Thursday, 28 November 2013

On this day in 1892

Thomas Edison receiving the first Phonographic Message from England, Auckland Star, 07 February 1891
Image courtesy of Papers Past
28 November 1892 - Phonograph heard for the first time in Tauranga

Sunday, 24 November 2013

On this day in 1897

Kinematograph projector
Image courtesy of George Eastman House Technology Archive
24 November 1897 - Mr A.H. Whitehouse from Auckland, the first person known to make moving pictures in New Zealand, arrives in Tauranga to give a "Kinematograph Exhibition."

Friday, 22 November 2013

Bowling was in vogue in Tauranga years ago

Lawn bowl and Bowling stone, Tauranga Heritage Collection
The shaped stone shown in this photograph, next to an ordinary lawn bowl, comes from the eastern end of the Otumoetai pa. It is said to resemble a stone bowl (ulu, olohu) of the kind once used in the Hawaiian Islands of Central Polynesia, in a game of called Maika.

These stone balls have only been found in the Tauranga and Mount Maunganui areas in New Zealand. This example is made of a soft, coarse grained stone - probably a local volcanic rhyolite - 8.5 to 13.5 cm in diameter and weighing 2.52 kg.

Throughout the last 150 years various collectors of Maori artefacts have come across these spherical shaped stones and deposited them in museums for safe-keeping. People are now able to research and document these artefacts, but more importantly it enables us to form an appreciation of, and an insight into, the lives of past cultures and possibly their pastimes, while appreciating the rarity of such taonga throughout New Zealand.     

Edward Earl Vaile was a collector who donated 14 bowling stones and 11 pumice bowls, all found at Mount Maunganui and Motuhoa Island, to the Auckland War Memorial Museum. Vaile was born on 3rd March 1864 at Hampstead, London, England, and educated at Auckland College and Grammar School. In 1886 he joined the family real estate business and was asked to give his advice on the value of an estate of undeveloped pumice land between Rotorua and Taupo. Around this point Vaile retired from the family business and became a farmer. He also had an interest in philanthropy and endowed the archaeologist’s position at Auckland Museum.

Despite the availability of these objects for research purposes, mysteries remain such as why the stones are limited to one locality?  Are there any links between these stones and those of the Pacific Island nations?  Were they imported here or locally manufactured?  Were they used to establish who the top athlete was, or simply part of a game to pass the time?

Friday, 15 November 2013

Mount Drury



Mount Drury from Moturiki (Photo courtesy of Fiona Kean & Charlie Colquhoun)
We took this photograph from Moturiki. It is also called Leisure Island. It was hard to find the right place to take the photograph from as it has changed a lot. Mt Drury doesn’t look as big.

Mount Drury from Moturiki (Photo courtesy of Tauranga Heritage Collection)
In the old photograph I thought there was a path on the beach. Aunty Fiona told me it was a tram track. I wonder where it went? Maybe it is still there? It could be under the sand. I thought maybe we could find it with a metal detector and dig it up.

Friday, 8 November 2013

The Silk Three-quarter Coat


The coat pictured is made of black silk, and lined with the same fabric. By its size, I would assume that this garment was made for Mrs Brain, and it is typical of the 30’s style when garments of fur, or decorated with fur, were very fashionable.

It is entirely hand made, with the maker using every scrap of fabric to complete the lining. evidence of this is all the hand stitching evident on the inside. The coat has a padding of some description to give it warmth, as it was possibly made for eveningwear. Without undoing a seam, I have not been able to identify the material used; it makes the coat quite heavy and it would have been very cosy.

Embellished with a wide band of fur around the hem and around the sleeves, and fastened with two toggles, this evening coat would have been very smart in its time. Sadly the fur is very fragile now, and attempts to repair it had to be abandoned because it was falling apart as I tried to re-stitch to the coat.

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

On this day in 1882

Horse drawn coach and passengers, Athenree Post Office and homestead, Tauranga district, c. 1906
Image courtesy of Alexander Turnbull Library
6 Nov 1882 - First coach trip from Grahamstown (Thames) to Tauranga.

