of the Porirua bridle road, to a width of six feet, and the felling of the timber for ten feet on either side along the whole twelve miles, so as to admit the sun and wind upon the swampy and muddy portions.   The contractors engaged a large gang of Hutt axemen, headed by a renowned Yankee backwoodsman, who used to pocket many a half-crown by making bets with newcomers as to the number of minutes he would take to get through a tree.   They got expeditiously and creditably through their contract.
    On December 19, 1843, Mr S. C. Brees, surveyor, started to explore for a line of road to the Wairarapa Valley, by way of Rimutaka.   He noted old Native cultivation grounds above the Manga-roa stream, and was informed by Natives that an old track from Porirua to Wairarapa passed near that place.   Brees states that he crossed the main range from Pakuratahi to the Wairarapa side in four and a half hours.
    In a letter from A. T. Holroyd, dated Wellington, January 25, 1844, occurs the following: – “The principal roads already made are the Pito-one Road, the road up the Hutt (now in progress), the Karori Road about four and a half miles, and the Porirua Road extending something less than two miles up the valley from Kai-wharawhara.   A subscription is on foot to extend this road to Mr Seed’s house about half-way between Wellington and Porirua.”
    In August or thereabouts, 1844, Angas went to Porirua and gives some account of his trip and what he saw: – “From Wellington I started on foot through the mountainous forests for Porirua harbour, my companion being Tuarua, or Kopae, a relative of Te Rauparaha, and the son of Noherua, of ‘Tom Street’.   For three or four miles from Wellington a road has been formed through the forest, but the path afterwards becomes a narrow track, little better than a Maori footway; in some places knee-deep with mud, and in others so overgrown with tangled liands and supplejacks as to be scarcely passable.   Fallen trees obstructed the way, and owing to the late heavy rains we were compelled to wade for a considerable distance.   The scenery along this forest track is, for the whole twelve miles, exceedingly picturesque.   The lofty forest, filled with noble trees of gigantic growth, clothed not only with their own evergreen foliage, but with innumerable parasitical plants, ferns, mosses and orchidę climbing up to their very summits, presents a scene of luxuriant vegetation not to be surpassed in the tropics.   Beneath the upper canopy of forest trees, such as the rimu, kahikatea, totara, rata, and many others of enormous growth, there is an undergrowth in these damp and windless twilight solitudes composed of the nikau, and the beautiful tree ferns, the glory of the New Zealand forest, the king of ferns.   It is in New Zealand that the Cyathea dealbata and the C. medullaris may be seen in their native luxuriance, towering to a height of twenty to thirty feet, and occasionally attaining a still higher altitude.   Every valley in the forest is intersected by a gurgling stream; and the banks of the glen on each side are generally clothed with one leafy mass of magnificent ferns, and Dracoince (Cordyline).   Some of the mosses are extremely beautiful, a scarlet fungus enlivens the decaying trees, and there is scarcely a spot an inch square that is not the receptacle of vegetable life in these dense and teeming woods.”
    “On emerging from the forest, we came upon the shores of the harbour; low sandy flats stretch out for some distance, and the hills around are covered with fern and belts of forest descending to the shore.   Many Native houses are scattered along the margin of the harbour, and, as the tide was out, the women were busily employed in gathering pipi, a species of cockle, from the uncovered flats.   The piuna mussel (pinna Zealandica) was found in considerable abundance, sticking in the mud at the mouth of a small river that discharged itself into the harbour.   To the left were extensive Native cultivations and a small kainga or Maori settlement, at which we halted, my companions informing me that it was the place of his father, Nohorua or ‘Tom Street’.   We found the old chief sitting in his potato ground, superintending is people and slaves, who were at work clearing the ground in readiness for the next crop.   He is a tohunga, or priest, … and is a fine-looking and venerable old man, much tattooed.   … His wife, who had recently been ill, was tapu for a certain period, during which period everything she touched became tapu also for the space for three days.   It was singular to observe the various places where she had sat upon the ground, or rested to partake of food, fenced off with a slight circle of boughs struck into the earth, to prevent anyone trespassing on the sacred spots, and thus violating the tapu.”
    In November, 1844, a report showed that two miles seventeen chains of the “New Porirua Road” had been made, partly by the company’s roadmen and partly by Bishop and Stacey by contract.
    Papers of March, 1846, state that the Porirua settlers had been armed and placed under the command of Mr Clifford, and that under his direction a stockade had been commenced on Mr Johnson’s section on the Porirua road.   This was at the place afterwards known as Johnsonville.   This was “for the defence of the settlers, and for the purpose of preventing any predatory excursions of the Natives, and a company of upwards of sixty men has been formed for the protection of the district.”
    The “Spectator” of March 7, 1846, says: – “On Thursday his Excellency, attended by a guard of thirty men under Major Last, proceeded on the Porirua road to examine the stockade erecting under the direction of C. Clifford, Esq., and returned to town again in the evening.”
    This was the place known as Clifford’s Stockade, at Johnsonville.   During the making of the road to Porirua, by soldiers and Natives, each camp occupied by the working parties had its stockade, as a rallying place and means of protection in case of an attack by hostile Natives, who were on two sides of this district, at Porirua Harbour and the Hutt, not to mention the turbulent Taringa-Kuri and his people at Kai-wharawhara.   For some time precautions seem to have been taken against surprise, sentries being posted on what was called Mount Misery and Sentry Hill, on the Khandallah side of Johnsonville.   There was a unique form of sentry box at Sentry Hill, we are informed by Mr R. Woodman, consisting of a part of the hollow trunk of a hinau tree, with the top covered over.   Hence the place was often termed Sentry Box Hill.   Mount Misery was so named because the hapless sentries had a miserable time there when on duty.
    In the journal kept by Captains Wilmot and Nugent, of the 50th Regiment, who walked from Wellington to Auckland via Taupo, Galatea and Rotorua in 1846, occurs the following: –
    “March 17, 1846. – Started from Wellington in company with the Reverend G------ on our road to Whanga-nui.   At about 11am arrived at Johnson’s Clearing on the Porirua Road, where about forty of the Volunteer Militia were stationed, under the command of Captain Clifford, and were constructing a stockade as a protection to the few settlers in the neighbourhood.   The road thus far is good, afterwards there is a mere bush path to Jackson’s Ferry, fourteen miles from Wellington, at the extremity of the Porirua harbour.   We got a boat and proceeded about four miles to the whaling station, where we halted for the night.”
