In 1857, the 20-year-old James Nelson Williams had borrowed the wherewithal to establish Kereru as one of Hawke’s Bay’s earliest sheep runs. Both generations adopted a similar approach to the farm, employing able managers to shape profit-making enterprises.
Quirky and creative, sisters Ruth Nelson and Gwen Malden purchased the rundown Kereru Station in the aftermath of World War II. Reviving the sprawling sheep station’s fortunes, these visionary women channelled its profits into their favoured causes. Ruth, with her lifelong friend Edna Burbury, founded and supported Hawke’s Bay’s Rudolf Steiner school while Gwen, a gifted painter, buoyed up the arts and charities dear to her heart.
Enriching this history are the stories told by those who have lived and worked on the historic station, battling wind, drought, pests and floods while never failing to be seduced by the spectacular beauty of its landscape.