Hastings District Timeline


1.1 Hastings a Historic Outline

1864  Thomas Tanner tried to buy the Heretaunga Block. (19,385 acres)

1867  Thomas Tanner and partners leased the Heretaunga Block.

1870  Group purchased the block. T Tanner (4 shares), Rev Samuel Williams for J N Williams (2 shares), T Purvis Russell (run holder and member Provincial Council) (1 share), Captain A H Russell (2 shares) (run holder in partnership with his brother at Tunanui), J D Ormond (Provincial Superintendent) (1 share), Captain T E Gordon (2 shares), J B Braithwaite (manager of the Union Bank) and Tanner’s banker was later admitted. (1235 acres). There were 12 shares – hence the 12 apostles.

Tanner sold 100-acre blocks to James Boyle and Francis Hicks.

1871  Tobias Hicks (nephew of Francis Hicks) opened store on corner of Karamu Road and the main street (site of the A N Z Bank). Tobias Hicks appointed 1st Postmaster.

1873  Sections offered by both Hicks and Boyle for township.

1874  First train from Napier arrived in Hastings – 12 mile journey took 36 minutes. During the celebrations of this event, a gale blew the roof off the new station. By now Railway Hotel (on corner Heretaunga Street and Market Street) and several shops in Hastings (between Market Street and the Railway line). Show ground set up between Eastbourne Street and Lyndon Road, west of the railway line. 1000 attended the A and P show, many coming by train. Sale yards were opened by both W A Beecroft and Robert Wellwood at about this time. Beecroft also had a livery stable. William Guthrie planted an orchard of sturmer apples at Mangateretere.

1875  Annie Banks born in Hastings (probably the first birth). Railway line now went from the Spit (Napier port) to Paki Paki. Homesteads built for J N Williams (Frimley), J D Ormond (Karamu), W R Russell (Flaxmere) and T Tanner (Riverslea). (Karamu and Flaxmere homesteads still in existence 1999) Hastings District School opened in St Aubyn Street in July. (In the following year roll was 23 boys 15 girls). Church of England services were held in the schoolroom. Post Office opened in Railway Station.

1876  Waipukurau Station opened.

1877  First St Matthews Church built on the corner of King Street and Heretaunga Street. In this year the A and P Show lasted 2 days and included implements and machinery as well as stock. Napier “shut up shop” on the second day.

1879  Tanner sold 1200 acres of Riverslea land. An 80 acre block bought from him was to be used for both shows and horse racing. (The present race course site.)

1880  Tanner again a generous benefactor gave 5 acres of land at the corner of Karamu Road and Southampton Street, on the bank of the Makirikiri Stream for a larger school, which was built to accommodate 150 children and cost £709. The Oddfellows erected a hall in Market Street. At this time a number of voluntary organisations, lodges and friendly societies opened. A Town Hall was built on the south side of Heretaunga Street between King and Nelson Streets. William Nelson established a gelatine factory.

1881  Edward Newbigin opened a brewery. A branch of the Bank of New Zealand opened, though a permanent building for the bank was not in use until 1884. The Bank of New South Wales also opened.

1882  By now there were 195 freeholders of land in Hastings.
Throughout the 1880’s new shops were opened, almost all in Heretaunga Street. Heretaunga School opened in Nelson Street It took boys up to the age of 14. The school allowed public use of its playing fields. Williams and Kettle opened as stock and station agents on corner of Queen Street and Karamu Road (where Public Trust building is). In the following 10 years Murray Roberts, the Loan and Mercantile and Dalgety’s also opened branches in Hastings.

1883  St. Andrews Presbyterian Church opened in Market Street.
Thomas Tanner established a 35-acre hop garden at Riverslea. By 1886 coaches transported the 250 pickers from Hastings. The whole crop was absorbed by local breweries.

1884  Hastings was proclaimed a Town District and had a Town Board with 5 commissioners. John Collinge appointed as secretary, soon to become Town Clerk. Meat freezing began at Tomoana. 41,000 sheep were exported in the first season.

1885  Volunteer fire brigade was set up. It had a manual fire engine, 20 feet of hose and canvas buckets. William Nelson set up sale yards in Hastings Street between Eastbourne Street and Lyndon Road.
Thomas Tanner established 40 acres of tobacco at Riverslea. Hastings Permanent Building and Investment Society established. Mail deliveries commenced. The Hastings Brass Band was inaugurated. It gave prom concerts in the Main Street on Saturday nights.

1886  Tanner’s tobacco acreage increased to 100. Robert Wellwood became Hastings’ 1st mayor. Fires began to be a major problem. There was no adequate water supply nor proper fire fighting equipment. The fire bell hung by the railway crossing and the fire brigade operated from an old shed behind the Pacific Hotel on the corner of Market and Heretaunga Streets. There was a water storage tank on Roach’s corner. It was proposed that raw sewage be pumped onto fires, so each evening baffles were placed on the sewers, so that the water would back up. Baffles were used if there was a fire in the daytime. It was decided to buy a steam engine and 1000 feet of hose for $500, but ratepayers petitioned the Town Board because the cost was too high, so purchase was deferred. A George had set up as a printer and produced a bi-weekly paper the Hastings Star. Gas lighting was first available.

1887  Gas works opened, opposite the District School in Karamu Road South. Council Chambers were built on the south side of Heretaunga Street half way between Warren and Hastings Streets. Thomas Tanner donated the two sections used for them.

1888  New Council Chambers used for the first time. The building cost $600, which was paid off over the following 4 years.

1889  A $25,000 loan was floated and took 2 years to negotiate. It was to be used mainly for sewerage. During the next decade there was a growing demand for a high-pressure water system.

1890’s  The Borough Council worked steadily at improving roads and footpaths. Half the cost of sealing footpaths was charged to the owners of road frontages. As in other matters Council was hampered by a shortage of money. J N Williams had extended orchards and vineyards at Frimley. An attempt was made to dry fruit but it was not a success. Williams planted 300 acres in fruit trees, mostly plums, peaches and greengages.

1890  The Hawkes Bay Workers Union was formed to protect workers and the principle of a fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work. A Maori edition of the Hastings Standard was published.

1892  J N Williams established a 2 acre vineyard at Frimley. The Heretaunga Co-operative Dairy Company was founded. Its creamery was on the corner of St George’s Road and Havelock Road. Butter was sold locally for 10 pence a pound in winter and 9 pence in summer. Skim milk was returned to suppliers for pig rearing. The Town Hall was renamed the Princess Theatre.

1893  A fire in McEwan’s drapery was reported by the night watchman at 2.30 a m. The brigade came at once, but there was only enough water for one jet. Most of the 9 shops in the block between Market Street and the railway line and also the Hastings Hotel burned in the

first 20 minutes. The fire then leapt the street and destroyed the Bank of New Zealand, a restaurant, another drapery and Williams and Kettle. The heat was so great that the ladders caught fire and the metal on the firemen’s helmets melted. While the fire burned, the council and members of the public met in the street and decided to buy a steam engine, which was to cost $963. The government agreed to admit it duty free, but a number of houses burned before it arrived the following year. When it did come it was christened “The Deluge”, but it took 15-20 minutes to get up enough steam to pump effectively. In fact its greatest use was in containing fires. Many years later traps were still being used in sewers. Mrs Moroney’s swimming pool in Nelson Street was flooded into the drains and was a valuable water supply for fire fighting. The pool was open to the public at a charge of 6 pence for a single swim and a guinea for a season ticket. Miss Mabel Hodge arrived from England and took over the Edwards sisters’ school. This became Woodford House, which moved to the corner of St Aubyn and Market Streets, the following year. Private paddocks and the racecourse were used for sports. Cricket, football, trotting, coursing, shooting, hunting, bowls, tennis and polo were all played in Hastings at this time.

1894  Williams and Kettle moved their business to Heretaunga Street on the west-side of the railway.

1895  Nelson Brothers had the largest share of the N Z meat trade and the largest frozen meat store in London. Tomoana employed 200 men in the season and the weekly wages bill was $450. The works had their own railway station and there were over 30 cottages for workers near the factory. The annual wages bill was $20,000, a great boost to the Hastings economy. The Sacred Heart Church was completed.

1896  W D Arnott and Anthony Cashion began the Hastings Standard, in competition with the Daily Telegraph and H B Herald. John Goddard of Havelock North opened a plant shop in Hastings. Free Association of Employers and Workmen of Hawkes Bay begun, to establish good relationships between employers and workmen. Membership 1,841. Acted as employment agency. “Scenic concerts” shown – still pictures projected onto a screen.

1897  The Gospel Hall was built. Rugby football first played. Queens Square was taken over as a public recreation ground. Thomas Horton donated 100 trees and shrubs. In the end the Square was fenced and leased for grazing. The first cinematograph show. Year of Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee. Hastings Rifle Corps was formed. Fancy Dress Ball to celebrate the jubilee. 200 danced till 4 a.m. Proceeds to Fire Brigade and Athenaeum. Loyal address in Queen’s Square, henceforth to be called Victoria Square. (There is no record that it ever was.) Sergeant Major Kurupo and a group of 5 joined N Z contingent to go to London for celebrations. Royal welcome by town on their return.

