Maungaturoto will be celebrating 150 Years in 2013

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Historic abuse in Maungaturoto - 1921

Articles from Ashburton Guardian - 31st January 1921 and 17th January 1921. Gosh, just goes to show society might have been different back then but things like this weren't unheard of back in 1921's small town Maungaturoto. I wonder what young William had done that was so bad that provoked a beating from his father?

Monday, January 25, 2010

Matakohe Museum

The Matakohe Kauri Museum is one of our family's favourite places in the Kaipara to visit. For those who don't know Matakohe is a small settlement about 20 mins from both Dargaville and Maungaturoto. Matakohe was first settled by white people in 1863 when members of the Albertland group landed there. The Kauri Gum industry was established around 1867 but it was not profitable and was soon converted to a timber mill. The museum has different displays of some of the machinery that was used along with the names of the original men and women who lived and worked with them back then.

Firstly here's one of the timber machines. At some of the displays you can push a button and it will start up and show exactly how it would have been used.

This is the boarding house - if you can imagine folk would stay there and no doubt have their meals prepared and clothes laundered etc along with renting a room from the owner.

This is my son's favourite display - in this one it shows a dinner table set up with Victorian china, crystal etc and in the corner is a woman making bread, on the left a boy is stealing some cream from a bowl.

Kauri gum - here's a model of a man studying some pieces of gum he's thinking of buying from a person who's worked very hard at digging it up.

Here's a big cabinet of some of the larger kauri gum specimans found in the area.

This one is especially larger and it's got a huge weta stuck inside it. I'll be posting soon some more photos and information on Matakohe.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

A destructive experience at Whakapirau Wharf 1918

Now and then I come across some very very odd news items and this one indeed has a lesson to be learned by it. Three well known surnames were involved with this rather dangerous incident that occurred on a boat near the the Whakapirau Wharf in 1918.

Three men named Cartwright, Taylor and Horniblow, who were in a boat off the Whakapirau wharf, Auckland this week , met with some very serious injuries. Horniblow had some gelignite and a dynamite cap in his vest pocket into which he placed his smouldering pipe. A loud explosion occurred, Horniblow receiving a wound to his side and losing a hand, while Cartwright lost an eye. The other man was uninjured. The side of the boat was blown out, but the occupants got ashore.

- Poverty Bay Herald 6 April 1918

My question is..what the heck was Mr Horniblow doing with dynamite on a boat? Strange but true.

The North Kaipara Co-Operative Dairy Company Co Ltd. 1904 - 1915

Opening Day 1904

Many who go down to Whakapirau would have noticed the old building located next to the current wharf. Over the years it has seen use as a Community Hall, Oyster factory and currently for storage for a local commercial fisherman. I had an opportunity recently to view the interior and photograph it. However, this old decaying building didn't start life as a hall or an oyster factory. It was purpose built in 1903/04 to house the butter manufacturing operations of the North Kaipara Co-operative Diary Company, and for eleven years it served the supply areas of Whakapirau, Paparoa, Matakohe and Ararua - before amalgamation with the Maungaturoto Co-operative Dairy Company in 1915.

Wharfside view of the old North Kaipara Butter Factory at Whakapirau

The following is from The Maungaturoto Co-Operative Dairy Company 1902-1952, P19

The North Kaipara Co-Operative Dairy Co. Ltd 1904 - 1915

Area: Whakapirau, Paparoa, Matakohe, Ararua

Unfortunately, no records of this Company are available and the following account is a brief memory effort.

The Maungaturoto Company in the year 1903, made an attempt to cater for the above area by aquiring a creamery at Ararua previously operated by Mr Frank Pheasant. It was planned to convey the collected cream from Matakohe Wharf by steamboat to Maungaturoto. The plan was good, but it was defeated by the failure of the shipping company to carry out its undertaking. After a year of trial, the district was abandoned.

The reader is reminded that at this period (1903) long road haulage was not feasible owing to the bad roads everywhere. The motor launch had not yet arrived and the advent of the motor truck for cream cartage dated ahead to 1920.