    The “Wellington Independent” of April 15, 1846, states: – “At the suggestion of the gallant officer in command at Porirua, and other military officers, three roads are to be formed, connecting the district: one from here to Porirua, from thence across to the Hutt, and from thence across to Ohariu in Cook’s Straight, with a military depot at each of these places.”
    The first of these roads was soon to be an accomplished fact, but long years were to roll by ere a road crossed the ranges from Porirua Harbour to the Hutt.   The Ohariu road was made after the Porirua road, but was not continued through to Cook’s Strait, until a comparatively few years ago.
    When the road to Porirua was under discussion, the “Wellington Independent” remarked: – “We understand that the military officers express themselves confidently on the benefits which would result to the settlement from the formation of a broad road to Porirua, and from thence across to the Hutt.   This plan would have the effect of freeing these localities from Native aggressions, since a body of troops could be moved at the shortest notice to these important points.”
    In its issue of May 20, 1846, the same paper remarks: – “Since the commencement of the road to Porirua, a body of fifty men of the 58th Regiment has been left to occupy a position at Boulcott’s Farm.”
    The “New Zealand Spectator” of September 26, 1846, states that the Governor had given orders for the construction of three military roads, one towards Taranaki by way of Porirua, another to the coast by way of Karori, and a third towards the east coast by way of the Hutt.   These works were in continuance of the roads made by the New Zealand Company.   For instance, the road to Porirua had already been partly made by the company, which had cut a bridle track through the bush to Porirua, and had also done a certain amount of formation from Kai-wharawhara towards Johnson’s Clearing.   The “Spectator” estimated that the twelve miles of road to Jackson’s Ferry would require the labour of fifty men for three years and four months, which was the number working on that road in September.   The paper proposed that, as fifty men would be sufficient to hold the post at Paremata, the rest of the soldiers should be formed into road parties, in order to get the road made as soon as possible.   Something like this was afterwards done.
    In October, 1846, Captain Russell moved his road party on from the ferry to open up a track further on round the eastern arm of the harbour to Paua-taha-nui and the Horo-Kiri valley.
    Journals of the latter end of 1846 remark: “The parts of the Porirua road now completed look quite like an English mail coach road.”
    Reports of December, 1846, state: – “At Wellington the main lines of road are being prosecuted with vigour.   The troops are engaged upon them, as well as a considerable number of natives, and some of the poorer class of settlers.   The Porirua road is ‘quite like an English road’.   A ferry has been established at Paremata Point in Porirua harbour, under the sanction of Major Last, which will be found a great convenience to travellers along the coast.   The following is the scale of charges: –

 s d
    For crossing at the Point, each person   0 3
    For crossing at the Point, each horse   1 0
    For crossing at the Point, each pig   0 3
    To or from Jackson’s, each person   1 6
    To or from Cooper’s   0 9
    To or from Fort Strode   0 9
    To or from Paua-tahu-nui   1 6

    Cooper’s would doubtless be Mr Cooper’s place on the Whitireia peninsula.   Jackson’s was Jackson’s Ferry, just below the junction of the Kenepuru and Aotea (Cameron’s Creek) streams.
    Local papers informed their readers that on August 18, 1853, “Governor Grey left Wellington on board the Victoria and was landed the same evening at Pencarrow Head.   He was to proceed up the East Coast and then cross to Otaki, having arranged to meet Lady Grey there, whither her ladyship is to be conveyed in a sedan chair.”


    On April 11, 1854, tenders were called for making and metalling the new road from Johnsonville to a point near Mr T. J. Drake’s farm (Paparangi).   This is represented by the present road which was a deviation to avoid Russell’s Folly, the heavy grade military road.   Mr Mexted obtained the contract for the above work.
    The Remutaka Road seems to have been completed late in 1856, and the Wellington “Independent” remarked that Mr Kempton’s team of six bullocks was the first to pass over it, with a ton of goods on the dray.   Prior to that, pack bullocks had been used to some extent to convey goods over the Remutaka.
    About the beginning of 1851 Messrs Brown, Taunton, Ashmore and M’Manaway, of the Nga Uranga Road Association, interviewed the Lieutenant Governor and asked for assistance in making this road.   They were promised that a survey of the proposed line of road would be made.
    The sum of £1000 was placed on the Estimates for 1855 for making the Nga Uranga Line Road.
    In order to explore the valley of Nga Uranga for a suitable road line, a party of surveyors ascended the stream from the harbour, accompanied by Mr Brandon, sen., of Wellington, and several settlers who had, on previous occasions, travelled the route from Johnsonville, and among whom were Messrs Loudon and James Taylor.   This party cut a track with billhooks right through the gorge.   When the work of road-making was commenced, a party of newly arrived immigrants was employed thereat.
    In the Estimates for 1856 it was proposed to spend £2000 on the Nga Uranga Line Road, a similar sum on the Rangi-tikei-Whanga-nui Road, and £5000 in completing the Remutaka Road to Burlings.   The making of roads to Ohariu and Makara was also proposed.
    Early in 1857 local papers stated: – “The progress made on the Ohariu, Makara and Nga-uranga Roads is satisfactory.   The two former will be finished within six months, thus opening up for settlement thousands of acres near Wellington.   A bridle path will be cut through the Nga-uranga Valley in a day or two, and it is anticipated that the road will be open for carts in ten or twelve months.”
    “The ‘Independent’ of September 9, 1857, announced that the men on the Nga-uranga and Ohariu Road works had struck for an advance of wages.   This was owing to the excitement caused by the news from the Nelson diggings.   The men soon returned to work on the receipt of unfavourable news from Nelson brought by an old friend, the raging ‘Wongawonga’.”
    In December, 1857, the same road was much injured by a heavy flood, which destroyed bridges and damaged the mill.   Tawa Flat was also flooded and some stock was lost thereby.
    The “New Zealand Gazette” shortly afterwards announced that the Nga-uranga Road would be opened in June, 1858, also that the road to Masterton was opened for cart traffic, the road to Makara finished and the road to Ohariu to be completed in about three months.
    The “Independent” spoke of the Nga-uranga Road as “being almost a tunnel, nearly three miles long through solid rock.”   It was in use in January, 1859.