1898  There were 46 registered factories in Hastings employing 353 workers of whom 32 were women. Hastings Horticultural Society founded. Organised shows and displays. The Hastings Golf Club opened at Frimley. J N Williams offered 21 acres of land for a public park, provided it was planted with trees of his choice. The Borough Council thanked him but could not afford money to develop it, though the reserve was fenced. Thomas Horton again came to the rescue and donated trees. (This was later Cornwall Park.)

1898-99  Fruit was shipped to Wellington and smaller amounts elsewhere.

1899  Several fruit growers met with J N Williams to discuss canning. A public meeting was held. This had a vision of Hastings as the centre of a great fruit-growing industry. The Hawkes Bay Fruitgrowers Assn established. J F Sturm opened a nursery in Terrace Road. The Hawkes Bay Farmers Co-op Association built in Market Street. Hastings Rifles revived when Transvaal War broke out. 3 members joined N Z contingent. Great farewell from station when they left. H B Mounted Rifles formed – 64 members. 3 Rough Riders and a trooper went to South Africa with 2nd Contingent. Public holiday in Hastings when 3rd Contingent left, also holiday for Relief of Ladysmith and other British victories in the war.

1900  Mahora Dairy Factory established in Plunket Street. In November its first shipment of butter was sent to London. Heretaunga Dairy Factory bought them out and later leased the combined business to L D Nathan and Co. J G Nimon bought out Beecroft’s horse omnibus, transport and mail service, which transported goods and passengers between Hastings and Havelock North. Buses ran 5 times a day. From now on there were several cycle shops, as cycling grew in popularity. The Borough Council made by-laws to deal with “the menace”.

1901  6000 peach trees damaged by a late frost. In the future the trees were “smoked” by burning hay. Powdrell Bros bought a 6 h p traction engine which could travel at 3-8 m p h. The convent was built for the education of Roman Catholic children. The Hastings District School had 600 pupils, but boys needing secondary education went to Napier daily by train. The Hastings Golf Club moved to Whakatu. The park donated by J N Williams was named Cornwall Park, to commemorate the royal visit to Wellington of the Duke and Duchess of York and Cornwall. The Council could only afford $10 to level 4 acres of the park. Later a road was built from Fitzroy Avenue at a cost of $210. Many Hastings residents went to Wellington by train for this royal visit. Death of Queen Victoria. Drill Hall built for Hastings Mounted Rifles, also useful for Hastings Band. Coronation Festivities for Edward Vll. This was a great occasion, with patriotic addresses, sports and fireworks. Maori parties came from Te Hauke, Waipatu and Omahu on traction engines. Two large waka floated on the Racecourse lake. Poi dances,

waiata and haka performed in front of grandstand. (The fountain in Cornwall Park built as commemoration of coronation.)

1902  The Fruitgrowers Assn decided to float a company with 2000 $1 shares. Move to put outlying parts of the borough into the Heretaunga riding – thus they would become the responsibility of the H B County Council. June 2 Peace Day celebrations.

1903  21000 peach trees in Hawkes Bay. Walter Webb established a nursery near Cornwall Park. Government viticulturist Signor Bragato bought 25 acres of land from Bernard Chambers at Arataki. The Stortford Lodge Saleyards opened. Hastings first cycle factory opened. There was a parade of cars at the H B Spring Show. The Hastings Standard observed that “Hastings needs the definite efforts of progressive men to make one more stride towards prosperity and wealth”.

1904  Borthwick’s opened freezing works at Longlands. The Frimley Canning factory was built on 2 acres of land in Frimley Avenue. The factory employed 60 women and girls and 60 men and boys at the height of the season. There was also a small permanent staff. In the first season 150,000 cans of peaches, pears, apricots, tomatoes and fruit pulp (for jam) were produced. Demand and supply increased rapidly. The council made a by-law to control the speed of cars. The population of Hastings now 3,190 with 763 dwellings. A District High School opened in Karamu Road south, with 41 pupils, some coming from as far away as Waipukurau. There was also a Mormon Agricultural College at Bridge Pa.

1905  Thomas Horton bought 20 acres of Frimley estate, off Pakowhai and Lyndhurst Roads to set up a nursery. A new primary school was opened at Mahora. Hastings people believed encouraging sport would help to keep idle young men off the streets. Cycling and Athletic Club held their first meeting.

1906  Horton bought 15 acres more because the demand for plants was so great. St Andrew’s Presbyterian Church was built.

1905-6  100 boys and girls picked and shelled peas for the cannery. 2 brakes drove from east Hastings each morning to transport workers. By now 20 men and boys were employed in the tinsmith factory making cans. By May 1906 $6,000 had been paid to Hastings workers at the cannery.

1906  Area Frederick Street, Caroline Road, Duke Street, Karamu Road, 3 blocks between Tomoana and Greys Roads and Heretaunga Street and Edgley Road were sub-divided and sold for housing. 6 premises in Queen Street were destroyed by fire.

1907  200 boys and girls needed for pea picking. A morning bus left from the Hastings Post office daily to take workers to the cannery.  Stortford St and Davis St and Avenue Road and Heretaunga Street East sold as sections. The Chamber of Commerce was formed to aid the progress of Hastings. A public library opened in Market Street, with a grant from the Carnegie Foundation. It was a two-storeyed brick building next door to the Hastings Club. The Hastings Golf Club moved to the end of Southland Road. An all night telephone exchange was opened. Williams and Kettle’s new store in Heretaunga Street caught fire. Hoses had to be laid across the railway line to reach it. When the fire was under control, the hoses had to be uncoupled to let a train through. While this was being done the fire regained its hold and 3 other premises were destroyed.

1908  The Tourist Motor Company established in Queen Street by W E Hyslop. Jockey Club moved its offices from Napier to Hastings. $13,000 spent on improving the race course. A new grandstand built to seat 1500 people. A rugby sub-union was formed. A band rotunda was suggested for Queen’s Square. The old post office, which had been too small for some time, was damaged by fire. Hastings supported moves for universal military training. H B Rifle Assn to be resuscitated.

1909  There were 99 retail shops in Hastings. 40 people employed at the cannery the year round. North Island Band Assn was to hold its annual contest in Hastings. Donations were made for a band rotunda and Rush and James won a competition for its design. The Council took over the responsibility for roads. Hastings still had many problems since it lacked a satisfactory water supply and many premises were not connected to the sewer though raw sewage was still used for fire fighting. Rating on unimproved value began. New mayor and council pledged to borrow for sewerage and water. Severance (outlying areas into County) reduced size of borough by 2601 acres. Defence Act introduced Military Training for junior and senior cadets and territorials.

1910  14,500 cases of fruit exported from Hawkes Bay for a return of $10,000. 250 employed at Frimley cannery, which could have used more if they had been available. A social hall was erected. Saleyards built by local farmers at Longlands railway crossing. Out of 510 convictions in the magistrate’s court, 213 were for drunkenness. Hastings Tennis Club bought land in Tomoana Road. The new King’s theatre was built in Karamu Road and showed films twice weekly. A new Post Office was opened.

1911  Hastings urban population was 6,286. An 11° frost caused a $10,000 loss to orchardists. Area round Cornwall Park sold for building sites. Brick and concrete began to be used for building in central business district. Woodford House moved to new premises in Havelock North. The building it had used later became a primary school for girls, Queenswood. The Maddison Baths were built. The Princess Theatre, which was really the Town Hall renamed, was leased to two film

showing companies. Another major fire burnt all the businesses in Station Street (now Russell Street). The new Post Office was saved by a wind change and the fact that it had brick walls. By this time insurance companies had refused to insure premises in the town area. All male British subjects resident in Hastings for 6 months or more must register for military training. (Much display of patriotism and contrary view also.)

1912  65 acres of grapes and fruit trees cultivated at Arataki. 1500 varieties of fruit trees. Nimons bought 4 Studebaker buses. The first taxis in Hastings. The Methodist Church designed by Albert Garnett, was built. The Hastings Golf Club moved to Bridge Pa. The Orchestral Society, the Brass Band and the Philharmonic Society petitioned Council for a permanent building. Council bought land around existing council building. In all this now 3/4 acre with 198 foot frontage on Heretaunga St, through to Eastbourne St where the frontage was 66 feet. Cost of additional land $3162. Heretaunga School moved to Havelock North. William Nelson persuaded to lease the Heretaunga School Hastings site to the Cricket Assn. Thus beginning of Nelson Park. Council bought 40 acres of land from J B Beatson for $4000. This “park” Tanner had foreseen and reserved in Riverslea land sales. He had planted trees there. Makirikiri Stream flowed through it, forming a lagoon. Thos. Horton prepared a plan for additional planting. Known first as Beatson’s Park. (Now Windsor Park named to commemorate silver jubilee of George V in 1935).

