Congratulations to Linda Ward

September 10, 2023

The Civic Honours Awards celebrate and recognise the wonderful groups and individuals who have given many years of outstanding voluntary service.

This year Linda Ward has received a Civic Honours Award for Arts and Culture.

Linda Ward has been an active member of the rural Waiwhare community for many years, involved in the likes of Country Women’s Institute, Playcentre and the primary school.

She was also the Waiwhare Sports Club and Bus Company secretary,

West To The Annie – Renata Kawepo’s Hawke’s Bay Legacy

April 7, 2023

“West to the Annie – Renata Kawepo’s Hawke’s Bay Legacy”

There have been a lot of enquiries about this book which has been out of print for some time and a reprint is now being considered. It was published in 2002 and reprinted the following year. It sold for $65 in 2002 but a new edition is likely to be around $80-90.

Please email [email protected] to express interest in purchasing a copy of a reprint as it will only go ahead if there is sufficient genuine interest in it.

Super surprises in Lavery collection

November 15, 2021

There are some wonderful surprises – including images of a long lost WWI Roll of Honour board – being discovered in a private collection of glass plate negatives taken in the 1920s and 1930s.

Lewis Townshend has donated 122 boxes of negatives taken by his grandfather, keen amateur photographer Alex Lavery,  to Knowledge Bank Hawke’s Bay. Among the images prepared for uploading to the website so far is a picture of the Napier Swimming Club’s Roll of Honour,

Kevin Atkinson on Knowledge Bank board

October 5, 2020

Hawke’s Bay Knowledge Bank has a new trust member, with Kevin Atkinson joining the team. He joins Peter Dunkerley, Barry Cole, David Shand and Bev Watkins.

Mr Atkinson says he is excited about joining the trust, given its “huge contribution” to Hawke’s Bay history and its open accessibility to all.

He has a great deal of experience across a range of businesses and boards and will be a valuable member of the Hawke’s Bay Digital Archives Trust,

Spanish Flu preparations 102 years ago

September 15, 2020

As we live through these COVID times in 2020, in October it will be 102 years since New Zealand went through something so similar.

The team at Hawke’s Bay Knowledge Bank this month has unearthed a photo that shows how the community back in late 1918 tried to deal with a virus that ended up taking 9000 New Zealand lives in just a few months.

According to,  there are similarities in reaction to the two pandemics.

COVID doesn’t put a brake on history

May 29, 2020

Hundreds of previously unseen historic records, photos and notices have been added to Hawke’s Bay Knowledge Bank’s website over the last eight weeks, despite COVID-19; and more are ready to go up.

A very fast distribution of computer equipment just before lockdown to volunteers who wanted to work on Hawke’s Bay’s history from home meant transcribing and editing could continue.

Stoneycroft Homestead in Hastings, where Knowledge Bank is based,

James Morgan 1940 – 2020

March 27, 2020

It is with great sadness that the Hawke’s Bay Knowledge Bank announces the passing of its founder, James Morgan, on 26 March 2020. Spurred on by personal knowledge of items of Hawke’s Bay history that had been lost through negligence or natural disaster, James believed that a digital archive should be established in order to preserve as many items as possible for future generations. He also believed that Hawke’s Bay history had to stay in Hawke’s Bay and be accessible to everyone,

Knowledge Bank COVID-19 plan

March 20, 2020

The Hawke’s Bay Knowledge Bank at Stoneycroft is closing temporarily, with effect from Monday, 23 March, 2020.

This decision has been made in order to protect both our wonderful volunteers, many of whom fall into the at-risk categories, and our visitors.

We are not able to undertake any interviews or receive any collections during this time.

We will be sure to let everyone know through our Facebook page and on our website when the situation returns to normal.

Open Day 2020 coming up

February 24, 2020

One hundred years ago the celebrations, tragedies and every-day moments that contribute to Knowledge Bank Hawke’s Bay’s historic records were being lived, and some of the photos from that era will be on display at the coming open day.

The Knowledge Bank team is preparing for its Open Day 2020 on March 21.

Visitors  will see the technology used to scan and upload a vast range of materials, from books and magazines,

Knowledge Bank: Help preserve our history

December 8, 2019

The continued preservation of Hawke’s Bay’s local history is at risk if consistent operational funding cannot be found.