Credit:
Horse drawn coach alongside the Athenree Post Office and Athenree homestead, Tauranga district. Ref: 1/1-003810-G. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. http://natlib.govt.nz/records/22606632

Saturday, 2 November 2013

On this day in 1872

Cricket on the Tauranga Domain, 1900
Image courtesy of Tauranga City Library, Ref. 99-349
2 November 1872 - First meeting to set up a Cricket Club

Friday, 1 November 2013

Spread your Mock Woodcock on toast ...

NZ Truth Cookery Book, 1950. Image: Tauranga Heritage Collection
"Spread your Mock Woodcock on toast and serve immediately," are the instructions in Phyllis Browne’s A Year’s Cookery published in 1902. The public’s fascination with old cookbooks and recipes is increasingly evident. Retro recipes feature in the Bay of Plenty Times, while David Veart traces the history of New Zealand cooking through cookbooks in his book, First Catch your Weka.

William Park’s New Cookery Book, 1895-96. Image: Tauranga Heritage Collection
The Tauranga Heritage Collection holds an array of cookbooks including New Zealand classics such as early editions of Edmonds Sure to Rise Cookery Book and NZ Truth Cookery Book. Most of the cookbooks were printed prior to WWII and a few date back to the 19th Century. William Park’s New Cookery Book, A Boon to the Household was printed in 1895 and its recipes reveal a time when anything could be turned into a tasty dish.

Fricasseed Calf’s Head
Clean and half boil a head; cut the meat into small bits and put it into a stewpan, with a little gravy made of the bones a bunch of sweat herbs, and onion and a blade of mace. Season the gravy with a little pepper, nutmeg and salt, rub down some flour and butter, and give all a boil together, then take out the herbs and onion and add a little cup of cream, but do not boil it.

Mock Woodcock

2 eggs, 1tbs Cream, Anchovies, Minced Tongue

Beat eggs and mix with cream. Warm the anchovies before the fire and put them with eggs into a saucepan and stir briskly over the fire until sauce thickens. Add the minced tongue, spread the preparation on toast and serve immediately.

Friday, 25 October 2013

The Oceanside Hotel

Ocean Lodge - showing Ocean Beach, c.1925-1926
Printed by Hugh & G. K Neill Ltd., Dunedin
The Oceanside Hotel with its white plaster façade, corrugated iron roof and distinctive turrets stood on the corner of Adams Avenue and Marine Parade from 1931 to 1995.

In 1918 a Captain Tovey built the first dwelling on the prime site. The Captain sold the house to a Major Stewart of Rotorua, but from 1932 the history of the building changed forever when it was converted into a private guest house for Mr. Walker Howard.

Hotel Oceanside and Ocean Beach, Mount Maunganui, c.1950s
Published by Paul Bouchier
In 1933 the hotel was damaged by fire, it was rebuilt and sold to Bert Taylor in 1935. Florence and James Rix purchased the hotel for 17,500 pounds after World War Two. In 1954 Mr. Rix purchased the hotel’s first liquor licence.

From 1959 the Oceanside was owned by the L D Nathan Group. My parents, Bill and Jean Fenton took over as licensee’s from June of that year and for two idyllic years home was the best spot in town.From the 1970’s the hotel passed through the hands of several owners until, on April 6th 1995, one of The Mount’s iconic buildings was lost forever, demolished to make way for the second of the Oceanside Twin Tower multi-storied apartment blocks.

Images from the collection of Justine Neal

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

On this day in 1937

Lyceum Club ladies doing The Mikado, 1949
Image courtesy of Tauranga City Library, Ref. 06-525
22 October 1937 - Lyceum Club formed

Sunday, 20 October 2013

On this day in 1920

Yachts on Tauranga Harbour, c.1930s
Image courtesy of Tauranga Heritage Collection
20 October 1920 - Tauranga Yacht and Power Boat Club formed.

Friday, 18 October 2013

Victorian Underwear


While on the subject of underwear, one interesting example from the Victorian era in the Brain-Watkins collection, is a pair of “Drawers’. These were the modern equivalent of bloomers. Though not worn as standard in the early part of the eighteenth century, they became an essential item when crinolines were introduced. They were worn next to the skin, and were necessary for both warmth and modesty in the case of an embarrassing moment.


