Matheson Road, Whakapara

This short road served the property of Donald Munro Matheson and his family, and takes its name from them.  Donald, known as Dan, was born in Nova Scotia in 1850 and arrived in New Zealand at the age of nine on the largest and last of the ships carrying settlers for Waipu: the Ellen Lewis.  Dan was the youngest of nine children migrating with their parents Kenneth Matheson and Flora McKenzie (two more daughters had stayed behind in Nova Scotia).

The family lived first at Waipu and then at Maunu near Whangarei, before moving in 1867 to Hikurangi where they were the third settler family in the district.  They cleared a bush block in Valley Road and ran a dairy farm, and Kenneth also operated a sawmill at Hikurangi.

Dan Matheson lived at Kaimamaku where in 1883 he married Antonie Marie Elizabeth Heyber, whose family came from Breslau in Germany (now Wroclaw in Poland).  The couple had 10 children.  Two sons served in the First World War: Kenneth Murdoch Matheson was killed in action on the Somme in October 1916, and Donald Munro Matheson was wounded in France but returned safely to New Zealand in 1919 (and lived until he was 94).