Karangahake School and District 70th Jubilee 1889-1959

The Karangahake Post Office.

The Post Office was situated in the main street and had a public office, an operating and sorting room and a residence for the Postmistress (Mrs Jane Airey). Pat Billing, on horseback, delivered letters. This Post Office is now at Hikutaia, and since it was moved the business was conducted in the homes of Mrs Ansley, the Fitzgeralds and later by the Bramble girls, in a small building erected for the purpose. Then it was taken over by the last store in Irishtown, but since that was burned a small office was built nearby.

Mackaytown had its own Post Office facilities for quite a few years — first at Mrs McNamara's Store, then at Mrs Walton's home and finally at the Mackaytown Hotel, when Mrs Flavill was caretaking there.

The "Goldfields Advocate" (A. W. Ellis, Proprietor).

This newspaper was a demy sheet, with six columns to a page and was issued twice a week. It was established in 1897 and the proprietor had a general jobbing plant (was it at the Dust Pan?) and undertook ordinary printing work.

The Karangahake Fire Brigade

Was instituted in 1898 and consisted of the usual hose and reel appliances, a plentiful supply of water, good men who gave their services, and a bell tower.

The Rand Rotunda was erected in 1908 and was the scene of much fine music for the Karangahake Brass Band, under Mr Herb Robinson was outstanding. Likewise the Boys' Band under Mr Fallon and Mr Pearce.

The Ambulance

The Ambulance, horse drawn, was in frequent demand.

Halls: There were four Halls in Karangahake.

"Montgomerie's" (in the main street), used for large functions, plays, concerts and pictures.

"Oddfellows" (below School), burned down about 1927.

"Volunteer" (across river, near Tramway Hotel).

Miners' Union (moved to Waihi, 1946).

Water Supply: Karangahake has been very fortunate in its good supply of splendid drinking water. At an early date a dam was built in the upper reaches of Doherty's Creek, with a Reservoir above Butler's Track. Pipes were laid along the main roadways and a stand pipe and tap between every second house. This system served the needs for residents for some years.

With the building of more houses, repeated requests were made to the "Powers that be" to have the water laid on to each house. This was finally done — so we are told — only after the Hotelkeepers added their weight to the Householders' plea, as they strongly objected to Patrons slaking their thirst at the stand pipe taps before entering the Bar.

An enthusiastic volunteer Fire Brigade did yeoman service in the early days, modestly claiming the pressure of water was the strongest in New Zealand and that they dare not turn the pressure full on for fear they would push a burning building over before they could put the fire out.

Times have changed and with them the method of supplying and maintaining the Water Service, but residents still enjoy the same good pure drinking water.


This is our only remaining local body. It has jurisdiction over the Mackaytown Recreation Ground and Cornes' Paddock. Although these are now rented for grazing purposes and are only rarely used as playing areas, it is good to know that they are still public reserves, which may be of considerable benefit to future generations. The Board was in the happy position of being able to donate trees for timber for the new Hall.