Early drawers came well below the knee, each leg finished separately and joined together with a waistband, leaving the crotch open for easy toileting. During the 1860’s, drawers shortened to just below the knee level, which were sometimes gathered into knee bands, while the waistband had a yoke to reduce fullness. These became known as ‘knickerbockers’, from where we get the abbreviated word “knickers”.

The item in the Brain Watkins collection dates from the late 1800’s; it has openings at two sides with plackets, which are fastened with buttons. The crotch seam is closed, and the legs are straight, decorated at the bottom with a panel of broderie Anglaise, and finished with a frill of the main fabric bordered with a narrow strip of commercial lace.

Saturday, 12 October 2013

On this day in 1916

Fire on The Strand, 1916
Image courtesy of Tauranga City Library, Ref. 99-1109
12 November 1916 - Strand fire destroys block between Wharf and Spring Streets

Friday, 11 October 2013

Down These Mean Streets (2): More street hazards of early Tauranga

The far from smooth surface of Willow Street, c.1880.
Image © and courtesy of Tauranga City Libraries Ref. 99-729
Mud. The Bay of Plenty was, then as now, subject to downpours of almost tropical intensity, and there were constant complaints about mud, especially on the footpaths. Grey Street in 1875 was described as an ‘unhealthy swamp’.

Potholes. The heavy rainfalls played havoc with the road surfaces, whether shell, shingle, or asphalt, and holes in the road or footpath were a common hazard. The Council was forever playing catch-up with road formation and maintenance. In 1914, to finance its road improvement programme, it borrowed ₤10,000, a sum which proved to be insufficient.
Water. There was considerable difficulty in establishing accurate and workable road levels in the town centre. Willow Street caused particular problems, and there were many protests about changes in the flow of water as the road was formed. The Roads Board became ruthless. ‘We considered that the sanitary state of the town was even of greater importance than the formation of streets of an easy gradient, and this consideration more than any other decided us upon forming Willow street. The forming of this street to its proper level will necessitate property-holders in it to fill up their allotments or have them swamped’ (Bay of Plenty Times, 28 July 1877). Drains without traps on them were noted as a hazard, both to pedestrian safety and to the Council if legal action were to ensue, as late as 1916.

Road works, 1912 style: laying drains in Wharf Street
Image © and courtesy of Tauranga City Libraries Ref. 99-746
Dust. If the streets weren’t quagmires, they were dustbowls. In 1916 a petition was circulated about the dust nuisance on Cameron Road. It got 33 signatures. The Council refused to get a water cart to lay the dust, on the grounds of expense; a hose was deemed adequate.

Weeds. There were frequent complaints about gorse and other noxious plants. Householders who let gorse get out of control on their sections were ‘named and shamed’.

Vehicles. In 1916 there was indignation about buggies blocking the streets – they were parked, in some places, three deep. A few years later it was the reckless speed of motorists which caused concern. (Parking and speeding, not surprisingly, are still problems nearly a century later.)

Darkness. Electric street lights came in with much fanfare in October 1915, and then only in the central area of the town. Until then, there was some sporadic gas lighting in the main streets, but in general householders took their lives, or a torch, in their hands if they wanted to go out at night. All the daytime hazards – potholes, cattle, dogs, road works, mud – were magnified by darkness.

Absence of Road Signs. Name plates for the streets were purchased in 1915, to be put up on the power poles as soon as the electricity scheme was complete. It is unclear how the streets were identified before this.

Road Works. Before the days of OSH and the marking-out of diggings by lights and perimeter fences, road works posed a substantial risk to the unwary traveller. The Bay of Plenty Times gave a much-needed heads-up to its readers on 10 March 1877: ’in Spring street, where the cutting to connect it with the Cameron Road is in course of formation, any one not knowing what was going on might very easily have a disagreeable drop of some twelve feet [3.6 m] or so below the level of the ordinary roadway.’

