Life in a developing land wasn’t going to be easy though - his first agent arrived on the boat incapacitated, a director drowned, an assistant died of fever and the acting agent resigned.
Despite these challenges, Joseph’s careful management restored and strengthened the bank’s reputation.
Joseph quickly became an influential figure in the region known as a prudent lender with low tolerance for excessive spending. He arranged a number of the original loans in Christchurch and also for the big Canterbury sheep run holders.
It was then, perhaps influenced by his banking farming customers, that Joseph purchased the 120,000 acre Double Hill Station in the Rakaia Gorge, Canterbury.
And that is where the banker and a number of his 13 children developed a passion for sheep and beef farming.
Selby’s grandfather, also named Selby, was one of those 13 children.
“My grandfather loved growing up on Double Hill Station. He knew from a young age working on the land was his calling,” explains Selby.
“Joseph encouraged his passion and consciously passed on knowledge about how to make farming a sustainable and viable career. He brought this Te Aratipi station Havelock North in 1915 for the princely sum of 32,000 pounds, plus another 8,000 pounds for the stock. Interestingly enough the interest rate on the mortgage was 5.5 per cent, very similar to today.”