Chapelwick has a long and distinguished history that dates back to the first colonial ships and the establishment of Porangahau Station in 1854.
George Hunter Family, along with his wife Helen and 10 children arrived in Wellington, New Zealand, on 8 February 1840 onboard the Duke of Roxburgh, having left England on 3 October 1839. George Hunter Senior quickly became involved in commerce and was a driving force in both the governance and development of central Wellington, later becoming its first Mayor.
Georgeís son, George Junior, who established New Zealandís first stock and station agency and was a thriving businessman, purchased Porangahau Station in the late 1850s. He was the first to build an ancestral family home at Porangahau. Like many homesteads of that era, it burned down and had to be rebuilt in 1920. From what we read though, the current imposing structure is quite an improvement on its predecessor. The family chapel was built in the homestead grounds in the 1870ís.
It was managed by his younger brothers David and William, although by all accounts this was not a satisfactory relationship as the absentee ownerís theoretical knowledge of farming did not always correspond with the harsh challenges of developing a coastal property.
In 1876, George Juniorís son, also George (and later Sir George) came to Porangahau, with his brother Paul following later. They farmed the property jointly until 1908, when the land holding was split between them.
The property remained in the Hunter family until 1986.