Photo Essay – Houses in Waiuku – Part 3

The home of Mr Anthony May (Senior) and family at Maioro, ca 1909. The householder and his wife and child are standing on or near the verandah. A visitor is sprawled on the grass nearby. There is a whare partly hidden behind the bushes to the right of the house. A Maori man, woman and boy form a group near the horse in the right-hand foreground.
Front view of the new Presbyterian manse (minister’s house) at Awhitu, 4 May 1915.
The old homestead known as ‘Collingwood’ on the eastern outskirts of Waiuku, 1965. This was one of the area’s oldest houses. Phillip Hansen King, who had been appointed interpreter to the Waiuku Resident Magistrate in 1864, acquired the property soon after his arrival in the town. The house remained in the King family until Phillip’s son, Willliam James King, who had been active in local affairs, left the district in 1920. At William King’s farewell function, one of the speakers referred to the property thus: “[the] ‘Collingwood’ estate, the fine old homestead which was guarded and sheltered by a magnificent variety and profusion of native trees, planted by Mr King’s late revered centenarian mother …” (‘Valediction at Waiuku’, Pukekohe & Waiuku Times, 14 September 1920, p. 2).
he former Hartmann house in King Street, Waiuku, January 1979. Built for Louis and Pauline Hartmann in 1886, this was believed to be Waiuku’s oldest surviving house. Later in the year, the Waiuku Museum Society moved the house to the King Street Reserve (later Tamakae Reserve) as the nucleus of a planned historical precinct.

Photo Essay – Houses in Waiuku – Part 2

A Settler’s Residence at Waipipi
(Auckland Libraries Heritage Collections AWNS-18991208-6-2)
Members of the Anderson family and friends at Awhitu, ca 1900. Mr and Mrs H. Anderson are at left. Mr Anderson is holding baby Paitu. Mr Anderson senior is behind. Henry Poroa is the Maori man leaning on the bannister. Mrs R. Dickey (nee Jones) is standing beside him; the other three people are unidentified. The Anderson house was situated near the Awhitu wharf, and had a general store attached.
William and Rachel Smith’s home in Bowen Street, Waiuku, ca 1905. A well-dressed lady and a young boy are sitting in the buggy at the front of the house.
The home of Mr Anthony May (Junior) in Queen Street, Waiuku, ca 1909. This house was situated almost opposite the Public and Temperance Hall. Two women and three children, presumably members of the May family, are standing outside.

The home of Mr Anthony May (Senior) and family at Maioro, ca 1909. The householder and his wife and child are standing on or near the verandah. A visitor is sprawled on the grass nearby. There is a whare partly hidden behind the bushes to the right of the house. A Maori man, woman and boy form a group near the horse in the right-hand foreground.

Photo Essay – Houses in Waiuku – Part 1

An early settler’s cottage in what is now Shakespeare Road, near Waiuku, 1868. A woman and two men pose in front of the house. A little boy is sitting on the front steps playing with what seems to be a toy gun. The carefully tended vegetable garden includes healthy crops of lettuces, onions and cabbages.
The Hockin house, ‘Rose Hill’, at Pukeoware, ca 1890.
Major Ebenezer Hamlin’s former residence, known as ‘Brookside’, on the way to Glenbrook, near Waiuku, ca 1895. Ebenezer Hamlin, the ninth and youngest son of the missionary James Hamlin, was born at Orua Bay in 1844. During the Waikato War he served in the militia, then took up farming near Waiuku. The rank of Major came from his service with the Waiuku Volunteer Cavalry. He was MP for the Franklin electorate (variously named) from 1876 to 1893. He retired to Remuera in 1894, where he died in June 1900. ‘Brookside’ was later bought by Mr C.J. West. Note the white picket fence surrounding the house, the flock of sheep, the man on horseback, and the horse and buggy to the left. A grove of native trees has been preserved behind the house.
The Smiths family’s house at ‘Thornhill’, Waiuku. Standing in front of the house are, left to right: Ann Smith, an unidentified woman, Thomas Smith (with a bridle over his arm), Samuel Dawes, and an unidentified man.

