Ohinemuri Regional History Journal 55, September 2011


An insight into the kauri logging days of a 100 years ago was given by Logfest, an exhibition held at the Victoria Battery Tramway and Museum last October and organised by the Department of Conservation staff. The Kauri Timber Company moved into the Waitawheta Valley 100 years ago and commenced extensive cutting of kauri. The logs were taken by tramway to Owharoa, loaded on railway trucks and brought to Paeroa where they were dumped into the Ohinemuri River. After being roped into large rafts the logs were then towed to sawmill in Auckland and Great Barrier Island for milling. During Logfest several new tramping tracks were unveiled, there were displays at the battery cyanide tanks, a presentation of gold mining and tram rides as well as other interesting displays and stalls.

Rail Trail Starts

Hauraki District Mayor John Tregidga turned the first sod to commence the Hauraki rail Trail, which will followed the disused railway corridor to link Paeroa with Waihi, Te Aroha and Thames. Kaumatua Tewi Nicholls blessed the project and those who will work on the scheme. The first section to receive attention is from Karangahake to Waikino where the present walkway is being brought up to standard. This will be followed by Paeroa-Karangahake, Paeroa-Te Aroha and Paeroa-Thames, with a spur walkway from Kopu to Kaiaua around the Firth of Thames foreshore. The Hauraki District Council is working with the Department of Conversation to have this first completed by Christmas.

New Year's Day Sports and Race Results, 1877

On January 1. 1877, a sports meeting was held on the Aeroa-hau-tata Course, Paeroa. The programme comprised horse-racing, foot-racing, jumping, climbing the greasy pole, wrestling etc.

Executive committee: Rapata Te Pohike, James Mackay, Paora Teretui, F. Lipsey, Haora Tareanui, T. Thorp, Paraku Rapana, O. M. Creagh, Reihana, J. M. Russell, Wiwiriwhi Hautanga, G. S. O'Halloran, Takerei Te Putu, W. McCloughen, Hophepa Kapene, Charles Wilson, Hirawa Te Moananui, John Goonan.

On St. Patrick's Day. March 17, 1877, a race meeting was held on the Paeroa course. The judge was Mr J. M. Coote and the starter Mr McGeehin.

Maiden Plate, first prize £3 3s 0d.—Hunia's Te Rangi, 1; Takerei's Patea, 2; Snodgrass' Go Behind, 3.

Paeroa Cup, three times around the course, first prize £5 5s 0d., second £1 1s 0d.—Haora Tareranui's Merepana, 1; Paraku's Government, 2;Taipari's Skylark 3.

Hurdle race, three times around the course, first prize £5 5s 0d., second £1 1s 0d.—Power's Eku, 1; Taipari's Tauranga, 2; Paraku's Government,3; Rapata's Don Juan, 4.

Pony race, first prize £3.—Coutt's Polly, 1; Mahoney's Tommy, 2;Murphy's Nobby, 3.

Trotting race, three times around the course, first prize £2 2s 0d.—Snodgrass' Satan, 1; Bennett's Polly, 2; Paraku's Belle, 3; Takerei's Wairapa, 4,

Consolation race, distance three miles, £3 3s 0d.—Haora's Katete, 1.

Pony race.—Paraku's Government, 1; Tuwera's Kinakina, 2; Huruia's Kuoua; Haora's Lyman,; Hiriawa Te Moananui's Kaingaruru.

The Knot was Tied

On a Christmas Day, in late 1890s, the Rev T. R. B. Wooloxall of Waihi, who "biked" out to Katikati to perform a marriage ceremony, had a most unpleasant journey. He had to walk a considerable distance owing to the bad state of the roads and reached his destination thoroughly soaked. The ceremony was duly performed.

Retiring After Nine Years

After nine years representing the Coromandel Electorate in Parliament, Sandra Goudie is to retire at the end of the current term. She won back the Coromandel seat for National in 2002 when she defeated Green MP Jeanette Fitzsimmons. Sandra's "open door" policy won her deep respect from all the electors in Coromandel. Her purple 1973 Ford V8 car with her name along both sides will also be missed in the electorate. While there have been many achievements during her nine years service she looks back on the Whangamata marina, which has been completed, and the start on a replacement bridge at Kopu as two of the highlights.