In spite of the discomforts and dangers of getting about their town, the people of Tauranga were venturesome and inquisitive. They were not likely to stay at home when they could have excitements such as shopping, visits from dignitaries, openings of public buildings, war celebrations, trips to the library or cinema, musical and theatrical performances, meetings of clubs and societies, and the perennial amusement of taking each other to court.

Monday, 7 October 2013

On this day in 1881

Hairini Bridge, undated postcard by Meers
Image courtesy of Tauranga City Library, Ref. 02-189
7 October 1881 - Driving of first pile of Hairini Bridge

Friday, 4 October 2013

Dr Frank Bateson O.B.E.

Dr Frank Bateson O.B.E. (1909-1977)
“I have the opportunity of doing, if God wills, the things I have always wanted to do. By profession I am an accountant, by accident a businessman, but by nature an astronomer.”

Born in October 1909 Dr Frank Bateson O.B.E was a nationally and internationally renowned astronomer whose achievements included the establishment of the Mt John Observatory in South Canterbury. Often referred to as the father of modern New Zealand astronomy Dr Bateson lived and worked in Tauranga over a period of nearly 40 years.

His connection began in 1952 when he and his wife Doris purchased a holiday home in Greerton. In his book Paradise Beckons Frank writes that although they were shown the suburb of Otumoetai it was the county town of Greerton that impressed them both. At that time Greerton was largely citrus orchards with very few houses. In 1969, when Frank retired from his job as astronomer in charge of Mt John Observatory, the house in Pooles Road became their home.

It was from this home that Frank established a non-profit company to manage the network of variable star observers. Variable stars were his life’s work having founded the Variable Star Section of the New Zealand Astronomical Society in 1927. More than a million observations of these stars have since been recorded. In 1977 Dr Bateson’s many contributions to astronomy were recognized with an O.B.E and an honorary doctorate from Waikato University.

Dr Bateson passed away in Tauranga 16 April 2007 aged 97.

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

On this day in 1948

Tauranga Library, 1960
Image courtesy of Tauranga City Library, Ref. 06-299
2 October 1948 - Opening of the Children's Library at Tauranga

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

On this day in 1876

Greerton School, 1900
Miss Alice Brain is the teacher, standing at far left
Image courtesy of Tauranga City Library, Ref. 04-565
1 October 1876 - Greerton School opens for classes

Monday, 30 September 2013

On this day in 1914

Highland Pipe Band members, undated postcard
Image courtesy of Tauranga City Library, Ref. 03-420
30 Sep 1914 - First practise of pipe band

Friday, 27 September 2013

Brain's Boatyard

Vectus under construction, Brain slipway, Tauranga
Undated silver gelatin print, Brain Watkins House Collection

In 1881, shortly after moving to Tauranga, Joseph Brain took over the boatyard located at the northern end of The Strand, on the beach below the Monmouth Redoubt, from Charles Wood. He had previously worked as a carpenter on board gunboats on the Waikato, and in the naval dockyard, and set up as a boat builder with William Bishop in Auckland.

The General Gordon, a ketch, was probably the first boat built there by Joseph Brain, but it was by no means the last. The Ventnor, Vectus and Dream were scows designed for trade along the coast and, having a shallow draught, were able to navigate estuaries such as up the Waimapu to Blundell's flour mill. He manufactured the whaleboats Esther and Tarawera, coal barges for the Waihi Mining Company, a naphtha-fuelled launch, the Coy, and a shallow draft punt for the Matata flax mill. Steamers of the Northern Steamship Company, such as the Katikati, Fingal, Kaituna and Result, were also repaired on the Brain slipway.


On the wall of the central passage in Brain Watkins house are three mounted wooden half hull models, almost certainly replicas of boats that Brain built, although there are unfortunately no names attached to them.
Prior to the twentieth century, half hull model ships were constructed by shipwrights as a means of planning a ship's design and sheer and ensuring that the ship would be symmetrical. The half hulls were mounted on a board and were exact scale replicas of the actual ship's hull. With the advent of computer design, half hulls are now built as decorative nautical art and constructed after a ship is completed. [Courtesy of Wikipedia]

The boatyard business continued to operate under Brain's proprietorship in this location until the East Coast Main Trunk Railway was constructed in 1923.