The comparative isolation of the times led to the establishment of dairy companies in many of the settlements. Many of these, at a later date were amalgamated when better roads and the motor truck permitted a measure of centralisation.

The North Kaipara Company began operations in 1904, provided with a butter factory built on concrete piles, at the Whakapirau Wharf, creameries at Matakohe and at Ararua, a motor launch to operate on the tidal waters of Paparoa and Matakohe. This motor launch was the first to appear in the district. The first Directors were Messrs H. McMurdo (Chairman), J. Morris, W.H. Angel, Ernest Smith, S. McCallum, Alex. Smith, Chas (Charles) Gaille. The first manager's name is forgotten - he was succeeded by A.M. Campbell (five years), A.M. Sterling (four years), G.J. Grant (two years). These three managers, all having clerical knowledge were also secretaries to the Company. The launch transport shortened, but did not eliminate, considerable road haulage, and the dual expense was a heavy charge. There were other difficulties - tidal delivery of cream made for extended hours of factory work; when springs dried up, there was insufficient fresh water and sea water had to be used for all purposes; there was no market for buttermilk until Manager Campbell added pig feeding to many other duties. The pig branch proved both interesting and profitable. Despite a large contributory area, dairy development was disappointingly slow and the output never reached the point of low overhead and low manufacturing costs. The circumstances pointed to the advantages of amalgamation and eventually the Directors, in 1915, opened negotiations with the Maungaturoto Company. These were finalised by an agreement whereby most of the suppliers became members of the Maungaturoto Company and the absorbed company received £1,200 as compensation for its supply and its assets. The butter factory was sold and became a community hall; the manager's house, transported on a barge, found a permanent location at Maungaturoto. This short-lived Company justified its formation and operation for eleven years; it catered for the farmers in a wide area at a time when no other company could or would do so. Its main service was promoting the growth of co-operative dairying with its uplife to the farm economy of the district.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Paparoa Cemetery

Photos of Paparoa Cemetery taken September 2008. Copyright A. Forbes.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

It's who says it that sells the product

These days in modern advertising it's the young, the gorgeous and the famous that endorse a manufacturers products. Back in the 19th and early 20th Centuries in the small settlements scattered around Northland and New Zealand what the most respected of gentlemen recommended mattered. Joesph Ryan Hotel Keeper at Pahi in 1913 was more than pleased to endorse a product with most likely a less than pleasant taste. This little snippet was found in the Evening Post 25 March 1913


Mr Joseph Ryan, Hotel Keeper of Pahi, N.Z, was very bad with colic and tried many remedies without results. Then the honourable Mrs Scotland advised his wife to give him Chamberlain's Colic and Diarrhoea Remedy. He says

"I was skeptical and refused to take it. I reckoned such things were no good. At last I got so bad that my wife prevailed upon me to take it. After two doses I was right and have been so ever since. I was in a bad way, I can tell you, but now I swear by Chamberlain's Colic and Diarrhoea Remedy and always keep it handy." -Advert.

I'm not so convinced...



from the writings of William Bailey Maungaturoto

(Reproduced by the kind permission of Mr Alan Flower Maungaturoto)

Speaking of Captain Cook, reminds that there was one animal in the country we heard a great deal about. The bush, we were told, was over-run by wild pigs. Both speakers and writers had enlarged on the advantages the settlers would have in the ready supply of fresh and tasty meat almost at their very door; on ship-board any talk about the future settlement, otherwise The Bush, was invariably garnished with abundance of anticipated wild pork; it went so far, in fact, that any uneasiness in regard to future meat rations was thought quite unnecessary. On several occasions after our arrival circumstances pointed to the desirability of drawing on this reputed supply of pork. Indications of wild pigs being about had been seen, and a hunt had been more than once mildly suggested. That no-one was disposed to take what I may call a too prominent part in the matter will be better understood, when I explain that no-one in the settlement was too well acquainted with the manners and habits of wild pigs to inspire us with the confidence necessary to undertake a hunt of our own account, and judging from the manners of the domesticated pig we had very grave doubts about a wild pig being such a mild accommodating creature, as he appeared to be when the subject of conversation in an English sitting room or on board a ship. Then he was mere animated pork. But at close quarters, and in his native wilds, what might he not be endowed, as we had now good reason to know, with such formidable carver-like tusks.

