Haldon Station - History
In the late 1850’s the Dutch pioneer Thomas Teschmaker along with his brother and mother, a women later renowned in the Mackenzie district for her kindness and good deeds, first lay claim to a 20 000 acre Run they named Haldon, after the ‘Haldon Hills’ in Exmouth Devon, which is where the Teschmakers had last lived before coming to New Zealand. They built up the Run to 57 000 acres and stocked it with 360 ewes 40 wethers and 100 head of cattle from Otaio station.
In 1868 the Teschmakers sold Haldon to William Cunningham Smith, John Tennant Wallace and George James Denarstoun. Unfortunately during their ownership the rabbit plague grew to such a proportion that it became one of the contributing factors for them to decide to sell the property in 1878 to William Pringle.
When Pringle bought Haldon it was running about 25 000 sheep. Pringle sold the Station in 1888 to James Henry Preston. Preston ended up marrying Pringles daughter Margaret, who is noted in the history books for humorously telling that she was thrown in with the sale!
Preston improved Haldon’s carrying capacity immensely, as well as improving overall stock quality he built many new fences over the station and built a new homestead out of stone quarried from near by Mt Maggie.
In 1895 Preston sold Haldon to Archibald Morton who after getting into financial difficulties sold it back to Preston in 1904. His wife Margaret bought Black Forest and the two stations were then run together.
In 1917 Haldon and Black Forest were then sold to Simon McKenzie who in 1919 sold the property to James Innes. James (senior) retired in 1963 and the then 80 000 acre property was divided between James two sons Ian and Allen. Ian took over the 16.635 Acre (6720 ha) Haldon Canterbury University lease and the 19,050 acre (7700 ha) Kirkliston pastoral crown lease. The southern boundary extends from Hakataramea Station to Waitangi Station, Waitaki valley, Black forest and the Northern boundary is Grays hills station.
Ian ran a flock of 7 000 merino sheep and cultivated 400 acres of the station which were planted with Lucerne.
In the 1970’s Ian Innes retired and his son James took over the day to day running of the Station. James (jnr) like his father and Grandfather before him was a well known figure in South Canterbury High country farming and with his own entrepreneurial aptitude established and implemented many unique yet exceptional farming practices.
Jame's advanced initiatives in both genetic development and land improvement have contributed greatly to Haldon’s current position of strength. In particular the development of 460 hectares of Borderdike irrigation which James was ridiculed by neighboring farmers for what they mistakenly saw as him as developing Crown Land. That land has become the life blood of Haldon station, ultimately giving us summer feed security. (In addition this piece of land has subsequently become freeholded by the Station)
Secondly with James intense interest in Genetic improvements, he was to set up with a group of other like minded progressive farmers a genetic breeding program for the Hereford cattle called Genepool, whose aim is to concentrate the top blood strains of a larger group of Hereford cattle into one pool of animals. The intensive record keeping and stock profiling and culling of inadequate animals underpins the development of all Haldon Stock including our sheep and deer, allowing us to continually improve on our stock quality and productivity. Most importantly these tools enable us to boast of our phenomenal success in all areas of stock performance and land development.
Unfortunately however through a mixture of unforeseen world wide financial issues and the deregulation of the New Zealand agricultural industry by the government of the time, James was caught out carrying too much debt and was forced to sell Haldon.
In 1991 Hans and Jenny Klisser originally from Holland but much more recently Auckland, New Zealand where they had spent the last 40 years building one of New Zealand’s most successful businesses in the Baking industry had recently sold their business and were looking for their next opportunity. When they were introduced to Haldon Station it was love at first sight for the Klisser family.
Since the Klissers bought the Station, Haldon has undergone some startling changes and has been further improved into what it is today; a thriving enterprise now boasting top quality merinos, red deer and Hereford and more recently Black Angus Cattle.
Many of the practices which were initiated by James Innes have been built upon and fined-tuned and other new developments have been implemented by the current Manager Paddy Boyd who has been at Haldon for 28 years with his wife Barbara and has a phenomenal reputation as an outstanding farmer. Together with the Klissers and their renowned business acumen they have together built Haldon Station from strength-to-strength as the station continues its drive for excellence.