Bite Size: Collard’s Green

In Auckland, Buscomb Brothers, Collard Bros, Crest Fine Foods, Herbert Newman Collard, John Wacher Collard, Kent, Live research, Northland, Orchard, Sutton Baron Hall, Sutton Baron Orchard, The Crest Brand fruit, Whangarei Fruit Farms on January 28, 2014 at 10.46

Collard Fruit  LWK copy

Back in early November, I decided to experiment with the idea of a one day “live research” project on my sister page for Longwhitekid on Facebook, History Always Repeats.

The result was The Sugar Boiler. I think it went quite well, so I decided to do another which, I think, ended up being far more interesting than the first – uncovering a wealthy, industrious and enterprising family – who contributed notably to a major New Zealand industry. It even took me back to my hometown (electronically) on land we used to roam around as kids not far from that extraordinary architectural curiosity, Swan Arch, in Henderson.


This research project “Pipped By The Post” was inspired by an unusual lot that came up for auction on Trade Me a while back. This was an old fruit crate label for “Whangarei Fruit Farms”, and was accompanied by a postcard sent to an orchard inspector in Whangarei in the early 1910s from Mexico. It was so interesting I put the images aside to look into later on and see what I could find out. I suppose I was wondering whether there was any early connection to the hugely popular Crest Fine Foods brand which was a fruit and vegetable canning business in New Zealand from the mid 1940s through the mid 1970s (now completely forgotten).

collard story
As it turns out I can’t prove that, although the items came from two brothers, and in fact involved three siblings, that there was ever any real connection between Hampshire, U.K. and Northland, New Zealand. Read away, and find out for yourself. The album is here with the comments underneath telling the story, over two days, as I progressed.

All content of Longwhitekid copyright Darian Zam © 2014. All rights reserved.

  1. The journey that research can lead you on is the fun part. What a great way of sharing some of that process, along with all the red herrings, curiosity, brick walls, revelations and discoveries that come with it. Well done!

  2. I agree that is the really fun part. Getting it all into some kind of semblance of organisation and posted to WordPress is another story…

  3. I am 44 now, and it wasn’t a Guy Fawkes until you had PoHa’s, unsure why down here in CHCH they called them Double Happy’s, (or is that the Chinese translation). I actually have a packet of un used un abused PoHas at home, I tried to sell them on Trademe as a collectors gimmick, but they withdrew them after a couple of days…

    • Thanks for your comment Troy. I think you meant to comment under the top fifty images post. As far as I know Po Ha was just the brand, but it may translate to something in a Chinese dialect as well. Yes Trade Me have some funny ideas about their own terms of service. In this case they are probably clear about things like fireworks. Are they actually illegal to let off now? I think that’s the case here too but it doesn’t seem to stop people doing it anyway. I don’t know why people do it especially when they are animal owners and it frightens the poor pets no end.

    • Super exticed to see more of this kind of stuff online.

  4. Hi I am the grandson of H Newman Collard and still live in Liss

    • Good to hear! Thanks for reading Jeremy.

      • So Herbert never actually bought Ciddy Hall…i believe his wife wasnt a fan instead buying a house half a mile down the road called palmers farm which became the main base of operations for whangarei fruit farms….where is prospered till the mid 50’s when he died. The house is still in the family and his son / my uncle still lives there.

      • Thanks for correcting that part of the history.

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