The Pou (panel) representing the first settlers after the Maori and Danish, Hans Tapsell were English and the pou pou depicts their arrival. They were part of the 1880 -1881 journey of the Lady Jocelyn which brought settlers to Tauranga with the George Vesey Stewart Special Settlement. Many brought their own plants such as the Tanner family who brought the first grape vines to make their favourite vintage.

Transport was by horse and gig or wagon or a voyage from Tauranga arriving at Canaan Landing after travelling from Maketu, up the Kaituna Riv-er to where the main road now crosses the Wairi stream. Money was scarce and these people, often well educated, and of previous gentle circumstances soon became self sufficient, developed a supportive community and shared talents and expertise. James. Trevor Tanner was a well-known and respected watercolour artist. The English settlers and their descendants influenced the foundation for today’s staunch and loyal citizen-ship of Te Puke while still maintaining communications with their English heritage.

William Henry Bird was born in England and his story began on a farm in Ireland when he sought the hand of his employer’s daughter, Sarah Leach. In 1863 William and Sarah immigrated to New Zealand. In 1879 the Bird family along with the Ryan’s and the Crawford’s became the first Europeans to settle in the Te Puke district. William Bird (who spoke fluent Maori) owned 50 acres of land in Te Puke and his wife, Sarah opened the first store in the town on what is now the comer of Jellicoe Street and Ox-ford Street. He built a home “Te Kohanga “ which translates as the “Bird’s Nest.” on land on No.2 road, While living in Te Puke they had two more children, bringing the tally to 11, only eight of whom survived to maturity. This property is still in the possession of their descendants.

Designed and created by: Robin Watchorn

Contributed by: Lesley and Terry (Deceased) Tanner

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