George Vesey Stewart
Pioneer New Zealand Settler
1832 to 1920
Stewart was born in Martray, Co Tyrone, and educated at Trinity College, Dublin. After a period of farming in Tyrone he emigrated to New Zealand; his plan was to settle Ulster gentry and tenant farmers there. With that in mind he bought land from the New Zealand government at Katikati, Tauranga Gulf, on the eastern shore of North Island, and sold it off in farming lots to the immigrants. A first group of twenty-eight families arrived in 1875, and a further three hundred people in 1878. All in all he settled four thousand Ulster people in New Zealand, at Katikati and in a second settlement at Te Puke. The venture got off to a slow start, but the settlers finally achieved success as dairy farmers. The opening of the Martha gold mine at Waihi, twenty miles away, added to their prosperity. Stewart is buried at Katikati.
Location of plaque: Martray, Co Tyrone
Date of Unveiling: 20 March 1995