Puhoi pioneers

Paul Straka was a single man of 33 when he emigrated from Bohemia to Puhoi in 1863. Being one of the younger immigrants, he took a leading part in clearing bush to enable the settlers to begin to be self-supporting. He built a 10-ton punt to transport...... Read More

A legendary stockman

Big Bob Ross, around 1902, from the Harold Marsh collection. Robert (Big Bob) Ross was a renowned stockman in Albertland during the late 1800s and early 1900s. He was the eldest son of Robert S. Ross, who moved to Kaiwaka after working as a shepherd...... Read More

Early Innovation

The first echelon of new land owners to Mangawai* arrived after land sales of 1856. There were huge trees to contend with but logging was underway and the pioneers were folk of mighty ‘mettle’, who set about creating a lifestyle that would...... Read More

Memorable yarns

These stories were told to me by Lucy Moore, Al Hamilton, Mervyn Morrison and Frank Hudson – all old friends from the Warkworth/Kaipara flats area and all now deceased … During the First World War, spinster Phoebe Southgate lived in a villa,...... Read More

Pioneer celebrations

Puhoi has always celebrated the anniversary of the day the first pioneers arrived in the settlement on June 29, 1863. According to the calendar of the Catholic Church, the feast day of St Peter and St Paul. A church service was usually followed by a...... Read More

Troubled waters

Mangawhai breakwater in the 1990s. Mangawhai (formerly known as Mangawai) has known permanent European settlement since the mid 1850’s. Prior to that there are recorded mention of visitors coming into the harbour to collect timber for ships,...... Read More