Schools Benefit

The Paeroa Rotary Club's funding raising over the past year was boosted by efforts made at the club's annual V8 and Swap Meet, held in February last and the club was able to distribute $11,550 to the Paeroa College and the Paeroa Central Primary School for upgrading classroom technology. The College received $5250 for classroom projectors while the Central school used $6300 to upgrade students' computers and provide 20 new computers, there are now five per classroom. Being a low decile school many the pupils do not have access to computers at home. The generosity of the Paeroa Rotary Club has assisted in giving the pupils much needed experience in working with computers.

Joins the 200kph Club

Steve Mathieson of Paeroa, has set a new Australasian and two New Zealand hydroplane records on Lake Karipio when he sped over the measure kilometre course at 222kph. The 2011 New Zealand Modified Hydroplane champion made the most of the perfect weather and water conditions in his 2.5-litre class boat. His fastest time and a New Zealand record was 193kph and he was seeking to just break the 200kph mark, but everything went extremely well and he reached the speed of 222kph. This effort qualifies him for the entry into the prestigious 200kph club.

Historic Building Destroyed

The Waihi Rugby Sub-union's 78-year-old wooden grandstand on Rugby Park was destroyed by fire during the early hours of October 21 last.

The stand with seating accommodation for about 250 spectators and changing rooms underneath was built in 1933. The then Waihi Rugby Union was granted a loan by the New Zealand Rugby Union to build the stand. While the structure was insured there will not be sufficient funds to rebuild.

The burnt out remains have been cleared away. The cause of the blaze has been confirmed as suspicious.

Third Sculpture

Paeroa has another stone sculpture, this one to mark the tenth anniversary of the Sister District connection between the Hauraki District Council and Jiading in Shanghi, China.

The Mayor of Jiading was visiting New Zealand during the last week of April and unveiled the stone carving named "Connections", which has been placed outside the Council's offices on the corner of Belmont Road and William Street.

The sister district relationship has generated reciprocal visits by secondary school students and dignitaries. Putaruru's Joselyn Pratt sculptured the large Maratoto stone into an oval shape with a koru carved on the surface. She worked on the stone in the Domain earlier in the year.

This is the third sculpture which has been completed. The first a stone anchor in the centre of the town representing Paeroa early connection with shipping. The second is "Go With the Flow" representing Paeroa's important association with the rivers of the district. This has been placed in Ohinemuri Reserve, near the L and P bottle.

National Honours

Gina Davis, 13-year-old from Waihi, was a member of the New Zealand junior team which took part in the Oceania in-line hockey championships held in Australia last April. A member of the Waihi Miner Inline Hockey Club, Gina has been playing the game for the past four years and for the last two years has been a member of the central region team, winning gold medals on two occasions.

Top Water Skiing Award

The second member of the Cooks Cut Carvers Water Skiing Club, Kevin Firth, has been awarded the top New Zealand Water Skiing Association, the Ken Haye Memorial Trophy. The Awaiti farmer received the award at the association's annual meeting held near Christchurch late last march. Kevin commenced water skiing at the age of six, learning in what is locally known as the Hikutaia Cut, off Captain Cook Road. For the first few years Kevin took part in the sport as a hobby and it was not until his son, BJ, became a competitive skier some 13 years that he took an interest in the competitive and administrative sides of the sports. He took a bronze medal in the national 2002 slalom. He is president of the local club and has been treasurer of the Waikato region for over 10 years and a past member of the national association's council. Over the past five years Kevin has been involved administering the rules and regulations, been a national selector, a first-class judge, chief judge for Waikato A-grade events, assistant chief judge at national events and teaching the art of judging. The other local holder of the trophy were the late Arnold and Gwyneth Broadbent, who received the award in 1996.