Mr Rockstraw was a Prussian born in Effurt, Germany. As a young man he migrated to a older colony of New Zealand, where he practiced medicine in the goldfields of the West Coast. In 1873, Prime Minister Fox persuaded him to go north and serve as medical officer to the Natives between Horowhenua and the Rangitikei. John settled in Foxton and worked with not only Maoris, but the early European settlers up the Manawatu (it was 1875 before Palmerston North had its first resident Doctor). He finally transferred to Palmerston north in about 1890 with his family to Cuba Street. After some years he resigned the practice and died one of the last early pioneers 30 May 1913.