A Little Corner of Ulster in New Zealand

Chapter One of Jasmine Rogers' Masters dissertation is featured here with permission.
You can access the remainder of Jasmine's thesis through the interloan service at the University of Auckland. (See the bottom of this page for details.)

This is my Masters dissertation. I spent a year of my life (not always intensively) studying the colonial history of Katikati, a small town about 20 minutes out of Tauranga, and at the bottom of the Coromandel Peninsula. This is what I have to show for it! Be warned, it's not cutting-edge work! My supervisor's criticism was that it was not analytical enough, which is true. By the end I was more interested in telling the story, which I think is quite interesting in itself. If, for some reason, you would like to use any of this work, please make the usual acknowledgements, etc, etc.... There are some compositional faults and also some referencing errors (all books and sources are referenced in as detailed a fashion as possible, but the footnotes may not always take the correct form).

A Little Corner of Ulster in New Zealand: The Katikati Special Settlement 1875-1900

'Emigrating to a new country with, perhaps, friends or acquaintances; or, at least, countrymen, and settling down within easy distance so as to be able to enjoy social intercourse, is very different to an isolated family starting off 1,600 miles to locate themselves among strangers, with no bond of fellowship, no connecting link save one common language. We have at once our church, our school, our parson, and carry with us all the little prejudices, customs, and manners of the old country, of which people cannot divest themselves when emigrating in their more mature years.'

George Vesey Stewart, Notes on the Origin and Prospects of the Stewart Special Settlement, Katikati, New Zealand, and on New Zealand as a Field For Emigration, Omagh, 1877.

Chapter One introduction to discussion and historical background. Also includes poor analysis of New Zealand academic writing on nineteenth century community.!

Chapter Two deals with religion at Katikati, drawing on the Anglican church vestry books, archival holdings, and accounts from the Bay of Plenty Times to chart the construction of the Anglican church at Katikati and the conduct of church services for both Presbyterian and Anglican congregations. As referred to above, churches at Katikati were more moral in their purpose than social. Both experienced some problems with attendance followed by a marked resurgence in church-going in the late 1880s.

Chapter Three concentrates on education in the settlement. Ireland was noted for its progressive secular state school system and there is evidence that Katikati was moving towards secular education before the passage of the Education Act in 1877. This chapter derives much evidence from the Katikati North District School Board Minutes in addition to contemporary newspaper reports. Besides their primary function, school concerts and picnics were social occasions for the residents of the district. Schools also signified permanence and growth.

Chapter Four examines the changing nature of the Orange Lodge at Katikati from its traditional beginnings to its status within the community as a mainly social organisation, and offers some possible explanations for this transition. Much of the evidence for this chapter is derived from secondary sources and from the available records of the Grand Orange Lodge of New Zealand.

This work is the first to combine previously unutilised sources, namely the Anglican church vestry books and the school board minutes, with sources used in previous research. I have also made a detailed study of the Bay of Plenty Times for the period 1875-1900 which appears to be unmatched in other work on Katikati.

Chapter One: Introduction

On 10 September 1875, a ship sailed into Auckland Harbour, 'all her topsails spread to the favouring of the breeze, and her white ports glistening in the bright sun'(1), her occupants anticipating a new life in New Zealand. Aboard the Carisbrook Castle were a group of over two hundred (2), comprised mainly of tenant farmers and their families, from Ulster and hence of predominantly Presbyterian and Anglican persuasion. They had sailed from Belfast, Ireland, and their final destination was to be Katikati, a small area in the Bay of Plenty, not far from Tauranga, in the North Island of New Zealand.

This dissertation is concerned with the type of community that the settlers established at Katikati. Did they establish a notably Irish community, alike to what they had left behind in Ulster? Three community institutions will be examined here - religion, education, and voluntary organisations, concentrating here on the Loyal Orange Lodge. The place and function of these three institutions within the community will also be covered

This small exodus was led by George Vesey Stewart, who was to make himself known in the colony through a variety of means. He was himself a landowner and 'gentleman-entrepreneur' (3) who hailed from Ballygawley, in County Tyrone. W.P Morrell describes him as being 'responsible for introducing no fewer than four thousand settlers.' 'The name of this man,' according to Morrell, 'should live with those of the early pioneers'.(4) Alan Mulgan called him 'Edward Gibbon Wakefield on a small scale'.(5)

