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Wa i n u i • M a k o r o r i • T a t a p o u r i • S p o n g e B a y
ISSUE 3/AUTUMN 2009 Free to every home | Extras $5.00
A Place By The Sea
History of the Beach
Wainui strikes gold
Summer Review • Local News • Our Kids and More
Okitu Store Summer Album 2008-2009
Summer! For most
of us it’s a time of
great excitement. The
hot weather brings out
summer dresses, boardies
and bikinis. Tans are
worked on, Makorori
Headland is walked over,
surfboards are freshly
waxed and waves are ridden. Refreshing beverages
are had on decks, ice-creams are licked, BBQs
are lit and chilly bins are filled. It’s a time of
summer weddings and reunions, sandcastle building
and camping under starry skies. And where else
would you want to be but at Wainui!
Summer at the Okitu Store saw a fresh new
team including uni girls, (Emma & Toni), our own
fashion designer (Dani), our cute English chick
(Chy – not so shy), our own Swindell sisters and
serious rowers (Katy & Amanda), our dancing team
(Lana, Kim D, Izis & Bree), our horse trekker
(Kim M), our chiller boy (Matt), our awesome fill-
in mums (Maria & Margaret) and not to forget our
own family (Gary, Maryanne, Kimberley and Karyn
and our resident store cat Splat). All of these
lovely people have tirelessly worked extremely hot
shifts, rolling endless icecreams for our customers’
satisfaction – thank you!
Seven days a week with extended hours over
summer was hard work but it was extremely
rewarding to see sun-glowed happy faces,
international visitors, families returning to Wainui
for the summer, all en joying a small part of
the paradise we live in – even if only for a few
Great memories are made in summer, it is
awesome to see generations of families like
the Wagner family making memories for their
children, years down the track their children
and grandchildren will reminisce about their
family trips to Wainui and those icecreams from
the Okitu store.
Thanks to all the locals for their loyalty and
support, as well as the workers and transitional
people travelling through Wainui, the fantastic
suppliers who never let us down, our staff for
their commitment, our friends for our lack of
socialising through tiredness, and of course each
other for our patience and energy – we love working
together, side-by-side everyday. Life couldn’t be
As this summer begins to fade we already look
forward to the next, plans already on the drawing
Monday to Saturday .... 7.00am to 7.00pm
board, new memories to make. Yes, summer and
Sunday .... 7.30am to 7.00pm
Wainui Beach – who wouldn’t en joy it?? Paradise at
our fingertips. Phone 06 867 7013
2 | BeachLife
M A G A Z I N E
Delivered free to every home
from Sponge Bay to Makorori.
6 Editor’s comments and a preview of the issue.
Published four times a year.
PuBLiSheD anD PrinteD By 7 Whales grave sculpture idea thwarted. Winery building to become family home. Wetland
Gray Clapham Design Arts style upgrade for Schools beach access. Local man designs city logo. The Cycle Track: when
.................................. will work start? New call for residents association. Maggie’s new shoe repair business.
90 Moana Road 10 Look out, the paparazzi are about. Photos from social gatherings, special occasions,
Wainui Beach weddings and general comings and goings. A Summer Review: All the good things that
Gisborne happened at the beach this summer. Dave McCullough widens his horizons. Farewell as
Phone 868 0240 local couple heads for Ireland. Wainui lifeguards strike gold at Nationals. Plus a review of the
Fax 867 7010 season at the Wainui surf club.
aLL LetterS, artiCLeS &
18 They just keep on coming! Introducing the latest nine new kids on the block.
.................................. beach history
Gray & Sandy Clapham 21 The Mystery of the Windmills: Many people have a memory of a windmill on the
sand dunes overlooking Wainui Beach. We’ve done a little digging and discovered there were
Phone 868 0240
in fact two windmills. What were they used for and where exactly were they? We ask our
Fax 867 7010
readers to solve the mystery?
.................................. 22 A Place By The Sea: The story of the settlement of Wainui and Makorori beaches
Extra copies available at $5.00 from ancient Maori times to the present day. Plus lots of interesting old photos.
All issues will be archived after
publication on the website our kids
www.beach-life.co.nz 35 Fleur’s daughter Nova is taking the twins to try life in Israel. Christie Carter had realised
his surfing island dream. Stephanie Brown has a cool job with Nike in London. Danielle Timbs
tells us about her eventful life to date.
Longboard champion James
Tanner with Tuahine Point our surf
behind. Insets: old windmill from
Gisborne Museum collections. 40 Wave Rave with Kelly Ryan: Surf stories, results and what the groms are up to.
SLS Nationals: Toby Harris wins
All BeachLife pages can be viewed online at www.beach-life.co.nz
U16 sprint race. Laura Quilter
(U19 surf race gold medalist) and
A handy man in the garden!
• Lawn Mowing
• Edge Trimming
Peter Stewart • Hedge & Tree Care
• Gardening & Landscaping
and installation of James LoveLock
audio/visual systems Mobile 021 73 66 22
Home 06 863 2833
A Wainui Beach
Historical photographs and assistance p 06 867 6929
courtesy Tairāwhiti Museum m 027 278 9516 firstname.lastname@example.org
BeachLife | 3
Onsite Waste Water Sy s t e m s : Yo u r G u i d e To O b t a i n i n g C o nsent
How to find tHe best system to deal
witH wastewater at your place
Have your site assessed by a Gisborne District Council approved onsite wastewater
site assessor. An assessor will do a soil test to identify how able your soil is to soak
up wastewater. They will assess other site restrictions such as area available, slope,
contour, height of water tables and distances to streams and the beach.
When do I need building consent?
If a new wastewater system is needed at your place you will need consent.
A building consent is also required if your existing system is inadequate and parts of the system need to be
replaced or upgraded.
What information is needed to apply for building consent?
Once your site has been investigated, the assessor will provide you with a comprehensive site assessment
report that identifies the treatment and disposal options best suited to your place. This will include system design,
including drainage plans and specifications.
Once you accept a proposed design you can apply for your building consent.
What happens next?
If the proposed design meets the requirements of
the Building Act 2004, Council Guidelines and the
rules in the Regional Plan, then the building consent
process is routine.
Sensitive or difficult sites?
In some circumstances additional environmental
protection may be required and application for
resource consent for discharge to land is required.
Alternative designs such as composting toilets,
fully contained systems, high volume storage, high
volume discharge, and systems within coastal
hazard zones are considered under this process. A
discharge consent is required before the system
can be used.
Need more information?
Contact Customer Services at the Gisborne
District Council for a list of approved Site
Assessors or for more information.
• An example of a failed system.
GISBORNE DISTRICT COUNCIL
PHONE 867 2049 FAX 867 8075 EMAIL SERVICE@GDC.GOVT.NZ WWW.GDC.GOVT.NZ
4 | BeachLife
Eureka, we’ve found it! A cost effective,
environmentally-safe alternative to a septic tank
rian Hutchings of Tokomaru Bay, became involved
with BioLoo composting toilets after deciding to buy a
composting system – instead of spending $15,000 on a Forget about drainfields, tank
conventional septic tank set up – back in 1998.
He became so impressed with the composting toilet’s efficiency cleaning, sludge dumping ...