    On the day of the opening of the Nga Uranga line Dr Featherston was present at the ceremony.   One Jimmy Marshall, a local celebrity, aspired to be the first to take a cart through, hence he started for town early with a load of firewood.   On reaching Mee’s bridge he found that others were determined to baulk him, for they had taken up some of the planking, which brought the agile James to a full stop until the road had been formally opened.
    The “New Zealand Gazette” of May 7, 1859, remarks: – “To the lover of the picturesque there is scenery on the Nga-uranga, Ohariu and Makara roads which it would repay many miles of laborious travel to see.   Unfortunately, the freshness of its beauty will not last any great length of time”.
    Heywood, author of “A Vacation Tour at the Antipodes” who visited New Zealand in 1861-62 speaks of the “thinly inhabited” lands between Wellington and Porirua, and describes a ride down the newly-made road down the Nga-uranga ravine: – “The bush on each side and above us was very fine, and the peeps of the harbour from various points of our winding road produced a pleasing contrast.”
    His peeps of the harbour would not be numerous until he neared the beach.
    In January, 1863, Mr J. C. Crawford, accompanied by Messrs David, Ewen, Parsons and Lowe crossed the forest hills from the Upper Hutt to Waikanae, taking five days over the trip.   On his return he walked by what was termed Beetham’s Line from Paua-taha-nui to the Hutt, and complains of the Roman-like directness of the line over rough country.
    Lieutenant M’Killop, he who bombarded the astonished natives at Porirua, tells us something of the road making: – “Large parties of soldiers and natives were now employed cutting and making a road through the bush from Porirua to Wellington.   It was astonishing to see how anxiously the natives sought for engagements at this work.   They were divided into parties, each under the superintendence of a chief of their own, who received two shillings a day, the labourers only getting one.   They were paid regularly every Saturday, and it was amusing to see their delight when assembled for this purpose; it afforded them a never ceasing topic of conversation and calculation as to how these earnings could be most advantageously laid out.   This employment became very popular, and large parties came down the coast several hundred miles to offer their services.”
    “We found them very expert in felling trees, and were apt scholars at learning the use of the various tools necessary for such work, particularly carpenters.   I have seen them using the adze with great precision, steadying their work with the naked foot, which a false stroke would have cut to pieces.   They also became clever at moving the huge trees, after they were felled, to the side of the road, as well as placing them across the streams to form bridges when necessary; using bars, levers, wedges and other purchases necessary for such purposes.”
    Thomson, in his “Story of New Zealand”, remarks upon the good effect of Captain Grey’s policy of employing natives on road works, and believes that it prevented a good deal of dissatisfaction and possible disturbances that might have ensued had the Maoris been idle.   The soldiers and natives fraternised well and talked together as folk of one race.
    Owing to the threatening attitude assumed by the natives, each camp of the military road-makers from Johnsonville to the Ferry (Jackson’s) consisted of a stockade composed of stout palisading, as a means of protection in case of any trouble with the natives.   At that time settlement n the Porirua Road was almost confined to that part between Kai-wharawhara and Johnsonville, there being few settlers north of that point until later on it the forties.   Thus Johnsonville was settled before Tawa Flat, and old settlers began to push north of that hamlet about the year 1848.   The early settlers about Johnsonville were all in the militia, and were often on duty, and acted as sentries on account of rumours of native disturbances, and the report that a large body of hostiles were about to march down the coast to attack settlers in the Wellington district.
    In the corps papers of the Royal Engineers for 1849-1850, Captain Collinson has an excellent paper on the Port Nicholson district, and on a map given he locates the following stockades on the Porirua Road: –
       1.   – Clifford’s stockade at Johnsonville.
       2.   – Middleton’s stockade, just north of Halfway House, apparently about Byass’s Bridge, or Byass’s Corner (also known as Gibraltar Corner), on Section 24 or 26.
       3.   – M’Coy’s stockade, near junction of Takapu and Kenepuru streams, i.e., near Carp’s.
       4.   – Leigh’s stockade at Tawa Flat.
    To these may be added: –
       5.   – Fort Elliott, near Jackson’s Ferry.
       6.   – Fort Strode, on shores of harbour, not located.

    From information supplied to us by Messrs Petherick, James Taylor and James Wall, we are able to locate precisely all these stockades, save Fort Strode: –
    1.   – Clifford’s Stockade. – This stood on the rise just north of the hotel at Johnsonville, and a short distance back from the road, i.e., east of the road.
    2.   – Middleton’s Stockade. – This was situated on the small flat part of the spur just above the road at Pyebald’s Corner, sometimes called Gibraltar Corner, and Byass’s Corner, that is on the western side of the road (on Section 26).   Built by 58th men.
    3.   – M’Coy’s Stockade was on Section 36, east of the road.   It stood just about on the site of Mr James Taylor’s house.   There was a clearing at this place in the forties, but whether an old Native one or a new one is not known.
    4.   – Fort Leigh, or Leigh’s Stockade. – This was situated just about where the northern boundary of Section No. 41 cuts the main road, and near the spot where Peckham’s cottage formerly stood.   So says Mr Wall, who remembers all the stockades except Fort Strode.
    5.   – Fort Elliott. – This was on the flat on the left bank of the Kenepuru creek, a few chains, say seven or eight, south of the hotel.   After it was flooded in 1846, it was moved across the road and erected on the hill to the westward.
    6.   – Fort Strode. – This does not seem to have been one of the road line stockades.   As Mr Strode was an officer in the police, it is probable that it was a camp of that force.   Mr J. W. Wilson, of Tawa Flat, who was one of the soldiers in the district in the forties, says that Fort Strode was situated a little north of Takapu-wahia, between that place and the old Cooper homestead.   Mr R. Woodman corroborates this statement, and says that he believes there was such a post on one of the low hills in that vicinity.   Mr Wilson was in the advance on Horokiri in 1846.
    Mr Wilson says that Fort Leigh stockade was just north of Peckham’s, and that some soldier road-makers ere at one time camped in tents on the old road line, just north of where Bartlett lived in later years.   These tents were surrounded by a stockade.
    Mr W. Peckham tells us that, when assisting to widen the road just south of Leigh’s stockade, many years ago, he found a number of musket balls that had evidently been buried there.
