History

History - Tales of the old Post Office

Before the reforms in the 1980s, the Post Office was an important part of every town. In Warkworth, the Post Office was housed in the building now occupied by Mahurangi Matters and Tailor Made Computers. Harry Best worked there from 1935 to 1956 as telegraphist,...... Read More

History - Punting perils

From the 1860s, punts were the workhorses of the Kaipara. Their flat bottom design was ideal for negotiating the harbour’s shallow, muddy inlets. Every family had at least one to transport people, goods, livestock and building materials, and even...... Read More

History - Grave concerns

Early in Puhoi’s existence, the 10 acres on the point of land between Ahuroa Road and Puhoi River was set aside for the cemetery. It was not until 1892 that trustees were elected to draw up a set of 28 bylaws to ensure its smooth running. Before...... Read More

History - Gardening in early Mangawhai

Thinking of gardening and landscaping in the days of our early settlers brought to mind the many difficulties they had to face. For a start, most of our new arrivals had the task of cutting down thick bush that covered their allotments. Having supported...... Read More

History - Ghosts of a kauri forest past

I am sure that many New Zealanders have often tried to visualise the historic cover of our modified landscape. Around Warkworth and the Mahurangi district this is not difficult to imagine, as there is still much evidence to show that the land was once...... Read More

History - Shadow of the past

The settlers of Puhoi came from Bohemia, which was the home of the Boii, a Celtic tribe who settled in central Europe in 300 BC. In 500 AD, Czech and Slavs settled there. They were ruled by dukes of the Přemyslid dynasty – “good king”...... Read More

History - Sinking ship

Early on September 23, 1866, Captain Alexander Unthank’s cutter Bonneta crossed the Manukau Bar heading north to the Kaipara settlements. She carried a full cargo of goods, plus two passengers. A hard northeasterly gale was blowing. Bonneta safely...... Read More

History - Menacing motors

One day in 1912, Matthew Wech, of Pohuehue, harnessed his two horses to his Portland wagon and set out for Puhoi. His travels took him through a series of hills and hollows as the road crossed each ridge running down to Hungry Creek. At the crest of a...... Read More

History - Land hunting

Henry and William Marsh emigrated to New Zealand aboard the Ida Zeigler in 1863.  Although not part of an organised group, they still qualified under the 40-acre scheme.  Coming from a family of tenant farmers in Shropshire, this was their chance...... Read More

Hidden history in street names

If anyone asked what the most well-known street in Warkworth is, I think the answer would be unanimous – Hill Street. But if we were asked how Hill Street got its name, many of us would make the incorrect assumption that it was because it is positioned...... Read More