1913  Hawkes Bay Fruitgrowers floated a new company, H B Fruit Produce and Cool Storage Co. $20,000 capital. An acre site was bought in King Street. Cool store built had space for 3,000 bushel cases. Horton began exporting fruit trees to Argentina. The Operatic Society staged a comic opera, San Toy. There was an expressed need for a Municipal Theatre.

1914  By now 182 shops in Hastings and 152 factories, including workrooms or repair shops. 23 firms of land agents and auctioneers in Hastings. Raureka School opened. Loan raised for Council buildings, which included shops, assembly hall, council offices and theatre. Shop rent to partly offset interest bill. H E White Wellington, architect for theatre. Local competition for design of rest won by Albert Garnett. When WW 1 broke out in August many volunteered at once. In 3 weeks 290 infantry and reservists left H B. Day after war declared Hastings Band played patriotic songs in the main street to a crowd of 1000. H B Motor Cycle Club offered the government 100 cycles and men. Empire Defence Fund opened to supply troops with comforts and clothing. Hastings Patriotic Social Committee raised funds. In 2 weeks the women’s committee equipped 130 men. Sub-committees appointed to deal with horses, forage and relief. Contributions to fit out hospital ship. Assistance given to dependants of enlisted men. Concerts held to raise funds. Concrete additions designed by Frederick de Jersey Clere, to the wooden St Matthew’s Church.

1915  October 18 Municipal theatre opened with Operatic Society re-staging of San Toy. Comment that theatre very fine.

1916  Foundation stone laid for Municipal buildings, designed by Albert Garnett. Another fruit packing shed built by another company in St Aubyn St. Horton’s nursery now covered 75 acres in fruit trees alone.

1917  There were 2017 dwellings in Hastings. In April Council met first in new Municipal building. St Aubyn St fruit store destroyed by fire and company wound up. The Cliff Press Hastings published a booklet titled “Hastings The Hub of Hawkes Bay”. ‘Flu epidemic began. November Mayor called public meeting to discuss emergency. An isolation hospital was set up at Hastings racecourse. All schools closed. Picture matinees cancelled. Streets, trains, taxis and pubs disinfected daily. Churches closed. People warned not to embrace. Hastings Citizens’ Committee set up to deal with the emergency. Women were recruited as nurses. Most cases were cared for at home. Nearly 300 died of ‘flu in Hawkes Bay.

1918  W W 1 ended. 300 Hawkes Bay men killed. Parkvale developed.

1919  Electricity first available in Hastings. Fruit growing suggested for demobilised soldiers. 8-10 acre blocks for orchards, market gardens or vineyards. Assistance offered returned men, jobs, educational and vocational training, finance to establish business. Most jobs sought were urban, most available jobs rural. Hospital first suggested as memorial to war.

1920  Hastings population 9,115 in 2,130 dwellings. Help still being sought by returned men, but jobs were fewer.

1921  The Chamber of Commerce set out to publicise Hastings and attract trade, and industry. Many returned soldiers registered unemployed. A public meeting set up. Unemployment Committee to help. Some work found, but unemployed continued to increase. Mounting debt and falling prices made life difficult. Women’s Rest opened, with rent free space for Plunket. Government agreed to subsidise up to $4000 for a 10 bed auxiliary hospital in Hastings and a 15-bed maternity ward. The estimated cost to be $25,000. Land was bought for $2,700. In the meantime Royston Hospital was opened, but most could not afford its charges.

1922  A Technical High School was accommodated at the District School with 123 pupils. A 20-acre site bought in Karamu Road south for a secondary school. Hastings Progress League formed. It put on a variety of public entertainment.

1923  Carnival week held at Show time.

1924  H B Electric Power Board began to buy bulk power. Poppelwell’s Building in Russell Street built – designed by Albert Garnett.

1925-26  Polio and scarlet fever epidemics showed up need for a hospital. Delays occurred because plans were submitted to Napier, where medical staff would not approve them.

1926  The Hastings High School opened with 246 pupils. Main building designed by George Penlington.

1927  To alleviate unemployment caused by the depression, the Council set up a forestry scheme at Mangaroa, where 7000 trees were planted by unemployed men. Council also employed men in making footpaths, widening streets and improving sewerage. Pay was limited and there was not enough work to go round.

1928  Memorial Hospital opened on Anzac Day after great battle. Cost $28,000 of which $9,000 was a government grant and $17,579 came from public subscription. When opened, the hospital had no staff furniture or equipment. In August the maternity ward was opened. H B Farmers’ building designed by Edmund Anscombe opened. Building survived the earthquake.

1930  Outpatients Department and accommodation for a District Nurse at Memorial Hospital. Retailers’ Assn formed. The Mayor G F Roach had a fighting fund to help the unemployed. Concerts, street collections and a ball all contributed to this. It was a poor growing season and at the beginning of the year there were 112 tradesmen and 107 unskilled men unemployed.

1931  February 3rd the Hawkes Bay Earthquake occurred. 93 people died in Hastings. Most were killed in Roach’s shop, where 17 died. The Grand Hotel, the Library and the Post Office all collapsed. In private homes all chimneys fell down and glass and china were smashed. Sewer, gas and water mains were dislocated. The Havelock bridge collapsed, so Hastings had no water. Roads to Hastings and Napier were impassable. The railway was damaged. Telegraph was cut. An emergency hospital was set up at the Hastings Racecourse. There was a dressing station at Memorial Hospital. 3 hours after the earthquake a group of men who had commanded units during World War 1 began the organisation of relief, providing guards to prevent looting, organising food, transport, and petrol, distributing tents and setting up tea and soup kitchens. The Borough Council held an emergency meeting at 7 p.m. The most urgent need was for water, but grave-diggers were also required. On February 18th the schools re-opened, with classes held out of doors. The government made a grant of $1,250,000. The insurance loss was estimated at $5 million. The earthquake showed the great need for a hospital. It was decided that there should be space for 48 general cases and up to 16 maternity. The Nurses’ Home opened. In the background was the ever-deepening

depression. Rebuilding was begun, with Fletchers bringing in men from all over the country. There was strong public feeling that local men should have the jobs. By April there were 817 unemployed and 150 on relief. This was 5.2% of the Hastings population, whereas in the country as a whole 2% were unemployed.

1932  A shortage of housing in Hastings because of many men coming to help rebuild after the earthquake. The unemployed set up a 500-member association. They organised fund raising to provide food for the unemployed. By July there were 958 unemployed in Hastings. By December 350 of those had found work. During the winter a food kitchen provided hot meals between 4 and 5 p m each day. In November there was a giant “restoration” carnival and gymkhana. All citizens were encouraged to join in. Westerman and Co’s building designed by Edmund Anscombe was rebuilt. It continued the town’s Spanish Mission Style theme, also followed in Davies and Phillips’ new Methodist Church opposite the Municipal Theatre. Hastings Post Office designed by Government architect J G Mair, completed. It did not follow the current trend.

1933  Hastings retailers refused to help the unemployed with goods or money if they would not work. Kershaw’s building designed by Edmund Anscombe – Art Deco style. Harvey’s building in Russell Street designed by Albert Garnett, built to echo the Spanish Mission style of Westerman’s next door.

1934  J Wattie Canneries opened. 151 retailers in Hastings. Hastings Council co-ordinated relief work for the whole district. H B County Council and the Rivers Board expected to absorb 500 workers. Over $10,000 was spent on roading, pavements and at Mangaroa Forest, Beatson’s Park, Cornwall Park and Queen’s Square. A design competition for a clock tower was won by S G Chaplin who received $25 as the prize. The Clock tower cost $1126 to build.

1935  Progress League reconstituted. This was an active fund-raiser. Responsible for the 50th Jubilee celebrations. During the winter the Council paid full award rates for workers residing within a 3-mile radius of the Post Office. By December there was some economic improvement, with a recovery in export prices.

1936  Wattie Canneries grew and prospered. 180 workers were employed by the Council for the winter. A $50,000 loan had been used to organise the discharge of sewage into the sea at East Clive, instead of into the Ngaruroro River. N Z Aerial Mapping Company founded in Hastings by Piet van Asch, who spent 10 months in England learning to do aerial photography and to fly the Monospar aircraft.

1937  Celebrations for the Coronation of George VI. First state houses built in Hastings. The Council purchased the rest of the Civic Square

property for $1700. The development of Akina Park begun. 84% of the Heretaunga Plains was used for grazing.

1939  A temporary library was installed in the Municipal buildings. The Land Utilisation Report on the Heretaunga Plains was published. This was based on soil survey and aerial mapping. No action was taken on it, on account of World War 2. In September war was declared. 90% of older volunteers in National Reserve were ex-servicemen. Men went into camp in McLean Park Napier, to guard residents against invasion. Government set up an Emergency Precautions Scheme, based on methods used after the 1931 earthquake.

1930’s  Value of plains land $ 100-120 per acre. By recognising the potential of the Hastings district while it was still gripped by depression, Jim Wattie created new hope and employment. He did not have strikes.

