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Wa i n u i • M a k o r o r i • T a t a p o u r i • S p o n g e B a y


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A Place By The Sea History of the Beach

Wainui strikes gold

Summer Review • Local News • Our Kids and More

Okitu Store Summer Album 2008-2009 Summer! For most of us it’s a time of great excitement. The hot weather brings out summer dresses, boardies and bikinis. Tans are worked on, Makorori Headland is walked over, surfboards are freshly waxed and waves are ridden. Refreshing beverages are had on decks, ice-creams are licked, BBQs are lit and chilly bins are filled. It’s a time of summer weddings and reunions, sandcastle building and camping under starry skies. And where else would you want to be but at Wainui! Summer at the Okitu Store saw a fresh new team including uni girls, (Emma & Toni), our own fashion designer (Dani), our cute English chick (Chy – not so shy), our own Swindell sisters and serious rowers (Katy & Amanda), our dancing team (Lana, Kim D, Izis & Bree), our horse trekker (Kim M), our chiller boy (Matt), our awesome fillin mums (Maria & Margaret) and not to forget our own family (Gary, Maryanne, Kimberley and Karyn and our resident store cat Splat). All of these lovely people have tirelessly worked extremely hot shifts, rolling endless icecreams for our customers’ satisfaction – thank you! Seven days a week with extended hours over summer was hard work but it was extremely rewarding to see sun-glowed happy faces, international visitors, families returning to Wainui for the summer, all en joying a small part of the paradise we live in – even if only for a few weeks. Great memories are made in summer, it is awesome to see generations of families like the Wagner family making memories for their children, years down the track their children and grandchildren will reminisce about their family trips to Wainui and those icecreams from the Okitu store. Thanks to all the locals for their loyalty and support, as well as the workers and transitional people travelling through Wainui, the fantastic suppliers who never let us down, our staff for their commitment, our friends for our lack of socialising through tiredness, and of course each other for our patience and energy – we love working together, side-by-side everyday. Life couldn’t be better!! As this summer begins to fade we already look forward to the next, plans already on the drawing board, new memories to make. Yes, summer and Wainui Beach – who wouldn’t en joy it?? Paradise at our fingertips. 2 | BeachLife

Winter Hours: Monday to Saturday .... 7.00am to 7.00pm Sunday .... 7.30am to 7.00pm

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Delivered free to every home from Sponge Bay to Makorori. Published four times a year. .................................. Published and printed by Gray Clapham Design Arts .................................. EDITORIAL MANAGER Gray Clapham 90 Moana Road Wainui Beach Gisborne Phone 868 0240 Fax 867 7010 ALL LETTERS, ARTICLES & CORRESPONDENCE TO .................................. ADVERTISING Gray & Sandy Clapham Phone 868 0240 Fax 867 7010 .................................. Extra copies available at $5.00 All issues will be archived after publication on the website

contents intro

6 Editor’s comments and a preview of the issue. what’s up

7 Whales grave sculpture idea thwarted. Winery building to become family home. Wetland style upgrade for Schools beach access. Local man designs city logo. The Cycle Track: when will work start? New call for residents association. Maggie’s new shoe repair business.

beach life

10 Look out, the paparazzi are about. Photos from social gatherings, special occasions, weddings and general comings and goings. A Summer Review: All the good things that happened at the beach this summer. Dave McCullough widens his horizons. Farewell as local couple heads for Ireland. Wainui lifeguards strike gold at Nationals. Plus a review of the season at the Wainui surf club.

beach babes

18 They just keep on coming! Introducing the latest nine new kids on the block. beach history

21 The Mystery of the Windmills: Many people have a memory of a windmill on the sand dunes overlooking Wainui Beach. We’ve done a little digging and discovered there were in fact two windmills. What were they used for and where exactly were they? We ask our readers to solve the mystery?

