The Ngati Werewere people of the Ngati Haua Iwi were resident in Piako when the first trader, John Johnson, came to the district in 1852. Contractors such as Harp and settlers such as Turnbull, Walker, Murray, Horrell and McDonald followed in the 1870s. Thomas Morrin purchased the Kuranui No 1 Block in 1873/4 and founded the Lockerbie Estate.
He built the blacksmith’s shop, manager’s house and a bulk store and donated land for a school. Two years before the railway arrived in October1884, Morrin laid out a town that was to become Morrinsville. The arrival of the railway line saw the first population boost for the town.