Cheese Grading Cool store Patea 2016 – VIDEO


Cheese Grading Cool store Patea 2016

Patea, in the early days, had the advantage of being situated at the mouth of the only sensibly navigable river in South Taranaki so was ideally suited for the transport of produce. Although not officially proclaimed as a port until 1871 Patea had its beginnings as early as 1864 servicing both the surrounding settlements and the military forces. A cheese grading store was built on the river by a co-operative, The West Coast Refrigerating Company, in 1901 and the Harbour Board agreed to build another wharf alongside this store.

This facility eventually grew to command all cheese destined for export from a huge catchment extending as far south as Orua Downs and Taikorea, (near SH1 and just north of Himatangi) as far north as Rata, (about 17 ks. north of Marton) and the whole of South Taranaki (from north of Opunake to Eltham). The cheese volume grew to such extent over the years that from the 1920’s onwards it required the full commitment of three ships for some 10 months of the year to transport it and often the service needed added capacity which required the chartering of an additional vessel. Although the port once handled large volumes of general cargoes as well as the output of the large freezing works, these gradually died away as railway efficiency increased and most coastal vessels carrying on inter-island trade became too large to use the port and began transshipping cargoes consigned to/from South Taranaki to/from rail at Castlecliff or Wanganui.

What you see in my video footage, is the remains of this once iconic building. Derelict now she is, but in her “hay day”, she stood proud and was a contributing factor to the dairy growth of New Zealand.

4:42                                                                                                                            27/2/24

Credit: Drones Manawatu


Cheese Grading Cool store Patea 2016

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