1940  As a Centennial Year project a local committee decided to raise funds for a Maori Arts and Crafts Centre at Waipatu. $1568 was raised which qualified for a government subsidy. The money was held in trust until after World War 2, when the centre was built. Home defence by the Home Guard organised, aided by E P S and W W S A (Women’s War Service Auxiliary). E P S put into operation. Responsible for transport, health, works, water, finance, records, law and order, information, evacuation, accommodation, communications, fire and wardens.

1941  I [A I] Rainbow elected Mayor. Council instructed the Borough engineer to prepare a town planning scheme. Zoning for trade and industry was introduced. The Engineer’s Department produced a civic survey map, which showed each property in the Borough and all roads, sub-divisions, drains etc. Further work on town planning was delayed until after the war. A partial blackout was imposed.

1942  As the Japanese advanced 7 air raid shelters were built to accommodate people in the C B D on a working day. A N A Club set up in Heretaunga Street. A Hastings rehabilitation committee was set up under the Mayor, A I Rainbow.

1943  U S Government supplied N Z Aerial Mapping Co Ltd with a Beechcraft aeroplane. Aerial Mapping was already using Bridge Pa airfield. There was public demand for an airport in Hastings.

1944  16 patriotic committees with a total of 150 active members packed parcels for men overseas, made and packed garments for servicemen and refugees. Visiting servicemen received hospitality in private homes as well as at the A N A Club. Between 1940 and 1946, $106,049 was raised. A Hastings sub-committee graded applicants for re-hab farms. The rapidly expanding food processing industry gave

ample scope for re-hab farmers. A number of small businesses were established in Hastings with re-hab grants.

1945  Hastings population 22,179. Wattie Canneries by now employed 300, mostly women and girls. 4293 dwellings in Hastings. There was a serious housing shortage and the Council set up a transit camp at Windsor Park.

1946-50  State houses were built in 6 new blocks at Akina, Mahora and Mayfair. 50% of these were allocated to ex-servicemen. Private builders sub-divided the land and built 3-4 times as many houses.

1947  Wattie Canneries began exporting to U K. Also began producing Bird’s Eye frozen foods.

1949  Hastings Borough Council now met with H B County Council monthly. Competition for plains land increased as Hastings gradually encroached on the county. Industrial growth intensified this trend. Many farmers glad to sell land for sub-division. Hawkes Bay was the last region to set up a united council because of irreconcilable differences of opinion. (Hastings viewed itself as the natural provincial centre, while Napier saw itself as provincial capital.)

1950  50% of the Heretaunga Plains was now used for grazing. The production of meat and wool for export was increasing rapidly. The rest of the land used for seed and grain crops, fruit growing and vegetables. Hastings businessman and retailer, H B Poppelwell thought Hastings was in the doldrums. He called a public meeting and Greater Hastings Incorporated was born. Greater Hastings organised the Blossom Festival. Streets and shop windows were decorated. A procession of floats was held and people danced in the streets until 10.30 p.m. This became an annual event attended by 40-50,000 people, an enormous boost for retail trade.

1951  Highland Games held for the first time – another Greater Hastings project.

1952  Frimley Park donated to Hastings by the Williams family.

1953  Money collected towards a Hastings War Memorial had to be produced by June 1953 to qualify for a government subsidy. A public meeting attended by 600 opted for a library and community centre for the city. Council decided to float a $60,000 loan to enable purchase of the whole civic block. R P Fish, city engineer stated sewerage Hastings’ main problem. He recommended Hastings take in Frimley and Collinge Road/Kenilworth Road area. The Borough appealed to the County to take in Ellison and Richmond Blocks and Williams Street. This was agreed at a meeting of the Local Government Commission.

1954  Greater Hastings opened a Public Relations office. This managed the annual Father Christmas visit, Community carols, an annual fun fair, the Rose Garden and Home Garden competitions. The organisation did much to make Hastings “bigger, brighter, better”. Hastings’ industrial development confined to the Omahu Road area – shingle bed. Royal visit of Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh.

1956  Hastings was declared a city. Blossom Festival incorporated into city celebrations. City boundaries were extended. In November the foundation stone for the new library and community centre was laid by Sir Andrew Russell. Estimated cost of the building $78,000.

1957  Bird’s Eye opened their own Hastings factory. Watties owed much of their success to science and technology – mobile pea viners, bean and corn harvesters. Beans were canned within 90 minutes of harvesting. Aerial spraying undertaken by helicopter. A Queen carnival run by Greater Hastings. Hastings boundary extended to include Frimley and areas around Ada Street and Williams Street.

1958  Number of Hastings retailers increased to 425. Turnover was nearly doubled. There was a trend towards large chain stores. Arcades developed in West Point and Embassy Court. Shopping became concentrated west of railway line. Suburban centres became self- sufficient. The Ring Road, parking meters and closing the centre of Heretaunga Street to traffic, all played their part in limiting retail trade.

1958-68  Hastings produced 30% of N Z apples, from 18% of the trees. Freezing works biggest employers in the Hastings area.

1959  New Hastings library opened. Heretaunga Dairy Company produced butter for export until this year. Many small dairy farmers ceased production.

1960  Rain washed out the Blossom Festival. Without alternative entertainment, people filled hotels and there was a brawl. C B D first came under scrutiny. Ring Road proposed and either elevation or subway for railway. Purchase of land for parking, rights of way and pedestrian precincts also recommended.

1960-1  164 factories in Hastings with an annual output worth $17.75 million. Yet Hastings remained a country-dominated city. It was a marketing and servicing centre for growers. Cool storage for 250,000 bushel cases of fruit. From now on, Hastings retailers had to contend with growing competition from stock firms.

1961  H B Trading Society formed by farmers – a non-profit making co-op. This became the East Coast Trading Society, with a head office in Hastings. This society took fertilisers from local manufacturers and effectively cut farm costs.

1962  Wattie’s factory fire. Damage estimated at $500,000 – a civil emergency. Harvesting of golden queen peaches was only a week away. Jim Wattie’s target was to be “Back in production by tonight”. 2 days later production resumed, without job losses and the season set a record. Eastern and Central Bank opened. H B Poppelwell led a deputation to the Council with a proposal to turn 20 acres of Windsor Park into a pleasure garden. Greater Hastings suggested a campaign to raise $25,000 if Council would subsidise $ for $. The City Council had its own plans. They gave $2000 to Greater Hastings annually. In the end Council adopted a proposal for a children’s playground and other amenities operated by private enterprise, which included a tea kiosk, putting green, model railway, boats, and accepted Greater Hastings offer to help finance it.

1963  Hugh Baird suggested Council set up publicity and development committee. 1077 acres between Wilson Road and Irongate Road became Flaxmere. $800,000 loan for land purchase and development. Flaxmere designed for a population of 10,000, with development in 5 stages.

1964  New P R office and P R officer. “Hastings the Fruit Bowl of N Z”.

1965  Greater Hastings produced a model of a 5 acre children’s playground for Windsor Park and sought planning committee approval. Council was to undertake the major landscaping. Greater Hastings would raise funds and seek a Golden Kiwi lottery grant. First two areas of Flaxmere purchased and sub-divided into 1310 sections. A parade of 11 homes visited by 15,000 people. Traffic lights installed at Stortford Lodge. Right hand turns into Heretaunga St banned in retail area. Old railway yards moved east and land used for off-street parking. It was believed that to be the best shopping city in the province, Hastings must have the best parking. District plan provided for extending St Aubyn Street to Havelock North.

1967  Value of plains land $12-14,000 per acre.

1968  Wattie Canneries merged with General Foods. A new-look Blossom Festival was held. Greater Hastings had raised $27,142 for the Windsor Park project, by holding a queen carnival. $8000 Golden Kiwi grant. Much voluntary work done. Because of dissension in Greater Hastings, Council controlled the development of Noddy Town, Fantasyland and To-morrow Land at Windsor Park.

1969  There were 496 commercial fruit growers, 400 registered commercial gardens and 56 glass houses, mainly used for growing tomatoes. Tip Top joined Watties. A forum of main street shop owners helped Council gauge public feeling about C B D development. A Town Planning advisory committee set up.

1970’s  Economic recession and rising unemployment gave priority to social services. This followed through into the 80’s.

1970  7% of the plains was in orchards.

1971-74   Council adopted a plan to re-develop the whole civic complex, making extensions to the library, an art gallery and exhibition space for Maori artefacts collection.

1972  This was the final Blossom festival. Ring Road nominated as a success. Gabites and Beard town scheme aimed at more comprehensive zoning of industrial, commercial and residential areas of city. Small suburban shops were zoned residential to try and force grouping of shops in suburban areas. Council was now pushing ahead new sewer scheme and the new civic administration building. The development of Flaxmere was accelerated. The Cultural Centre was completed. Community social services were extended.

1973  Ring Road came into operation and the C B D closed off to through traffic. Two new promotional groups started, Centrepoint and Golden Heart, but the town was now entering upon a period of apathy, and the groups were not sustained. Pacific Freezing opened new works, south of Whakatu. The Heretaunga Dairy Company went into liquidation. By now there were 606 houses in Flaxmere.