Vesey Stewart had begun his campaign to establish an Ulster settlement in New Zealand in 1873, promoting it prematurely among members of the Loyal Orange Order, of which he was a member, before he had secured either suitable land or the consent of the New Zealand authorities. Vesey Stewart made his first journey to New Zealand in 1874, accompanied by the seal of approval of the Grand Lodge of Ireland. He found favour with Joseph McMullen Dargaville, a member of the Auckland Provincial Council, and the Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Auckland. Dargaville led the charge to grant the requested 10,000 acres to the proposed settlement. Besides Dargaville's connections to Vesey Stewart, he was also the founder of the Northland town of Dargaville. His desire to give support to someone embarking on a similar venture may have prompted him to assist Vesey Stewart. Another who was instrumental was Maurice O'Rorke, Secretary of Crown Lands and, like Vesey Stewart, a graduate of Trinity College Dublin. (6) It is O'Rorke's name that appears on the agreement which granted George Vesey Stewart the permission to 'select and organise a party of farmers in Ireland, being married men with families, to emigrate therefrom to New Zealand, with adequate capital to occupy, improve, and cultivate the said Katikati block as a special settlement (7)

George Vesey Stewart had managed to negotiate an exceptional deal with the New Zealand government, described by Akenson as 'one of the best any one person ever made'. (8) To arrive at it, though, had taken some time. Vesey Stewart wrote to the New Zealand Agent-General in London, Dr Isaac Earl Featherston, in 1873. He wished to know what the government could offer a prospective party of 30 to 40 families, but Featherston was suspicious and would provide no assistance. Vesey Stewart then began communications with Harry Farnall, who was the Immigration Agent for the New Zealand Government and the Auckland Provincial Council based in Belfast. It was after receiving a positive assurance from Farnall that his idea would be well received that Vesey Stewart circulated details of his venture throughout the Orange Lodge. (9) Luckily for Stewart, Farnall was right. In April 1873, Thomas Gillies, in a letter to Farnall, wrote: 'I may assure you that the Provincial Government are most anxious to encourage such a body of settlers as you describe, who are specially adapted for settlement in this Province and everything that lies in the power of the Provincial Government will be done to meet the views of these settlers, and to enable them to settle on such a block of good land, as may afford comfortable homes for themselves and their families'. (10) Vesey Stewart then travelled to New Zealand, arriving in Dunedin in January 1874, and travelled the country in search of a suitable area of land. He passed over Hokianga, calling it 'a place of banishment and servitude' and settled on Katikati, believing the land to be of good quality, close to possible markets, namely the goldfields, and close to a town. (11) His judgements were somewhat incorrect, however, as will be explained later

The Provincial Council expressed concerns about George Vesey Stewart's ability to uphold the terms of their agreement. The members wanted him to 'bring out a first-class set of men' and they were worried that he would not do this (12), in which case it might have been more sensible to give the land to 'experienced settlers now in the country', rather than giving 'land to strangers, who might not prove so suitable, however glad we might be to see them'. (3) The Council was also mindful that the deal negotiated with Vesey Stewart was out of the ordinary and would not be repeated, as is evident from the proceedings of a council meeting published in the New Zealand Herald:

Mr Swanson: May I ask if any other person would get the terms Mr. Stewart has got?

Mr Sheehan: Emphatically no. We will try to make a better bargain the next time. (14)

Vesey Stewart was to receive an initial 10,00 0acres and a possible grant of a further 10,000 acres for a second party 'supplemented by the friends and relatives of the pioneers'. (15) His settlers would receive 40 acres each if they were over the age of 18. Families with children aged 12 to 18 would be entitled to 20 acres for each child with no family receiving more than 300 acres. Vesey Stewart would be granted an extra 500 acres in addition to 40 acres for his wife and each of his children. (16) It was his aim to establish a settlement of Ulster Protestants, or at least a settlement of Irish 'loyal to the British Constitution'. (17) He wrote several promotional booklets in order to advertise his venture and, in the first of these, described it as 'transplanting a little corner of Ulster upon a Garden of Eden in New Zealand'. (18) He advised 'Irish Fenians, rebels, and Home Rulers' to emigrate to the United States where they might find a more sympathetic atmosphere'. (19) He was not averse to having Roman Catholics join his party, as long as they were prepared to dispense with 'those feelings of bigotry and religious discord'. (20)