22 A Place By The Sea: The story of the settlement of Wainui and Makorori beaches from ancient Maori times to the present day. Plus lots of interesting old photos.

our kids

35 Fleur’s daughter Nova is taking the twins to try life in Israel. Christie Carter had realised

Cover PHOTOS: Longboard champion James Tanner with Tuahine Point behind. Insets: Old windmill from Gisborne Museum collections. SLS Nationals: Toby Harris wins U16 sprint race. Laura Quilter (U19 surf race gold medalist) and Charlotte Harris.

his surfing island dream. Stephanie Brown has a cool job with Nike in London. Danielle Timbs tells us about her eventful life to date.

our surf

40 Wave Rave with Kelly Ryan: Surf stories, results and what the groms are up to. All BeachLife pages can be viewed online at

A handy man in the garden! • Lawn Mowing • Edge Trimming • Hedge & Tree Care

Peter Stewart

• Gardening & Landscaping

consultation, design and installation of audio/visual systems A Wainui Beach Business

Historical photographs and assistance courtesy Tairāwhiti Museum

p 06 867 6929 m 027 278 9516

James Lovelock Mobile 021 73 66 22 Home 06 863 2833

lawn&gardenservices BeachLife | 3

Onsite Waste Water Sy s t e m s : Yo u r G u i d e To O b t a i n i n g C o nsent

How to find the best system to deal with wastewater at your place Have your site assessed by a Gisborne District Council approved onsite wastewater site assessor. An assessor will do a soil test to identify how able your soil is to soak up wastewater. They will assess other site restrictions such as area available, slope, contour, height of water tables and distances to streams and the beach. When do I need building consent? If a new wastewater system is needed at your place you will need consent. A building consent is also required if your existing system is inadequate and parts of the system need to be replaced or upgraded.

What information is needed to apply for building consent? Once your site has been investigated, the assessor will provide you with a comprehensive site assessment report that identifies the treatment and disposal options best suited to your place. This will include system design, including drainage plans and specifications. Once you accept a proposed design you can apply for your building consent.

What happens next? If the proposed design meets the requirements of the Building Act 2004, Council Guidelines and the rules in the Regional Plan, then the building consent process is routine.

Sensitive or difficult sites? In some circumstances additional environmental protection may be required and application for resource consent for discharge to land is required. Alternative designs such as composting toilets, fully contained systems, high volume storage, high volume discharge, and systems within coastal hazard zones are considered under this process. A discharge consent is required before the system can be used.

Need more information? Contact Customer Services at the Gisborne District Council for a list of approved Site Assessors or for more information.


FAX 867 8075

• An example of a failed system.



Eureka, we’ve found it! A cost effective, environmentally-safe alternative to a septic tank


rian Hutchings of Tokomaru Bay, became involved with BioLoo composting toilets after deciding to buy a composting system – instead of spending $15,000 on a conventional septic tank set up – back in 1998. He became so impressed with the composting toilet’s efficiency – and the side benefits which included saving precious tank water – he has now installed two more BioLoo systems at his backpacker business, a couple of others around Tokomaru Bay and has become the East Coast agent for the BioLoo company. He is very keen for Wainui and Makorori people, who may be facing up to replacing failing septic tank systems, to consider the composting toilet alternative. In partnership with Tokomaru Bay handman builder, Wayne Rickard, they offer a supply and install service. “Since 1998 I have been constantly finding myself explaining, or rather “selling” the concept of the composting toilet to my many backpacker guests, all who become fascinated with the idea and impressed how well they work. So I decided to contact the manufacturers with the idea of promoting them here on the East Coast where there is a real need for an alternative to the costly septic tank set up,” says Brian.

They don’t smell, no chemicals are needed, they are easy to clean and don’t rely on power.” “The added bonuses are many. They don’t need to be “flushed”, so you don’t use up precious tank water, the relatively small amount of accumulating compost only needs to be shovelled out annually and can be used on your garden. There is no smell, no chemicals are needed, they are easy to clean and don’t rely on power.” The concept of composting human waste has been around for many years and used by many cultures. It is environmentally friendly and cost effective, and is being accepted more and more in this country by councils and other authorities. They work particularly well where site constraints, bylaws, cost and conscience do not allow alternatives. Fitting a composting toilet to an existing house which has been designed for a septic tank disposal system is not an insurmountable challenge and Brian and Wayne are happy to visit and consult on site. The toilets are also ideal for orchards and farms where a stand alone “outhouse” toilet is needed away from the main plumbing. BioLoo design composting toilet and grey water systems to be as “site flexible” as possible and offer many alternative ways of installation. Brian says most people “can’t get their heads around” the fact that there is no smell. Aerobic bacteria doesn’t produce foul odours and the toilets’ positive ventilation systems ensures your bathroom is more pleasant than a conventional flush toilet environment. Optionally, wood shavings can be added to the compost regularly and the addition of tiger worms makes the whole composting process even more efficient, if you can be bothered. The systems exceed New Zealand standards. They come in both commercial and domestic sizes and are available using either a non-flush dry pedestal or a more conventional low-flush ceramic pedestal. Call Tokomaru Bay 06 864 5870 for more information.