    Old settlers who remember the floods that, in former days, used to surge down the Kenepuru stream, and cover many of the flats, will sympathise with the occupants of Fort Elliott in the following item form journals of 1846: –
    “The detachment of soldiers employed under Captain Russell on the Porirua road were completely flooded out of their quarters at Fort Elliott, the stockade erected in the neighbourhood of Jackson’s Ferry.   The stockade had been placed on low round, and the neighbouring streams being unusually high the water rose in the stockade to a height of four feet, and the detachment was obliged to remove to the camp at Porirua.   The ammunition at the stockade, amounting to four thousand rounds of ball cartridge, was entirely spoiled, as also was the greater part of the clothes and baggage belonging to the officers and men.   Two Maoris, who had been engaged to carry a supply of road-making implements to the stockade, were found dead on the road.   There is no doubt they perished from the effects of the wet and cold weather.”
    It must certainly have been rough weather if it killed two Natives.
    Shortly after this time, a flood in the Hutt River destroyed a part of Fort Richmond, at the bridge.
    After the above incident, Fort Elliott was abandoned, and a stockade erected on the hill just west of the road.
    From some anonymons “Notes of a Journey from Wellington to Whanganui in 1847”, we take the following: – “February 23, 1847.   As we stood on the height above Kaiwharawhara, the bay of Wellington lay stretched along, an object of surpassing beauty, clear as a polished mirror, calm and peaceful as a sleeping babe, the hills like guardian angels enclosing it around as if the breath of heaven could never stir its smooth unruffled surface.”
    Now how is this for Wellington? Does the babe still slumber?
    Our travellers proceeds: – “The Porirua road is progressing, although not so rapidly as travellers could wish, but in this country we have been taught to be thankful for very small comforts. … In passing along as far as the Rocky Settlement one is forced to the conclusion that road-making should precede travelling. … Thinking of the old couplet –
    “Had you seen this road before it was made
    You’d all your life long have blessed General Wade.”
    We thought, why not transmit to posterity something like this: –
    “If at first through this bush you had waded your way,
    All your life, for this road, you’d have blessed Captain Grey.”
    “The disturbances of the last year have retarded improvements very much along the Porirua road, but the settlers are resuming their labours with their former energy and activity.   A neat chapel has been erected at Johnsonville, a very sure pledge of future prosperity.”
    The journals of 1847 make some scathing remarks anent the want of knowledge displayed by the surveyor who first located the Porirua road line.   There is much truth in these remarks, apparently, to judge from such evidence as the long abandoned Russell’s Folly, and the many parts of the road diverted from the originally located line along Tawa Flat.
    In a letter written by a man living near Wellington, and dated March 21, 1847, occurs the following: – “We are dreadfully in want of labour; 3s 6d per day is now generally asked by labourers, and this we cannot afford, even if we are compelled to give it.   There are four parties of soldiers and Maoris working on the road between my home and Porirua, and a strong party of soldiers and Maoris continuing the road through the valley (Horokiri).   The intermediate line from Jackson’s Ferry to Paua-taha-nui is not yet begun, but I presume will be shortly.   Waikanae is to be made the principal police station, and Major Durie goes out there almost immediately.   The road to the Wydrop (Wairarapa) is cut nearly to the mountain range.   A second party is following, making the road ten feet wide, and a third, at a greater distance, completing it.”
    In a letter describing a journey he made in search of moa bones, and dated April, 1847, Mr Mantell remarks that “near Te Paripari, a broad, slanting white line marks the new road which is to lead from Paekakariki to Wellington.   This road is now being made by the Natives, who work in small bands, with a European overseer to each ten men, and a superintendent to a party of from fifty to ninety.   From the head of the south arm of Porirua harbour an excellent road is nearly completed by the soldiers and Natives, and by this road we reached Wellington.”
    The following remarks have been taken from a report made by Captain Russell, 58th Regiment, Surveyor of military roads, to Captain Grey, and dated June 24, 1847: – “From the middle of 1846 to 1847 the total amount paid to the Natives of the southern district was £3274.   During the year, and for this amount, they have felled about twenty miles in length by 120 feet in breadth of dense forest, have constructed seven miles of bridle road., chiefly cut out of the sides of steep hills and precipices, and have helped to construct six miles of carriage road, taking part in every operation, such as bridge-making, sloping, draining and metalling.”
    “This amount of labour may not equal that which the same number of expert European workmen would have accomplished, but I consider it exceeds what the same number of soldiers would have performed in the time, while the wages paid the natives have been little more than half of those of European workmen.   In the course of the year 350 Natives have been employed, the greatest number at any period being 280.   They rapidly improve as workmen … an idle workman is fined six pence, or, if so talkative as to interrupt his work, he is placed alone without listeners.”
    Another singular method of punishing a laggard Native workman was to pay him his week’s wages in sixpences instead of larger coins, though how the Native suffered by such a punishment is not clear.   His tale of sixpences for a week’s work would not be a burdensome load.
    Moneys so earned by natives were expended in the purchase of food, clothing and tools.   Settlers and contractors soon outbid the Government in obtaining Native labour, paying as much as 2s 6d per day, a colossal wage.
    In the middle of the year 1847 some of the soldiers who had been working on the Porirua Road under Lieutenant M’Coy were withdrawn and formed part of an expedition sent to Whanganui to deal with hostile Natives at that place.
    In Mr Richmond’s report of August 1, 1847, he states that Captain Russell had upwards of 200 Natives at work at various places on the road from Wellington to Pae-kakariki.
    In October, 1847, W. Tyrone Power went out to Porirua to take a look at his old haunts.   He says: – “I found great changes there.   The road that used to be so bad and dangerous is now merely a pleasant ride, and in the course of the month will be open all the way through for carriages and carts.   On the bay there are several ferry boats, and two or three small inns for travellers; and, in place of our miserable whares and stockade, there is now a fine stone barrack, with capital officers’ quarters and mess room.”
    Colonel Mundy, of “Our Antipodes” fame, who was in the Wellington district in 1847-48, says: – “The great roads to Porirua district and the Hutt settlement were commenced by the company’s immigrants, and completed by Government, chiefly by soldiers’ labour.   They afford pleasant rides, good inter-communication, and are executed in a style that does credit to a young colony, and to the workmen employed.”