– and the side benefits which included saving precious tank water
– he has now installed two more BioLoo systems at his backpacker
business, a couple of others around Tokomaru Bay and has become
the East Coast agent for the BioLoo company.
He is very keen for Wainui and Makorori people, who may be
facing up to replacing failing septic tank systems, to consider the
composting toilet alternative. In partnership with Tokomaru Bay
handman builder, Wayne Rickard, they offer a supply and install
“Since 1998 I have been constantly finding myself explaining, or
rather “selling” the concept of the composting toilet to my many
backpacker guests, all who become fascinated with the idea
and impressed how well they work. So I decided to contact the
manufacturers with the idea of promoting them here on the East
Coast where there is a real need for an alternative to the costly
septic tank set up,” says Brian.
They don’t smell, no chemicals There IS another solution to
are needed, they are easy to clean domestic waste disposal
and don’t rely on power.”
• Composting toilet systems
“The added bonuses are many. They don’t need to be “flushed”,
so you don’t use up precious tank water, the relatively small amount • Grey water systems
of accumulating compost only needs to be shovelled out annually
and can be used on your garden. There is no smell, no chemicals • Cost effective, environmentally friendly
are needed, they are easy to clean and don’t rely on power.”
The concept of composting human waste has been around for • Domestic & commercial options
many years and used by many cultures. It is environmentally friendly
and cost effective, and is being accepted more and more in this • No water flushing (optional low-flush if required)
country by councils and other authorities. They work particularly
well where site constraints, bylaws, cost and conscience do not • Meet all New Zealand building standards
allow alternatives. Fitting a composting toilet to an existing house
which has been designed for a septic tank disposal system is not an
insurmountable challenge and Brian and Wayne are happy to visit
and consult on site.
The toilets are also ideal for orchards and farms where a stand
alone “outhouse” toilet is needed away from the main plumbing.
BioLoo design composting toilet and grey water systems to be
as “site flexible” as possible and offer many alternative ways of
Brian says most people “can’t get their heads around” the fact
that there is no smell. Aerobic bacteria doesn’t produce foul odours
and the toilets’ positive ventilation systems ensures your bathroom
is more pleasant than a conventional flush toilet environment.
Optionally, wood shavings can be added to the compost regularly
and the addition of tiger worms makes the whole composting
process even more efficient, if you can be bothered. COMPOSTING TOILETS
The systems exceed New Zealand standards. They come in both
commercial and domestic sizes and are available using either a
Phone & Fax 06 864 5870 (Tokomaru Bay)
non-flush dry pedestal or a more conventional low-flush ceramic email@example.com
pedestal. Call Tokomaru Bay 06 864 5870 for more information.
BeachLife | 5
INTRO Publisher’s Comments | by Gray Clapham
thought I had bitten off a bit more than I could chew this issue! ooking back to the last issue and our History of Surfing
Here’s a great idea – write the complete history of Wainui Beach. at Wainui feature article, it was coincidently very timely
Yeah right. Straight away I was in deep, right up to my neck – and considering there is a “50 Years of Surfing Reunion” planned
had to keep swimming. for Easter in Gisborne. Quite a few people are putting in a big effort
Even though I have lived at Wainui for 30 years, I was aware that I to ensure this once in a lifetime event is a great success. I understand
knew relatively little about the history of the place. I knew a bit about tickets are selling fast with many interesting old characters coming.
the Lysnar family legacy at Okitu, largely because they left a lot of The key photograph in the surfing history story was the one of five
themselves around in the form of street names and the name of our young guys posing before heading out to surf Makorori Point. They
popular foreshore reserve. were John Logan, Peter Goodwin, Darryl Heighway, David Swann and
But I didn’t know anything of the Maori history or much about the Kevin Pritchard. The team is credited with first surfing the waves at
Coopers, who had arrived here much earlier than the Lysnars, and Makorori Point around 1961. BeachLife recently reunited the group for
other families who settled at the beach before the turn of the 19th the first time since the ‘60s, on the ocassion of David Swann’s 70th
century. Then there were all those years from the 1900s, through birthday, and re-posed the photo that has become iconic with the
two world war, to the 1980s when more and more people became history of surfing in Gisborne. All the guys will be at the reunion.
attracted to a life at the beach.
I wish I had started the research for the history of Wainui back in the Back in 1961
early 1980s when so many original early residents were still alive. The
seed for this story was planted back in 1980 when I visited Wathan
and Mary Lysnar at their home on the corner of Douglas and Lysnar
Streets. Mr Lysnar, who was Winifred Lysnar’s first cousin, at one time
a Gisborne accountant and later an accountancy teacher at Gisborne
Boys’ High, pulled out a sepia coloured map and spread it out on
this kitchen table to reveal the 1921 plans for the “Town of Okitu”.
Sixty years earlier his uncle, W. Douglas Lysnar, had subdivided the
beachfront land at Okitu and the Hamantua Stream valley to create a
prospective new town of some 200 residential and lifestyle sections.
Mr Lysnar pointed out the land set aside for the post office, the police
station and the school.
I was intrigued and meant to return to ask more questions, but
never got around to it. The Lysnar’s grew older, left the beach and are
now no longer alive. Gone too are my neighbours at the time, Ron 2009 — 48 years later
and Jean Cooper in Williamson Street and Honey and Bill Haxton who
built some of the earliest homes in the area. No longer living are many
who would have had rich memories of the beach during those years
through the two world wars and on into the ‘60s and ‘70s.
But researching history is like mining for gold. Every now and then
you strike a rich vein. Fred Phelps, now 73, was an insight into the
life and times of Oneroa and Murphy Roads, his grandfather coming
to live at the beach in 1897. Don Graham, now 82, remembered his
parent’s first bach, actually just a shed, along Wairere Road in 1938. I
spoke to Bill Lane, now 96 and living in Australia, about the glory days
of the Chalet Rendezvous. Win Ellis came to live at Wainui in 1949
and has many good memories of his time here before he took himself
and dear Ruth into town. And particularly Ingrid Searancke, now 83,
with her amazing knowledge of Maori history and a clear recall of her
childhood at Wainui. o, welcome to issue three of BeachLife. I really could do with
I spent a good number of hours spooling through rolls of microfilm some feedback or assistance from locals with story ideas,
at the Gisborne Library searching ancient issues of the Gisborne news tips and supplied photographs of events – 21sts,
Times and Poverty Bay Herald, triumphant when finding actual articles weddings, births, anniversaries, comings and goings – all milestones
written about hitherto obscure moments in Wainui’s history. I am also that deserve to be covered.
indebted to surveyors Grant and Cooke for searching historic survey One day, in years to come, we will look back on these issues as we
archives which revealed when properties changed hands over a do the old Gisborne Photo News. It’s amazing how quickly today’s
hundred years ago. everyday events become tomorrow’s fascinating history. Photographs
A Place By The Sea: The Settlement of Wainui Beach begins on are easy these days. Just email digital JPEGs to firstname.lastname@example.org
6 | BeachLife
Wainui Whales Grave sculpture what’s up?
memorial harpooned at Opunake
PEOPLE ON THE MOVE
n elaborate sculpture known as
“Tutunui’s Garden” is no longer
heading Wainui’s way where it would
New home on old
have been set up as an artistic memorial to service station site
the 59 sperm whales stranded here in 1972.
t’s the end of an era with the sale of
Plans by the Gisborne District Council
the Amor Bendall Winery building
to reinstall the whale bone sculpture at the
in Moana Road recently. The site
Whales Grave site were beached in January
which has been a commercial enterprise
when the South Taranaki District Council
of some kind since 1953 will soon be
nabbed the work for Opunake.
turned into a spacious family home.