Knowledge Bank Hawke’s Bay is well-served with grants for equipment and big projects, however most trusts do not allow grants for running costs, covering things such as wages, insurance and electricity. For Knowledge Bank that adds up to about $5000 a month.

The charity is looking for consistent funding. “That could be 250 people prepared to commit to $20 a month,

Hidden photo poses a puzzle

December 8, 2019

A hidden photograph has been revealed, leaving the owner and Knowledge Bank Hawke’s Bay looking for clues.

Knowledge Bank supporter Julia Rhodes was removing an old photo of her brother Philip Bridge from its frame for scanning when she discovered a second photo behind it – that of a young man wearing what looks to be a brand-new armed forces uniform.

Her brother’s photo was taken by local photographers Lovell Smith Photography and framed by Ellis and Dingle,

Know who these youngsters are?

From ‘hop kiln class’ to new Parkvale School

June 5, 2019

Nearly 400 photos from across Parkvale School’s ‘lifetime’ have been loaded onto the Knowledge Bank Hawke’s Bay’s website, just as the school celebrated its 100thbirthday this month.

There is a huge range of topics, from photos of the first students laying a brick each on the site of the new building in 1919 and opening day the following year, to class and sport team photos and celebrations over the decades.

One of the photos is of the ‘hop kiln class’,

Sneak peek at new collection

May 3, 2019

A treasure trove of hundreds of photos has been discovered at a family home and delivered to Knowledge Bank to ensure the images are preserved for ever.

Within the collection are photos unlike anything else on record, particularly of the 1931 Napier earthquake and early shots of Hastings streets and events.

They were given to Knowledge Bank by the family of the late Dael Therkleson, who worked for Lovell-Smith Photographers before taking over the business.

Live stories of Bay’s history

March 11, 2019

The story of the Doris tragedy, a 1932 shipping accident that left 10 men dead, is just one of the local stories noted Hawke’s Bay historian Michael Fowler is readying for an action-packed talk this month.

In the days before larger ships could be berthed to unload cargo, the vessels stayed out to sea and smaller ships ferried between ship and shore to unload the goods.

On December 28, 1932,

History at your fingertips

February 25, 2019

Searching ‘fire’ on the Knowledge Bank’s new website brings up snippets of history not publicly available before Hawke’s Bay Digital Archives Trust was set up, near nine years ago.

There are images of the 1962 Watties’ fire that many will still remember and a fire in Ahuriri started by the 1931 earthquake; a grainy image of a fire from way back in 1893 about which there is little detail; beautiful pictures of olden-day fire engines;

History site jumps into future

February 10, 2019

It is perfect timing.

Just as several major historic records – one with over a million images – are readied for the digital world, Knowledge Bank Hawke’s Bay is taking a big leap into the future.

With more than 18,000 records already on-line and near nine years under its belt; the charity will next week unveil its new website at a function at its home base: Historic Stoneycroft Homestead, in Hastings.

Feeding family not easy 150 years ago

February 3, 2019

Getting food from the land on to the family table was a major preoccupation 150 years ago – so vastly different from today’s trip to the supermarket.

In the 1800s nearly 30 years of diaries were kept by Hawke’s Bay farmer David Paton Balfour, until his death by drowning on July 13, 1894, the day after his 53rd birthday.

Balfour and wife Elizabeth Roberts raised three children and tracking down food for the family was top of mind.

Massive history project fascinates MP Lee

February 3, 2019

Shining “nuggets” of history gleaned from hand-written diaries, oral histories and preserved newspaper clippings fascinated MP Melissa Lee when she visited Hawke’s Bay Knowledge Bank last week.

Ms Lee was in Hawke’s Bay for the Parekura Horomia Memorial Tournament; playing for the parliamentary netball team facing a Hawke’s Bay invitational side made up of friends and whanau of the late Hon Parekura Horomia. Despite her team suffering a loss against the locals, Ms Lee said the weekend was “wonderful”.

December 2018 Newsletter

December 23, 2018

  • Introducing our new look
  • A mystery solved – AB Hurst Photographic Studio images identified
  • New scanner for the Russell Spiller collection
  • Transcribers working from home
  • Landmarks Talks online
  • Remembering those we lost this year
  • Movie fundraiser
  • Volunteer of the Year – John Newson

Read the newsletter here