The encouragement of settlement by Europeans in the Seventy Mile Bush was initiated when the Government purchased the Tamaki Block of 250,000 acres from the Maori owners on 16 August 1871 for 16,532 pounds.
The Government then proceeded with an immigration scheme to overcome the shortage of labour required to develop the forest areas. Mr Erik FRIBERG was appointed to select suitable settlers from Scandinavia and Germany. The first party of settlers to arrive founded Norsewood and were allocated sections in the surrounding virgin forest.
Mr FRIBERG returned to Europe in 1875 and organised another party of settlers. They were comprised of mainly Danes and Germans and they paid 5 pounds per adult towards their fare. They sailed from Hamburg on the ship 'Friedeburg' on the 7th May 1875, and after a passage of 108 days sailing arrived in Napier on 24th August 1875. The party was housed in the immigration barracks at Napier for a few days whilst groups and destinations were being organised. One group went to Dannevirke, another to Makaretu and the remaining seven families were allocated 40 acre sections on Friberg Road (now Garfield Road).
They had a tedious journey by bullock dray and eventually arrived in Takapau where they were housed in railway huts. The men were employed on railway formation work until Friberg Road was formed suitably enough. This work of road forming was practically all carried out by Emmanual FREDERICKSEN and Christian PETERSEN. Mr Friberg escorted the men to the area of proposed settlement early in 1876. The men drew their section numbers out of a hat. The 'road' was really only a rough track and impassable to bullock drays, so, all their possessions had to be off-loaded and carried.
The sections were still covered in dense forest marked with survey pegs and were allocated to: Jacob SCHAARE, Christen HOLM, Gottlieb SCHMIDT, Carl SCHMIDT, W. [Wilhelm] EBEL, [Hans Heinrich] BEUCK and Jurgen SCHMIDT. The term of their purchase required them to proceed with land clearance and establishment of a home. These tasks were carried out whenever they could manage to fit in time after working away from home on road and railway work. For such work they received 6/- per day. They camped in crude slab huts for approximately eight years.