Plans were well under way to move the
Karl and Kay Geiseler, who own an
complex sculpture across the island to
acreage up on Winifred Street, have
Wainui Beach. Though it would cost a fair amount of money to install the piece – a 7 metre
bought the highway fronted, former
whale rib arch made of steel, foam and fibreglass bolted to a steel frame on a buried concrete
petrol station, site and building from
base – the work itself would have been gifted to the region by the artist.
Noel and Alison Amor Bendall. Amor
Designer Kim Jarrett originally conceived the elaborate sculpture-piece for the 2006
Bendall is shifting its winery operation to
New Plymouth Rhododendron Festival. However, it was never designed to be a permanent
leased buildings next to the Soho Bar by
installation and last year the New Plymouth District Council made a decision to dismantle it and
the inner harbour in Gisborne.
put it into storage where it has been gathering dust for some time.
The Geiseler’s see the building as a
With the lease on the storage facility near to expiring the NPDC asked artist Jarrett to make
lifestyle change and “the next best thing
arrangements to take the piece back. With connections in Gisborne, Jarrett then offered the
to beachfront” with their three young
piece to the Gisborne District Council. Gisborne council staff indicated their keenness to take
boys Kamen (15), Kurt (13) and Kelly (10)
ownership of the piece, had done some preliminary planning and were waiting for confirmation
wanting to spend as much time at the
before arranging to take ownership and organise transportation.
beach surfing as possible.
However once word got out that Tutunui’s Garden might be heading our way the South
Keep an eye on the development as
Taranaki District Council got motivated and whipped up some funding to have the piece kept
it should be interesting with Chris Shaw
in Taranaki by relocating it to Opunake. Taranaki Arts Festival Trust chief executive, Suzanne
of Pacific Modern Architecture working
Porter, said it would have suited any coastal site in New Zealand but they definitely wanted
with the Geiselers to evolve the 430
it to stay in the Taranaki region because it had been originally funded by the TSB Community
square metre building into a unique
Trust, which has now agreed to pay for the relocation to Opunake. STDC community services
family beach house, including a planned
development manager, Jan Martin, says when they became aware that Taranaki might lose the
indoor swimming pool. The family plans
artwork to Gisborne they expressed an immediate interest.
to live in the shell of the building for a
However the artist, Jarrett, is not happy. He was reported as saying he was “so embarrassed”
month or so to get the feel of the site
that he had offered his sculpture to Gisborne, had gone some way in arranging its transfer here
before making any big design decisions.
and then to hear on National Radio that it was now going to Opunake. The decision by NPDC to
give the piece to STDC was arranged without his consultation. He says he is disillusioned with
how he has been treated, considering the sculpture is his intellectual property. Fanthams leaving for
Gisborne mayor Meng Foon says: “Gisborne District Council was very happy to get the offer Australia
of the Tutunui’s Garden sculpture from the artist Kim Jarrett. It would have been a fitting tribute
to the whales who died at Okitu in 1972. I am very sorry Gisborne is not getting the sculpture oana Road folk, Peter and
after I said we would take it and council had investigated transportation and a suitable location Alisa Fantham and their
for installation.” daughter Amelia have sold up
and will soon be heading for a new life
So what is happening at the Whales Grave site in the wake of this disappointment? GDC
Peter, senior soil conservator at the
and works Peter
Gisborne District Council has lived
New Zealand Inspired Higgs says: “Work on
at Wainui for around 35 years, first
Gifts & Artwork
the Lysnar Reserve,
at 58 Moana and then moving down
as detailed in the
to number 50 in 2001. People may
management plan, remember this as Brett and Lesley
A wide and tasteful array of New Zealand could begin within Papworth’s former home.
themed gifts and local souvenir items a couple of months. The Fantham family is moving to
Gisborne District Sydney’s Northern beach area near
Council is presently Mona Vale and are due to fly out on
obtaining prices for April 2. Their home has been bought by
the work and the Sandy and Fran Britten who are moving
outcome of this will along the beach from 29 Moana Road.
determine the extent Sandy is a professional real estate
of work completed this photographer who decided to buy the
15 Gladstone Road • The Bridge End
Phone 867 4900 year.” house after photographing it.
BeachLife | 7
Rees creates new look logo for
the City of Gisborne Wetland style upgrade
refreshed city brand, the work of Wainui graphic designer Rees
Morley, has been adopted by the Gisborne District Council
planned for “Schools”
as its new logo. GDC last year decided that the old city logo, beach access
known as “the sun and the squiggle”, which had been in use for
thirteen years and – although it was widely recognised as the city earby residents have been mostly supportive of
brand – had become dated and was being used inconsistently. a GDC proposal to redevelop the Schools Beach
A survey of 600 Gisborne people last year identified strong support Access to improve its function as a stormwater outlet
for the existing sun logo subject to three provisos – that it be made and to improve its visual aesthetics.
more contemporary, that the colours be changed and that cultural Council called for submissions to the proposal and of the
elements be included. Local design agencies were asked to submit five received most welcomed the concept of improvements
proposals and quotes with the successful redesign concept chosen to the popular public access track to the beach from Wairere
for further development being that of Road and the plans to improve stormwater drainage.
Rees Morley. Rees, from his Urban-i GDC says the overall objective is to improve the
studio in Sandy Cove, then worked management and function of the stormwater outlet. It is
with council staff to finalise the design also its goal to improve visual aesthetics as well as the
which was recently adopted by functionality and usability of the area as a recreational reserve.
council. The protection and sustainability of the beach foreshore is
“The inclusion of the cultural water also a key objective.
symbol was a sketched drawing I Works include the construction of two ‘wetland’ areas to
developed with Nick Tupara from the detain and control stormwater runoff, the installation of new
GDC. Together we developed the culverts, a new carpark adjacent to Wairere Road and a new
concept of this symbol being the East walkway for beach access. Several consents are required.
Cape geography, the water ways and GDC stormwater engineer, Joss Ruifrok, says ongoing
bays, the various community groups scouring of the existing car parking area and persistent
and the relationships formed and erosion of the foredune had prompted the upgrade.
nurtured throughout this region. The design objective was to develop a low impact, natural
“I was determined give the Council something not too far removed approach towards stormwater management. The design
from the original integrity of the existing sun and water brand. These centres around constructing two shallow, grassed, temporary
two powerful, natural elements represent this region perfectly and are storage areas that are designed to contain and buffer
easily recognisable in the original and now this refreshed brand.” stormwater peak flows, reducing volumes discharging to the
beach and improving water quality.
The two ponds will be temporary storage areas for
All your massage requirements containing stormwater during wet weather events. For the
majority of the time the ponds should be free of stormwater
available locally, conveniently, and serve as usable recreational areas. During extreme events
right here at The Beach the ponds will be close to full, or overflowing. When the ponds
are full the overflow will be wide, shallow and sheet-like
• Relaxing Massage for stress relief causing minimal erosion effects.
