Karangahake School and District 70th Jubilee 1889-1959

In the year 1877 the first trig-stations in this district were established by a Government Surveyor named J. Baber, and one of these was fixed on the sharp peak of Karangahake. There were others on most of the prominent mountains such Te Aroha, which were not less than five miles away. These are called Primary Stations. The lines joining such points form a network of large triangles over the whole of New Zealand.

It was quite a complicated business doing this job on the ground, requiring both physical stamina and the skill of trained men with special instruments. Later a large amount of intricate calculation was required to complete the operations and from this framework to prepare accurate plans of the physical features of the country.

The position of the trigs is recorded on maps giving their distances from a central station of a larger triangulation area. In our case the centre is on Mt. Eden where a stone monument marks the spot. It has been calculated how far all the trig-stations are North or South, East or West of that initial point. Karangahake is approximately 38 miles South and then 52 miles East of Mt. Eden, or as expressed on triangulation plans, 309789 links South and 422687 links East.

The official height of Karangahake is 1786 feet.

As many of the first trig-stations were not very accessible a number of lesser ones were established from these by N. Kenny 1881, P. E. Cheal 1884 and J. Baber in 1887. It was from these, all road, railway and land surveys were directly or indirectly connected. If official plans were lodged in the Lands Department Office and if the records have not been destroyed the positions could be re-established if required in a thousand years time.

— Courtenay Kenny.