    In describing a ride out to the Porirua district he says: – “Nothing can be more wild and beautiful in its way than the forest scenery on the military road between Kai-wharawhara and Jackson’s Ferry, where it debouches on Porirua Bay.   The whole distance of fourteen miles is through a rugged and densely wooded mountain track, with but few clearings.   The line was first opened by the New Zealand Company’s people, and was taken up, improved, widened and completed in excellent style by military labour, under officers who appear to have known and done their business well.”
    “I have no words to describe the luxuriant beauty of the wilderness traversed by this monument of a young colony’s energy and industry, the gigantic size of the timber, the glossy tufted foliage of tree and creeper and parasite, the noble contour of the uplands wooded to their very summits, the dark, tangled and absolutely impervious glens, rock and ravine, brush and swamp, the natural bulwarks of a country inexpugnable except by Angelo-Saxon enterprise.
    “Every third or fourth mile we passed on the roadside the half ruined stockades of the working parties employed in the creation of the road, each known by the name of the officer who had charge of the party.   Rangihaeata, more than once, in his wayward moods, obstructed the labour of the workmen; but had he, with a couple of hundred determined men, systematically resisted their progress, to carry the line through so defensible a country would have been impossible.
    “About half way we came upon a large patch of tolerably level and apparently good land, rudely cleared, where was a straggling bush village (then known as Johnson’s clearing, and afterwards as Johnsonville, from a man of that name who settled and made a clearing there) and, more to our travelling purposes, a snug little tavern, where, in the heart of the wilds of ‘Ahi no Maui,’ we partook of a glass of real good English ale, a most welcome treat.   At length, bursting out of the solemn arcades of the forest, much as the railway traveller bursts into open day from the mouth of a tunnel, we found the beautiful harbour or estuary of Porirua spread beneath our feet, a prospect singularly bright, placid and refreshing to the eye after several hours of sylvan gloom and circumscribed scenery.   Near its shore stands the Ferry House, kept by an Englishman married to a Maori woman, who was dressed in European attire, but with deep tangi scars (mourning laceration) on her face and breast.   Turning our horses into a stockyard, we took to the boats, and, after rowing a short distance down a rushing creek, came upon the open bay.”
    This party included Governor Grey and others.   They left their horses at the Ferry and proceeded to Pare-mata and Paua-tahi-nui by boat.
    Jackson’s Ferry seems to have been located at Section 62, Porirua, which vicinity was, for many years, always termed the Ferry by the surrounding settlers.
    Any hill system was often termed mountainous by early visitors from the mounds and molehills of England.
    Were the gallant Colonel to hie him to Johnson’s Clearing in these sad days, he would find no good English ale awaiting him, nor any inn for that matter.
    Speaking of the harbour, the above writer says, “Porirua Harbour extends north and south about six miles and is separated from the ocean, with which it communicates through a narrow inlet, by a ridge of pretty high land.   With every apparent quality of a commodious wharf, a refuge much wanted on this open coast, its waters are so shallow as to be navigable only by boats of light tonnage.   With exception of the almost invisible mouth the bay is entirely landlocked, and the richest vegetation flourishing down to the tide mark, one can hardly believe that he is traversing salt water.   Killarney itself is scarcely more lake-like.”
    This was before the earthquakes of 1855, elevated this part of the island.   The extent of such elevation at Porirua is not known to the writer, but it must have been quite appreciable when one notes the conditions of Bowler’s wharf as it appeared in the sixties and later at which whaleboats used to lie in the olden days.
    In January, 1848, Colonel Mundy, accompanied the governor in a trip to Whanganui in the Inflexible.   In passing up the coast, he mentions seeing the road line up the steep range at Paekakariki.   “Winding down a wooded hill could be distinguished a portion of the great military road which is being gradually carried along the coast.   This road, like all roads through countries under process of conquest, has been, and will be, one of the most potent instruments of the subjugation of New Zealand.   The native chiefs most impatient of British domination, are perfectly awake, as old Rauparaha admitted, to this feature in road-making, but they find these thoroughfares so useful to themselves that not only do the most mischievous abstain from breaking them up, but, even during warfare, they have seldom opposed any well sustained obstruction to their formation.”
    Caption Russell, father of the late Sir William Russell, of the 58th Regiment, was in charge of the Porirua road works, and his name was perpetuated in Russell’s Folly, the heavy grade, long abandoned piece of road just north of Johnsonville, or Johnstown as some old settlers used to call it, though ever known to native as Wiremotaone (Williamstown).
    A report on the making of this military road, dated January 1, 1848, forwarded by Captain Russell to Governor Grey, contains the following: – “During the last three months, the portion of the road to Jackson’s Ferry has been completed, the working parties, withdrawn, and the road placed under the care of two European labourers … the tolls, when established, will more than keep it in repair.   The expense of its construction has exceeded £700 per mile.   From Jackson’s Ferry a beach road by either shore of Porirua Harbour communicates by means of a bush bridlepath with the Horokiri Road, which was commenced where the bush track terminates at the foot of Rangi-haeata’s hill, the scene of the skirmish of August 6, 1846.   The bridle road is completed from this point through to the beach near Wainui, and, notwithstanding the difficulties of the bush track between Rangi-haeata’s hill and the harbour, the greater difficulties of the Pukerua track, with the ferry, have already diverted the traffic to this line, stock being driven along it to the interruption of the workmen now employed in widening the bridle path at each end of the line, and which Mr Compton’s party has effected to the extent of a mile and a quarter, and Mr Yule’s party two miles.   There remain between these two parties about three miles impracticable for a wheel carriage, which might be opened in three months by one hundred and fifty men.   A vehicle could then be taken through to Wainui.
    “Paua-taha-nui is already accessible by the eastern and southern shores of the harbour, but a good inland road might be made by one hundred and fifty men in six months or less.
    “The labourers employed have been chiefly furnished by the Ngati-awa, Ngati-Raukawa and Ngati-Toa tribes.   The former are preferred for industry and tractability. … The influence of the chiefs has declined. … it frequently produced dissatisfaction and strikes … They are now treated, in all respects, like the other workmen, and are equally under control.
    “They do not now object to the mixture of tribes in working parties, though at first they were much opposed to it.”
    The report also states that many of the workmen were slaves, whose earnings were sometimes taken by their masters.


    The following report on the making of the Porirua and Wairarapa Roads, was written by Captain Collinson, and published in the Corps Papers of the Royal Engineers, vol iv., 1855.