Humanitarian sentiment aside, his foremost aim appears to have been to make money. He had teetered on the edge of bankruptcy in Ireland and Akenson remarks that he saw New Zealand as 'a place to repair his fortunes'. (21) He reaped monetary benefits from the extra land he had received and continued to devise other ways to increase his own financial gain. He obtained another 2540 acres following the arrival of a second party at Katikati. (22) In addition to this he brought a printing press from Ireland by which means he took over the production of the Bay of Plenty Times. With the second party, he established a cadet scheme where, for the sum of 800 guineas over two years, parents in Ireland could pay for their sons to learn the skills of farming in Katikati. (23)

The cadets were rarely trained in rudiments of agriculture, being of more use in the settlement as dance partners and 'excellent company at picnics'. (24)

Reflecting their status as desirable immigrants, the first party of settlers received an extravagant welcome, complete with a parade and dinner and dancing at the Choral Hall. For the colony of New Zealand, particularly the press who had been advocating a better standard of immigrant (25), the best was yet to come. Vesey Stewart already had plans to bring the real money out later with a second party. This second group of 378 settlers arrived on the Lady Jocelyn in August 1878, following what appears to have been a thoroughly delightful voyage. 'In my various voyages I have never yet known what is that disagreeable sensation called sea sickness, and though there is no preventative, yet I would strongly recommend those that can afford it, to bring a few bottles of good champagne, it supports and strengthens the system'. (26) So wrote George Vesey Stewart in the promotional booklet he had penned to entice these settlers. In addition to champagne, he suggested that passengers bring with them a box of American apples, and some cotton thread and 'Arsenical soap' so that they might catch sea birds and indulge in a little on board taxidermy. As Akenson has noted, these were not coffin ships. (27)

Alan Mulgan has observed Vesey Stewart's careful planning of the settlement. It had been his intention from the beginning to people Katikati with two distinct groups, one comprised 'of country gentlemen like himself to provide capital and congenial social atmosphere' and another of 'tenant farmers' who would do the work. (28) The Bay of Plenty Times in 1878 characterised the two parties by calling them 'the settlers useful and the settlers ornamental'. (29) The settlers useful rarely came into Tauranga, delighting the locals with their various fashion faux pas if they did, whereas the settlers ornamental spent a good deal of time there, frittering away whatever capital they had brought with them.

It is due in part to Vesey Stewart's organisation that the settlement managed to endure the depression of the 1880s. Thomas Stevenson has also found that the 'balanced social structure' contributed to Katikati being more successful than other settlements of the same era as it required no financial assistance from the government. He also argues that the settlement's success rested on, among other factors, 'close proximity to markets', but this is perhaps not entirely correct. (30) It would seem more attributable to the capital that the second party brought with them, reputed to be in the vicinity of £100,000, as they were able to employ members of the first party and thus keep the settlement afloat. (31) Waihi did not prove to be a lucrative market until after 1886 and prior to this Katikati produced very little in the way of saleable goods. An old settler, speaking in 1883, lamented that 'the colour of the coin is seldom seen in our district'. (32)

Though Katikati did pass through difficult times, contemporary portrayals of life in the district make it seem rather idyllic. Day to day farming life was punctuated by dances and gatherings, often quite lavish affairs. Katikati appears to have been a social place, perhaps because the settlers could afford the time. Alan Mulgan writes that '[h]ospitality was the primal law'. (33) Adela Stewart details a number of social occasions held at her home, Athenree, where guests arrived in their finery and dancing 'was kept up unflaggingly until the small hours of the morning'. (34) Arthur Gray tells of a wedding reception that lasted three days. Social occasions were certainly a main part of life in the district, whether or not this was due to '[t]he boisterous traditions of Irish squiredom', it is unsure. (35)