Moreover we have been told by hunters of experience, that the proper way when hunting, was to at once fall on the quarry, turn it over, and the rest was simple. I must say, that we could hardly regard it that light, at any rate not until we felt fully assured about the somebody who was doing the 'falling on'. However, while each one interested was exercising a diplomatic reserve about the matter, there appeared on the scene, a renowned hunter of pigs in the person of Mr G. Williams, accompanied by his famous dog, Namou; here was our opportunity.

Mr Williams was bent on 'sport', we were bent on pork, and by joining forces, there appeared to be every possibility of bringing about satisfactory results to both parties. This Mr Williams, I should say, resided near the Great North Road which runs behind the Pukekaroro Mountain, a very out of the way situation in those days. He had come direct through the bush, killing as he said, two pigs in the course of his journey. This must have been the previous day, as he arrived in the district rather early in the forenoon, and was prepared to start on the hunting expedition at once. This was as near as I can remember in the early part of the year 1864. Who were of the party, other than myself and Mr Williams, I am unable to say of any certainty, not is it of any particular consequence. Suffice to say we started off on our quest a company of four, accompanied by three dogs - after tramping some distance, the redoubtable was sent out to find the quarry, and shortly afterwards made announcement to the effect, when the two other dogs were sent off to his assistance, we following as best as we could through the most broken tangled country imaginable.

Breaking through eventually onto the scene of conflict, we found the dogs facing certainly, the most ugly, savage looking animal it was ever out lot to see. Also I may add, the most odorous, for the vile animal smell of the creature was in evidence before we saw it. That this was not the kind of pig we had been led to expect was apparent at once, for why this savage, resentful attitude anything more unlike the plump, amiable, good natured Albertland pig - it would be impossible to conceive. for my part, I would have been quite willing to have apologised for our rude interruption of his usual daily occupation, and have retired with best grace possible. I wished afterward that I had, but no, the hunting instinct had been aroused, and he must be made to yield up his pork. This was a decision, of course; still, if he wasn't pork, he was undeniably pig, and therefore having come so far, there would be some satisfaction in finding out what he was composed of. There still, however, remained the question of how this was to be done.

This ancient animal was plainly a tactician of some quality, due no doubt to many an old time fight with other chieftains of the porcine race, for he backed his hindquarters into a cavity at the root of and enormous rata, consequently the only point of attack was the awe-inspiring head, and I don't think the whole British army could have been induced to make a frontal attack of that kind, at any rate unaided by artillery. Fortunately, one member of the party, seeing probably that there might be some difficulty in following out the proper course, by 'falling on the quarry', had brought a gun and some ball cartridge. that it was unsportsmanlike to use this means of slaughter thus afforded, was countered by the fact that he animal himself was responsible, inasmuch as he had maliciously and with evil intent, put his 'falling on' part out of our reach. Consequently the only course was to bring our artillery to bear on him. A kill having been effected, we were able to make a closer inspection of our quarry, and a sorry spectacle it was, as indeed were all its kind that I ever saw.

Our enthusiasm had cooled by this time, the noisome smell and terrifying ugliness of the beast had gone far toward extinguishing our desire to make any further acquaintance with wild pork. However, so tenacious are preconceived ideas, that notwithstanding our repugnance to the whole business we were shortly on our way homeward, loaded up, each one of us, with portions of the carcase. To skip all details of our journey, I may say that our reception at the end of it was not of a cordial character; in truth, the smell of the meat we carried talked louder than we did, and the tone of the remarks which were made, unmistakably intimidated that the more distant the point where we unburdened ourselves, the better several people would be pleased, and thus ended our first and last pig hunt in Maungaturoto.

- W. J Bailey 'Manuscripts of Maungaturoto Early History' C.1920