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John "Johnny" Jones was a pioneer settler in New Zealand. Born in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, Jones was the third son of Thomas Jones, one of the early settlers in New South Wales. He spent his early life on sealing and whaling ships, before becoming a ferryman at Port Jackson. He married Sarah Sizemore on 7 January 1828 in Sydney, and they had 11 children, although two died as infants. In 1835 Jones and Edwin Palmer went into a partnership to purchase a whaling station in New Zealand and a schooner for whaling. Within the next few years, his shrewd business skills allowed him to gain a controlling interest in seven New Zealand whaling stations. In 1838 he bought a whaling station and land near Waikouaiti, and also purchased from Ngai Tahu chief "Bloody Jack" Tuhawaiki a large area of land, amounting to a considerable part of what is now North and Central Otago. Much of this purchase was later annulled when South Island lands were ceded to The Crown. After long wrangling, Jones was eventually allowed to keep some 11,000 acres. In 1840, Jones' Waikouaiti station became the organised settlement in the eastern South Island. About 10 families from Sydney were settled close to the station as a farming community, to provide food for the station and to grow crops and to raise sheep and cattle.
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