It has been postulated that the character of the settlement changed in the 1890s. Akenson quotes Smith's observation that '[e]ven in those families that survived, the old order was giving way, Ulster parents being replaced by sons and daughters who thought of themselves primarily as New Zealanders'. (36) People also began to leave Katikati beginning in the late 1880s. Markets for local produce, as mentioned earlier, were slim. Some are said to have simply walked off their farms. (37) In 1891, 39 of the original 77 'foundation families' remained. (38) George Vesey Stewart's popularity waned when some grew disgruntled that they were not living the relaxed country lifestyle that had been sold to them. (39) Thomas Henry, one of the settlers, wrote to the Bay of Plenty Times in 1889 to express his dissatisfaction and claimed that outsiders spoke of Katikati as a 'godforsaken place'. (40)

Despite the demographic and attitudinal changes occurring, reports from the settlement published in the Bay of Plenty Times as late as April 1899 attest to the Irish patriotism still felt by the members of the settlement. The Earl of Ranfurly paid a visit to Katikati on 11 May 1899. The Earl was Irish and John Wilson, a Katikati settler, had lived on the Ranfurly estate in Ireland for nine years. Ranfurly was greeted with 'a hearty cead mille fealthe' and George Vesey Stewart addressed him as 'an Irish nobleman connected with that district of Ireland from which so many of us have come'. (41) In March 1900 Lord Ranfurly accepted an invitation to be patron of the Patriotic Fund concert. He did not attend but sent a small missive in which he hoped that '[h]is fellow Irishmen in Katikati would share his feeling of pride at the splendid deeds of those brave Irishmen in South Africa'. (42) Earlier reports from the settlement are peppered with references to Ireland and Katikati as an example of the efforts of 'hard-working right-minded Irishmen'. (43) At a function to welcome the second party of settlers, held in the Number One schoolhouse in 1878, 'the old Irish phrase "Cead mille failthe", stood out over the fireplace'. (44) In 1890, at a dance held to benefit the Mutual Improvement Society, a dog fight erupted under the hall. The Katikati K'Notist reported the following: 'It appears from the information received that a long, lean, lank dog, answering to, and labouring under the name of "Parnell", had a little discussion with another dog...belonging to a very much so - Anti-Home Ruler;...the result was a fight, not fair fight because (oh Balfour) another Anti-Home Ruler's dog chipped in and Parnell licked them both". (45) Charles Stewart Parnell had been a prominent and controversial proponent of Home Rule in Ireland from 1874 until 1891. Arthur J. Balfour was the Irish chief secretary from 1887 to 1891 and vehemently opposed to Home Rule. These references to Ireland demonstrate that, although resident on the other side of the world, the Katikati settlers still expressed interest and often pride in their homeland.

The notion of the Irishness of the Katikati settlement has been of great interest to its historians. Donald Akenson's chapter on Katikati in Half the World From Home is one of the most recent pieces of work on Katikati. Akenson has focused on Katikati to illuminate the experiences of Protestant Irish in this country, the settlement being 'the purest Irish Protestant community ever to exist in New Zealand'. He uses the settlement as a case study to facilitate 'a closer examination of living and breathing human beings, with an appreciation of their social practices, religious behaviours, cultural values, and...their virtues and vices'. (46)

He concludes that '[t]he Irish Protestants were the perfect colonists of the nineteenth and early twentieth century: Protestant in religion, imperial enthusiasts by conviction'. (47) Irish Protestant culture among those immigrants to New Zealand does not appear to have been as strong as Irish Catholic culture and Akenson offers some explanations for this. He argues that the Irish Protestant population was divided, as evident when examining the backgrounds of the first party of Katikati settlers. Akenson believes that three main 'cleavages' operating in Ireland were also present in this first group. The first was geographic. The settlers of the first party came mostly from the two counties Antrim and Down, both of which had large Protestant populations. Here, Akenson writes, 'Protestants could act as if the world were their own'. (48) Some settlers however, including George Vesey Stewart, had emigrated from the border counties where they lived among hostile Catholics. In the border counties the main source of income derived from farming, whereas the Protestant counties were more mercantile and therefore more advanced. Therefore, there were greater class divisions between Protestants than there were between Catholics. This is not to assume, as Akenson warns, that all Catholics in New Zealand were the same. Instead, Catholics were simply likely to be more similar to each other than were Protestants, with class differences not as pronounced.

