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Awarua History

John Campbell emigrated from Ireland to Petone on the ship Lady Nugent in 1841. He settled in Karori and farmed there for some years. Campbell Street is named after him and the land on the western side of the Karori wildlife reserve was donated to the city by him as a water catchment area.

About 1860 John purchased land in the district then known as Upper Opaki and settled his two sons on it. A major influence on the Upper Opaki district was that there was no single large landowner but the land was divided into secions of about 70 acres and taken up by many different settlers. Hugh settled on a property known as Ngaratanui that included the farm now known as Awarua. John farmed adjacent land known as Riverside. There has been much selling and buying of land over the years so it is not easy to define the original land holdings

Hugh's son John had three sons one of whom was Raymond Eric (Ray) and it was he who was the first occupier of Awarua as a separate property. When Ray took over Awarua in 1945 most of the bush had been cleared and pasture sown but very little cultivation had taken place. Ray embarked on a program of gradually clearing the land from the dead timber that littered the hills left after the bush was felled and burned then cultivating the accessible country.

At the end of the second world war Ngaratanui was divided between Ray and Rata. Ray named his 940 acres "Awarua". The boundaries of Awarua remained static until 1978 when a swap was arranged with the Syndney Campbell Foundation who inherited the Riverside property to the south from the other branch of the family. Ian inherited Awarua in 1975 and soon after placed the land in a trust known as the Awarua Trust. Ian and his wife Isabel farmed Awarua until 1990.

Early maps indicate that when the land was purchased at Mt Bruce a block was already owned by Mary Agnes Tankersley (Hugh's wife). This block remained in her name and at her insistence was excluded from any milling or development. Remants of the bush on Agnes block considerably enhance Awarua today.

In 1990 Ians daughter Gillian and her husband Neil Potter became the occupiers of Awarua and this arrangement continued till 2002 when the property was leased to a consortium known as Weymore Grazing.