Forget about drainfields, tank cleaning, sludge dumping ...

There IS another solution to domestic waste disposal • Composting toilet systems • Grey water systems • Cost effective, environmentally friendly • Domestic & commercial options • No water flushing (optional low-flush if required) • Meet all New Zealand building standards



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BeachLife | 5

intro I

thought I had bitten off a bit more than I could chew this issue! Here’s a great idea – write the complete history of Wainui Beach. Yeah right. Straight away I was in deep, right up to my neck – and had to keep swimming. Even though I have lived at Wainui for 30 years, I was aware that I knew relatively little about the history of the place. I knew a bit about the Lysnar family legacy at Okitu, largely because they left a lot of themselves around in the form of street names and the name of our popular foreshore reserve. But I didn’t know anything of the Maori history or much about the Coopers, who had arrived here much earlier than the Lysnars, and other families who settled at the beach before the turn of the 19th century. Then there were all those years from the 1900s, through two world war, to the 1980s when more and more people became attracted to a life at the beach. I wish I had started the research for the history of Wainui back in the early 1980s when so many original early residents were still alive. The seed for this story was planted back in 1980 when I visited Wathan and Mary Lysnar at their home on the corner of Douglas and Lysnar Streets. Mr Lysnar, who was Winifred Lysnar’s first cousin, at one time a Gisborne accountant and later an accountancy teacher at Gisborne Boys’ High, pulled out a sepia coloured map and spread it out on this kitchen table to reveal the 1921 plans for the “Town of Okitu”. Sixty years earlier his uncle, W. Douglas Lysnar, had subdivided the beachfront land at Okitu and the Hamantua Stream valley to create a prospective new town of some 200 residential and lifestyle sections. Mr Lysnar pointed out the land set aside for the post office, the police station and the school. I was intrigued and meant to return to ask more questions, but never got around to it. The Lysnar’s grew older, left the beach and are now no longer alive. Gone too are my neighbours at the time, Ron and Jean Cooper in Williamson Street and Honey and Bill Haxton who built some of the earliest homes in the area. No longer living are many who would have had rich memories of the beach during those years through the two world wars and on into the ‘60s and ‘70s. But researching history is like mining for gold. Every now and then you strike a rich vein. Fred Phelps, now 73, was an insight into the life and times of Oneroa and Murphy Roads, his grandfather coming to live at the beach in 1897. Don Graham, now 82, remembered his parent’s first bach, actually just a shed, along Wairere Road in 1938. I spoke to Bill Lane, now 96 and living in Australia, about the glory days of the Chalet Rendezvous. Win Ellis came to live at Wainui in 1949 and has many good memories of his time here before he took himself and dear Ruth into town. And particularly Ingrid Searancke, now 83, with her amazing knowledge of Maori history and a clear recall of her childhood at Wainui. I spent a good number of hours spooling through rolls of microfilm at the Gisborne Library searching ancient issues of the Gisborne Times and Poverty Bay Herald, triumphant when finding actual articles written about hitherto obscure moments in Wainui’s history. I am also indebted to surveyors Grant and Cooke for searching historic survey archives which revealed when properties changed hands over a hundred years ago. A Place By The Sea: The Settlement of Wainui Beach begins on page 22. 6 | BeachLife

Publisher’s Comments | by Gray Clapham


ooking back to the last issue and our History of Surfing at Wainui feature article, it was coincidently very timely considering there is a “50 Years of Surfing Reunion” planned for Easter in Gisborne. Quite a few people are putting in a big effort to ensure this once in a lifetime event is a great success. I understand tickets are selling fast with many interesting old characters coming. The key photograph in the surfing history story was the one of five young guys posing before heading out to surf Makorori Point. They were John Logan, Peter Goodwin, Darryl Heighway, David Swann and Kevin Pritchard. The team is credited with first surfing the waves at Makorori Point around 1961. BeachLife recently reunited the group for the first time since the ‘60s, on the ocassion of David Swann’s 70th birthday, and re-posed the photo that has become iconic with the history of surfing in Gisborne. All the guys will be at the reunion.