Joseph Brain's interest in boats extended to leisure activities and several trophies, including this fine example won at the Tauranga Regatta of 1900, on display in the Harpham Room, are evidence of his success.

References

Arabin, Shirley (n.d.) Notes on Joseph Denham Brain.
Matthews & Matthews Architects Ltd., et al (2004) Brain Watkins House Conservation Plan.

Friday, 20 September 2013

Militaria Show

Charlie with machine gun (Photo courtesy of Fiona Kean)
In the weekend I went to the Militaria Show at the Greerton Hall with Aunty Fiona. It was really interesting. Here I am with a Machine Gun.

My favourite thing was a very old gun. The man who owned it told me it was used during the New Zealand Wars. It is more than 140 years old.

Remembering WW1 - 100 years on
There was a display for WW1. There was a gas mask that was really strange looking. I learnt that next year it will be 100 years since WW1.

Tuesday, 17 September 2013

On this day in 1926

Tauranga Hospital, undated
Image courtesy of Tauranga City Library, Ref. 03-320
17 Sep 1926 - New twenty-four bed hospital in use

Friday, 13 September 2013

The Second Tauranga Hotel

Tauranga Hotel, c. 1908
Image courtesy of Tauranga City Library Ref. 99-615
Following the 1881 fire John Chadwick rebuilt his Tauranga Hotel and John Menzies applied again for the licence.1

Like its predecessor the hotel provided rooms for public and club meetings, commercial travellers’ samples, coroners’ inquests, and luncheons and accommodation for important visitors to the town. In June 1883 the Maori King, Tawhiao stayed at the hotel and  “despite his loyalty to the Queen, Tawhiao has decided Fenian proclivities” was not sufficient to put off a welcome by Tauranga residents and school children although some of the leading local Maori were noticeably absent.2

John Menzies junior took over the licence after his father’s death in 1885 and sold to AH Fisher. Because of debts he signed an agreement not to commence business again within seven miles of Tauranga but tried to circumvent this by setting his wife up as licencee of the Star, now the Menzies Star Hotel, in Spring Street. In the colourful language of the day Fisher called Menzies for trying to avoid an agreement by a ‘sidewind’.3  WJ Suiter & Co to whom the debt was owed pointed out that the reason Mrs Menzies had left Tauranga was the great pain occasioned to her remaining eye by being compelled to look at the white shells on the Strand. “Has her eye suddenly got well again?4

Advertisement, The Bay of Plenty Times, 19 Dec 1892
Image courtesy of Papers Past
It was at this time that the Inspector of Nuisances raised the issue of the unsanitary drains from all the hotels on The Strand and Devonport Road whose cesspits drained into the harbour.  In 1891 John Chadwick died and Messrs. Ehrenfried bought the building while David Asher became the licencee. Asher was a popular host and held the licence for fourteen years. In 1903 his son Albert was chosen to play in the New Zealand Representative Football Team for an Australian tour.5

Tauranga Hotel fire, 1936, Postcard
Image courtesy of Tauranga City Library Ref. 03-128
In February 1936 a fire broke out in the staff quarters and once again the Tauranga Hotel and adjacent shops were destroyed. At this fire there was a fire brigade in attendance but they could not save anything and the licencee KJ Rennie escaped with just the cash. One of the shopkeepers intent on saving his stock narrowly avoided succumbing to smoke inhalation.6

References

1. BOPT 9 May 1882
2. BOPT 6 July 1883
3. BOPT 10 June 1887
4. BOPT 24 June 1887
5. Auckland Star 31 August 1903
6. Evening Post 17 February 1936

Tuesday, 10 September 2013

On this day in 1932

St John Ambulance, Tauranga, undated
Image courtesy of Tauranga City Library, Ref. 00-100
10 Sep 1932 - St John Ambulance Branch formed

Sunday, 8 September 2013

On this day in 1882

John Lees Faulkner (c.1812-1882)
Photographic copy of possibly an ambrotype portrait by unknown photographer, undated
Image Private Collection courtesy of Te Ara and Tauranga City Library
8 Sep 1882 - Death of John Lees Faulkner, trader of Otumoetai.