1974  J J O’Connor mayor. Despite difficulties Hastings still had high growth rate.

1974-7  Council accepted plan for 4-storeyed quake resistant civic administration building designed by Peter Holland to service a city with a population of 36,000.

1975  Watties Canneries employed in excess of 8,000 people. Further extension north west of Flaxmere. The concert hall and city gallery completed.

1976  Waikoko, William Nelson’s former residence at the H B A and P Society’s show grounds was burnt.

1977  Administration building completed and occupied.

1978  Hastings at last had an operative district scheme. Stated goals for the future: to protect rural land, underground water supply, quality of the urban environment and built-up areas and involve the public in planning.

1979  Most costly Hastings fire Tomoana Freezing Works burnt. $15 million loss.

1980  Wattie and Goodman merged.

1981  Hastings Population now 52,563. By this time the annual Highland games, held at Easter had become a large gathering with a $28,000 budget. Produce Freighters opened a $350,000 plant in Omahu Road. West Point Plaza opened.

1982  Grower Canneries opened. Superfit Garments sold to Brierley subsidiary. Cranford Hospice opened. 100 years of brewing celebrated with a hangi at Leopard breweries. Leopard Brewery taken over by Lion. Sacred Heart Parish celebrated centenary. Morrison Industries closed with loss of 200 jobs. Former Odlin’s yard became new supermarket. Watties bought King Street property from Apple and Pear Board.

1983  Last can of cream to Farm Products Ltd. De Pelichet McLeod became Crown Farmers Ltd. Apple and Pear Board’s new store under construction at Whakatu.

1984  Introduction of natural gas to the region with $500,000 plant on corner of Karamu Road and Southampton Street. New A N Z Bank building opened on corner of Heretaunga Street and Karamu Road. Westpac celebrated 100 years of banking in Hastings by opening new building. New Clinical Services Block under construction at Hastings Hospital.

1986  Whakatu Freezing Works closed with loss of 1500 jobs. Hastings Band 100 years old.

1987  Hawkes Bay County Council met first in new building, Oak Avenue. Centenary of Hastings. Soma Textiles entire N Z operation in Hastings.

1989  Amalgamation of Havelock North Borough Council and Hastings City Council to make Hastings District Council. Mangaroa Prison opened. Hastings Municipal Theatre reconstruction completed. City Mall completed.

1990  Central Heretaunga Street water feature completed to mark first year of Hastings District Council. Russell Street car park almost complete. A century of the H B Hunt celebrated.

1991  24.4 m of tapestry made for Hastings city by W D F F to illustrate city progress completed in 15 months.

1992  Sacred Heart Church burnt.

1993  Flaxmere College opened. $1.4 million face lift for West End Hastings. Pacific Hotel closed.

1994  Tomoana Freezing Works closure cost Hawkes Bay $100 million per annum. 1500 jobs lost. $80,000 revamp of Heretaunga Street East Mall. Bruce Jans set up Clive River Holdings and bought Whakatu and Tomoana North site. Heinz expanded Watties. Holly Bacon Company 80 years old. Bon Marche closed 96 years old.

1995  The Blossom Festival became a national event. Fantasyland’s 30th birthday. Seafresh Fisheries leased Whakatu Freezing Works. 100 new jobs. Lowe Walker (N Z) 2 new hide and skin processing plants – 23 employed. Tuckers Wool Scourers 100 years old. H B Milk Producers Co-op supplied milk for 50 years.

1996  Presbyterian Support employing 390 people, with an annual turnover of $13 million. The Milk Plant closed, with the loss of 40 jobs. Grower Canneries taken over by McKain Foods. Watties had 500 applications for 35 new jobs.

1997  Heinz Wattie transferred 2 manufacturing operations from Gisborne to Hastings. 100 new jobs. $18 million upgrade at Tomoana Works. H B’s Lion Brewery closed. 52 jobs gone. Work started on the new stretch of motorway between Hastings and Taradale. Plans for $6.2 million Splash Planet.

1998  Hawkes Bay Power sold energy arm to Contact. $9.47 million to complete Hastings-Taradale motorway. Splash Planet opened.

1999  New Motorway completed 6 months ahead of schedule.

Hastings received its first shot in the arm from the railway. Paradoxically, that very same railway now cuts the city in two with resultant adverse effects to the businesses in Heretaunga Street and to the flow of traffic from east to west. In 1960 a town planning report advised either elevation or a subway for the railway.

In 1903 the Hastings Standard commented that “Hastings needs the definite efforts of progressive men to make one more stride towards prosperity and wealth”. Throughout its history Hastings has been fortunate in utilising the energies of such men. The mayors of borough and city have contributed enormously, but so have people such as Thomas Tanner, J N Williams, William Nelson, James Wattie and Harry Poppelwell.

A century ago the vision of Hastings was of a centre of great fruit-growing and industry. This reputation was built by men like James Nelson Williams and William Nelson. Despite periods of recession, fruit-growing and other industries associated with a variety of primary production remain our mainstays. Economic recession and technological change have diminished the number of jobs, but the work

that is available still tends to be primary produce related, either in food processing or servicing.

The first Hastings Chamber of Commerce was formed in 1907. Since that time the Chamber and other similar groups such as the Progress League and Greater Hastings have contributed much enthusiastic leadership to the city and materially assisted its growth. Of these, only the Chamber of Commerce still exists.

Hastings has had to contend with an unusually high number of crises and disasters. Beginning with the destructive fire of 1893 in which the greater part of the business district of the growing town was devastated, there was a continuing series of fires, which led ultimately to insurance companies refusing to insure property in the town. World War 1 adversely affected the town, as did the depression of the late twenties. In the midst of the depression the 1931 earthquake added to the difficulties. The second World War brought again similar problems to the 1914-18 war, with personal loss to families whose sons or breadwinners were killed or maimed, with difficulties of rehabilitation and with the need to provide for civil defence in case of invasion. The present economic downturn has revived the problems of the 1930’s. In the 1930’s local bodies in this district accepted responsibility for finding work and for supporting those who were unwaged. It is hard to avoid the conclusion that local bodies then were more caring for the wellbeing of rate-payers and residents than they are now. Perhaps local communities were more ready to help when central government did not play so large a role, or it may have been easier to help when the population was smaller and the number of unemployed correspondingly so.

In the past, citizens of Hastings were eager and enthusiastic to help with fund-raising projects and if it had not been for this factor, much that we tend to take for granted would never have happened. Quantities of trees were donated for parks and public areas in the early years of this century. At an earlier time, large tracts of land were given to the public. The enormous amount of work contributed to the city by an organisation such as Greater Hastings can hardly be quantified.

Other changes which have contributed to the present difficulties associated with the central business area of Hastings are the inevitable outcome of the growth of the city – suburban shopping centres which draw shoppers away from the centre, for example. While there is a fairly high level of poverty, people will go to large retail stores such as the Warehouse or K Mart, to shop where they can be sure of a bargain. In earlier times this type of cheap retail outlet simply did not exist. It is a result of increasing population. Perhaps too the increased population makes for a society where people are less involved with their neighbours and there is therefore less mutual dependency.

At a public meeting concern was expressed at the disorderly behaviour of young people in and about Hastings. Many of these are Maori. Stored in the Council Buildings is a large collection of Maori art and artefacts, which never see the light of day and are wholly inaccessible to citizens of Hastings. If they were available to the public the young and disorganised Maori people of Hastings would have something of inestimable value as a focus. These artefacts would be objects of pride and respect to Maori and pakeha alike and would surely serve to enhance the mana of the whole community.

Certainly there appears now to be a diminished community spirit, in comparison with earlier times. Perhaps the local body is somehow seen to be remote and uncaring, a perception which encourages people to feel that they survive in spite of local government, rather than because of anything it contributes. Perhaps too many people just feel hopeless.

3.2  Timeline for Havelock North

1860  First sub-division of 74.5 acres for town sites. Havelock well suited as country town, being junction of 6 roads – Middle Road to Patangata, Te Aute Road to Paki Paki, Havelock Road, Napier Road, Te Mata Road to Waimarama and what is now Joll Road. The sales of sites made valuable return to Provincial government, prices ranging from $17.10 to $64. Old Ngaruroro river bed flowed past proposed settlement and 2 landing stages made it possible to off-load goods from boats. Flooding was also a perennial problem. From Havelock (as it was then called) the river flowed to Pakowhai and thence into the sea at Clive, where it shared a mouth with the Tuki Tuki. Geographical location was the key to the early success of Havelock. Major settlers John Chambers, Thomas Tanner, William Couper and Hugh Campbell farmed nearby and were always generous benefactors. 

1860’s  Havelock was transformed into a bustling village. John Chambers prospected for gold in Hawkes Bay, in the hope that it would improve the province’s poor financial position. 

1863  A major earthquake. Relatively little damage, because there were few settlers. The first Agricultural Society’s Show in Hawkes Bay was held in Havelock, drawing a large crowd. Already some traders had settled in Havelock and there was a Hotel, so it was seen as a pastoral service centre. An independent school established in Middle Road. John Chambers gained title to Te Mata and Mokopeka Blocks, which he had previously leased. He built a modest house, which was incorporated in the present Te Mata homestead in 1876. 

