Friends of Opapa Station 2013 Newsletter


President: Lee Hall [Phone number withheld – KB]   Vice President: Bryan Rickard [Phone number withheld – KB]



Records tell that the planning of the Napier to Wellington section of Railway started during the 1860’s. Proposed maps appeared in 1864 of 3 proposed routes. Building started from Napier in 1874 with Paki Paki Station section opened January 1875. The next section to Te Aute (Station) area is recorded as opening in February 1876. However late in 1913 the Station name was changed to Opapa, after a series of Petitions to Parliament. The 1st Station is recorded to have burned down in 1895, and the present one was ‘in action’ by 1897. Then the facilities were increased to include Refreshment rooms plus postal services space. The Refreshment rooms were a separate building Northside, which were removed in 1945 due to introduction of railcar services and the disuse of water rank stops for Steam hauled services.

With the decline in rail traffic in the late 1970’s, the Station and surrounding Precinct fell into decline and overgrown in surrounding grounds. Also loss of any furnishings and features etc that appealed to Collectors.

It is recalled that in 1996 the building came to within 7 days of being BULLDOZED!! With this threat a Group was formed (with help of Hastings District Council who took up the lease) to be known as “Friends of Opapa Railway Station”. A remedial work plan was put in place. This of repiling, painting and by 2000 the entire platform had been resealed. A water tank was restored and sited at the North end, plus a working kitchen, by 2003. Semaphore sign levers had been sourced and installed by the Water Tank. A large swing gate, sourced from Hukanui, (north Wairarapa), was restored to enhance the South road entrance. A Sprinker system was put in kindly funded by Rail Heritage. A Rail Heritage Trust plaque, awarded in June 2005, was presented at a ceremony on the Platform on 5th November, 2005, by Euan McQueen of Rail Heritage Trust.

Charity Trust obligations brought about a name change to the Group in August 2006 of: The Opapa Railway Heritage Trust Incorporated … And the work continued on.


A grant from Eastern & Central Trust in January 2010 allowed the replacement of (by Martin Roofing) a complete new roof to the Station at the closest to the original colour. For this the Workers were most grateful. During 2007/2010 years the exterior had many rotten boards replaced, window frames and glass replaced externally with a Lion Foundation grant, and painted in the traditional Raffia colour with red trims. This all done whilst Precinct is kept clean and tidy. The Workers were also pleased with a grant also from the Eastern & Central Trust also, to assist with the purchase of material needs to achieve the work…And the Work went on. In June 2010 the need was seen for storage of working materials which cause clutter in the interior of the Station, inside walls also had needed preparation before a finishing topcoat can be undertaken. With a secure storage area needed, a used watertight Container was purchased with the assistance of a Lion Foundation grant. For this we record our thanks for that important asset. A foundation was prepared by the Workers, so the Container could be sited before the wet weather made the heavy Transporter access impossible.
The workers are also grateful to our near House Neighbour for power supply at times whilst work is in progress.


There are many projects on the agenda-wish list-work plan, and never enough time or People Power to achieve them. The surrounding lawn needs regular attention to keep the Precinct tidy.

Conviviality is what we are about in this desire to keep on with the preservation of this historic LANDMARK, in the Opapa-Te Aute area – just North of the Radio Masts on Highway 2. A warm welcome is assured to any skilled Workers who can help in any way.

If there are vehicles parked around the Station, you can be sure someone is there – AND maybe a Mug of Hot Beverage, if the time is right.

Prepared by Shirley Flaus July 2011

(With thanks for Historical excerpts from “Opening the Gate” – book published Nov. 2006; “Hawke’s Bay Line ReUnion 1989” booklet (per Zel Reid) plus Help/Info from Geoff Moss, Brian Beck, Bob Brooking and Tom Wheeler and Dedicated to All those who have been there during the “Long Haul” with great Vision).


Slowly and securely, work has been concentrated on the Main Station room, since the above was written. Preparation of the Ceiling, Walls and architraves around the doors and windows took many hours of time, before the top coat could be applied, and Eureka, the job was done in time for the 8th August AGM. This very much due to the big efforts of Bryan and Julia Rickard. Now the floor lino looks awful, with pieces missing, so a project having this removed (be a job after so many years) so costing of replacing covering is being looked at THEN the Tablet machines can be put back where they belong, after such a long time. However, whilst this interior work was being actioned, Pres. Lee was seen to be preparing and then top coating the South end wall above the raised wooden platform that adjoins it, in between keeping the lawns mowed. The entry room from the platform, with double doors now needs to be renovated to match the Main room, tho it is a smaller size. JULY 2013: Entry/Lobby Room nearly finished.

Updated July 2013 by Shirley Flaus


Pres. Lee on   or Bryan on    or Shirley on    … would welcome your Call. [Phone numbers withheld – KB]


12th July, 2013

Greetings Members,

It is time to renew your Subscription for the year 2013/2014. As per 2012 AGM Resolution this is $25.00.

Please send your payment to: Treasurer [Address withheld – KB], Hastings OR Vice President at:

[Address withheld – KB], Hastings. Please use the form below for our records.

Many Thanks,

President:  Lee Hall
Vice President: Bryan Rickard
Secretary: Julia Rickard
Treasurer: Shirley Flaus


I wish to renew (or apply for) my Subscription for the year April 2013 to March 2014 of $25.00.

Mail to Membership at: [Address withheld – KB], Hastings,
OR [Address withheld – KB], Hastings.

NAME: Mr/Mrs/Miss:


Post Code:

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Business / Organisation

Friends of Opapa Railway Station (FOORS)

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Paper document

Date published

July 2013


  • Brian Beck
  • Bob Brooking
  • Shirley Flaus
  • Lee Hall
  • Geoff Moss
  • Zel Reid
  • Bryan Rickard
  • Julia Rickard
  • Tom Wheeler

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