Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Waiorongomai : the land and the people

During their voyage to New Zealand, Charles and Elizabeth Matthew’s first child died. They arrived in Wellington in 1842 on the sailing ship London. The family eventually settled in the Wairarapa on land their descendants still farm today.

Linda Thornton has used diaries written by Alfred Matthews, the memoirs of Jack and conversations with more recent family members to trace the development of Waiorongomai Station from virgin land to one of New Zealand’s leading romney sheep studs.

The narrative places the lives of those who lived and worked at Waiorongomai Station within the context of changes in New Zealand society. I especially enjoyed reading the sections that dealt with the way in which the manpower shortage in World War Two lead to it becoming acceptable for the women of the family to work on the farm as well as in the household.

The book is extremely readable and gives a fascinating insight, through six generations, of life on a Wairarapa sheep station and the development of New Zealand from colony to nation. Posted by LCH

Check our catalogue and reserve online
Waiorongomai : the land and the people by Linda Thornton, 2011.

View a section of a documentary entitled Waiorongomai : waters of repute

No comments:

Post a Comment