Another possible reason why Irish Protestant culture was absorbed into New Zealand society lies in religion. Akenson believes, in considering the history of ethnicity in New Zealand, that Roman Catholicism was 'a 'boundary maintenance system''. By that it is meant that controls were in place, whether formal or informal, that limited 'the intermixture of its adherents...with the rest of society'. (49) Because many Catholics were Irish, this system emphasised their difference and set them slightly apart, making them more visible than Irish Protestants and more conscious of their culture. Catholic schools are an example of this, and it is interesting to note that to this day, there is no such institution in Katikati.

Akenson believes that because of this tendency of immigrant Irish Protestant culture to melt into its surroundings, there was nothing particularly Irish about the way in which Katikati was established as a community. He identifies the Orange Lodge as being '[t]he only institution of importance that incorporated a specifically Ulster viewpoint' (50), but notes that the practices of the Lodge changed over time, becoming more decorous and far removed 'from the way things were done in Ireland'. 'The genteel character of Katikati had overcome the roughness of Ulster Orangeism'. (51) Katikati, in Akenson's view, became more of a gentrified British settlement, rather than a piece of Ulster in New Zealand.

There are other published works about Katikati, notably Arthur Gray's An Ulster Plantation. Gray's book is a very detailed account of the settlement from its beginnings until 1950. There is much information of interest here regarding early life on the block, Gray having had the advantage of the recollections of several of the original settlers. There is little mention of churches, except for the difficulties in erecting an Anglican church which will be elaborated in Chapter Two. Likewise the treatment of schools is brief, save a short narrative history of their establishment. Gray has chosen to concentrate more on the personalities of the settlement and events that occurred. His evidence shows that for some, Katikati was indeed a 'gentry plantation' but life for others was not as pleasant. Poverty did exist in the settlement and was often the result of poor farming by the inexperienced, or the lack of a profitable market for produce. Gray also writes that some settlers tried to keep up the appearance of wealth and retain the lifestyle they had become accustomed to in Ireland. '[I]n more than one home where the storekeeper's bill remained unpaid, the family dressed for dinner, ate from the ancestral plate, and entertained generously'. (52) A description is also included of the Orange Lodge and the procedure of its celebrations but little else. Gray writes that community life at Katikati was centred mainly around the store and the hotel. (53) The Irish heritage of its residents was evident in their love of socialising and there are a number of accounts of dances and wedding celebrations. (54) Gray captures the flavour of the small community in what is a well-written and highly readable history.

Katikati has also received some mention in works such as Rory Sweetman's article, 'The Irish in Nineteenth Century New Zealand' (55), Anna Rogers' A Lucky Landing (5)6, and Evelyn Stokes' A History of Tauranga County. (57) Rogers' account of the settlement is a brief history, reproduced from secondary sources. Stokes, with a geographical bent, describes in detail the circumstances under which the settlement was founded, including the planning of the town. There is also a discussion of the character of George Vesey Stewart. Sweetman uses Katikati to demonstrate the contrasting views held by the colonial government regarding Irish immigrants. Sweetman writes that the New Zealand government wished to limit the number of Irish entering New Zealand but as they met the demands for labour and domestic service, there was little it could do. Richard Davis, in Irish Issues in New Zealand Politics, gives a good account of the politics surrounding the forming of the settlement. Of particular interest is Vogel's opposition to the settlement on the grounds that it was 'connected with a 'party organisation'', the Orange Lodge. (58) Katikati has been the subject of two postgraduate theses, that of Thomas Stevenson which focuses on the financial success of the settlement and has been discussed earlier, and E. Bruce Smith's, written in 1931. Smith compares Katikati to the Wakefield settlements. His thesis is useful in that it provides interesting first-hand accounts of community life but it is scant and outdated in the way of analysis.