1864  John Chambers set up first school in Havelock. J Reynolds first master. 

1865  Havelock School opened with 15 boys and 11 girls. A bridge was built at Waitangi, which speeded traffic to Napier. Havelock formed an army company, No 3 Company, because of the threat of Pai Marire (Hau Hau). 

1866  The Hau Hau threat caused increased tension. A private girls’ school was opened by Miss Danvers. 

1867  A bridge was built at Clive. A daily coach between Havelock and Napier cost 3/6. There was a twice-weekly coach to Waipawa. A severe flood rendered the Ngaruroro a stagnant stream, which was no longer navigable by 1870. 

1870’s   A company tried to establish a port at Haumoana – near the mouths of the rivers. 

1871  First Presbyterian Church was opened in Middle Road. Minister Andrew Shepherd. The Havelock cemetery was opened. 

1873  A library was set up in Havelock in the Mechanics Institute building (formerly the Foresters’ Hall). Thomas Tanner bought 4 sections in Te Mata Road for the Church of England and offered $530 to build a church. William Marshall first vicar. Havelock Girls’ School opened by Mrs Shepherd, wife of Presbyterian minister. John Goddard established a nursery with a wide range of pip, stone and berry fruits, lemons and many garden plants. 

1874  Census states 228 people living in Havelock, and only a handful in Hastings. The Havelock Roads Board was created in response to a public petition. Large landholders also had power. 

1879  Census 327 in Havelock. (The railway now passed through Hastings.) There was now a bus service from Havelock to Hastings. 

1880  John Chambers had developed a blast freezing method which he tried to patent. In 1882 he formed a company with a capital of $30,000 and operated from a building in the Western Spit (now Westshore). Eventually he built a working model and it was patented in 

1885. By 1887 he was competing with William Nelson. In this decade Bernard Chambers began wine-making at Te Mata.

1882  Duart was built for Allan McLean who married Hannah Chambers. House at Tuki Tuki was moved across the river from Lawn Road, Clive by William Nelson. 

1883  Havelock Roads Board employed a clerk at $15 per annum. 

1887  90 pupils at Havelock School. Fulfords established a brick works opposite Arataki Road, but later moved it to Joll Road. 

1890’s  Roads Board still administered roads, drains and bridges. In later years of the decade Crosby was built off Lucknow Road for Maria Lowry. This house is now owned by Iona College. R H McKenzie built Hilton and Rouncil in Middle Road was built for F E Nelson. 

1891  Hawkes Bay’s first telephone system from Mokopeka to Tauroa. John Chambers made many other innovations. 

1892  John Chambers hydro scheme at Maraetotora. A house built on the corner of Duart and Te Mata Roads for Mrs Chambers was named Ranmore and later bought by the Reeve family. 

1893  H B County Council began to be involved in Havelock affairs. It promised $225 to develop the Waimarama Road, but the work had eventually to be financed by an overdraft from the Bank of New Zealand. 

1894  Final meeting of the Roads Board which then merged with H B County Council. Tuki Tuki house burned down. 

1896  Hawkes Bay’s first electric stove built by John Chambers at Mokopeka. He also used electricity for an irrigation pump. 

1897  Bernard Chambers built matai floored brick cellar at Te Mata able to hold 60,000 gallons of wine. At Easter a major flood in the plains area changed the course of the Ngaruroro River for ever. 

1898  Bernard Chambers was making claret and chablis. He imported employees from Europe. 

1902  Bernard Chambers bought the first car in Hawkes Bay, an Oldsmobile. Its maximum speed was 10 m p h. 

1904  Swarthmoor was built for J H Holdsworth who married Margaret Chambers. This house later became Peloha and is now owned by Weleda. 

1906  26 acres of grapes planted at Te Mata. $2,209 of wine in stock. A portion of Tauroa land was surveyed and bought by Reginald and Allen Gardiner, where Stadacona was built by Robert Holt. This house, now known as Keirunga, became the centre of the Havelock Work and eventually of the Keirunga Gardens Society. 

1907  Reginald Gardiner established a small informal group of literary enthusiasts who met regularly and read articles they had written. 

1908  W J Rush designed Te Puna in Tauroa Road for Charles Ellison. 100 people met at Frimley to discuss culture. Reginald Gardiner proposed an organisation, which would encourage the talent of literary, dramatic and musical people. This was the beginning of the Havelock Work. 

1909  A 3075 acre block to the west of Tauroa was given to Selwyn Chambers and became Kopanga. The first Forerunner was typed. Later issues were printed on a small press at Stadacona. Plans for a Village Hall were discussed by the Havelock Work. $1100 was collected by public subscription. 

1910  The Village Hall was opened by Bishop Averill. John Chambers jun., Mason Chambers, Hugh Campbell and George Nelson bought the Hawkes Bay Tribune, with a capital of $20,000. Stadacona was bought by Mr Charles Tanner. Throughout this period Havelock responded to a worldwide revival of interest in the occult. Led by Reginald Gardiner, the Forerunner was used to disseminate ideas and theories. Other Havelock Residents were theosophists, members of the Order of the Table Round or went in for yoga or psychic research. Most followers of cults were practising Christians too. 

1911  The population of Havelock was 501. Woodford House moved from Hastings to Havelock, to buildings designed by W J Rush. The roll was 52 girls. 

1912  Havelock was proclaimed a Town District. Lack of finance was to be its salient problem. The famous Shakespearian Pageant was held to raise funds to pay off the Village Hall. There were three days of festivities culminating in a Ball in Shakespearian costume. Heretaunga School moved from Hastings to Havelock to buildings designed by W J Rush. It had accommodation for 50 boarders and 10 day boys. The construction cost 5399. Dr Robert Felkin first visited Havelock. Rudolph Steiner first propounded the ideas of anthroposophy, which soon had a following in Havelock North. Dr Felkin had met Steiner and practised his techniques of healing through colour. 

1913  The Town Board raised a loan of $19,425 for new sewerage, high pressure water and electricity for street lighting. Heretaunga School opened, (the only school in Havelock with a swimming pool). Whare Ra designed by James Chapman-Taylor and built by Mason 

Chambers for Dr Robert Felkin and his wife Harriot (sic) became a base for Stella Matutina, a hermetic movement. The house was completed in 1915. At about this time W J Rush designed a house for himself in Durham Drive. 

1914  World War 1 began. Havelock adopted by-laws controlling accommodation and motor cars. A speed limit of 15m.p.h. was imposed. Tauroa homestead where Mason Chambers lived was burned down. J Louis Hay designed the house at Kopanga, where Maurice Chambers lived for a few years. Iona College opened. Its buildings were designed by W J Rush. The following year it had 63 boarders. 

1915  State Hydro Department made John Chambers take out a licence to generate electricity. The building, which now houses the toilets in the centre of Havelock Village, was designed by J W Chapman Taylor to house the generator. The Crompton-Smiths established a school on Steiner lines at Duart. This was called St George’s. Havelock tapped into Hastings’ power supply, but that increased the demand unsustainably. 

1916  An attempt to set up a Havelock Fire Brigade was stymied for lack of cash. The present Tauroa homestead, designed by William Gummer, was completed. 

1917  The fluctuating power supply was critical for Havelock. Napier suggested Havelock should join the Waikaremoana Electric League, but Havelock chose an independent scheme based on the Maraetotora River and ordered a 100 kva generator. 

1918  James Chapman-Taylor bought land on the corner of Duart Road and Campbell Street and built his own house Sunbourne, which was completed the following year. In October came the start of the influenza epidemic. In November the Town Board called a meeting of residents. A health committee was formed. The town was divided into sections each with a leader. There were no deaths. Armistice. 

1919  July 15-17 declared official public holidays to celebrate end of World War 1. There were celebrations, decorations, a dance and the burning of an effigy of the Kaiser. Hastings Mayor George Ebbett suggested a joint war memorial for Hastings and Havelock. There were arguments with Hastings about the proposed hospital, and a technical college. Both towns squabbled about the water supply. A Volunteer Fire Brigade established in Havelock. Public support was strong and there were 19 volunteers. The earliest appliance was a two-wheeled trailer, which was towed behind one of Nimon’s taxis. St Luke’s School opened. James Chapman Taylor designed a brick house for W H Malden in Greenwood Road. The Town Board took over responsibility for the cemetery, which had been run by a trust. 

1920’s  Water supply for domestic use became a major issue. Boy Scouts were active. The Town Board began the sealing of roads. Whare Ra became well known as the centre of the hermetic order of Stella Matutina Unemployment and therefore poverty increased during the later years of this decade. Mokopeka homestead built. Gummer designed the Craggy Range house of William van Asch. 

1920  Royal visit of Prince of Wales. A joint welcome ceremony for Havelock and Hastings was planned, but the Royal train only paused for 20 minutes. Galas were held to raise money for a town swimming pool. Everyone helped to build it. 