Waiuku in the News – Fatal Fire


An inquest was held upon, the body of the deceased Patrick Gleeson on Saturday last at Kohekohe before Walter J. Harris, J.P., acting coroner, and a jury, of whom Captain Alexander was chosen foreman. – Constable Parker conducted the inquiry.— Julia Gleeson deposed that she was the mother of the deceased. On the evening of Friday last, the 7th of September, I left the deceased, who was 15 months old, asleep in a cot, and fastened the door of the house, and went away a short distance. As soon as I came on the hill I saw the house in flames. I ran along the gully as fast as I could, , crying out, “My baby, my baby”. There was no one at the house when I got there I then opened the door and tried to go in. I rushed to the window where the baby was, and, as I got there, my husband came up, and tried to enter by opening the window. I heard the baby say “Mamma” three times. My husband could not get in, though he tried repeatedly, on account of the smoke and flames. The house was burnt in a very short time. I left but very little fire in the fireplace. I first saw the fire in the dairy, which is part of the house. No one came to my assistance, nor could I see anyone about. Mr. Dickey came soon after, but too late to save my child. — William Gleeson deposed : On Friday evening I was away from the house for a short time to get firewood. I heard my wife screaming “My baby, my baby!” I ran back and saw the house all in flames I tried, but failed, to make an entry into the house. There was then an explosion of kerosene and powder which was inside. The child, no doubt, was dead before this, although I heard him scream when I first came up. When I first saw the house, the part used as a dairy was on fire on the roof on the weather side. I have no idea of the cause of the fire. I was there ten minutes before it occurred, with a load of wood, and there was no sign of fire then. My wife was not at home at that time. Part of the house was thatched, and it was there I first saw the fire. The chimney was at least twelve feet from that part. Mr Dickey came and rendered all the assistance that lay in his power, but my nearest neighbour, who was at home and lives only a short distance off, did not. I saw him when I was last at the house, close under the hedge. The chimney was on the weather side of the house. I did not smoke when at the house last, nor was there any chance of the children getting matches I know there was but little fire left. The chimney was of slab, the inside lined with zinc, and mortar between. — The foreman wished the jury to see the remains of the house, and they having done so, Mr. Gleeson continued: I believe the fire was not accidental, but that the house was set on fire by some one. I have my suspicions. The last time I saw Evitts he was on his own ground, in the garden, behind the hedge, about eight chains from my house. There was no ti-tree about the chimney for a pig-sty. — David Evitts deposed: I was, in my new house at 5 p.m. yesterday, mending a pair of boots, when my wife ran up to tell me that Gleeson’s house was on fire. I said I did not think so, as the smoke often comes through the thatch; but she said the roof was in a blaze. I then went down to my old house. I heard screaming all this time. My wife said she would run over. I went some time afterwards. A short time elapsed before I went. I would have gone before, but I was mending the children’s boots. I gave no assistance. The body of the child was not recovered when I left. — John Dickey deposed: I saw a fire at 5 p.m. yesterday, rising at the back of Mr Gleeson’s house. It seemed to be between the chimney and the far gable end of the house, from where I stood. I ran, and on coming to the house it was all on fire. I looked around, but there was no possibility of entering. Mrs. Gleeson told me her baby was inside. I made an attempt at several places, but did not succeed. The only thing I could do was to pour water on the place the child was supposed to be, and after some time we got the remains of the child, fearfully charred. This is the body now viewed. — By the jury: Evitts came, but I was there fully 10 minutes before him, though I had to run a mile. He rendered no assistance whatever Mrs. Evitts came before he did. — Nearly all the jury were in favour of a rider being added to the verdict, of culpable negligence on. the part of Evitts, but it was toned down to an expression of regret at his inhuman conduct. — Verdict: That the child, Patrick Gleeson, was burnt to death at Kohekohe, on Friday, September 7, 1876, in the dwelling-house of William Gleeson, but there is no evidence to how how the fire occurred. — [Own correspondent.]

Daily Southern Cross, Volume XXXII, Issue 5278, 12 September 1876, Page 2 (Supplement)

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Waiuku in the News – Relic of the Waratah?