    “Among the various civil undertakings that Governor Grey commenced immediately upon receiving the grant of money from the British Parliament, none were of greater importance than the roads at Auckland and Wellington.   Those at Auckland were the least extensive and characteristic of the country, therefore, those at Wellington will be described.   They consisted of the two described in the third number of the Corps Paper (1850), namely one to Porirua and the north west coast, and one to the Wairarapa Valley.   Previous to 1846, there had been only two or three short roads, constructed by the New Zealand Company, extending a few miles out of Wellington, and these, from the disturbances had fallen into a very bad state; beyond them all was unknown, except to a few settlers and surveyors.
    “The Governor ordered the roads to be commenced, even during the war in 1846; it was rather expected that they would have been of service during that campaign, but carriage roads are not so easily made in a young colony, and these were not completed until 1850.
    “The troops were employed upon that to Porirua, and Captain Russell, of the 58th, superintended the construction of this road from its commencement to its completion, and the greatest credit was most justly given to this officer (who had been educated at Sandhurst) for the manner in which he carried out the Governor’s intentions, in the details both of the road, and the employment of the troops and the natives.   There were four or five detachments of troops of about fifty men, with a subaltern over each, stationed at intervals along the line, two or three miles apart.   They built stockades for themselves in the forest, and worked all day with their arms beside them, keeping guard at night.   It was perhaps owing to this precaution that they were never molested.   They received from one shilling to two shillings per day working pay, and were allowed to dress in blue shirts; and some of them became artificers enough to construct wooden bridges of 100ft span.   This sort of duty was very excellent service for the soldiers; it taught them more of the business of encamping, entrenching, and hutting than they would have learnt all their lives at most stations, and by giving them a habit of acting for themselves, it prepared them all the more for their regular duties in that colony; and many of them who had saved money on the roads, afterwards got their discharges and became good settlers, and were much more fitted for active service in the colony than the pensioners sent from England.   When they came back from the roads to their regular service, their discipline was found to be rather relaxed, but this was not so much from the nature of the employment as from the want of a sufficient number of officers to superintend them on the roads; it was rather a fault in the plan that the whole of the officers were not taken with each company employed.
    “There were also from 100 to 200 natives employed on this line.   They received two shillings a day, and were superintended by Englishmen who understood their language.   They lived in huts near the site of their work, and were supplied with food by their own people some of them coming from Otaki and Wairarapa.   They were very amendable to the working rules, looked upon stoppage of pay as a heavy punishment, and they became apt at the ordinary work for it was a kind of work that suited their peculiar taste of labour, their social habits, and their eagerness for money; on the average they did half a day’s fair work for their two shillings.   The employment of these Natives on the road tended more than anything else to confirm the peace after this last campaign, for it not only occupied them, but caused a great trade in such European articles as they desired, giving them at the same time a taste for new articles of civilisation.
    “The road was about twelve feet wide, winding along the sides of the ravines, and was well laid out and well executed; the soil, a loose schistose rock and clay, being very favourable for it; though, after all, it can only be considered as the foundation of a road, for the metalling and the drainage were not calculated to stand for any length of time.   It cost from £700 to £1000 per mile, the greatest expense being in the cutting and clearing away the gigantic trees.   These were first cut down with a cross-cut saw and America felling axe, and then cut up or burnt, and the roots were afterwards grubbed up or blown out, one root sometimes required a week’s labour to get rid of; crowbars and wedges were chiefly used for this.
    “The Wairarapa road was under the superintendence of Mr T. Fitzgerald, the Colonial Surveyor of Wellington.   Large parties of Natives were employed on it, but no troops; it cost more than the other road and took a longer time to complete, because the greater part of it lay in the flat Hutt valley, where it was about twenty feet broad, and had to be raised and well metalled.   The details were much the same as for the other road, and, as far as it was finished in 1850, it was even superior to it.
    “The effect of the opening of these roads has been, of course, great.   All along both lines, the settlers have extended, for twenty miles from Wellington, and there is now a fair cart road to the commencement of the coast flats to the north-west, and to the beginning of the Wairarapa plain in the other direction, thus breaking through the mountain basin of Port Nicholson, and connecting Wellington with the two grazing districts in those directions, and also carrying the outposts of the settlers so much farther among the Natives.”
    The following items are taken from Captain Russell’s report, dated Military Road Office, Paua-tahi-nui, May 9, 1848: “The Natives work well. … When first employed, they much preferred falling and clearing timber to any other kind of work, but are now familiar with all kinds of tools, and do not appear to have predilection for any work in particular.   Their aptitude is great.   They are easily kept in sub-ordination, much more so than Europeans.”
    The “Wellington Independent” of September 23, 1848, has the notice: – “The road from Jackson’s Ferry, Porirua, to Paua-tahi-nui will be completed in the course of a few days.”
    We know of but one survivor of the Natives who worked on the roads in the Wellington district in the forties of last century, and that is old Rei Parewhanake, of Otaki, who is eighty-eight years of age no (1912).


    In the “New Zealand Journal” of 1849 is some account of a trip from Wellington to Manawatu made by Messrs R. Beamish and R. J. Duncan, who left Wellington on horseback on February 7, 1849.   We cull the following items from the account written by Mr Beamish: –
    “The country on either side of the road looked well, the wheat and other gain crops were assuming a golden colour, cattle were in first-rate condition, and there was a universal appearance of independence and comfort about the settlers and their dwellings. … From Jackson’s Ferry we continued our route along the new military road forming under the 100 Natives, divided into three parties, some distance apart, with an overseer and superintendent to each party.   The road is formed upon high-water mark, with a few exceptions following the windings of the little bays, across three of which there were stone causeways making.”
    The writer remarks that it would be well were the overseers acquainted with road making, so as not to have two or more wheelbarrows waiting for one pick and shovel.   “For the want of practical superintendence, the Natives are allowed to waste much of their time.   They only work from eight to six, out of which they have an hour for dinner.   They pay is two shillings per day, which is double the wages received by a labourer in Great Britain for the same sort of labour; but this is unavoidable, in consequence of the scarcity of labourers in New Zealand.”
    It seems painful that the bloated labourer, who only worked from eight to six, should have been paid the reckless sum of 2s per day, when the meek and pious Britisher was working for 1s.   However, we are informed that it was good policy to employ the Natives, “even at that rate”, as it assisted to cause them to keep the peace.