1921  Construction of the Maraetotora power scheme begun. Havelock swimming pool completed. Dr and Mrs Crompton-Smith became the leaders of anthroposophy in Havelock. From this time, Havelock was an important centre in the movement. Ruth Nelson and Edna Burbury of Taruna, on the Te Mata Peak Road were leaders in the movement. 

1922  The Maraetotora power scheme completed. Havelock was now the largest generator of power in Hawkes Bay, having a 30 kw surplus. However demand soon overran supply. Bernard Chambers built a W J Rush designed Spanish Mission Style house across the road from Te Mata. This was destroyed in 1931 Earthquake. 

1924  The Havelock School and Woodford House objected to paying the water rate. Roads were a problem. 

1926  William Gummer designed Arden in Kopanga Road Havelock North, for Maurice Chambers. Another house opposite Te Mata was designed by William Gummer for Mr Bernard Chambers, to replace the house destroyed in the earthquake. Later his daughter, Hazel Foxley lived there for many years. Heretaunga School combined with Hurworth, Wanganui and adopted the name Hereworth. The roll rose to 93. Dr Robert Felkin died, but his work at Whare Ra continued by his wife, Harriot. 

1927  The Havelock Fire Brigade bought a Dodge – probably a truck – and converted it to carry the hose reel. The Duke and Duchess of York passed through Hawkes Bay. John, Bernard and Mason Chambers donated 242 acres of land to the Town Board, including Te Mata Peak. This land became Te Mata Park. 

1928  Stadacona bought by George Nelson and re-named Keirunga. The Fire Brigade was debt free, 

1929  St George’s School closed because of the depression. 

1931  On February 3rd the earthquake brought down or severely damaged almost all the brick buildings in Havelock North. The Havelock Road bridge was destroyed, taking with it the pipe which

delivered the Hastings water supply. The wooden bridge at Crosse’s Road remained intact. There were many cracks in roads and all chimneys and brick walls were damaged. Some Havelock residents went to Hastings and Napier to help. Hereworth had only chimneys down and re-opened a month later. Woodford House suffered considerable structural damage and lost 19 chimneys and the swimming pool. It did not open until March 20th. At Iona the damage was even more severe and the school remained closed for the whole of the first term. No one was killed in Havelock, but everyone slept outside for days afterwards. There was a severe lack of water and there was no electric power. Very little help was given towards rebuilding and many incurred debts which lasted for years. The unemployed built the road to Te Mata peak. 

1932  Havelock North was hard hit by the farming downturn. The Town Board organised winter relief for Havelock residents in 1932 and 1933. Local farmers were asked to donate stock and arrange free meat processing at Tomoana. Te Puna was bought by Dr Bernard Crompton and his wife. The house was later moved to Pukahu. 

1933  70 men were on relief work in Havelock North. 19 of those had more than 4 children. A monster Bazaar was organised in aid of winter relief. Relief work was done to improve school playing areas. A major problem was the bed of the old Ngaruroro, where water had ponded and stagnated, causing a health hazard. The water supply was not sufficient to provide for Havelock, Hastings and parts of the county as well. 

1935  The Labour Government developed public works projects, which included forestry, state housing, railway, roads and electricity. Unemployment dropped from 11.5% in 1935 to 29% in 1937. 

1937  There were still 40 unemployed in Havelock. Havelock was still trying to service the earthquake debt. Roads needed attention and the town power supply was inadequate. The loan on the Maraetotara power station needed to be repaid, 

1938  Labour Government cancelled Napier’s earthquake loan and was asked to do the same for other H B local bodies. Refused in Havelock’s case. 

1939  World War 2 broke out. The Home Guard, the Emergency Precautions Scheme and other war related activities dominated Havelock North. From the cult at Whare Ra grew the Tauhara Centre in Taupo, which drew its followers from among the anthroposophists as well as from those who had always followed the hermetic order. 

1939  Havelock had had a sub-branch of the E P S since the 1931 earthquake. 

1941  It was proposed to use Iona College as an emergency hospital in the event of invasion. It was thought to be able to handle anything but major surgery and X-rays. Woodford House’s war effort was the provision of honey for the navy. 10 tons of honey left Havelock for this purpose. A Ladies’ committee made gifts for troops – sweets, food and knitted garments. Town Board work of maintaining and sealing roads went on as usual. 

1942  There were now 284 members of the E P S in Havelock, with sub-committees responsible for ambulance, fire, food, law and order, medical, nursing, supply, transport and wardens. Two Havelock leaders liaised with Hastings. A Casualty Clearing Station was set up at Tony Reeve’s house. Dr Sutcliffe bought Swarthmoor and transformed it into a centre for healing, changing its name to Peloha (a name derived from the first two letters of the words Peace, Love, Happiness). The centre claimed to rejuvenate body, mind and spirit. 

1944  Returning servicemen began to pose rehabilitation problems. Havelock requested the building of 10-12 state houses. Between 1944 and 1947 67 new houses were built. There was no spare land for more. 

1945  War ended. 34 Havelock residents had been killed during the war. The population was now 1435. There were wartime and housing shortages and rehab problems. The 1914 loan of $19,911 matured and had to be repaid. Provision had thriftily been made for this, but government imposed a 25% levy on the exchange rate since 1933. The Town Board therefore had to borrow an additional $4850. 

1947  Village debt was $10,123. 

1948  The Havelock Club was inaugurated to fill the need for “civilised drinking premises”. 160 attended its opening. 

1949  The Town Board petitioned the Governor General that Havelock be declared a borough. Other issues to be addressed were water, boundary extensions, power and pest control. 

1950’s  Controversy of whether or not to fluoridate the water supply was an on-going one. A referendum was sought and fluoride defeated by 718 to 436 votes in the poll. 

1951  12 acres of land bought for $2000, for Anderson Park. The Village held 2 galas which raised $1850. The Town Board applied for permission to incorporate two new areas into what was to be the borough. These were 64 acres straddling Te Mata Road and 398 acres on the south and west boundaries. There were some objections, mostly because people expected a rate rise when the town became a borough. The Local Bodies Commission approved the change. 

1953  Availability of water was again a problem. A meeting between Havelock and Hastings resulted in an agreement from Hastings to build a reservoir of 2,750,000 gallons capacity. 

1954  In return for Hastings providing the new reservoir, Havelock was to hand over the St Andrews Road pumping station and all wells and pipes. 

1955  St Luke’s School closed. 

1957  Sewerage became a major issue. Havelock’s sewers drained into 4 enormous septic tanks, which seeped into the Karamu Stream and were therefore regarded as a health risk. The cost to Havelock of sewage treatment would have been $116,000 or else $62,000 to connect to Hastings sewer, plus running expenses. The latter scheme was chosen because it was cheaper. The new Borough Council had other pressing costs, in the development of Anderson Park and the swimming pool. 

1956  Keirunga given to Havelock North by George Nelson, provided he and his wife Elizabeth lived there until their deaths. 

1959  Hawkes Bay’s provincial centennial. Havelock’s new pool was to be the centennial commemoration. 

1960’s  There had been growth and prosperity in the last 2 decades. Problems to be addressed were, fluoridation, civic amenities, new sub-divisions, and the perpetual strife over water, sewerage and power. 

1960  Our Lady of Lourdes designed by John Scott opened, but supervised from Sacred Heart, Hastings. 

1961  50th anniversary of town administration. I E Nolan, wife of the Town Clerk was to record the history. The Havelock Library opened in Middle Road. The 62 feet high brick works chimney demolished. 

1962  “Our Village Our Story” published. August 23rd Cocktail party held in Village Hall to mark anniversary of the first Town Board meeting. In November a week was set aside for general celebrations. G E G Rogers began to publish Village News, a local paper, fortnightly. Duart Hospital opened. It cost $100,000, of which $70,000 was a government subsidy. 

1963  Havelock Primary School Centennial. 

1964  Havelock North Borough Council took over Keirunga, which is now a major centre for arts and crafts in Havelock North. A battery powered T V relay station was built on Te Mata Peak. 

1966  Effort to try and solve traffic problems in the Village. Town planners suggested a traffic free centre and the ring road. 

1968  Havelock’s Our Lady of Lourdes became a separate Roman Catholic parish. 

1969  Air Force Association Hall leased for the library. As a result of a small petition asking for fluoridation, the council adopted it in April. There was a row, which resulted in a referendum promised for the next Local Body election in 1971. 

1970’s  Issues of 1960’s still unresolved. 

1971  Local body election W M Ashcroft became mayor and Fluoridation validated. The new St Columba’s Presbyterian Church was opened.  

1972  Borough Council bought Duart House for $22,500. 

1977  A fund-raising committee was set up to finance a new library. 

1979  The old Havelock School site was bought by the Council for a new library. 

1980’s  Model railway developed in the Keirunga grounds, which is now a major Havelock North attraction. Million dollar expansion at Te Mata Estate Winery. 

1980  New library was opened. 54% of all New Zealanders were now drinking fluoridated water. Despite much contrary opinion, Council decided to continue fluoridation in Havelock. In a referendum on whether Havelock should merge with Hastings 78.6% of voters favoured Havelock autonomy. 