Is it a relic of the lost Waratah? The much discussed life buoy recently picked up at Waiuku, on the Auckland west coast.
Auckland Weekly News 18 January 1912
Auckland Libraries Heritage Collection AWNS-19120118-14-3



WAIUKU, this day.

A lifebuoy bearing the name Waratah has been washed ashore on;the West Coast near Waiuku. It is not known how long the buoy had been on the beach before it was picked up. It was covered with barnacles and marine growth, evidently having been in the water for some considerable time . Unfortunately the finder, in removing the barnacles, spoilt the name, but he states that when found the name was plainly seen.

The likelihood of the buoy having any connection with the liner Waratah, which was lost off the African coast some three years ago, was mentioned by a “Star” reporter to a number of prominent deep-sea captains this morning.

Captain Hart, of the steamship Star of Canada, asked for his opinion, said that he was inclined to think that the buoy was from the ill-fated vessel. For the last 20 years he had thrown bottles over at various points in his voyages at the request of the Australian and United States Government meteorological observers. Of course, a number of the bottles were never heard of again, but he had received a report on his last trip to England of three that had been picked up in various parts of the world after drifting for over three years. He remembered throwing bottles over on the African coast and at Cape Horn, and having them reported from the West Coast of New Zealand, near the Manukau. It was no doubt a long distance for the buoy to drift in such a time, but such things had happened before.

Captain Murrison, of the Drayton Grange, said that it was by no means impossible that the buoy was from the lost Waratah, though he hardly considered it probable. Nevertheless the barnacles on the buoy pointed to the fact that it had been in the water for a long time. It would be a quick drift for the buoy to be carried 6000 or 7000 miles during the time that had elapsed! since the loss of the vessel. There are small steamers and a cutter trading on the Australian coast bearing the name Waratah, so that it is possible that the buoy may have been lost by one of these vessels, while it may have come from the scow of that name abandoned near Lord Howe Island last year.

The official search for the lost Waratah was abandoned on December 16, 1909.

Auckland Star, Volume XLIII, Issue 24, 27 December 1911, Page 2

Evening Star, Issue 14759, 28 December 1911, Page 6

Waikato Argus, Volume XXXI, Issue 4889, 28 December 1911, Page 2

Poverty Bay Herald, Volume XXXVIII, Issue 12647, 28 December 1911, Page 5

New Zealand Times, Volume XXXIII, Issue 7994, 28 December 1911, Page 1

Lyttelton Times, Volume CXXII, Issue 15810, 28 December 1911, Page 3

Gisborne Times, Volume XXIX, Issue 3409, 28 December 1911, Page 5

Stratford Evening Post, Volume XXXII, Issue 14, 29 December 1911, Page 5

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Photo Essay – Tahuna Marae in 1964

View of the meeting house (Te Ata-i-Rehia) at Tahuna Marae, near Waiuku, January 1964. The old Kaihau house – once the home of Henare Kaihau MP – is also visible through the trees.
View of the old Kaihau house at Tahuna Marae, near Waiuku, January 1964. Henare Kaihau served as MP for Western Maori from 1896 to 1911. He built a fine house on family property at Tahuna Pa, between Waiuku and Waipipi. He died in 1920. By the time of this photograph, the house had been unoccupied for some years and was in a semi-derelict condition.
The meeting house (Te Ata-i-Rehia) and the hall at Tahuna Marae, near Waiuku, January 1964.
The hall or whare kai at Tahuna Marae, near Waiuku, January 1964.
The cemetery at Tahuna Marae, near Waiuku, January 1964. Part of the Waiuku arm of the Manukau Harbour can be seen in the distance.

Waiuku in the News – Blacksmith in Firearms Accident

Blacksmith’s shop, Waiuku, ca 1900. The sign reads: ‘The Old Forge est. 1860. McPherson & Worthington, Farriers & General Smiths’. The bearded man on the left is blacksmith George McPherson.

Accidents and Fatalities.


Auckland, November 22 — George McPherson, a blacksmith at Waiuku, accidentally shot himself with a repeating rifle this morning. Dr. Clouston found that the bullet passed through one lung; and lodged behind the back rib. McPherson was conveyed to the hospital.

