The following excerpts from reports sent to Auckland newspapers in the 1870s give particulars of the progress made by settlers at Matakana.
“The new store run by Messrs Richards and Millar is a convenience to settlers and gum diggers, saving many a journey to Mahurangi.”
“The builder is busy constructing the new Public Hall at Upper Matakana.
It promises to be a useful addition to the district.”
“An acre of land given by Mr. Mathew is to be enclosed as a cemetery.”
“With the spring weather crops of oats, potatoes and maize are thriving.
Pheasants have been a problem but the feathered pilferers are deterred if seeds are soaked in kerosene before sowing.”
“Settlers are busy with sheep shearing, their labour rendered more pleasant by the rise in the price of wool.”
“Visitors are recommended to climb Mt Tamahuhu (Tamahunga), the effort of ascending the summit well repaid by the magnificent sight of the surrounding countryside. Here will be seen the remains of a pa built by the Maori prisoners who escaped from Kawau.
“The PS Annie Millbank makes weekly trips from Auckland, landing and receiving passengers and goods at Lower Matakana (Sandspit ). Her in the river causes a scene of bustle. She is soon surrounded by a fleet of the flat-bottomed punts used in the unloading. The greatest need of the district is a wharf.”
“Exports from the area include wool, grass seed, butter, eggs, kauri gum, posts, rails and firewood.”