New Zealand Agricultural Company
The New Zealand Agricultural Company was established in 1878 when both the freehold and leasehold portions of several stations between Gore and Lumsden were amalgamated. The directors of this company included a number of men prominent in politics and business in Dunedin such as William Larnach and Henry Driver, Robt. Stout, acting as the company's solicitor. The objective was to develop the land and dispose of it on profitable terms. This same group of men also financed the construction of a railway from Gore to Lumsden. From the beginning the company's affairs came in for criticism as Julius Vogel, the then Agent-General in London, accepted a position on the board of directors, this leading to a peremptory demand from the Premier, Sir George Grey, that he sever all connection with the company. The New Zealand Agricultural Company was not very successful financially, the depression of the 1880s and 1890s and the rabbit invasion reducing the return from farming operations and discouraging land sales. The last sale took place in 1909, the Company's affairs having been administered by a liquidator for a good many years.