Waikato Argus, Volume VII, Issue 517, 23 November 1899, Page 2

Taranaki Herald, Volume XLVIII, Issue 11682, 23 November 1899, Page 2

South Canterbury Times, Issue 2646, 23 November 1899, Page 2

Marlborough Express, Volume XXXIV, Issue 275, 23 November 1899, Page 2

New Zealand Times, Volume LXX, Issue 3905, 23 November 1899, Page 5

Wanganui Chronicle, Volume XLIII, Issue 15000, 23 November 1899, Page 2

Daily Telegraph, Issue 9723, 23 November 1899, Page 4

Hawera & Normanby Star, Volume XXXVII, Issue 5016, 23 November 1899, Page 2

Timaru Herald, Volume LXII, Issue 3116, 23 November 1899, Page 3

Grey River Argus, Volume LVII, Issue 10386, 24 November 1899, Page 3

Temuka Leader, Issue 3515, 28 November 1899, Page 3

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Waiuku in the News – Mimic Warfare

Mimic Warfare Among the Sandhills and Tussock: The Auckland Mounted Rifles Regiments Field Day near Waiuku, Auckland.
Auckland Weekly News 24 April 1929
(Auckland Libraries Heritage Collection AWNS-19290424-36-2)

Miles of open,.sand dune and tussock and scrub above the sea. Squadrons of horse, exactly the same type of New Zealand mounted riflemen, although younger, who made history from the sands of Sinai to the Hills of Moab. A nimble Moth aeroplane observing for the defenders. The rattle of blank ammunition from rifle and machine-gun. Stirring gallops behind the cover of rides, the hasty dismounting, and the scramble of keen youths to the crests to bring a disconcerting flank fire to bear. Green-lined pugarees, and here and there the glint of a ribbon on tho tunic of an officer who served in the same regiment on its active service. The same good-humoured exasperation among the Number Threes when led horses objected to be led. The same flurried remounting of excited horses when it came to retire, or advance. Such was the scene and atmosphere yesterday, when the Auckland Mounted Rifles Regiment had a passage-at-arms among the sandhills of Waiuku. A mythical Northland was at war with a mythical Southland, their dividing-line being the Waikato River, and the whole of the regiment, less one troop, was assumed to have forded the Waikato River near the Heads — a perfectly feasible movement that would involve some swimming and a good deal of wading — and had bivouacked for the night at Maioro. Their objective was to seize valuable military stores at Waiuku. Naturally, they were deemed to have infantry behind them, due to appear in front of Waiuku in 48 hours
Air Reconnaissance.
The defending force was represented by the troop detached from the regiment, some infantry and a body of cadets who were promoted to the rank of troopers for the occasion. The Moth aeroplane, piloted by Captain J. Seabrook, by arrangement with the Auckland Aero Club, was, doubtless, deemed to be a formidable plane. It had been intended that the attacking force should move out to the Maioro position on Monday night and sleep on the sand, but rain caused this plan to be abandoned. Instead, they moved off from camp at Waiuku early in the morning, and were on their way to the attack when the plane came over to locate them. It was a sunless day, and, therefore, there were no shadows, which prove so valuable to an air observer in locating troops, and, furthermore, the dark sand was blacker than usual, owing to the wet. Captain Seabrook had difficulty in finding the deployed troops of the advance guard. What really gave them away was the tracks loft by the horses on the sand. These, from 2000 ft., looked like so many lines, and the rest was easy, although the pilot is assured by some of the officers that if they did him with the Hotchkiss they could have at a low altitude with rifle-fire. The umpire was not required to decide this point, which would have had particular interest to the relatives of the airman involved.
Dropping Messages.
The airman had to get back to the headquarters of the defenders and drop his information. There a large black sheet with white markings was spread out on the top of a hill to guide him, and Captain Seabrook made excellent practice on it. His messages, in tubes with streamers, were all dropped within a few feet of the sheet. An interesting fact is that the khaki-clad figures lying still round the sheet could not be detected from the air. It was only when a man rose and ran for the message that he could -be seen.
In extended order, the advance guard of the attacking force, commanded by Colonel Aldred, officer commanding the regiment, moved forward through the dunes and got in touch with the mounted troops of the defenders, whose first main position was a ridge running at right angles to the shore. On the defenders left was a commanding eminence, and Colonel Aldred sent forward his right flank guard to seize it. This they did, a machine-gun section of two guns doing their usual duty, and signallers performing excellent work with flags and field telephones.
Retirement Well Executed.
The defenders retired and executed the action very well indeed. They fought a delaying fight, one troop covering the retirement of another. A mile further back they occupied a second main position. The advance guard of the attackers was held up half-way and was reinforced. Again the flank attack took effect and back the defenders .bad to go, but with fine morale and in approved order to the third position 800 yds away. The action had now passed from the dunes, through tussock toward grass land. On either flank of the position were two dominating points, with a basin between. Colonel Aldred made a feint on the defenders’ left, and then threw m his strength on their right, where the hill was seized and the outlook for the stores of Waiuku became a trifle gloomy unless the Auckland base devised means of holding this charming district. It should be explained that the reason why the attackers swam the river was that Northland held all the Waikato bridges.

