Peek at the Past

The first transportation routes were mostly bridle tracks through Manuka scrub. They took the driest way to the end result because not everyone could roust up a horse and shank’s pony was the only way to go.

Most of the first tracks were impassable in winter, being only clay. Farmers would take down road fences to allow access through the firmer parts of paddocks. It beat having to hitch up the old mare to pull some unwary traveller’s horse out of mud as deep as the way through to China! 

McKenzie Road, so named after a local politician, at first did not join with the Kingseat Road. Travel was by barge up Clarks Creek where there was a landing reserve. The way to Pukekohe was over that notoriously gluggy Waiau Pa Road! Only later did McKenzies acquire a wooden bridge thus linking it with a way to Drury on the right and a way to Papakura by a left turn. 

Creamery Road fell out of fashion when the creamery ceased to exist and was replaced with the monika of Seagrove, the name of the original Joseph Clark’s farm. That description later also identified the aerodrome. 

There are quite a few more roads now, named after the owners of town supply farms now used as lifestyle blocks, or housing estates: Torkar, Crispe, Boyd, Selva, Wallace, Farley and Saddleton, for instance. Others such as Whitecliffs or Wharf denote localities of previous significance to the then community.

All road names must be approved by Council. A choice of three used to be allowed.

Contributed  by Jewel Dell, secretary, Waiau Pa Historical Trust  
(June 2009)

Twenty-two years ago a group of local ‘young men’ who didn’t have the time to do small things in the community individually, had the desire as a group to improve the lives of the young and the old in their community in some small way.

At that time Cliff Blank of Papakura was a member of both Clarks Beach Yacht Club and Papakura Kiwanis Club, which planning expansion. Cliff invited members of the yacht club and any other interested parties to a Kiwanis introductory meeting which was held at the Clarks Beach Golf club.

When Cliff asked me to attend the meeting I pointed out to him that I had three young children and that my wife and I had just started out in business for ourselves and that I didn’t have much spare time. 

He pointed out that one person on their own couldn’t do much, but 20-30 people could achieve a lot for the community.

Locals such as Arthur Houston, Graham Coles, Murray Adams and Murray McNeil who had served on the Waiau Pa School committee joined as their children had left the school but they still wanted to lend a hand in the district. Three of the original members are still in the club today.  

The club has always had a motto to have fun with whatever they were doing, whether it was painting the exterior of the Waiau Pa Hall (in which I think Laurie Flitton spilt more paint on the steps then he spread on the wall) or the raft race at Clarks Beach (when the young lads thought it would be fun to sink the ladies entry, bbq table, umbrella and all)

The club’s main fundraiser for many years was the annual golf tournament at Clarks Beach, which, with the help of loyal sponsors, has raised on average $9-$10,000 per year.

Benefitting from the golf day have been local primary schools, kindergartens, and play groups; hockey and rugby clubs; Waiuku Search and Rescue and both the Waiau Pa and Patumahoe Fire Brigades. Children have been sponsored to Outward Bound, the Spirit of Adventure and school camps, and Koru Ca has received support. These Kiwanis also contribute funds to the burns unit at Middlemore Hospital.

Our community needs as much help today as it did 30 years ago when the Kiwanis club was chartered – so if you have just a small amount of time to spare, give Kiwanis a go.             

– contributed by Phil Anderson, a Kiwanian for 22 years and the first president of the Waiau Pa Clarks Beach Kiwanis club when it began in 1987. (contributed May 2009)