Hakaru Co-operative Dairy Factory.; 16-247


Mangawhai Museum


Hakaru Co-operative Dairy Factory.

About this object

Photo taken 1938.
Prior to 1900 settlers had been processing milk from their cows into butter and cheese on their own farms.
In 1902 the Hakaru Co-operative Dairy Company was established and a factory built at the junction of Kaiwaka-Mangawai Road and Settlement Road.
It was built with finest grade Kauri and Totara timber on foundations of concrete. Local labour, under the supervision of Mr Shannon at 10/-(shillings) per day, was organised. Bob White, carpenter, of Mangawai was one of many local residents that played a part in the construction. W Bowmar, W. Mooney and E. Browne carted stone and shingle from Tara for concrete, and E. Browne was entrusted with the cartage of the boiler from Mangawai. (No small undertaking in those days).
It was a building that locals and folk from far afield could be proud of.
It was a butter factory, not a milk factory.
Suppliers of milk came from the surrounding districts, initially bringing the milk in cans to be separated at the factory, the skim milk being given back to them to feed pigs or calves in season. They were paid for the butter fat only. Some farmers separated their own cream from the milk at their farms, then delivered the cream to the factory.
The residue skim milk was often run into nearby creeks, or directly on to paddocks.
The Hakaru Dairy Factory operated until the early 1930s when supplier numbers had dropped and new factories were being established in the surrounding districts.
The closure happened as a consequence of the arrival of rail to Kaiwaka and northern districts. Some farmers found it more profitable to send their cream to factories out of the area.
The Dairy Factory building still stands on the same site at Hakaru in a dilapidated state, and is now in private ownership.

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