A car-parking area is also proposed to be constructed
• Sports Massage for casual to elite athletes adjacent to Wairere Road to cater for up to ten vehicles. The
car-park will be recessed down about one metre below road
• Effective treatment for pain and injury level so that parked vehicles do not block the sea views from
either Wairere Road or nearby homes.
Cars will no longer be able to drive down to the beachfront
• Pregnancy Massage as they do at present. Instead a 1.5 metre wide limestone chip
walking track will be developed on the northern side of the
• Massage for children and teens ponds ending with steps to the beach and a timber and chain
boardwalk leading on to the sand.
• Gift Vouchers The submissions while mostly supportive believe the project
is a result of new stormwater run off from the Sandy Cove
Half hour - $30 | One hour - $50 subdivision and would like the development of Council policy
Children and Teens at school – half price and protocols to ensure developers pay for their impacts on
the environment in the future.
Other suggestions concern pushchair and wheelchair
access to the beach, the consideration of alternatives to the
limestone chip paving while most are supportive of preventing
NORMAN WEISS NCM, CSM, CMTMNZ vehicle access to the beach.
If submission issues are resolved, consents are achieved
32 DOUGLAS STREET • OKITU • 867 2790 and Council approval is given work could start before this
winter, possibly April or May.
8 | BeachLife
Cycle track idea Residents determined
continues its slow, to form some sort of
uphill pedal association
hen will we see work start on the website concerned about political and other
proposed cycle way from Gisborne meeting of residents at the Cleary issues that affect all people who live in the
to Wainui? It’s been a long, slow Road Hall recently reaffirmed the community.
saga with the sad thing being that many need for some sort of residents The website was created originally to
people who pushed for the idea 20 years association to champion the causes of the spread the news about the fight to stop
ago are now too old to bike to town if they
Wainui community. reticulation and is now a general community
The meeting briefly talked about the “slap noticeboard.
In 1984, the very first BeachLife magazine
in the face” it received from the Gisborne The website is currently being edited by
front-covered news of a cycle track “from
town to the beach” as if it was going to District Council when the concept of a Gary Stevenson of Wairere Road. This is the
happen that year. That was 15 years ago. community liaison group was rejected last best place to get up to speed with issues
Many of our once flash 10-speeds and year after months of careful deliberation. affecting the community and to find out
mountain bikes have rusted into oblivion “There we were, all happy and holding about proposed community meetings.
since then! hands, and at the last minute they dropped There are links on the website for
Just recently we heard that a cycle track us dead,” said meeting chairman Dein Ferris. residents to make comments on issues.
design proposal had been delivered to the “But despite the Council’s dismissal of the The website is at www.wainuibeach.org.nz
New Zealand Transport Agency by the Opus idea we are now at the stage where we really
consultants and there was nothing, apart
from funding priorities, in the way of stopping
do need to form a structured, more formal Maggie’s winning
group to represent the community, to take
the cycle track from actually happening.
a consensus of community opinion to the with new shoe repair
Full of enthusiasm BeachLife approached
the New Zealand Transport Agency head Council over issues that affect us.” business
office and received the following statement The meeting discussed several current
from Jenny Chetwynd, NZTA Regional issues facing the community including the ainui Road local Margaret Mayfield
Director, Central Region: emergency stormwater drainage channel stepped into some big shoes
“In respect to a cycleway from Gisborne to from the Sponge Bay Estate into the recently. Operating as Maggie
Wainui, the New Zealand Transport Agency Wainui Stream, the stormwater drain from Mayz Shoe Repairs, she has taken over the
are currently exploring a range of options Oneroa Road back along SH35 along the business of Andrew Winning, the well-known
and expect to finalise a preferred alignment Dalton’s boundary and the prospect of more shoe repairer who had a kiosk in Gladstone
in the next few months. Road.
stormwater from possible development of
“Once a preferred alignment has been Margaret, partner of Roger Willson, who
the land behind Ocean Beach Motor Lodge.
selected the NZTA will consult with the lives along the Sponge Bay straight, has
The meeting agreed that “keeping an
community and all affected parties to gather bought most of Andrew’s sewing machines
feedback. The next step will be to seek eye” on stormwater drainage within the
and tools, some which came originally from
design and construction funding approval to community was just one issue which made a
the Gisborne Shoe Repair Company which
build the cycleway. “residents’ association” imperative.
was run by Ted Otway in Bright Street from
“We’re pleased with these recent Certain people at the meeting volunteered
developments and we look forward to to research and report back on the structure
In this throwaway age it’s good to know
working with the community and the of other urban or community groups
there is still an old fashioned shoe repair
Gisborne District Council as we continue to like Manu Kaiti and the Piha Residents’ business in the town. Maggie Mayz is at
progress this project.” Association. 433a Gladstone Road, near the Roebuck
No need to oil the old chain for a while yet
Wainui residents do have a dedicated Road roundabout. Phone 027 688 9475.
Redefining the art of coastal living Gisborne’s biggest range of framed
photo prints & artworks
This dynamic coastal landscape inspired our name and inspires our
architecture. A modernist response to the South Pacific lifestyle.
45 Wairere Road, Wainui Beach
Phone 06 868 9381 Fax 06 868 9380
Picture Framing & Laminating
pacific modern architecture 57 Gladstone Road • Phone 867 4305 • email@example.com
BeachLife | 9
MANY MELTING MOMENTS: One of the most popular girls at the beach this summer was Emma Shields who worked long and hard all season at the Okitu
Store rolling literally thousands of cooling ice cream cones. Is all that ice cream good for you? You can ask Emma, daughter of Malcolm and Lyn Shields of
Williamson Street, who is now back at Otago University where she is in her second year studying for a degree in Human Nutrition with the aim of becoming
a dietician. Incidentally, from a historic point of view, Emma is a fifth generation local. Her great-great grandfather was pioneering Wainui Beach farmer,
William Cooper, who arrived here in 1874. See our Wainui Beach history feature on page 22.
Now that was a long, hot, dry summer!
t was definitely one of Gisborne’s long, hot summers and here at the warmest in his memory this summer with fishermen recording
the beach we revelled in it. It was all about ice creams, swimming, offshore temperatures of up to 23 degrees C.
surfing, barbecues and long evenings with friends on the deck. We “Wave wise, it was up and down, with some real quality when all
had heat waves, droughts, high humidity, water tankers, beaches full the top surfers were away at the Nationals at Piha in January. We had
of holiday makers, all those young people here for Rhythm and Vines, an intense looking low-pressure system drop out of the southwest
surfing contests and starlit summer nights. Pacific, intensify and then very slowly track off to the east. It produced
The mean maximum temperature for Gisborne from December to a solid E-NE swell for about a week providing some truly epic surfs
end of February is usually 24 degrees, but this year that average was had by many both up and down the coast,” Kelly says.
up one degree to 25. The hottest day officially was February 1, where Down at 58 Murphy Road, Frank Russell, of Surfing With Frank surf
we (officially) recorded 35 degrees at the hottest part of the day. Total coaching, enjoyed a record year. The consistent good weather saw as
sunshine hours for the same period totalled 718, up from the average many as 25 would-be surfers taking lessons each day from Christmas
of 679. On the other side of the coin we had 179mm of rain for the through to the end of January. Over the hill Dive Tatapouri reported
three summer months, down on the 194mm average. international visitor numbers down in number compared to previous
Water carriers Judd Water Supplies delivered 213 loads of water years with New Zealand visitors pretty much static.
from December through to the end of February, at one period Cliff Blumfield of Wainui Dive was swamped with enquiries for the
delivering as many as 13 loads a day. That translates to 3,301,500 SolRX sunscreen he imports, which was featured and advertised in the
litres carted out here. And that’s just the one company. last issue of BeachLife. Stocks soon ran low and Cliff had to send for
At the Okitu Store this summer they rolled out something like 7000 a new consignment from the US-based manufacturers of the product
ice cream cones, with most of them during the Christmas through to which most people have reported to be “an excellent, long lasting
end of January period. sunscreen”.