On the broader issue of community in nineteenth century New Zealand, Miles Fairburn's The Ideal Society and its Enemies has proved to be one of the most influential works, although Fairburn not all are persuaded by his arguments. Fairburn contends that during the latter half of the nineteenth century, prospective immigrants to New Zealand were wooed by the literary portrayal of the country as an Arcadian paradise. Thus, the 'insider's view' developed, comprised of four main themes: 'New Zealand was a country of natural abundance,...it provided ample opportunities for labouring people to win an independency,...it was a society which naturally created a high level of order, and...its simple life guaranteed middle-class people freedom from status anxiety'. (59) These Arcadian themes were promoted through the use of flowery language in the multitude of promotional literature that was produced and in letters home. George Vesey Stewart employs such language in his descriptions of New Zealand although they appear slightly restrained in comparison with some cornucopic accounts in existence. In a speech to the first party of settlers he described New Zealand as a place '[f]ree from rents and taxes, with magnificent soil and finest climate under the British flag, and in a country devoted and loyal to its noble Fatherland'. (60) New Zealand as an Arcadia was also dependent on the nature of its people. The citizens of an ideal Arcadia, though surrounded by abundance, would stave off degeneration and also the need for instruments of social organisation, voluntary or imposed, through their sense of moderation. New Zealand, of course, was no different from the Old World with its instruments of social organisation - law, education, government, religious organisations - but Fairburn believes that their presence and function was 'largely ignored and underplayed'. (61) Thus New Zealand was seen to be a place where the evils of the Old World, such as status anxiety, crime, and conflict, were not present. It was a small paradise.

The New Zealand that George Vesey Stewart brought his settlers to, in Fairburn's opinion, was one of minimal social organisation, not because people were fair and virtuous, but because they were isolated from one another. The problems of the Old World did not exist because of geographical separation and an inability on the part of the settlers to interact with each other. There were few opportunities for them to interact, owing to the distance between them and the transient lifestyles they lived. If people did live close enough to enable social contact, they were often so incompatible that social interaction was an awkward experience.

Religion as a means of forming community ties was ineffective, Fairburn argues, because church attendance was on the decline. Likewise, voluntary organisations were hard-pressed to find participants. Settlers were preoccupied with establishing themselves, building homes, running farms, and the general duties required to succeed in the new country. Religion and voluntary organisations were put on hold for some time. It appears that Fairburn is not being entirely fair here with his idea of what constitutes a reasonable length of time. One year from the founding of Timaru township to the construction of a stone church and the establishment of the Jockey Club is not extreme. (62)

Education receives little mention. Fairburn argues that schools were not, as some historians have claimed, 'key [activators] of local relationships', again because people lived too far away. The Education Act of 1877 went some way towards ensuring that more children went to school, as well as regulating education and thereby forging a common bond. But, Fairburn seems to see the 1877 Act as an example of state intervention that would have been unnecessary had society been more cohesive. In the Old World education was controlled by the churches. In nineteenth century New Zealand, because of the dearth of attendees, churches did not occupy such a powerful position. Therefore, because such institutions were powerless to instigate it themselves, it was left to the state to provide and ensure that children received education.

I will argue that at Katikati, religion was not a social activity. Voluntary organisations were formed at Katikati in due course and, as will be discussed in Chapter Four, they enjoyed reasonable turnouts, although settlers were more likely to attend if some kind of lively entertainment was offered. These organisations helped to foster a sense of community within the settlement and their development was not impeded by rural isolation. Fairburn, with his theory on education, ignores the fact that New Zealand was following the rest of the Western world in moving towards a secular system, controlled by a central governing body. There were a good number of Irish immigrants in New Zealand in the 1870s, including the Katikati settlers. As will be shown, Ireland had provided a secular state education for primary school-aged children since the late 1700s. The introduction of the 1877 Act would have been seen as a natural step in the development of the colony.

Fairburn deals directly with communities like Katikati in Chapter Six. He maintains that such settlements were few 'and the population of each was minute', therefore they are not representative of New Zealand as a whole. The majority of settlers came alone or in small groups, and not as part of these 'colonised
[communities]'. (63)

Rollo Arnold has perhaps been the most direct critic of Miles Fairburn's work. His article, 'Community in Rural Victorian New Zealand', refutes Fairburn's argument that colonial New Zealand was an atomised society by using detailed case studies. Arnold believes that Fairburn relies on North American research techniques which are not applicable to New Zealand data. It is not possible to bend the few statistics that do exist to fit the North American model, nor can conclusions drawn about the development of community in North America be transferred to New Zealand.

