Settling the Land


The Manawaru District was born out of the swamplands, but its foundations relied on the establishment of the Shaftesbury Settlement on the eastern side of the Waihou River.

Samuel Grant and JS Foster were the first to own land on the eastern side and it was there intention to establish a village based on an English design.

Those who followed Grant and Foster into land ownership in the Shaftesbury area included Edward Young Cox, David Craig, William H Herries (MP), William P Gage-Brown, Edward F Roche, John Squirell, Ernest CM Thompson and William Thomson.

The early survival of the Shaftesbury Settlement relied on two transport routes—a track from Te Aroha and the river itself, which had been made passable by Josiah C Firth of the Firth Estate.  With the Development of the Shaftesbury Settlement, interest in the western side of the river — Manawaru — grew.


Foundation Donors of the Manawaru Heritage Centre:

George and Ruth Armstrong


David Bay


Stuart and Beth Bay


Victor and Maria Matijasevich

Become a friend of the

Manawaru Heritage Centre:


Being a friend includes:

· Membership of the Manawaru Historical Society

· Four newsletters a year

· Invitations to upcoming events





Just contact the Heritage Centre on:


Proudly Supported by:



© 2020 by MHC Proudly created with