New Zealand’s farming community is indebted to Ernest Hayes, a farmer and flour miller who began producing and selling farm tools from his Oturehua property in Central Otago.
As well as the internationally-acclaimed wire strainer, other Hayes inventions included pulley blocks and cattle stops – indispensable to farmers and still seen throughout New Zealand today.
Hayes, supported by his wife Hannah, expanded operations from the original homestead to include a stone workshop (with sun-dried brick portions added in 1908 and a galvanised iron wing in 1914). These, along with the 1895 homestead, brick stables and first office, both 1912, are still standing – along with remnants of a windmill built in 1910 to power the works.
Visitors will see the works have been well preserved and appear very much as they did when in operation. For the first time, you can look over the original homestead as well, with its own intriguing quirks and comforts for family life.