    At this time the stockade (Rangi-haeta’s old pa) at Pauatahanui was occupied by Captain Russell and his men.
    Of the Native workmen our writer says: – “They are nearly all dressed in European clothing.   They buy their own rations of flour, pork, tea, potatoes, sugar, etc., and also tobacco.   They make their own bread, sometimes from wheat grown by themselves, and ground into flour in steel hand-mills.   They are very particular in extracting as much of the bran as possible, by means of fine sieves.
    “At Horokiri we found Mr Yule’s road party just shifting camp. … They take down their huts, move them to some distance, and re-erect them in one day. … At this place there is a store kept by a European.   There are several stores of this kind on the various road works, that change their position as occasion requires.”


    In an article on the completion of the road through to the coast to Paekakariki, the “New Zealand Journal” refers to it as “the great Watling Street of New Zealand,” and speaks of “the romantic difficulties which have attended its completion.”   These romantic difficulties are not known to us, nor were they known, presumably, at that time.   The romance era of Porirua had faded into “innocuous desuetude” before the completion of this thoroughfare.   This was probably the same wrier that alluded to the Kai-wharawhara hill as a mountain.   He had probably been a denizen of Flat-land as a two-dimension being.
    Shortly after the opening of the road we read that the Hon. W. Petre drove from the Hutt to Waikanae in a gig in one day.
    The last section of the above road, from Pauatahanui to Paekakariki, was begun on January 1, 1847, and completed on November 30, 1849.
    We take the following notes from Captain Russell’s report of December 31, 1849: –
    “The Porirua military road, commencing near Hawtrey Church and ending near Jackson’s Ferry, was commenced on the 1st of May, 1846, by a military party commanded by Lieutenant Elliot.   99th Regiment, stationed near Jackson’s ferry, and a similar party commanded by Lieutenant Herbert, 58th Regiment, was a few days, afterwards established at the other end of the line near Hawtrey Church.
    “They had scarcely begun to work when the attack upon Boulcott’s Farm showed the necessity for stockading the road parties, marching to their work armed and accoutred, working under the protection of sentries, and taking every precaution against similar surprise, to which the dense forest which covered the whole country made them peculiarly liable.
    “In a short time both these parties were called off to take part in the operations against the insurgent Natives, and although other parties were afterwards established under the command of Ensign Middleton, 58th Regiment, Lieutenant Leigh, 99th Regiment, and Lieutenant M’Coy, 65th Regiment, yet the interruptions of the work were so constant that it became evident the number who could be spared from other military duties were altogether insufficient to execute the work with any degree of rapidity.
    “A Native force was then employed. … They were first attached to military parties, but after they acquired some knowledge of the work they were placed in distinct parties, under charge of Lieutenant Elliot, Dr Turnbull and Mr Mantell, their rates of wages being 2s 6d and 3s per day.
    “The distance of Hawtrey Church from Jackson’s Ferry is seven miles and four chains*. … The cost of this section of the road, including bridges, and all other items, was a little over £700 per mile.   Its general width is fifteen feet.   It was opened in December, 1847, having been about eighteen months in course of formation.
    “When this section was opened, Wellington was connected by a good road with Jackson’s Ferry, and military communications became open with the troops at Paremata and Paua-taha-nui by water from Jackson’s Ferry, and travellers could reach the northern settlements by swimming their horses across the mouth of the harbour, and proceeding through the Puke-rua bush to the coast beyond it.   This, however, being inconvenient it was found advisable to open a bridle track round the southern and eastern shores of the harbour and through the Horo-kiwi valley, and afterwards to widen and metal it for drays.   Wherever it could be done with advantage, the beach has been made available as a dray road … so as to economise funds.   This, however, is an inconvenience, and may, at high tide, even occasion delay in getting a dray along. … I have marked the proper course with a line of posts.   My own company of 58th Regiment has constructed three bridges of some size on this section. … I have also constructed on this harbour section three causeways of rough masonry across small bays at different parts of the line.   Two were built by the military, and one, by Mr Compton’s Native party, under Mr Johnstone’s direction.   The length of this harbour section of the road from its junction with the Porirua Road, near Brown’s Inn, to Pau-taha-nui bridge, being six miles fifty-eight chains.   It was made by military parties under Lieutenants Turner and Basalgette, 58th Regiment, and by Native parties under Mr Compton and Mr Mantell.   The cost of this section, including the bridges, causeways, as well as the cutting at London’s Ferry and Tuti-maru (?), amounts to £539 per mile.
    “The Horo-kiri Road, commencing at Paua-taha-nui bridge, and ending near Paekakariki, was begun on January 1, 1847, and completed on November 30, 1849.
    “Operations on the Horo-kiwi section commenced near the scene of Te Rangi-haeata’s stand, and the fight of August, 1846, by a Native party under Dr Turnbull; whilst a similar party, under Captain Newenham, 65th Regiment, worked from Paua-taha-nui onwards, and a third, under Mr Yule, established near the coast, commenced the ascent of the western side of the range at a general angle of 2deg 30min, gaining access to the Horo-kiwi valley at an altitude of over 700 feet. … It is difficult to conceive greater obstacles than were encountered in forming this road. … The cost was £1082 per mile, and the distance from Paua-taha-nui bridge to its termination near Paekakariki is ten miles and sixty-eight chains.   The military parties were under Captain Newenham and Lieutenant Garstin, 58th Regiment, and the Native parties under Captain Newenham, Dr Turnbull, Mr Yule, Mr Compton and Mr Mantell.
    “The total distance from Hawtrey Church to Paekakariki is twenty-four miles fifty chains, or from Kai-wharawhara bridge twenty-nine miles six and a half chains.
    “The total expenditure is £20,410 and the average cost per mile £829, after deducting £750 for the tools and implements in possession, and maintenance of the road since it was opened.   The cost given includes my own and all other salaries.   The military received one shilling per day in addition to their other pay. … Thirty-two men of my own company have obtained leave to purchase their discharge … the money having been acquired by two year’s employment on the roads.
    “Since the commencement of the road the Ngati-Toa, Ngati-Awa and Ngati-Raukawa tribes have alike abandoned their pas, and, with the utmost confidence in Europeans and in each other, have established themselves in open villages, none making them afraid.