This season volunteer lifeguards at Wainui provided the At the Wainui Motel, manager Linda Lewin says they had the “No
community with 877 hours of volunteer patrols, made four rescues, Vacancy” sign out most of January, full most nights with bookings and
attended five serious first aids and took part in two searches. people just turning up during the day.
Volunteer Lifeguard patrols will finish on the 30th of March. “The people travelling were a great mix of Kiwis, a lot from the UK
Our surf reporter Kelly Ryan says the water temperature was escaping from the snow storms, and a lot of Germans. Generally the
10 | BeachLife
people from overseas just can’t believe how amazing this place is. Bronwyn of Bronwyn Kay Real Estate reports her quietest summer
They intend on staying just one night but a lot end up staying two, as far as sales at Wainui go with plenty of enquiry but few results due
three, four nights and more. They can’t believe they can be the only to vendors not wishing to meet the current market conditions.
people walking on this big beach, something we all probably take for “It would appear that the only sales happening were those that were
granted.” perhaps on a need-to-sell basis,” she says.
The agency carried out a successful auction of the magnificent
n the property scene local real estate agents provide Wheatstone Road property featured in the last issue of BeachLife.
mixed reports. Walker Realty sold four properties between “With interest in the beachfront still being strong, prospective
December and the end of February. Neil Walker says for purchasers were disappointed perhaps by the quality of homes
those who are willing to meet the market, there are buyers wanting available. Buyers assumed a million dollar-plus property would offer
to purchase beach property. He says it’s a good time to buy at the the finer things in life, besides the wonderful views. However, any
beach. offers made were rejected by the vendors.
“It’s been great to have had a summer like we have just “As we know, Wainui market values can and do stall from time to
experienced. While it has been incredibly hot in the city, I love driving time, but when all the signals are green they can explode! I believe
home from town and watching the temperature fall as I turn the corner those people visiting our fair city and world-class beach envy our
and hit the sea breeze. On some occasions I’ve seen a temperature lifestyle, and many are anticipating a return to purchase property when
drop of up to six degrees. Of course, in winter, it will be warmer than real estate markets are once again buoyant. Now is certainly the time
town. Why would you want to live anywhere else,” says Neil. to buy into the market as I don’t believe we will see opportunities like
Christine Gunness of Ray White says the property market was quiet this again in our life time.”
over the Xmas-New Year period with most of the visitors being here Houses that did sell this summer include 15A Douglas Street for
for R&V: “It was a great time for real estate agents to have a break $382,000; 50 Moana Road on day of auction for $600,000; 56A Moana
and enjoy the benefits of Gisborne. February was extremely busy with Road at auction for $612,000; 21 Lloyd George Road; 6 Oneroa Road;
enquiry, especially with potential buyers hoping to take advantage a Sandy Cove section; 16 Wairere Road at auction for $555,000, 9
of the drop in prices. We have been presenting lots of offers on Douglas Street for $455,000, 9 Cleary Road and 103b Wheastone
properties but most vendors still want a reasonable price for their Road.
property and don’t want to give it away. As we go to press the first really cold southerly of winter has arrived
“We have had a surge of enquiry for beachfront property and lots of with a big south well charging into the bay. The heat pump has been
viewings. There is still a lot of interest in Wainui properties but people switched from air-con to heat. But let’s hope it’s just a short-lived cold
are reluctant to offer top dollar as there is such uncertainty about the snap and this magnificent summer will drag us through to Easter.
“However Wainui is a market that can lift very quickly. It takes just P I L AT E S • MASSAGE • REIKI
one high sale for the rest to follow. Many of the potential purchasers,
and we have quite a few, that are waiting to buy beachfront at a steal
may find that they will miss out. We sold two Wainui properties in
February, 6 Oneroa Road and a Sandy Cove Section. We are getting
overseas enquiry over the Internet, and quite a few people keen to
invest in beachfront from Auckland and Hawkes Bay,” says Christine.
55 Lloyd George Road
Phone 863 1087
Formerly Winnings Shoe Repairs
• Give your favourite shoes a total makeover!
• Shoes too tight? Have them stretched.
Gladstone Road (Near Roebuck Road Roundabout)
FLOWER GIRLS: Budding florists Eden Lewin, India McCulloch, Leucadia
Shaw and Arnica Lewin sold kerbside corsages this summer. The Lewin Margaret Mayfield
girls are daughters of Tony (who grew up at Wainui) and Linda Lewin, who Phone 867 1056 | Mobile 027 6880475
manages the Wainui Motel.
BeachLife | 11
beach life Lysnar Street Christmas gathering
Lysnar Street area residents traditionally have a festive street party each December to celebrate the Christmas season.
Anna Harris’s father Arthur Meier from Switzerland with his
Wainui born grandchildren Romy and Toby Harris at the Lysnar Street
Lysnar Street children Tadhg Grealish, Eva Klavs and Abby
Aldridge have their own kind of Christmas party fun.
Sharon and Denis McLean with recent arrivals in
Lysnar Street, Lesley and Keith Daniels.
John Harris with Kevin and Kelly Ferris and Mike Aldridge.
12 | BeachLife
Friends chip in to give
Dave electric wheels
ave “Cloe” McCullough still can’t get his head around how
great his friends are. “I’ve got the best friends and family
anyone could ask for,” he says.
Dave has had a hard road to ride since he was diagnosed with
multiple sclerosis (MS) in 1996, so when his friends chipped in recently
and presented him with a $2500 high-tech electric bicycle it certainly
opened up his horizons.
In fact he has a range of 80 kilometres on one battery charge and
can travel up to 30 kilometres an hour, according to the manual, but
he says he has been clocked at 42kmh, wind assisted.
Dave had come to terms with the limitations of having MS, but then
received another setback in 2002 when he had an attack from a form
of viral meningitis. This had nothing to do with MS and in many ways
was more of a curse. He no longer has the virus but the attack scarred
parts of his brain, leaving him prone to having seizures which meant
he wasn’t medically allowed to drive.
Walking, or relying on friends for a ride, has been his only way
of getting around for the last six years. One morning last year he
watched the Good Morning Show which featured a story about
a Whakatane-based company, Electric Bikes NZ Ltd, who had
developed a really cool electric bike, and thought “that’s what I need”.
At the same time good friend Michelle Nyholt watched the same
programme at her home in Pare Street.