The house built by John Lees Faulkner at 25 Beach Road, Otumoetai, is now located at the Tauranga Heritage Village.

References

Jinty Rorke. 'Faulkner, John Lees', from the Dictionary of New Zealand Biography. Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, updated 30-Oct-2012
URL: http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/en/biographies/1f2/faulkner-john-lees

McCauley, Debbie (2013) 'John Lees Faulkner (c1812-1882),' from Tauranga Memories: Tauranga Local History
URL: http://tauranga.kete.net.nz/tauranga_local_history/topics/show/1300-john-lees-faulkner-c1812-1882

Friday, 6 September 2013

Maori women were great with accessories


Kete Kiwikiwi, Tauranga Heritage Collection
This small traditional Maori woven kit adorned with kiwi feathers (kete kiwikiwi) is a fine example of a woman’s personal accessory used on important occasions and could be considered a symbol of one’s status within Maori society likewise a clock made from similar materials.

This particular kete displays the traditional weaving technique used to prepare flax fibre (muka) into a double pair twining of cordage which is then woven together to bind the wefts and form a webbing (whenua). The feathers are applied in the same manner and the handles are two-ply twist termed tawai or tamarua. Although the kete displays a loss of feathers, the overall condition of the kete is good when considering it was probably made about the mid-19th century.
 

Kete Whakairo, Tauranga Heritage Collection
The kete whakairo, decorated kit, is made from harakeke Phormium tenax a native variety of the commonly known flax. The handles are four strand plaits called tuapuku. The Kete has a very fine weaving technique and woven  using natural dyed fibres which appear in two tones of brown. The inside of the kete at some point in its history has had a velvet lining added.

The exterior woven pattern of the kete is Te ara moana design. The kete was donated to the museum as part of the E. L. Adams collection.
 

Kete Muka, Tauranga Heritage Collection
The kete muka or bag made from dressed flax fibre has a fringed edge in brown and golden shades and has a striped vertical pattern of human hair and houhere Hoheria populnea, commonly termed lace bark. The inclusion of hair would signal that this kete muka is of some importance and possibly connected to a particular person or a taonga of a personal nature, such as a gift.

On this day in 1884

Archdeacon Alfred Nesbit Brown, c.1875-1880
Carte de visite/albumen print (91 x 56mm on mount 101 x 62mm) by R.H. Bartlett of Auckland
Image courtesy of National Library of New Zealand
6 Sep 1884 - Death of Archdeacon Brown

The Late Ven. Archdeacon Brown.
The deceased gentleman was one who for very many years has been intimately connected with Tauranga, hence the following items will be read with interest, bearing as they do upon the early days of this district.
It was not until 1834 that any families of missionaries ventured south of the Bay of Islands, but prior to that date the deceased, the late Bishop Williams, the late Rev. Mr. Hamlin, the Rev. J.A. Wilson (now residing in England), Mr Fairburn, and Rev. H. Williams - all these gentlemen from time to time made excusrions throughout the Waikato, Thames and Bay of Plenty districts.  These excursions commenced in 1826, and continued from that time until 1834, when three missionaries - Messrs Wilson, Fairburn, and Preece - brought their families to the Puriri, and within six months after the Rev. Mr Brown (now deceased) founded his station at Matamata, now know as Mr Firth's run.  In 1837 Mr Brown's station was sacked and burned by the Rotorua natives during an attack they made upon Te Waharoa, the father of William Thomson.  Mr Brown retired to the Puriri, and from thence came to Tauranga in 1837, where he founded the Tauranga station in the beginning of 1836.
Since that time (1837) the deceased gentleman has never been removed from Tauranga.  At the time his station at Matamata was sacked and they made their escape, one of the servant girls (a Christian convert) was killed.  The rest of the party escaped.  The deceased was the senior missionary in this district, comprising Tauranga, Rotorua, Taupo, and the Opotiki districts as far as Cape Runaway, and every year he travelled throughout the whole of his district, and invariably on foot.  The ven. gentleman was always a strong, active man, remarkable for his businesslike ways and punctual attendance to his duties, and never was known to have a day's illness.  In 1844 he was made an Archdeacon.
The above facts show that the late Archdeacon Brown was for nearly half a century connected with Tauranga and the Bay of Plenty.  After so many years' active life he succumbed to feebleness on Sunday the 6th Sept., aged 81.