    “When we commenced operations there was a practicable cart road only to Mr Boddington’s section, four miles from Wellington.   The remainder was difficult for even an unencumbered man to traverse.   I have known a company of soldiers leave Porirua at daylight and not reach Wellington till nine at night.   At times, when the commissariat at Porirua failed, I have sent parties of Natives to carry flour out to the road works.”
    Captain Russell need not have worried about portions of the Porirua to Pau-taha-nui Road being covered by water at high tide, albeit he could not foresee that an earthquake was going to obligingly elevate this portion of the country.
    The gallant captain may have been guilty of Russell’s Folly, at Johnsonville, and possibly other follies we know not of, but personally we hold him in high esteem, inasmuch as, in his report, he spells Paua-taha-nui correctly, no light task for your Englander.   After perusing over a score of different works in order to cull material for this veracious chronicle, we note that, in this case only, is the name of that hapless village spelt correctly.   We beg to append a list of the different forms of the spelling of the name, culled from many works: –

    Pauhatahanui   Pauatakanui
    Pahautanui   Pakautanui
    Pauhautanui   Pawaitanginui
    Pahatanui   Pawatanganui
    Pawahatanui   Pauatahanui
    Pawatahanai   Pahuatanui
    Pawatahanui   Pauhatahanunui
    Pauatahanui   Patanui
    Pawhaitanui   Pawatanui

    This is all the forms we have collected so far, and we rise to remark that the usual pronunciation is Par-wer-ter-nui (nooi).
    The name Tuti-maru, evidently as corruption of a Native place name, was applied to the vicinity of Long Point (Russell Point).   Local Natives do not appear to now recognise it.
    The road up the Kai-wharwhara Hill did not by any means satisfy the settlers on the Porirua Road, on account of the heavy grade.   It was not until the Nga-Uranga line (as it was formerly termed) was opened that our settlers got an easy grade to Wellington.
    The “Wellington Independent” of February 6, 1850, describes an accident on the old road, in which a horse and loaded cart went over the cliff above the Kai-wharawhara mill-dam.   The horse was killed and the cart and goods destroyed.   “Surely,” says the wrathful “Independent”, “if the Government was bent in its wisdom, contrary to all advice, to make a road up a broken and jagged mountain, they should have erected some fences.”
    The following account of a tramp to Porirua is part of a narrative of a walking excursion from Wellington to New Plymouth in December, 1850, published in the “Australian and N.Z. Gazette” of 1853: –
    “December 20, 1850. – I left Wellington in company with two gentlemen who had come out in the Eden and who were going to Rangitikei to select land.   We reached the half-way house to Porirua at 6 p.m. (the Half-way House stood on section 23), where we were overtaken by Peter C., a Highlandman, and with him we marched forward on as good a road as any in England, but very hilly (?), through a magnificent forest with here and there a clearing.   On reaching Porirua we thought of sleeping at a place called Brown’s Hotel.   It is a mere hovel, and to make matters worse, there were two fiddles going, and a crowd of Natives about and in the house.   They were civil and left the room that we might refresh ourselves, but remained about the house, peering in through the windows, and doorway, or any place from which they could get a sight of us.   Peter C. invited us to spend the night at his house, about three miles down the bay.   We floundered through an abominable flax swamp and waded knee deep in the sea across certain sands … then reached the Native village, which is very populous, for they are here forming a town, have a church, and are building a flourmill, which is nearly completed.   Here Peter was a great favourite.   The Natives cultivate extensive tracts of land in the neighbourhood, principally Indian corn and potatoes.   Each house has its well ordered bit of garden attached.   From here we proceeded to the home of Mr C., who has here a large cattle farm and supplies the barracks at Paremata with meat, bread, etc. … Here we encountered mountains of bread and butter and meat, succeeded by strong ale and cigars.”
    The barracks at Paremata are occupied by some of the 65th Regiment.
    The writer makes no mention of any Native village at Puke-rua.   It may have been abandoned at the time.   In the bush track from Taupo he met a Native who carried a slate under his arm, and who requested our traveller to inscribe thereon divers sums in arithmetic of the white man, with which he passed on rejoicing.
    In the “Australian and New Zealand Gazette”, of 1851, is an account of a trip of one of Mr Hammon’s wagons from Wellington to Whanga-nui, conveying Mr Rees and family to that place.   On Arriving at the larger river the wheels were taken off the wagon, which was taken over on a canoe.   The party left Wellington on February 19, 1851, and arrived at Whanga-nui on February 26.   This is said to have been made in the above manner.
    In a small work entitled, “A Summer’s Excursion in New Zealand,” published in 1854, Major Richardson gives a few notes on Porirua, which he first visited in December, 1852.   From the summit of Paerau (Kai-wharawhara hill) he noted a fine view of the harbour, while “in a glen below us was a mill in full work on the border of a small lake.   Passing through the Kenepuru Valley, in which were several settlers making war upon the forest, we reached Poriurua harbour, where we broke our fast at a village belonging Native friend.   Scarcely an inhabitant was to be seen, but from every hut came sound of lamentation and woe; the influenza had made its appearance among them and prostrated young and old.   There was another sight which tended to depress one’s spirits, a creek divided the members of the English Church from the Wesleyans.   I had heard that religious differences prevailed, and had read that a native chief had expressed an opinion that ‘Heathenism with love is better than Christianity without it’, but I did not believe it possible that these differences should lead to such definite separation. … We proceed along the western (? eastern) shore of the harbour, following its numerous indentations and occasionally fording its small bays, until we reached Paua-tana-nui, where we entered the bush.   Very little land was under cultivation, thought every level spot was appropriated.”
    At Scotch Jock’s (Pae-Kakariki), the Major’s party spent a cheerful evening in the stable, the accommodation house having been lately burned.   The landlord was out of action on account of the “flue”, but his substitute was ably seconded by “two broad, massive-looking Maori women, and by fleas, mosquitoes and sandflies in abundance.”   Having partaken of “what was ill designated a supper, P. entered a stall, accompanied by S., whence were emitted, during the night, sounds of fearful torture.”
    This party afterwards ascended the Waitara River, and crossed the forest ranges to Whanga-nui, which they descended in a canoe to Petre (Whanganui).

* Hawtrey Church apparently was four and a half miles from Kai-whara-whara bridge, on the old Porirua road, the site of twenty acres having been donated by the Rev John Hawtrey and his son. In 1848 Bishop Selwyn speaks of visiting this “little chapel in the wood”.