Quick-thinking Michelle thought, “that’s just the thing for Dave” and
made some enquiries to the manufacturers and soon had a secret
scheme in motion to buy Dave one. The word went out to all Dave’s
friends who chipped in the necessary money and they were soon
able to order a Wisper 950se, the top of the range model. However,
keeping it a surprise was the key issue until they lured Dave to the
Tsunami Bar one night and presented him with the concept. The bike
was not quite ready so they gave him a brochure and made a big
banner which everyone signed.
When the bike arrived on January 13 everyone gathered again for
the handing over ceremony where Dave got his first ride on the bike
which has literally “changed his life” and he’s hardly stopped smiling
since. “It’s unbelievable. I can now go places without relying on others ELECTRIC PEDAL POWER: Dave McCullough had his horizons stretched
and its just a buzz to ride. I can even go to Makorori and check the when friends got together to buy him a high-tech electric bicycle.
surf from the lookout like I used to.” surfboards in New Zealand. They now live at Snells beach.
His metallic black bike has hydraulic front suspension and operates Dave says that although the MS has been a real trial, it is not a
on battery power, pedal power or a combination of both. Each night death sentence. Despite constant fatigue and joint pain he gets on
he just plugs in the battery like you would a cellphone. No license, with life as best he can, but there is always the chance of having a
insurance or registration are required. seizure, especially at night, as a result of the meningitis. However
Dave is the son of Jan and Keith McCullough, formerly of Makorori Dave generally keeps smiling: “I just have to accept how things are.”
Beach. Their boat building company, Condor Craft, was well known Before MS Dave was a boat builder by trade, a deep sea fisherman
in Gisborne with Keith making some of the very first fibreglass and a painter.
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BeachLife | 13
Jenny Allen of Sirrah Street had all her girls on hand to help
celebrate her 50th birthday in January. Amy, Jade and grand
daughter Natalia were amongst the happy group of family and
friends who gathered for a great party.
Jay Quinn may
have lost his grasp
on the New Zealand
Open Surfing title
in January but he
is definitely holding
on to his Australian
girlfriend, Amanda Barry.
Home for Christmas
Jay announced their
engagement. Jay is
based at Kirra on the
Gold Coast of Australia.
Family and friends are
travelling to the Gold
Coast for an official
engagement party at the
end of this month.
Emma Knox, who grew up in Douglas Street, married Steve Greaves on January 17 at Holy Trinity.
Photographed on Wainui Beach (from left) Jared Rofe, Emma Knox, Niki Boyle, Tash Law (obscured), Steve
Greaves, Craig Twistleton and Ila Robertson. Emma is assistant principal and classroom teacher at Awapuni
School. Steve is a Gisborne plumber and drainlayer. They honeymooned in the Cook Islands and are to live in
• Flight bookings
• Package holidays and accommodation
• Cruises & tours
• Surfing holidays
• Adventure & sightseeing
• Rental Cars & Travel Insurance
37 Bright Street, Gisborne, Phone 868 2700 See Brett Papworth for travel advice.
14 | BeachLife
Chris Emerre, son of Wayne and Jacque Emerre of Wairere Road,
married Beth Tyler from Surrey, England on March 7 at Hahei Beach
on the Coromandel. The couple met in Wellington. Chris, who is
Georgina Hefford (Talking Heads) married Jimmy Lovelock Caroline Ryan’s twin brother, works in the film and television industry.
(Lawn and Garden Services) on March 7 at Opou with the The couple plan to return to live in Wellington after a trip back to
reception at PBC. The couple have a home in Murdoch Road. England to finish off a house renovation project.
Wainui Beach’s reliable water supply
As a Wainui Beach homeowner, Greg Judd of
Judd Water Supplies knows the importance
of a reliable, clean source of household water
for those times when the tanks run dry.
Call the big
of quality city
Phone 867 6028
Greg Judd Mobile 027 230 2464
BeachLife | 15
Beach says farewell
to Luke and Irene
opular Okitu couple Luke Porter and Irene
Pender are travelling back to Northern
Ireland to spend a couple of years with
Irene’s family after living in New Zealand, mostly
Wainui Beach, for the last 20 years.
Luke, a New Zealand representative and
champion kneeboarder, met Irene at the Surfer’s
Bar in Rossnowlagh where she was playing in the Irene waves goodbye as the family heads off for a two year break from Wainui.
band at the prize-giving party after a New Zealand
versus Ireland surf contest in 1986. It was a classic
case of “surfer boy meets the girl in the band” and Wainui strikes gold at Nationals
they’ve been together ever since.
After a few years living in England and travelling
around Europe Luke brought Irene back to New
Zealand where they lived at Kaiti Beach for a
couple of years and then first lived in a shed they
built on a section they bought at 5 Douglas Street
in 1992, slowly building their own home.
Irene very soon became a popular person about
Gisborne sharing her considerable musical talents
and entertaining a generation of locals at bar and
concert events. Those with long memories may
remember “Pol Pot Girl”, “Loopland”, “The Shams”
and more lately “Sonny Jim”. Irene, a bit of a punk
rocker and new waver at heart, was not really into
traditional Irish music until she came to Gisborne.
One St. Patrick’s day she played an Irish music
gig for fun and – with that amazing Irish accent – THE GOLDEN GIRLS: The Wainui women’s four of Carolyn Hibbert, Jane Goodman, Moria
Lee and Chrissy Robertson won gold medals in the Open Women’s short and long course
was enticed into the local Irish music scene. For
canoe races at the New Zealand lifesaving nationals.
many years she has held regular trad-Irish jams
with the local “Madra Dubh” group. Luke has
shared the musical journey, learning to play the
guitar after meeting Irene in Ireland, and for years
has been the bassist in most of the groups Irene
Luke has been the New Zealand champion
kneeboard surfer in 1991, 1993 and 2008 and has
taught at Ilminster Intermediate for the past 15
years. Irene has a BA in teaching. They have two
boys Finn (8) and Shea (6).
The trip home to Ireland is all about family, says
Irene. After nearly 20 years in New Zealand (with
several visits home) she says she “feels the call”.
Originally from Ballyshannon in County Donegal
Irene has a mum and a sister she’s very close to
in Derry, and a brother and many uncles, aunties,
cousins and old friends across Northern Ireland. So
Derry will be home for two years, they’ll rent a place
and the boys will go to school and where they hope
to do a fair bit of travelling across to Europe as well.
“It’s all about family and friends and the desire to SIBLINGS CELEBRATE SUCCESS: Daniel and Maya Harris were on hand to congratulate little
see a bit more of the world while we can.” brother Toby after his win in the National Surf Life Saving U16 Beach Sprint championship
which he added to his U16 Beach Flags championship from earlier in the day.
16 | BeachLife
ON PATROL: One of this summer’s Wainui Surf Club volunteer weekend patrols. From left – Diego
Pedrioli, Trudy Fantham, Kiel Hovell, Oliver Puddick, Ben Tinnelly, Justin Martin and Scott Grimson. The
quad bike is a Can-Am twin seat Outlander complete with radio and resuscitation equipment which was
acquired this season with funding from the E&C Community Trust.
