Waiorongomai The Land and the People by Linda Thornton


A history of the Matthews family and seven generations at Waiorongomai. Alfred and Elizabeth Matthews descendents, farming, and the Romney sheep stud.

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No pioneer New Zealand family has lived and farmed their land longer than the Matthews of ‘Waiorongomai’. Their story, shaped by the land itself, is an important part of the history of Aotearoa.

The Matthews of Waiorongomai begins with the arrival of Charles and Elizabeth Matthews in 1842. They settled first in Wellington but, drawn by the pull of the land, moved to Wairarapa and purchased the first acres their descendants still farm today.

Seven generation have lived on ‘Waiorongomai’. It is the story of a family devoted to its farming, the development of one of the country’s leading Romney sheep studs and the passing on of a love of the land from one generation to the next. It is also dedicated to all the men and families who have worked on ‘Waiorongomai’ over the last 150 years.


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