Firewood and building timber was being harvested as early as mid 1840’s early gatherers included Captain Sullivan who established himself at Mahurangi West. Soon after the Mahurangi Purchase the government began to issue cutting licenses for firewood. Early licensed cutters included a Robert Laurie and the Cowans at Cowans Bay. Robert supplied wood to fire the kilns at his family brickworks on Karangahape road in Auckland run by his father and brothers. Cowan also made bricks choosing to fire them locally. Timber was also needed for building construction in Auckland and Philip Charles Dyer set up operation at Dyers creek near. Dyer cut timber including planks and shingles shipping them to Auckland using his own ship the Post Boy which was one of the first ships built on the river. He moved to Pākiri where in addition to the timber business he ran the Post Office and store, donated land and built a school and ended up owning much of the land. His wife Eliza died and he began drinking heavily eventually murdering his mistress Elizabeth Battersea. He was hung for this murder at Mount Eden gaol in 1874.