Golden summer for Wainui Beach lifeguards
ainui lifeguards topped off a long hot summer with six before the start of next season.
gold medals at the New Zealand Surf Life Saving National Prior to the Nationals the club had a strong competitive season
Championships in Gisborne this month. with several Wainui members picked to represent Gisborne at the
Toby Harris of Williamson Street took double gold by winning the Lion Foundation Surf League at Mount Maunganui.
Under 16 beach sprint and Under 16 flags race. Laura Quilter won The Gisborne Surf Lifesaving Championships were held at Midway
gold in the Under 19 surf race. The women’s four of Carolyn Hibbert, beach over three days in January and this year Wainui members won
Jane Goodman, Moria Lee and Chrissy Robertson won gold medals several open and junior titles and 90 percent of the IRB rescue boat
in the Open Women’s short and long course canoe races. And the events. The National IRB Championships held in Taranaki on the last
junior women’s crew of Lucy Suttor, Sophie Peters, Jamie Phelps weekend of March will be strongly attended by Wainui crews. Several
and Elaine Van Den Worm won gold in the Under 19 short course crews are hoping to gain medals including Justin Martin, Mike King,
race. Stuart MacGregor, Steve Sutherland and Yannis Kokkosis.
On the patrol scene this summer professional surf lifeguards were In February, the Surf Lifesaving Gisborne Junior surf
based at the Wainui Surf Lifesaving Club from Monday to Friday Championships was held at Midway beach where Wainui finished
from the end of December until the end of January. Volunteer patrols third overall. Large number of competitors braved large surf and
watched the beach during the weekends. cold conditions where individual age group winners from our club
Every surf lifesaving club in New Zealand undergoes a monthly included Sunny Brown (13 Under Boys), Georgia Harris (12 Under
patrol inspection and Wainui was consistently the top patrolling club Girls), Jasmine Smith (11 Under Girls) and George Zame (7 Under
in our region this year. Boys). The juniors also competed successfully at the Ocean Athletes
“This can be attributed to the importance our club puts on having national championships held at Papamoa Beach in February.
a quality patrol every weekend and the high percentage of adults The annual house to house appeal was held on February 12 with
who are involved with the club as volunteer lifeguards,” says club the club collecting just on $2000 from the community this year,
manager, Mike King. the highest amount ever received. The club would like to thank the
This season volunteer lifeguards at Wainui have provided the community for its continued support.
community with 877 hours of volunteer patrols, have made four Introduction to surf lifesaving courses will be held throughout the
rescues, attended five serious first aids and taken part in two winter months. If you are interested you can train and become a
searches. Volunteer Lifeguard patrols will finish on the March 30. qualified surf lifeguard over the winter months and be ready to get
Currently the club is rebuilding a new first aid room downstairs straight into patrols and competitions at the start of next summer.
so it can provide a nicer environment to provide first aid with more If you are interested in becoming a surf lifeguard, renting the
quality supplies and improved equipment. A second development club for a function or have any questions regarding the Wainui Surf
is to produce a new ski rack area to provide better storage for surf Lifesaving Club please call Mike King on 0274 223 364 or email
equipment. It is envisaged these developments to be complete firstname.lastname@example.org
BeachLife | 17
Their wedding photograph graced the cover of our first issue of
BeachLife and now here’s the baby pic! Phoebe and Tim Gander
Gavin and Diane Murphy of Lloyd George Road with two-year-old
welcomed their 7lb 8oz boy, Sennen Beau, on Thursday, November 27.
Lucy and baby Caitlyn, born Saturday, May 10 last year.
Sennen is named after the couple’s favourite surf beach in Cornwall.
We knew there was a baby thing happening at the beach, and this photograph confirms it! From left – Hayley Dalton with Jett, Jade Gunness
with China, Gina Robinson with Shea, Phoebe Gander with Sennen, Rachael Williams with Kobe, Kelly Thorpe with Matai, and Jane Moore with
Poppy. Photograph sent in by Phoebe Gander.
Carpet and upholster y cleaning to the highest standard
Carpet & Upholstery Cleaning Services
Wainui Beach owned and operated by Ray Morgan
Freephone 0800 000 668
email@example.com | www.superclean.net.nz 20 years experience in cleaning industry
Mobile 0274 778 341 10 years in carpets & upholstery
18 | BeachLife
Craig, Jes and Charlize, who live on the corner of Lysnar and
Douglas Street, were happy to announce the arrival of Chase David
Javier Willson on Thursday, January 8 weighing in at 7lb 12oz.
Poppy Isabella Lee arrived at the beach on Sunday, January 18,
71b 3oz of darling daughter for Jane Moore and Lee Jerome, who live
at 61 Murphy Road. Lee, also known as “Pommie Lee the Window
Cleaner” and Jane, a physiotherapist at the Gisborne Hospital,
immigrated to New Zealand from Essex two and a half years ago.
Say hi to Nelly Bee Varey, who belongs to Peter and Sarah Varey
of 24 Wairere Road, who arrived on the local scene on Thursday,
September 4 last year at 7lb 2oz. Peter is a school teacher at Lytton
Here he is, attending his first SLS Nationals, Kobe Ernest Tiger
Elm and Kelly Thorpe with their baby boy Matai, born on December Williams, son of Rachael and Daniel, born on December 12 at 8lb 2oz.
14 at 5lb 6oz. A grandchild for KJ and a nephew for Christie (see p.38). Grandchild for Trevor and Debbie Williams of Douglas Street.
BeachLife | 19
Wainui born and bred Vanya Brown, and Manly boy Chris Mills,
carlson with their new baby Civanah Suma-Star, born March 16, 2008. The
couple live at Caloundra on the Sunshine Coast. Bill and Trish Brown
starfish of Wairere Road are the proud first-time grandparents.
tolaGa bay cashMere
Meet Adrianna Bataritta Clarke, born in Deusto, Bilbao,
Vizcaya, Spain on October 9. A daughter for Amanda and Anders
Bataritta Clarke and a grand daughter for Andrea and John Clarke
of Wairere Road. The new family is living in Leioa, Vizcaya, Spain.
Amanda teaches English and Anders is the North of Spain company
83 Gladstone road ~ 867 7339 representative for the Consentino Group (Silestone quartz products).
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Site Assessor and System Designer
20 | BeachLife
A MYSTERY TO SOLVE: Local Dutchman George Ottway with the windmill
The eccentric Dutchman he built overlooking Wainui Beach circa 1906. It was said to stand on the
Wairere Road dunes for 20 to 30 years. But wait, there’s more! Below a
and the mystery of the second windmill that appears to be on the Moana Road beachfront, much
larger but built of similar materials. Can any reader supply more detail
Wainui windmills about these two structures?
eople often speak about the “old windmill” that used to be
a feature of Wainui Beach many years ago. So we obtained
these photographs from the Gisborne Museum and set out to
try to unravel the mystery of the windmill. Then suddenly it became
obvious (at least to Owen Williams who first pointed it out) that the
photographs are of two totally different windmills.
The smaller windmill above is thought to have stood on the dunes
overlooking Wainui Beach, half way along Wairere Road. Is that
correct? It was built before the First World War (possibly as early as
1906) by an eccentric Dutchman, George Ottway, and over the years
there have been many suggestions as to what he used it for. Some
said he used it to grind up shells for the chickens he kept in a shed
nearby and to supply the local market with “fowl grit”.
