Ohinemuri Regional History Journal 12, October 1969
By M. W. PARKER, ASSISTANT COUNTY CLERK
This portion of the old town site contains an area of 3 acres 2 roods 10 perches and was vested in the control of the Ohinemuri County Council as a reserve for recreational purposes on 27th October 1960.
After reading a reference to the reserve in the Hauraki Plains Gazette while visiting old friends in the district, Mr. M. L. McNamara wrote to the Council on 31-1-61. He said that one afternoon he had climbed the Trig via the old road leading to No. 8 [level - E] where as a youth he had his first job on wages. He commented that the views towards Paeroa were magnificent and surpassed anything he had seen anywhere in N.Z. or Australia. He added that the one drawback was that the road was almost impassable, and offered the Council £100 toward the cost of clearing the track leading to the summit.
Cr W.H.S. Browne reported to the Council that £100 would not go far towards the cost of the work and to have the track cleared would require a very large expenditure. In view of this report Council resolved that Mr. McNamara be asked to consider making a donation toward the development of the parkside reserve.
On 20th March 1961 a cheque for £100 was received from Mr. McNamara who told the Council to use the money as it deemed most appropriate and useful. At that time it was suggested by Council that a plaque or some form of acknowledgement be placed at one of the entrances to the reserve, but this money was held in trust.
In October 1963 Council received strong protests from the Karangahake School Parent Teachers Association and School Committee about the unsatisfactory state of the picnic area. The popularity of the spot and lack of facilities for the number of people using the area had created a definite health hazard.
At the Council meeting in November 1963 the Engineer was authorised to spend up to £1,000 from the Land Subdivision Reserve Fund on the erection of a concrete block building containing toilets and changing facilities. This building was completed in time for the Christmas holidays and Mrs. Jock McLeod was appointed caretaker. Mrs. McLeod has been commended on numerous occasions for her work in keeping the facilities in a very tidy and clean state.
The Ministry of Works have assisted with the development of the reserve being responsible for providing rustic tables and the planting of flowering trees. In March of this year permission was granted to a local resident to operate a pie-cart on the reserve as an amenity for the users. Council is responsible for the present upkeep of the reserve but the gift money held in trust was transferred to the Paeroa Lions Club in April 1969 for the provision of amenities at Karangahake.
Note: The substantial Notice Board on the Reserve was erected by the Paeroa Rotary Club, the information regarding the history of Karangahake being supplied by our Historical Society. The unusual Concrete Bus Shelter was the contribution of Mr. Bruce Sayer.