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1<html><head><title>Hikurangi and Waro</title></head><body><h2>Hikurangi and Waro</h2><p>The abundance of mature timber and flax around the place we now know as Hikurangi lead to its purchase in 1862.  The then district commissioner of lands, John Rogan, bought 12,000 acres from local Maori tribal leaders, seeing not only the potential of the natural assets but also the proximity to transport routes and coastal access.</p><p>One of the first recorded descriptions of the area between the present Hikurangi township and the lime rocks at Waro tells of the plentiful supply of totara, rimu, rewarewa, kahikatea, rata, tanekaha, taraire, tawa, black and silver beech, matai, karaka, pukatea, hinau, titoki and miro! The vast wetland was reported as being well stocked with raupo as well as flax.</p><p>At the time most of the limestone area was covered with a black moss.  It was not untiil a later burn-off destroyed bush in the area that the rocks were revealed as &quot;gleaming white castles&quot; - and it was decided that the section of limestone nearest the road would be kept as a public reserve.</p><p>Coal miners and farmers were the earliest European inhabitants.  Some of the miners had been recruited to work at Kiripaka but finding most of the jobs filled, ended up travelling a very long route via Kamo and Kauri to Hikurangi instead.  The first farmers struggled with difficult Northland soils and it was not until the early 1920s that trials proved the benefit of super phosphates in increasing yields.</p><p>Since the dairy company opened in 1904 it has become one of the mainstays of the town in providing employment.  </p><p>Schooling began in Hikurangi in 1881 when Mrs Buchanan, wife of the mill owner, started a school at her home on George St.  The View Rd school was opened in 1883 with 11 on its roll - by 1902 this had grown to 120.  Its 125th Jubilee was held this year. </p></body></html>
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