One of the more bizarre interpretations was whispered that during
the war he was actually a German spy and used the angles of the sails
to signal coded messages to German warships off the New Zealand
coast. Yeah right!
Maybe the ingenious machine, made from salvaged driftwood and
flattened kerosene and benzine tins, had multiple uses but the most
commonly accepted explanation is that he used it to run the circular
saw, that can be seen in the above picture, to cut driftwood into
firewood. At the time the photograph was taken Mr Ottway was said
to be 71 years old. He also kept a cockatoo and other animal pets.
Later photos dated around 1926 show this mill as a ruin and no longer
But what of the much larger windmill (pictured left)? Looking at the
hill shapes in the background it was most likely opposite the Chalet
along Moana Road. Is the old bearded gentleman with the dog Mr
Ottway? Did he build a second windmill? This windmill doesn’t appear
to have a wood sawing attachment, so what was its use? Hopefully
we can solve the mystery in our next issue.
BeachLife | 21
A place by the sea:
The settlement of Wainui Beach
By GRAy CLAPHAM n pre-European times Maori lived in their verdant, south seas
domain unconcerned about the need to own the land by individual
title. Tribal territories were defended forcefully but the ownership
When we moved to live in Lysnar Street in 1979 I became
of parcels of land by one person or family was not a concept the
aware that the beachfront reserve and most of the streets early Maori subscribed to. A state-of-affairs that would create a
around Okitu where I lived were named after members of major challenge for the land-needy settlers who arrived on these
an early settler family who farmed most of the Okitu and shores in the wake of Captain Cook.
Makorori beach at the turn of the century. And that for a Here at Wainui, before the arrival of Cook, the local people lived
a bountiful and industrious, albeit vigilant, life beside the food-rich
long time was the extent of my historical knowledge of
ocean they called Te Moananui-a-Kiwa. They were the Ngati Rakai
this place I have called home for the past 30 years — until people. A hapu group who traced their key ancestry back to the chief
I embarked on this feature on the settlement history of Rakaiatane, who came to this area from Whareponga around 1660.
Wainui Beach. As I began my research I was surprised to Ngati Rakai(-a-tane) were part of a larger iwi, Te Aitanga-a-Hauiti,
who lived as far north as Tolaga Bay.
find how much more history there is before and beyond the
There is history of people living here before Ngati Rakai. Circa
Lysnar era. At first it was difficult to source reliable, detailed 1350AD, from the immigration canoe Horouta, Uenuku Whakarongo,
information about this community’s early development. a tohunga chief with a powerful connection to the spirit world, was
But by scouring Poverty Bay Herald and Gisborne TImes dropped off at Wainui Beach. Here he established a “school” for
microfilms at the Gisborne library, searching the internet, the teaching and studying of supernatural powers, known as the
Wharekorero House of Learning. It overlooked the beach at the base
haunting the museum, help from Grant and Cooke
of the Maungaroa (Tuahine) hills near Tuahine Crescent, an area long
Surveyors and talking to descendants of the pioneers and since claimed by the sea.
the original inhabitants, this feature came to life. Note: I am
no historian, so this does not claim to be a definitive and INVESTMENT OPPORTUNITY: The billboard (above) promotes the sale of 200
sections in the residential development of the “New Township of Okitu”
exact history. It is at best an interesting historical overview. which went to auction at the Gisborne Opera House on December 8, 1921.
22 | BeachLife
A sacred burial place of these very early Horouta people, known
as the Kohurau caves, also existed on Maungaroa. Here bones of
the ancestors carried on the Horouta from Hawaiiki, were hidden as
sacred taonga, a connection to the ancestry from where they came
from. As generations went by great chiefs like Ruapani, Kahanungu,
Rakaiatane, Konohi and others were buried there. The caves no
longer exist or cannot be located, believed caved in and eroded
by the sea. Today the Maori cemetery Rakau A Ue is still sited by
Tuahine Crescent, dissected by the road, the last remaining of many
ancient urupa (cemeteries) along the Murphy Road foreshore, and
the burial place of today’s descendants of the early people.
From the time of the arrival of the Horouta there passed some 300
years, perhaps 10 generations, until the arrival of Rakaiatane and
his followers who left Whareponga looking for a place to call there
own around 1660. The Ngati Rakai grew to occupy the land from
Kaiti (this side of the Waimata River) through to Whangara. They lived
mainly on the fertile flats, sheltered behind the Maungaroa (Tuahine)
and the Papawhariki (Sponge Bay) hills in the area we now know
as Lloyd George Road and now the new Sponge Bay Estate. They
had strategic pa on Titirangi (Kaiti Hill), Maungaroa, Tuamotu Island,
Tatapouri and at Makorori where the hapu’s fishing fleet was based.
They kept manned lookouts along the seaward hills at Okitu and
Makorori was a special place for several reasons. In summer,
when the weather was favourable, double-hulled waka would sail out
to Toka-ahuru (Aerial Reef) where they would spend several days,
CLEAR STREAM: Taking refreshment from the Hamantua Stream at Okitu in
and nights at anchor, catching fish and drying them in the sun. On
1887, the boundary between the Cooper and Lysnar properties.
return to land from many days in the blistering heat, the fisherman
would recuperate and take treatment for sun exposure at Makorori. settled around 1800 with a marriage merger between the two
It was originally known as “Makororiri”, so named for a rare aloe rivals. Thus by the time crown titles were issued by the Native
vera plant which grew there. Maori had discovered the sticky juice Land Court in the 1860s the land was seen to be owned by a mix
squeezed from the plant’s spongy leaves was a salve for sun burn. of people of the Ngati Rakai hapu of Te Aitanga-A-Hauiti, and Te
At “Makororiri” the fisherman would rest for a few days (at a Maori Whanau A Iwi, a hapu of Te Aitanga-a-Mahaki.
version of a sanitarium) before returning to their homes at the main Before the amnesty however, warriors from Te Aitanga-a-
village at Wainui. Mahaki would regularly attempt to usurp the coastal stronghold
“Wainui” was the name for the land area containing the headland of the Ngati Rakai, penetrating through a backdoor route across
and hills of Maungaroa, the flats along Lloyd George Road as far as country from Whatatutu, down the Waimata river watershed and
Sponge Bay and the beach and foreshore along Murphy Road. It then through the coastal foothills to Okitu by way of the Te Rimu
was so named because of the wide view of the sea the land offered. and Hamanatua streams. Along the hilltops Ngati Rakai had
The rest of the beach lands, overlooked by the seaward hills along permanent lookouts where sentries kept a constant watch for the
Okitu to Makorori, while belonging to Ngati Rakai, was open ground enemy’s many attempted raids. The desperate inland hapu was
and mostly uninhabited. It was in fact the buffer in a war zone, and a landlocked and hungry for permanent access to the coast with
frequent theatre of battle between the local hapu and their arch- its rich supplies of kaimoana.
enemies, the inland people from Mangatu known as Te Aitanga- Ngati Rakai successfully rebuffed the forays of the Aitanga-
a-Mahaki. A bitter war festered for over a 100 years, being finally a-Mahaki people on many occasions over more than a hundred
BEACH BUGGY: A rare view of Wainui in the 1890s when the beach was still the main route to the East Coast .
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