People Treasures

The Turtons

Gabrielle, William and Farirai built a sculpture of the Turton's Hotel.

The Turton's were Ashburton's first settlers. They arrived in 1858. There was nothing around them but the flat Canturbury plains covered in tussock grass. They decided to build their own hotel.

When travellers crossed the Rakaia River they could rest at the hotel before crossing the Ashburton River. The Turton's Hotel offered rooms that were warm and dry and provided good food to eat.

After all that hard work other people decided to settle in Ashburton too. That is why the town got bigger and bigger and before they knew it the whole town had spread out around their hotel.

William Turton

Francis Turton

This was our main question that we wanted to answer. William Turton had lots of jobs from being a ferryman to a shopkeeper. William Turton was born in Gloucestershire in England. He was educated in Oxford in England.

Hayden Roulston

Hayden Roulston was born on 10th Jaunuary, 1981 in Ashburton. He is a professional cyclist. In August, Hayden won 2 medals at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. He won a silver in the individual pursuit and a bronze in the team pursuit. Hayden went to Tinwald School and then to Ashburton College. He started his cycling career at the Tinwald Cycling Club in Ashburton.

In 2002, Hayden joined the Cofidis Team in France and became a professional cyclist. Unfortunately he got injured and left in 2005. He was diagnosed with a heart condition and has used alternative remedies to get back into cycling. After the Olympics, he decided to race on the road again with Cervelo Test Team in 2009.

In September, Hayden came to Tinwald School to share his medals with us. Room Kauri invited him to our school by email. The whole school formed a guard of honour as he walked up the driveway. Hayden spent time talking to Kauri about his Olympics experience and showing them his medals.

Adam Thomson

Why is Adam Thomson an Ashburton Treasure?
Full Name: Adam Thomson
Date of Birth: 13th March 1982
Place of Birth: Christchurch, New Zealand
Height: 1.96m (6ft 5 inches)
Weight: 108kg (17 stone)
Rugby Position: Blindside Flanker, Loose Forward
All Black Number: 1073
National Team Played for:

2006 - 2007 NZ Rugby Sevens team

2008 - All Blacks

Home Town: Tinwald, Ashburton

Adam started his career at Tinwald Tigers when he was seven years of age. Adam then went on to play at Medbury School in Christchurch. He has always been a loose forward throughout his rugby career. When he was my age he was a No. 8 and then he went on to play on the flanks. He can play openside or blindside flanker. Adam was identified by a scout and was so good at what he did he went to Christchurch Boys High where he played with Daniel Carter.

Adam went to Dunedin when he went to University. He made his Otago rugby debut on the 17th September 2004 when he started playing against Waikato. Adam has scored 35 points for the 32 games he has played. Adam was then picked for the Highlanders in 2006 after a great season with Otago. Adam did not make the 2007 team but he came back in 2008 and played in 12 matches. At the start of the season he was just a replacement but he played so well that mid-season he was the top choice for blindside flanker. Adam scored 15 points in his 2008 season. He has played 15 games in his whole Super 14 career. He even scored one try against the Crusaders in that great victory!

Adam had hit the big time when he made the world class All Black team. He was selected to play in the Iveco series in June 2008. He made his debut on the bench against Ireland when he replaced Rodney So'oialo. He then started the second test against England. Adam has also made a lot of New Zealand rep teams including the NZ secondary schools team, NZ under 19 team, and NZ under 21's. Adam has played in the NZ sevens team as well.

John Grigg

Who was John Grigg and why was he important to Ashburton?

In the year 1828, John Grigg was born. John Grigg was a pioneer Canterbury farmer. He came from England to New Zealand in 1854. When he arrived, be bought some land to start a farm. He was really good at breeding sheep and his sheep were in many shows around NZ. When he went to Dunedin for a show, he liked the look of the South Island better than the North Island. So his family began a farm at Longbeach. His first farm at Longbeach was huge - 30,000 acres of 'impassable swamp'. He spent the rest of his life making his farm into the best in the world. He converted the swampy land into productive farmland. His farm was one of the most successful in our area and is still well known today.

He later founded the Canterbury Frozen Meat Company. He was a member of the Ashburton County Council and a member of Parliament.

He is remembered as a man of strength. After his death in 1901, a statue of Grigg was erected in Baring Square. He died at Longbeach. He is buried there. He had 2 sons and 5 daughters.

This is the statue of John Grigg at Baring Square.  

Peter Lynn

Who is Peter Lynn and why is he an Ashburton Treasure? Read this slide show to find out!






''The Collins story has a parallel in many rural towns of New Zealand. Men like W.H. Collins helped fashion the communities which are the backbone of New Zealand's now vastly diversified economy.

When we look back at the success of W.H.Collins & Co over the past 125 years, the company's code of practice has been both sound and simple:

"Make haste slowly

Have a basic respect for people and community

Have an ability to move with the times.

I hope you enjoy this piece of information.

Ashburtonians in it have contributed substantially to this stable business community we have today"


Managing Director,

W.H.Collins &


W.H. Collins - The Man

W.H.Collins arrived in New Zealand as a young 19 - year old with an engineering apprenticeship, an excellent brain and a keen eye for a business chance. Collins would have been a good risk for any prospective employer.

In the late 1880s, Collins began looking around for suitable land to build a family home and in1893, he purchased eight acres on the North West belt, now Walnut Avenue.

A beautiful homestead was built out of the finest timbers and named 'Menorlue' after Collins' birth place.

Collins was a religious man and a great worker for the Baring Square church. For many years he held office as Sunday School Superintendent steward.

Collins was a Mason and played a prominent part in the Somerset Masonic Lodge. He was a tough businessman (the story goes he once gave a young employee some advice about buying a property and then charged him for it!!!)

The delightful gardens became a show piece in Ashburton and the venue for many wonderful garden parties and charity events.

W.H. Collins - The Younger

Collins' eldest son Reginald was now being groomed to take over the company.

Collins died in 1916 at 35 years of age. It had taken his father 35 years to establish the company on a very firm footing and the younger Collins was very ready to move up.

W.H. Collins - The Company

There were originally West and East Streets. West Street was picked as ideal for parking. Joinery and timber yards were only in West Street originally and retail shops were in West Street too.

As times changed, products changed.

Lye takes Ownership of Collins Mitre 10

A number of significant moves took place in Richard Lye's early years of ownership.

It was an old family company and it had a lot of family shareholders who wanted their money out. He saw it as an ideal purchase. He worked there at the time and purchased it through an accountant. He was at the right place at the right time.

Did you know...

Smoke Siren - a familiar sound to many of the workers in central Ashburton is the Mitre 10 siren. It has been a daily tradition for over 60 years.

In the mid-1940's an ex-army siren was installed to herald the beginning and end of the working day, as well as smoko times. It was usually manned by one of the apprentices, who would sound it just before making the tea. The same siren continues to this day and is noted by hundreds of workers in the Moore and West Street area.