Ohinemuri Regional History Journal 8, October 1967


The HASZARD Family

By David M. Haszard

(The whole of the Coromandel Peninsula is identified in the hundreds of plans that had their origin in the drafting office of the Haszard family and there is scarcely a spot that has not fallen to the measure of their transit theodolite and heard the numbering call of their chain-men. Actually they were the direct descendants of enterprising men and women who had, long before, blazed unusual trails. - Ed.)

Our family is fortunate in that it included several members with a strong historical sense, one being the Rev. S. Haszard, Vicar of St. Mathews Church, Auckland, about 1870. He made exhaustive research tracing our ancestry back to Norman origin and then to England in the reign of King John (1199). My father continued this research and left many documents, scrap books and voluminous manuscripts recording further facts. Our problem has been to find time to collate and summarise these, and naturally the present article must leave out much detail.

The Haszard Coat-of-Arms consists of a shell in the Crest, smaller shells in the Shield. Motto "Sinceritas".

In the year 1639 a certain Thomas Haszard emigrated from England to America and was one of a company of eight who purchased the southern section of Rhode Island, estimated as 800,000 acres, and founded and laid out the town of Newport. Thomas became a member of the first Legislature of the State of Rhode Island, and the founder of the Haszard family in the new world. Robert Haszard was his only son, whose eldest son Thomas, born in 1712, became the largest land and slave owner in the colony. However, becoming convinced that slavery was wrong he persevered in the cause of abolition, and took part in the war of Independence, being known as "Virginia Tom", a strong loyalist, who suffered the confiscation of most of his fortune. Later, owing to inducements held out by the British Government, he, and a number of other disbanded Officers went to Prince Edward Island where they were given land grants. "Virginia Tom" was, therefore, the founder of the Canadian branch of the Haszard family. His son Thomas Rhodes married Jane Bagnall and their son James Douglas printed a newspaper known as "The Prince Edward Register" a copy dated 1824 being in the Waihi Museum.

Robert, the son of James Douglas, was born in 1833, and was destined to found the New Zealand branch of the family. When he was a young man, newspapers, somewhat deceptively, drew attention to the wonderful opportunities offered to settlers in the colony of New Zealand, and Robert who had already spent four years at Ballarat in Australia, determined to seek his fortune in these other islands. He had become engaged to Moore Hunter Morpeth whose family were long established neighbours at St. Avards near Charlottetown, and they were married on 7th October, 1858. Meanwhile Robert Haszard and his prospective father-in-law, Henry Douglas Morpeth, were busy making far-reading [reaching – E] plans. This involved forming a syndicate to purchase a vessel to convey settlers and their families to New Zealand.

There happened to be on the stocks at Charlottetown a Brig of 174 tons almost ready for launching, and this was duly acquired and named "Prince Edward". Robert Haszard, being in charge of the expedition, engaged Captain G. Nowlan as Sailing Master, and the Passenger List includes besides the names of Robert, his wife and his half-brother Charles, nine members of the Morpeth family. In all 99 people embarked on the "Prince Edward" in November, 1858 bound for New Zealand, via Cape of Good Hope. Besides a cargo of personal luggage she brought agricultural implements, steam machinery, house fittings and furniture, 7,000 bricks, 2 waggons, 58 bed-steads, 30 panel doors, 11 tables and many other items belonging to the passengers.

The party, destined for various parts of New Zealand, disembarked at Auckland and the "Prince Edward" was sold almost immediately. (Subsequently it was lost in the Southern Pacific whilst on a whaling cruise). The Haszards and the Morpeths took up land in the Mangonui district on the Oruaiti Stream running into the Mangonui Harbour. Communication was by sailing cutter, hence by rowing boats to their new homes - at first Raupo Houses on 400 acre sections, but the general impression was that the place was "God-forsaken", and terrific hardships were the order of the day. The Robert Haszards lost their first child, and their second, Henry Douglas Morpeth was born at Mangonui in l862. They moved to Auckland in the latter part of that year, having exhausted their capital and being faced with the necessity of finding remunerative work.

The situation was grim for everyone in New Zealand at that time and every avenue was explored, including a year or two at Thames after the opening of the goldfields. Then in 1873 Robert was offered the position of Teacher-in-Charge of a new Native School at Tanoa, on the Kaipara Harbour. There was a five roomed cottage a few yards from the beach and this spelled security for the family which now included two more children Norman and Maud. In 1874 Moore Fenwick was born, then Reg. in 1878, and Carlotta in 1882. Pupils at the school ranged in age from 5 to 20, at first knowing no English and their teacher no Maori, yet in a short time the enterprise proved a great success for all concerned.