Arnold is careful not to exclude the human from history and makes the point that 'we must be careful not to manipulate the settlers as mere names and statistics. We should listen for their hopes and fears, their achievements and mischances, and try to uncover the ever-changing dynamics and interconnections of their communities'. (64) His most recent book, Settler Kaponga (65), demonstrates this. A meticulously researched work, it demonstrates how a bush town developed in the New World, whilst maintaining its connections to the old. Kaponga settlers continued to receive literature from their home countries and educated their children in an English manner. Arnold writes in The Farthest Promised Land that the result of continued contact with their country of birth, which was predominantly England, was that 'a unified colonial-homeland consciousness' existed among the settlers. (66) They held fond memories of the Old World and wished to preserve the better aspects of it in New Zealand. English immigrants of the nineteenth century, according to Arnold, never forgot what they had left behind. These 'haunting memories' shaped the communities that they created in New Zealand. (67)

Most relevant to this work is the idea that Katikati was not an anomaly in nineteenth century New Zealand. We find, from Arnold's research and other community histories, that cohesive communities did exist. The evidence presented in Settler Kaponga shows that, despite their, in some cases considerable, isolation from each other, colonists in the area often sought human contact, holding concerts and picnics which were well attended. The existence of cohesive community in other parts of the country is supported by histories like Susan Butterworth's Petone and Matthew Wright's work on Havelock North. (68) Thus, in contrast to Miles Fairburn's argument, contrasts drawn from the situation at Katikati are applicable to the wider history of community in New Zealand.

This dissertation will examine the Irishness of the Katikati settlement, essentially the extent to which the settlers established a mirror community in New Zealand. The work will also consider the development of community at Katikati. To do this the focus will be on three main instruments of community: religion, education, and voluntary organisations, specifically the Orange Lodge. It will be seen that, despite the arguments to the contrary presented in The Ideal Society and its Enemies, schools and voluntary organisations in the settlement played a significant part in drawing the community together and creating a social atmosphere. Churches exerted more of a moral influence, with settlers' social needs fulfilled elsewhere. There is little evidence to suggest however that churches or schools at Katikati were particularly Irish in their formation, and the one direct import from the Old Country, the Orange Lodge, appears to have lost many of its typically Irish characteristics during the time period. However, Katikati still retained its identity as an Irish Protestant settlement, as newspaper reports and contemporary accounts testify.