Ideal Training Ground.
The action covered four strenuous miles of ideal country for mounted manoeuvres. Experts consider this wide range of dune the best area of its kind for the purpose, in the vicinity of Auckland. It was often hard going for the horses on the sand, but they were in good condition and stood up to their work very well. Some of them are a little on the small side for remount purposes, but the standard is good. It was good to see these young horsemen ride. In spite of the car they know how to sit and handle their horses. A pleasing sight of the day was a troop of cadets who came mounted to take their place with the defenders. They will make splendid troopers next year. Their lance-corporal rode one of the showiest beasts of the lot, an animal called Vanity, that is not the most disciplined, and one of the junior bare-kneed troopers came on a black pony which, probably carried him to school. He had a rope bridle and rope reins and a sack for a saddle, but he “stayed the course” and the pony appeared to be proud of himself.
To indicate the keenness of the men of the Auckland Mounted Rifles to-day it might be mentioned that probably 80 per cent, of them are volunteers in the true sense of the word, seeing that, on account of distance, they cannot be compelled to serve.
Officers of the Camp.
The camp will break up to-morrow. In command is Colonel Aldred, second in command is Major Stevens., and the adjutant is Lieutenant Moncrieff, M.C., N.Z.S.C. In yesterday’s operations Lieutenants Birdsall and Morrison commanded the advance guard of the attackers, with Captain F. Dill in support, Lieutenant Aldred the left flank guard, and Sergeant Wright the right. Lieutenant Tingey, N.Z.S.C., commanded the machine-guns, and with Major Stevens in reserve were Major Potter and Lieutenant Shanks, Lieutenant Waddington was orderly officer. The defenders were commanded by Lieutenant Buttimore, Staff-Sergeant-Majors Milne, Brant and Dunlevy. Captain Foster, adjutant of the North Auckland Mounted Rifles, was umpire, and Major Glendining observed operations for Command Headquarter
New Zealand Herald, Volume LXVI, Issue 20232, 17 April 1929, Page 13

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Photo Essay – Building the Steel Mill – Part 2

Photographer: M Buttimore.
Waiuku Museum Society Collection
Photographer: M Buttimore.
Waiuku Museum Society Collection
Photographer: M Buttimore.
Waiuku Museum Society Collection
Photographer: M Buttimore.
Waiuku Museum Society Collection
Photographer: M Buttimore.
Waiuku Museum Society Collection
Photographer: M Buttimore.
Waiuku Museum Society Collection

Photo Essay – Building the Steel Mill – Part 1

Steel Mill Site
Photographer: M Buttimore.
Waiuku Museum Society Collection
A pile driver in action on the site of the Glenbrook steel mill, 1966.
Photographer: M Buttimore.
Waiuku Museum Society Collection
Photographer: M Buttimore.
Waiuku Museum Society Collection
Photographer: M Buttimore.
Waiuku Museum Society Collection