In 1886 Robert Haszard retired to a small farm at Avondale, Harry and Norman being able to help with the purchase. That year his brother Charles, who was also teaching, perished in the Tarawera Eruption. Robert and his wife, who were my Grandparents, remained at Avondale till 1897 when they moved to Thames in order to be nearer to their sons, then engaged on survey work in connection with the Goldfields. In 1902 they took up residence in Waihi, as did H.D. Morpeth who became the first Town Clerk.

In his memoirs my father paid a very moving tribute to his Mother (Moore Hunter Haszard) to whom he attributed the credit for any measure of success he had made of his life. Coming as she did from a gentle and sheltered home, she never lost courage in facing unbelievable hardships, and was ever an inspiration to her family.

Eldest son Henry Douglas Morpeth Haszard.

The family records show that the eldest son received his secondary education at the Auckland Grammar School and joined the Government Surveying Service in 1880 as a Cadet. After passing his Survey Examinations in 1883 he was one of the first surveyors in the King Country. In 1887 he was married at Mauku to Alice Elizabeth Vaughn, and that year he was appointed Assistant Surveyor to the S. Percy Smith expedition to claim the Kermadec Islands for Great Britain. Subsequently he worked in our area as Inspector of Surveys, but in 1903 was commissioned to make the first survey of Niue Island. The resulting map is now used on the Admiralty Charts. For this work Mr. Haszard was elected a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society.

In 1909 he was transferred to Christchurch as Acting-Chief Surveyor, and later he successively filled the positions of Commissioner of Crown Lands in Westland, Southland and Canterbury. In 1913 H.D.M. Haszard was Chairman of the Royal Commission on Forestry in New Zealand. His first wife died in 1918 and he retired to Waihi where he was well known in public affairs. He married Miss M. E. Davison of Auckland in 1923 and later travelled extensively before settling in Auckland shortly before his death in 1938 in his 77th year. He was survived by his wife, one daughter (Mrs. P. Connell) and three sons, Vivian, O.B.E. of Patetonga, Captain Norman Haszard, harbourmaster of Bluff, and Vaughan of Wellington. Another daughter, Rhona, (Mrs. Leslie Greener) was a well known artist.

Second son, Norman Frederick Haszard

The second son; practised Surveying at Thames and then, in partnership with Walter Herbert Johnston, had his first office in Paeroa, having acquired the Surveying Practice of Mr. G. Purchas in 1895. They had a branch office in Waihi, and besides doing private work were surveyors for the Waihi, the Grand Junction and Waihi Union mines. In 1902 Norman accepted an engagement with the Imperial Government involving a survey of the Gold Coast, West Africa. Later he joined the Survey Department of the Federated Malay States.

Maud, the third member of the family, married Frederick Arthur, third son of the Honourable Dr. Pollen.

Third son, Moore Fenwick Haszard

The third son, (who was my father), Moore Fenwick - remembered as Fen., was probably the best known here, as the whole of his adult life was spent in Ohinemuri until his death in 1949. After periods of teaching, he joined his elder brothers in the firm of Haszard and Johnston, Mining Engineers and Surveyors at Thames in 1896, the firm having as many as six or eight survey parties in the field at one time. After doing much difficult work in the ranges they surveyed and named many streets in the Ohinemuri towns.

When Harry, Norman and Reg, were appointed overseas, and Walter Johnston became fully employed with the Waihi Company, Fen. took over the Waihi practice. Here in 1908 he married Miss Muriel Swears and they raised a family of sons at "Tanoa" - (Harry, Waihi); Moore (deceased, Waihi), Clive (Auckland), Noel (deceased, Australia), David (Waihi) and Tony, (Auckland).

Fourth son Thomas Reginald Charante Haszard

Reg. Haszard, besides being a Surveyor with the firm was also assistant metallurgist at the Waihi Grand Junction, but severed his connection with the Company in order to take up a responsible position as Metallurgist in Chile, where his son Gerald Robert was born. Gerald is now farming in Waihi.

Carlotta, the younger daughter, married Arthur Tom Kenrick, and they had two children, Douglas and Keitha.