The timber firm of Mander & Bradley milled Nihotupu. Francis “Frank” Mander and Samuel Bradley were principals of the company. They bought the rights to mill Wasley’s bush in 1895 from a firm called Clinkard & McLeod who had acquired it from the Wasley family in 1890.
Mander was Onehunga-born and started his working life at 10 years of age. He was in his mid-40s when the Nihotupu operation started, but this was not his first timber-milling venture; he was a lifelong timber man and had already milled at Awhitu, Kaipara and the Northern Wairoa. Mander was later a Member of Parliament and newspaper proprietor.