1 New Zealand Herald(NZH), 10 September 1875.
2 This figure is in dispute. Akenson believes there were 258 and Gray gives a figure of 238. There were, according to Gray, 125 Government immigrants aboard, not
bound for Katikati, and it is possible that Akenson may have included some of these in his count. Donald Akenson, Half the World From Home: Perspectives on the Irish
in New Zealand 1860-1950, Wellington, 1990, p.131; Arthur Gray, An Ulster Plantation, 2nd edn, Wellington, 1950, p.19.
3 Akenson, p.124.
4 W.P Morrell, Vogel and his Public Works Policy, Post-Primary School Bulletin, 7(10), Wellington, 1953, p.21. Vesey Stewart returned to London in 1883 and
remained there until some time in 1888. During this time he chartered boats from Great Britain to New Zealand.
5 Alan Mulgan, 'Two Worlds: A Chapter of Autobiography', Landfall, 7, September 1948, p.181.
6 Gray, p.4.
7 Agreement between George Vesey Stewart of Ballygawley, County Tyrone, and the Honourable George Maurice O'Rorke, Secretary for Crown Lands for the Colony of
New Zealand, 24 June 1874, IM6/11/2, National Archives(NA), Wellington, New Zealand.
8 Akenson, Half the World From Home, p.130.
9 Gray, p.9.
10 Thomas Gillies to Harry Farnall, 4 April 1873, IM 6/11/2, NA.
11 Gray, p.12.
12 NZH, 24 June 1874.
13 NZH, 22 May 1874.
14 NZH, 1 June 1874. John Sheehan was of Irish Catholic descent and a lawyer who served as the member for Hokianga on the Auckland Provincial Council from
15 Gray, p.11.
16 Agreement between Stewart and O'Rorke, 24 June 1874, IM 6/11/2, NA.
17 George Vesey Stewart, Notes on the Origins and Prospects of the Stewart Special Settlement, Kati-Kati, New Zealand, and on New Zealand as a Field for Emigration,
Omagh, 1877, p.115.
18 Stewart, Notes on the Origins and Prospects...., p.24.
19 Stewart, Notes on the Origins and Prospects...., p.115.
20 See Note 19. (Normally I would follow the proper citation but this HTML is getting exhausting.)
21 Akenson, Half the World From Home, p.127.
22 Gray, pp.56-7.
23 Akenson, Half the World From Home, p.140-1.
24 Mulgan, The Making of a New Zealander, Wellington, 1958, p.27.
25 'We had better be without male immigrants, than our public-house bars and street corners should be infested with loafers; and better still, that we shall not have a
class of women who are likely to supplement our brothels. Girls drafted from workhouses and reformatories, and men from the purlieus of provincial towns and cities,
are not the class for which money has been voted by the Colonial Government....[W]e say better there be a few immigrants of a superior class than a larger number
such as we are getting'. NZH, 2 May 1874.
26 Stewart, Notes on the Origins and Prospects...., p.13.
27 Akenson, Half the World From Home, p.146.
28 Mulgan, The Making of a New Zealander, p.18..
29Bay of Plenty Times(BOP Times), 12 October 1878.
30 Thomas Stevenson, 'The Katikati Special Settlement, 1875-1900', MA thesis, University of Otago, New Zealand, 1975, p.56.
31 Gray, p.49.
32 E.B Smith, 'Katikati: history of the pioneer settlers of the first and second Special Settlements founded by George Vesey Stewart', MA thesis, University College of
New Zealand, Auckland, 1931, p.21.
33 Mulgan, The Making of a New Zealander, p.27.
34 BOP Times, 15 February 1881.
35 Gray, p.94.
36 Smith, p.32, cited in Akenson, Half the World From Home, p.152.
37 Gray, p.73.
38 Smith, p.73.
39 Smith, p.40.
40 BOP Times, 31 October 1889.
41 BOP Times, 15 May 1899.
42 BOP Times, 26 March 1900.
43 BOP Times, 17 May 1876.
44 BOP Times, 10 September 1878.
45 BOP Times, 11 August 1890.
46 Akenson, Half the World From Home, p.89.
47 See Note 46, p.158.
48 See Note 46, p.133.
49 See Note 46, p.157.
50 See Note 46, p.150.
51 See Note 46, p.151.
52 Gray, p.66.
53 Gray, p.78.
54 Gray, p. 94.
55 Rory Sweetman, 'The Irish in Nineteenth Century New Zealand', Under the Southern Cross: papers to be presented at the third Australian Congress on Genealogy
and Heraldry, University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand, 13-16 May 1983, ed. A.J Jones, Hamilton, 1983, pp.266-71.
56 Anna Rogers, A Lucky Landing: The Story of the Irish in New Zealand, Auckland, 1996.
57 Evelyn Stokes, A History of Tauranga County, Palmerston North, 1980.
58 R.P Davis, Irish Issues in New Zealand Politics 1868-1922, Dunedin, 1974, p.35.
59 Miles Fairburn, The Ideal Society and its Enemies: the foundations of modern New Zealand society, 1850-1900, Auckland , 1989, p.25.
60 BOP Times, 17 May 1876.
61 Fairburn, p.27.
62 Fairburn, p.182.
63 Fairburn, p.165.
64 Rollo Arnold, 'Community in Rural Victorian New Zealand', New Zealand Journal of History(NZJH), 24, 1, April 1990, pp.3-21.
65 Rollo Arnold, Settler Kaponga 1881-1914: A Frontier Fragment of the Western World, Wellington, 1997.
66 Rollo Arnold, The Farthest Promised Land: English Villagers, New Zealand Immigrants of the 1870s, Wellington, 1981, p.356.
67 Arnold, The Farthest Promised Land, p.357.
68 S.M Butterworth, Petone: a history, Petone, 1988. Matthew Wright, Havelock North: the history of a village, Hastings, 1996.

This work is the property of Jasmine Rogers The following information is from the University of Auckland Library catalogue and should be used to access the work through interloan.

Author: Rogers, Jasmine Rebecca.

Title: A little corner of Ulster in New Zealand : the Katikati special
settlement, 1875-1900 / Jasmine Rebecca Rogers.
Variant Title(s): Katikati special settlement, 1875-1900
Published: 1998.
Thesis Note: Dissertation (MA--History)--University of Auckland, 1998.
Description: vi, 68 leaves : col. map, port. ; 30 cm.
LC Subject Heading(s): Stewart, George Vesey.

Irish New Zealand Katikati History.

Pioneers New Zealand Katikati.

Land settlement New Zealand Katikati.

Orangemen New Zealand Katikati History.

Katikati (N.Z.) History.