Rawene started as a timber centre, with a mill and shipyards established in the early 19th century.
1819: Samuel Marsden journeys to Hokianga, down the Utakura River to MoMM Island near Kohukohu, then on to Whiria at Pakanae, out to the heads, then to Whirinaki, and on to Rawene (which Marsden refers to as Wetewhahetee, and names its chief as Tarawheka). A party of 50 then sets off up the Waima River (then known as the Punakitere).
1820: Marsden joins a party sent by Captain Skinner, of the Dromedary, tracing his earlier route. A member of the party reports “a very large Pah on a point of land which juted out into the river forming one of the Heads to the entrance”. This Pah is generally believed to be Tahere, on the hill above where the Hospital now stands.
Early 1800s: Timber Mill and Shipyards established in Hokianga.
1822: Captain Herd visits Hokianga on the Providence, the first trading ship to enter the Harbour, and loads spars and masts.
1826: Herd returns with the Rosanna and another vessel, Lambton, commanded by Captain BarneW, bringing sawyers and tradesmen with the intenMon of seWling them in Hokianga. The voyage is funded by E. G. Wakefield via a company that was the precursor of the New Zealand Company.
1827: On 26 January Herd purchases Rawene from Muriwai, an influenMal chief from Utakura, for the Wakefield Company. Herd returns to Sydney on 11 February acer being warned that an aWempt was to be made to seize his ship. One seWler remains, and three others later join him.
End of 1830s: Most land sales are upriver of Rawene, and comparatively small areas of land have passed out of Maori hands below Rawene. Most of the 200 or so European seWlers in Hokianga are also based upstream of Rawene.
1837-1838: William White, an “unfrocked” Wesleyan missionary, has a house built for him at Rawene while he is on a visit to England. It seems he never lived in this house himself. At this Mme Rawene “had failed to aWract Europeans”.
1839: William Wakefield inspects the land purchased by Herd and decides it is not suitable for NZ Company purposes.
1840s: No claim of ownership of the Rawene land purchased by Herd is lodged with the Old Land Claims Commissioners. Mohi Tawhai, Arama Karaka Pi (Mahurehure chiefs) and Papahurihia (Omanaia) have previously claimed an interest in the land, but do not dispute Muriwai’s interest.
1841-1843:: McDonough (or McDonogh) in possession of White’s house and acting as Resident Magistrate and Postmaster. Later appointees are based in other places. There is no record of “subsequent funcMonaries” having lived in Rawene until about 1861.
Late 1840s: Rawene apparently has no permanent European inhabitants, and the focus of social and commercial activity is small in the upper harbour. Downstream from Rawene European commercial and social activity remain minimal.
1850s: Government iniMates acMon to lay out a township on Herd’s Point. Tawhai, Pi, Papahurihia and others assert their rights to different areas within the settlement.
1851: MortoniJones (an officer on the survey ship Pandora which charted the Harbour in 1851) reports that only “two or three sawyers with very ruinous residences at present hold quiet possession” in Rawene.
1858: Ownership of Rawene “resolved” when the Crown decides that Maori title had been extinguished by Herd’s deed. Tawhai and Pi reluctantly accept (Land Commissioner) Bell’s offer of three acres each.
1859: William Clarke surveys occupaMons of Rawene land, showing occupations by Mohi Tawhai and Arama Karaka Pi ‘on the Point’. Papahurihia is in possession of a small setllement on the south side of the peninsula, at Te Raupo. It is generally acknowledged at the time that the Rawene district comes within Mahurehure tribal territory.
1861: Sir George Grey convenes meeting of 1500 Maori at Rawene. Decision to locate a Resident Magistrate in Rawene.
1862: J. R. Clendon appointed resident magistrate. There is neither a home for his family nor a courthouse from which to operate. At Rawene only a few squaWers are present, one of who is Bryers, with whom the Clendons apparently live for a time.