The opening up of the Manawatu – the “waste land of the Colony”

As Lois Hall outlines in her history of the Pohangina Valley, large areas of open grassland such as those found in Canterbury and eastern Hawkes Bay had been quickly settled in the 1840s and 1850s, mainly by more wealthy settlers. But by the latter part of the nineteenth century, the government turned its focus to the provision of land for the settlement of those of lesser means and the descendants of the original settlers who sought to own their own farms. Attention turned to regions that were still forested and undeveloped, such as the Manawatu and western Hawkes Bay. Continue reading