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The history of tobacco growing in Motueka

Question 7:  Why did they start/stop growing tobacco in Motueka? What types of tobacco were grown in Motueka?

Answer 1:  The first commercial crops were grown at Brooklyn in 1888-1890 by Horatio Everett. This would be air-dried tobacco. Flue-cured tobacco did not become widespread until after 1926/7 when W D nd H O Wills established contracts in the area.

Commercial growing ceased on any major scale after the 1994/5 growing season. This was the result of many factors, but principally the withdrawal of the major companies from purchasing NZ-grown tobacco.

More information can be found in 'The Golden Harvest - A History of Tobacco Growing in New Zealand' by Patricia K O'Shea, published 1997.
- Patsy O'Shea

Answer 2:  Why they grew tobacco in Motueka and then in 1996 stopped growing it is a very complex question - too long for an answer here. Your TDC library will have the book "The Golden Harvest" by Patricia K O'Shea which tells you the whole history. Or borrow by interloan. There was also a video brought out at the same time which may still be available at the Motueka Museum.

Burley tobacco which dried in the air was grown here and also Virginia Gold and Cutty Saga (sp?) but I wasn't the tobacco grower, only the hard working daughter, so there were probably other varieties as well.
- Coralie Smith

Answer 3:  Whilst I don't have a history of growing tobacco, I have smoked plenty and I would venture to suggest that the name of the tobacco she was unsure of would have been "Cutty Sark", a popular pipe tobacco in England. Hope this helps.
- Alan Dones




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