William Derisley Wood (25) trained as a miller at his father’s mill at Great Blakenham, and joined the Canterbury Association. William worked at first as secretary to John Robert Godley. He had a town acre in Peterborough Street, and took up the Sand Hills station with William Chisnall (Chisnalwood), on the coast between the Styx and the Estuary.They sold in 1854 and took up sheep farming in the Rakaia Gorge, on leasehold land. He returned to England, bringing back the machinery for a windmill, and a bride − Anna Maria Wilson, sister-in-law of William Chisnall. They set up a mill and built a cottage called the Mill House in Riccarton. He had 13 acres where Mona Vale now is.
He and his brother diverted a branch of the Waihi River near Winchester and set up a mill there, which was later sold to Daniel Inwood. For a time he had a merchant’s business exporting grain and flour. In 1882 he bought Swyncombe, a large property south of Kaikoura.
He had eight children.