References
Bartlett, Robert Henry, 1842-1911. Bartlett, Robert Henry, fl 1875-1880 : Archdeacon Alfred Nesbit Brown (1803-1884). Ref: PA2-0201. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. http://natlib.govt.nz/records/22459685
The Bay of Plenty Times, 9 September 1884, courtesy of Papers Past.

Wednesday, 4 September 2013

September Meeting: Cameron, Grey, and the Invasion of the Waikato, by Dr Peter Vickers

Peter Vickers, who recently completed a Bachelor of Defence Studies at Massey University, gave a very interesting talk on “Cameron, Grey, and the Invasion of the Waikato” on Sunday 1st September.

The two key figures in the Waikato campaign were the Governor, Sir George Grey, and General Cameron.

Governor Grey
Grey had had  a series of failures in his previous appointments yet he was sent for a second time  to New Zealand as Governor. Peter described him as a “yes” man and a “hit man” for the British Government, who wanted to withdraw their troops as soon as possible to save money.

General Cameron
Cameron, on the other hand, had had a distinguished career in the army before his appointment in 1861 as commander in New Zealand. It is said that he had discovered a plot by the Waikato Kingites who were planning to attack Auckland. He began the subjugation of the Waikato in 1863 by ordering troops to cross the Mangatawhiri River.

Prior to that the Great South Road had been built to reach the seat of war and great use was made of armoured steamers on the river.  The Maori were to be punished by the loss of their land.

Peter explained that there were different interpretations of what happened in the Waikato campaign. He believed that Belich gave a revisionist view of the wars and would question some of his claims.e.g. that the Maori were the first to develop a deep, complex system of trenches.

On this day in 1872

Masthead, The Bay of Plenty Times
4 Sep 1872 - First issue of the Bay of Plenty Times

The Bay of Plenty Times Building, The Strand, c.1870s
Image courtesy of Tauranga City Library, Ref. 04-213

Friday, 30 August 2013

Exploring Katikati


Guest contribution by Kathy Webb, Western Bay of Plenty District Council


Today I learnt more about history than I have learnt in many years. Western Bay of Plenty District Council’s Local History day gave Katikati’s historians the opportunity to tell their stories to an alert and avid audience. The Katikati Heritage Museum hosted a large crowd of people from Rotorua, Tauranga, Te Puke, Omokoroa, Waihi Beach and Katikati, all eager to learn more.


But alongside the local history we also learnt a large amount of technical information about completing research through a wider knowledge of the history of photos. From daguerreotypes to postcards, from cartes de visite to vernacular snapshots; the types of photos that have been long-lasting and those that have been short-lived; and how they can give valuable information and vital clues for sorting through the tangle of family history.


Visiting Waterford, the historical precinct of Katikati led to several stories about local identities, such as Doctor Joe in the 1960s who would take ownership of the whole road by parking in the middle of it, outside the shop where he needed to do his business. Regularly the population of Katikati would accept his ownership and drive around him. Original buildings, as well as the sites of some no longer standing, were identified and described with personal stories to entertain.


Authors talked about their published books and proposed biographies of original identities from the area and we heard about the forward plans for the community-owned Katikati Heritage Museum. The day was finished off with a talk about the logging industry, illustrated with an old-style slide show and a visit to the replica log tram rail complete with ENORMOUS log, now resident at the site of the old log train at the Katikati Heritage Museum.

Many thanks to our presenters:
Brett Payne – Photohistorian and author of Photo-Sleuth
Max Avery – Author and researcher
Paula Gaelic – Manager, Katikati Heritage Museum
Rosalie Smith, Joan Boggiss, Lesley Board – Waterford Historical Precinct – with acknowledgements to Val Baker
Christine Clement – Author and researcher on local history
Warren Geraghty, Dept of Conservation - Logging in the Kaimais.
Sam & Rollo Dunlop – for installing the log train.