24 Jun 2016

Josiah Firth - Colonial Entrepreneur

From Country Life, 9:28 pm on 24 June 2016

Auckland entrepreneur Josiah Firth had his fingers in a lot of pies.

He was briefly in the House of Representatives, was a Director of the Bank of New Zealand, the Thames Valley Rotorua Railway, the New Zealand Frozen Meat company, owned the largest flour mill in Auckland, was a large investor in gold mining and built a dairy company; he also came to own 55-thousand acres of land at near Matamata.

Firth also had a penchant for towers.

He had New Zealand's first concrete tower built on his estate near Matamata and one at his home in Mount Eden. Both still stand. He's the father of what came to be known as Firth Concrete.

This year marks 150 years since Josiah Firth started farming in Waikato; first leasing the land from Ngati Haua and later converting it into his ownership.

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