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Name: Ra Ora Drive
Location: East Tamaki
Local Authority: Manukau City
Origin of Name: Named after the famous Ra Ora Stud, the local stud farm formerly owned by Sir Woolf Fisher, past president of the Auckland Racing Club and co-founder of the firm Fisher and Paykel Ltd.
People: Fisher, Sir Woolf (1912-1975), namesake and former landowner. Woolf Fisher was born in Wellington to Jewish parents Michael Fisher and Fanny Dabcheck. They lived in Paraparaumu, then moving to Auckland. After school Fisher became an agent for the importing firm Paykel Brothers, and in 1934 he co-established a refrigerator importing company in partnership with his father, his friend Maurice Paykel, and Maurice's father George Paykel. The following year Woolf married Maurice Paykel's sister, Joyce. The success and innovation of Fisher and Paykel Ltd. (see Springs Road, Allens Road, Highbrook Drive) was to gain it national and international recognition. Sir Woolf Fisher has also been associated with a number of other enterprises, including being first chairman of New Zealand Steel Ltd. Woolf Fisher once rode with the nearby Pakuranga Hunt (regarding the hunt see nearby streets Quartley Place, Cottesmore Place, Millington Place, Halstead Place. See also "A Noble Breed", as below, p 299). Fisher was a Polo enthusiast, and in addition to serving on the board of the Auckland Racing Club for 17 years, with two years as president, he also revived the Auckland Polo Club in 1955. Originally Sir Woolf Fisher's property Ra Ora Stud was established in 1940 at Waipuna Road, Mt Wellington, but after growing it was transferred to the much-admired 177 acre property in East Tamaki, now addressed as 30 Waiouru Road and being run by Mr Peter Keating. Numerous winning horses were foaled at Ra Ora during Woolf Fisher's years, perhaps most notably El Khobar, which won races in NZ, Australia, and America. Woolf Fisher was a philanthropist, especially in education, establishing the Woolf Fisher Trust to enable post-primary teachers to study overseas. He was also first president of the Outward Bound Trust of New Zealand, and was active in numerous other organisations, including the Auckland Hebrew Congragation trust board. Woolf fisher was knighted in 1964.
Publication References: Sir Woolf Fisher and Ra Ora Stud. See pages 49, 249, 299 of Mackie, William. A Noble Breed: Auckland Racing Club 1874-1974. 1974 (AWMM NZ Coll, SF 335).
Pictorial References:
  • Ra Ora Stud. See page 49 of Mackie, William. A Noble Breed: Auckland Racing Club 1874-1974. 1974 (AWMM NZ Coll, SF 335).
  • Sir Woolf Fisher, portrait. See page 299 of Mackie, William. A Noble Breed: Auckland Racing Club 1874-1974. 1974 (AWMM NZ Coll, SF 335).
  • Woolf Fisher, as a child with his family. See an envelope of photographs among historical notes on Fisher and Paykel Ltd, written and collected by John Stacpoole (AWMM MS 1633, box 14, folder 1).
  • Woolf Fisher, Michael Fisher, and Maurice Paykel, pictured at an office desk. See an envelope of photographs among historical notes on Fisher and Paykel Ltd, written and collected by John Stacpoole (AWMM MS 1633, box 14, folder 1).
Information Sources:
  • Papatoetoe Historical Society
  • Dictionary of NZ Biography
Theme:
  • Place Names - Local
  • Commercial
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