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James Stewart ( 1833-1914)



Balfour recommended a principal harbour light be erected on Bean Rock and a screw pile light be erected on a sand spit in Ponui Passage. But before the lighthouses could be built Balfour was drowned in a boating accident in Timaru Harbour in December, 1869. So the lighthouse was designed by engineer James Stewart 16 who incorporated Balfour’s design. 55

Stewart who arrived in New Zealand from Scotland in 1859, was appointed by the Marine Department to be Inspector of Steamers and Examiner of Engineers at Auckland in 1867.  He also designed Bean Rock and oversaw Manakau South Heads lighthouses. 55


The first lantern built for the South Manukau head was destroyed by fire in 1870.

The new lantern was the first to be fitted with the "Captain Doty's" patented paraffin burners instead of the usual colza oil burners. At the time colza was 2s 5d a gallon and paraffin was only 1s 7d a gallon. The light was a success and far cheaper to run. By 1877 only Pencarrow and Tiritiri Matangi were still burning colza oil.

The building overseer was James Stewart  a civil engineer who arrived in New Zealand from Scotland in 1859. He also designed Bean Rock and Ponui Passage lighthouses. 55


Designed the following lighthouses:

Bean Rock

Ponui Passage

Manakau South Heads



CONSTRUCTOR, OF WAIKATO RAILWAY. A well known and esteemed personality will be missed from the ranks of Auckland's pioneer citizens by the death of Mr James Stewart, MiCK, who died this morning at the advanced age of 8:2 years. The late Mr Stewart was a native of Perthshire, Scotland, where he was educated and received his early training in the profession of civil engineering. In 1859 he sailed for New Zealand in" the ship Joseph Fletcher, landing at Auckland in August of that year. He immediately started practice, and gained a premium offered by the Provincial Government for a design for the Auckland waterworks, and later in conjunction with Mr. Samuel Harding surveyed the Auckland-Drury railway route. In 1562 he was appointed engineer to the Auckland City Board of Works, but when war broke out lie received a command in the militia, and in September of 1564 was dispatched 'by the Minister of De- fence to Sydney for the purpose of procuring two towing steamers for ser- nee on the Waikato River. After some special work in the Waikato the Rail- j way Commissioners of the Provincial Government appointed him and Mr. Harding engineers for the construction of the Auekland-Drury railway, which work was stopped for want of funds in 1867, and wae not resumed till 1872, when th<- Colonial Department of Public Works was established. Meantime Mr Stewart was appointed by the Marine Department, as Inspector of SteameTs and Examiner of Engineers iat Auckland, while he also resumed private practice, and among other works devised alterations to the engines of the 5.5. Star of the South to the compound principle, then in its infancy. Mr Stf»vnrt also designed the Bean Rocks lighthousp opposite North Head, and the lighthouse in the Ponui passage, between Auckland and Thames. In 157"2 he was appointed resident engineer of the Auck- land and Mercer railway, and two year 3 later the whoii! of the railway works in the Auckland province were placed in his charge as district engineer. Subsequently he retired from the service of the Department, and re-entered private practice, among the works UTider- I taken by him being the Thames Valley an,l Rotorua railway, and the Te A-roha <'ounty tr-arrrways for the opening of the W;uoranjr-»mii mints. In conjunction with Mr Ashley Hunter, who joined him as partner, Mr Stewart aJeo carried out the work of laying the Auckland tram- J ¦ways, and clcfiijrned the pumps for the Calliope Dock. Mr Hunter retired from the firm in ISM, sinvp. when .Mr Stewart j carried on tfoo trusrnpss till quite rcrently, having devoted a great deal of attention to fchp o-lectric portion of the Auckland tramways prior to the installation of tiro pro-sent system. Tho. la-te Mt Stewart has always been an ardent advocate of railway construction for opening up th<> countrj and has done a great ik-al of valuable, work in thie ¦Tpxpeot ac <v member of the Auckland Bail-way league. Mr Stewart was mw ried in Scotjand prior to Jus


a. Auckland Star, Volume XLV, Issue 37, 12 February 1914, Page 7




Additional Sources:

a. Auckland Star, Volume XLV, Issue 37, 12 February 1914, Page 7


55. Anne Stewart Ball,  2007.











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