1984  Taruna was opened as a centre for training anthroposophical teachers. 

1985  Local Government Commission suggested amalgamation, which was strongly opposed by Havelock. New studio opened at Keirunga. 

1987  Mokapeka homestead burnt. Sub-division off Durham Drive approved. Camp David opened. Te Kahika dam completed. 

1988  The new Local Government Bill made radical changes in the whole country. Havelock was to become part of Hastings district, one of 7 wards in a large Council, Havelock would be represented by 2 members. 

1989  October 11 last Havelock Borough Council meeting. Restoration of Lucknow Lodge, the former Nimon home at the bottom 

of Lucknow Road. Iona College 75th Jubilee. Dam on the Here Here Stream completed. 

1992  The Keirunga Railway opened after 6 years hard work by members. The St Andrew’s Estate cidery opened. 

1994  The Meteorological Service’s weather station in Havelock North was closed. Argument about the future of the Post office building. Woodford House centenary. 

1995  Public disapproval of sub-divisions for building high on the hills behind the Village. 

1996  Havelock branch of the B N Z sold for $663,000. A new reservoir being constructed. Roadair closed when a contract with Watties was only partly fulfilled. Roadair had bought extra trucks, which could not be utilised. There was strong protest about the future of the Village Hall. St Luke’s Church regarded it as church property, justifiably, and pulled it down to make room for pensioner housing in the church precinct. The church also felled a number of trees, which roused public wrath. 

1997  Havelock North’s Community Centre begun. 

1998  Landscape development at Te Mata Peak begun, with an eye to millennium needs. Havelock Community Centre opened. 

Havelock North was the earliest settled area in the Hastings District. From the first the “Village” had a close relationship with the four major landholders of the area, John Chambers, Thomas Tanner, William Couper and Hugh Campbell. From the 1860’s these men seem to have regarded themselves as having an obligation to help the local community either with money or in any other way possible. As well, the geographical position of Havelock at the junction of six roads and with access to the Ngaruroro River gave the Village a unique position. Many people passed through the settlement on their way to and fro, so this made potential customers for traders and shop-owners. While there was no railway, or when the railway went no further than Karamu, Havelock throve. When in 1874 the first train from Napier arrived in Hastings, the history of Havelock North was changed. 

Certainly from this time forward Havelock’s development seems to have slowed for many years. 

Another major geographical advantage for Havelock has been its position on a north-facing hillside, where the views of the surrounding Heretaunga Plains and the Kaweka and Ruahine Ranges have made for great quality of life and environment. 

By 1914 there were three notable independent schools in Havelock, Heretaunga, Woodford House and Iona College. There was also a state primary school and several small private schools. 

The Village seems to have attracted residents of literary, artistic or esoteric inclinations, from the earliest years of the 20th century. The majority of these seem to have belonged to one or other of a group of unusual cults, such as theosophy, anthroposophy, the hermetic cult of Stella Matutina, Rosicrucianism, spiritualism, witchcraft and Radiant Living. As well residents tended to be practising Christians. 

The influence of the Havelock Work, a group which met regularly to discuss literary and academic topics, seems to have been far-reaching. 

Many of their ideas were set down in the quarterly magazine they produced, The Forerunner. This magazine appeals now as being rather warmly romantic and as having a strong aesthetic, rather than learned appeal. All of this tended to attract an increasing number of strongly individual and even eccentric residents. However the Havelock Work provided the themes and ideas of community on which the Village was founded and these were backed up by the attitudes of the early landowners, who continued to see their function in the Village as being one of patronage and generosity. As well however, there were many other primary producers who used Havelock North as their service town. 

A number of very capable architects were also drawn to this environment, among them W J Rush, James Chapman-Taylor, William Gummer and latterly, John Scott. For its still relatively small size, Havelock has an astonishing number of very fine houses. More recent times have seen this tradition perpetuated. 

Latterly this tendency has not entirely disappeared, although at present the Village seems to be increasingly suburban, so that Havelock may be seen to be a dormitory area for Hastings. In the early years of the century, motor transport revolutionised Havelock’s relationship with Hastings and the tendency for Hastings workers to live in Havelock has continued.

The end of the twentieth century finds Havelock North an affluent area, with distinctive shops and a number of notable public buildings and private houses. There are many complexes for the retired, which results in a high proportion of elderly people. Property values tend to be higher than in Hastings. Considerable areas of poor quality hill country surrounding the Village offer opportunities for sub-division but Havelock North remains separate from Hastings. Perhaps as much because there is still a gap of relatively open country between the two towns, but also because Havelock residents see and feel themselves to have a separate identity. Many of the artistic and cultural tendencies, which characterised the Village early in the century still flourish. 

3.3  Hastings District 

The central part of Hastings district is the Heretaunga Plains area, with Hastings City central to that again. The district extends from the south of Waimarama inland towards Te Apiti, around Maraetotara, across the Tuki Tuki and from there is bounded by Middle Road and the Te Aute Trust Road until it crosses the Main South Road. It then passes in a long arc, round Te Onepu and crosses Highway 50 and skirting Salisbury and Duff Roads makes a great circle round Mangleton to the Ngaruroro River. It then follows the course of the Ngaruroro to Kuripapango and beyond to the river’s intersection with the Oamaru River. It then follows a geometrical angled line to the Mohaka River, whose course it follows for a short distance, before becoming geometrical again and crossing the Ripia River, thence proceeding geometrically once more to Pohukura on State Highway 5 (the Napier-Taupo road). It then takes a long wedge into nameless territory, before crossing a lower reach of the Mohaka River and then following the course of the Waikare River out to the coast. Within its northerly area, the district includes Putorino, Ridgemount, Moeangiangi, Arapaoanui, Waipatiki, Tangoio, Bay View, Tutira, Waikoau, Te Pohue, Rukumoana, Glengarry, the Mangaone River, Rissington, Patoka and Puketitiri. Centrally it embraces the Tutaekuri River, Dartmoor, Flag Range, Crownthorpe, Sherenden, Matapiro, the Ngaruroro River, Kereru, Maraekakaho and Mangatahi. 

Bare Island is the principal landmark. In historic times the island was used by local Maori as a fortress. 

1845  Whaling station established. 

1853  Waipuka 11,000 acres leased to Francis Bee. 

1875  Became part Waimarama Station, 25,000 acres owned by Frederick (Fritz) Meinerzhagen in partnership with Walter Campbell. 

1906  School opened. Meinertzhagen in partnership with Thomas Moore. Long court battles about land ownership at this time between Meinertzhagen and Airini Donnelly (nee Karauria). Land eventually owned by Airini’s husband George Prior Donnelly. 

1856  First owned by W B Rhodes who leased 18,240 acres of hills and gullies. 

1861  13,500 acres of Rhodes’s land bought from government by James Gillespie Gordon who named the area Clifton. First homestead 

built there bought pre-fabricated from England. Gordon had 2 sons, Thomas and John. Thomas returned to Scotland, John was drowned. 

1896  Thomas gave 1640 acres on the south side to his 3rd son Charles. This became Taurapa, which was managed by Charles’s son Frank. 

1925  5175 acres of coastal hill country sold to Col. William Neilson. This became Summerlee. The Clifton Station homestead was built in 1902, after an earlier house was burnt in 1900. 

This is the gateway to Cape Kidnappers and the gannet colony – a major tourist attraction. 

Te Awanga
1830’s  There was a whaling station here. 

It is a small settlement with a camping ground, a hall and a kindergarten/play centre. 

There are also two wineries Clearview Estate and Te Awanga Vineyards, which will be open for the first time this summer. There is a countrified restaurant Clifton Bay Café. 

Haumoana is another small settlement, two or three kms north of Te Awanga, at the mouth of the Tuki Tuki River. It has a school and a Memorial Hall. There are 2 churches of little distinction and a fire station. 

1844  William Colenso settled at Waitangi, near Clive 

1850  Trading Station begun by Alexander Alexander, who had a wool store there. Wool was rafted down the Tuki Tuki from central Hawkes Bay

1852  Wool was brought down from Patangata and Elmshill via Tuki Tuki

1857  Clive was the first country village to be surveyed and settled. Town laid out by Henry Tiffen. 

1862  School opened. 

1879  Clive declared a town. 

1897  Severe flooding caused loss of life at Clive. This is commemorated by a memorial on Marine Parade Napier (outside the Wool Exchange). 

1919  War memorial which is at the centre of the township was built. 

1857  Whakatu was the scene of the last inter-tribal battle in Hawkes Bay, between Te Hapuku and Te Moananui. 

1912  H B Farmers meat company formed. 

1914  H B Farmers meat works went into production. 

1986  H B Farmers meat works closed with the loss of 1500 jobs. 

1995  Seafresh Fisheries leased the Whakatu freezing plant. 

Written by Maryan Moss
August 16th 1999 

Original digital file


Date published

16 August 1999

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Creator / Author

  • Maryan Moss

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