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Research compiled by Pam Bromley for incomplete book 'The John Finlay Story 1855-1925’. Most of the research was compiled from scrapbooks made by John accessed through Harold Finlay.
Findlay owned a farm at Tokaora, five kilometres west of Hāwera and near the mouth of the Waingongoro River. It is one of the prime pieces of dairying real estate in the Waimate Plains. Tokaora’s name was derived from the first landholder in the area – James Livingston – and is a transliteration of his surname – ‘toka’(stone) and ora (life force). Part of the homestead was built in the mid-1860s at Waihi Redoubt, Normanby, moved to Hāwera in 1872-73 and thence to Tokaora in 1903. Also includes information on the 'totem poles' (poupou carvings) at Waihi, Normanby.
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Research compiled by Pam Bromley relating to Peter Peterson. Peterson settled in Hawera and purchased 400 acres of land which he named “Springhill” c. 1873. During the 1880s an old house at Springhill was converted into a dairy factory, which was home to one of the first separators in the region. The dairy factor supplied Bell Brand butter to Wellington and later to England.
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