Back in 1961

2009 — 48 years later


o, welcome to issue three of BeachLife. I really could do with some feedback or assistance from locals with story ideas, news tips and supplied photographs of events – 21sts, weddings, births, anniversaries, comings and goings – all milestones that deserve to be covered. One day, in years to come, we will look back on these issues as we do the old Gisborne Photo News. It’s amazing how quickly today’s everyday events become tomorrow’s fascinating history. Photographs are easy these days. Just email digital JPEGs to

Wainui Whales Grave sculpture memorial harpooned at Opunake


n elaborate sculpture known as “Tutunui’s Garden” is no longer heading Wainui’s way where it would have been set up as an artistic memorial to the 59 sperm whales stranded here in 1972. Plans by the Gisborne District Council to reinstall the whale bone sculpture at the Whales Grave site were beached in January when the South Taranaki District Council nabbed the work for Opunake. Plans were well under way to move the complex sculpture across the island to Wainui Beach. Though it would cost a fair amount of money to install the piece – a 7 metre whale rib arch made of steel, foam and fibreglass bolted to a steel frame on a buried concrete base – the work itself would have been gifted to the region by the artist. Designer Kim Jarrett originally conceived the elaborate sculpture-piece for the 2006 New Plymouth Rhododendron Festival. However, it was never designed to be a permanent installation and last year the New Plymouth District Council made a decision to dismantle it and put it into storage where it has been gathering dust for some time. With the lease on the storage facility near to expiring the NPDC asked artist Jarrett to make arrangements to take the piece back. With connections in Gisborne, Jarrett then offered the piece to the Gisborne District Council. Gisborne council staff indicated their keenness to take ownership of the piece, had done some preliminary planning and were waiting for confirmation before arranging to take ownership and organise transportation. However once word got out that Tutunui’s Garden might be heading our way the South Taranaki District Council got motivated and whipped up some funding to have the piece kept in Taranaki by relocating it to Opunake. Taranaki Arts Festival Trust chief executive, Suzanne Porter, said it would have suited any coastal site in New Zealand but they definitely wanted it to stay in the Taranaki region because it had been originally funded by the TSB Community Trust, which has now agreed to pay for the relocation to Opunake. STDC community services development manager, Jan Martin, says when they became aware that Taranaki might lose the artwork to Gisborne they expressed an immediate interest. However the artist, Jarrett, is not happy. He was reported as saying he was “so embarrassed” that he had offered his sculpture to Gisborne, had gone some way in arranging its transfer here and then to hear on National Radio that it was now going to Opunake. The decision by NPDC to give the piece to STDC was arranged without his consultation. He says he is disillusioned with how he has been treated, considering the sculpture is his intellectual property. Gisborne mayor Meng Foon says: “Gisborne District Council was very happy to get the offer of the Tutunui’s Garden sculpture from the artist Kim Jarrett. It would have been a fitting tribute to the whales who died at Okitu in 1972. I am very sorry Gisborne is not getting the sculpture after I said we would take it and council had investigated transportation and a suitable location for installation.” So what is happening at the Whales Grave site in the wake of this disappointment? GDC manager engineering and works Peter Higgs says: “Work on the Lysnar Reserve, as detailed in the management plan, could begin within A wide and tasteful array of New Zealand a couple of months. themed gifts and local souvenir items Gisborne District Council is presently obtaining prices for the work and the outcome of this will determine the extent of work completed this 15 Gladstone Road • The Bridge End year.” Phone 867 4900

New Zealand Inspired Gifts & Artwork


New home on old service station site


t’s the end of an era with the sale of the Amor Bendall Winery building in Moana Road recently. The site which has been a commercial enterprise of some kind since 1953 will soon be turned into a spacious family home. Karl and Kay Geiseler, who own an acreage up on Winifred Street, have bought the highway fronted, former petrol station, site and building from Noel and Alison Amor Bendall. Amor Bendall is shifting its winery operation to leased buildings next to the Soho Bar by the inner harbour in Gisborne. The Geiseler’s see the building as a lifestyle change and “the next best thing to beachfront” with their three young boys Kamen (15), Kurt (13) and Kelly (10) wanting to spend as much time at the beach surfing as possible. Keep an eye on the development as it should be interesting with Chris Shaw of Pacific Modern Architecture working with the Geiselers to evolve the 430 square metre building into a unique family beach house, including a planned indoor swimming pool. The family plans to live in the shell of the building for a month or so to get the feel of the site before making any big design decisions.

Fanthams leaving for Australia


oana Road folk, Peter and Alisa Fantham and their daughter Amelia have sold up and will soon be heading for a new life in Australia. Peter, senior soil conservator at the Gisborne District Council has lived at Wainui for around 35 years, first at 58 Moana and then moving down to number 50 in 2001. People may remember this as Brett and Lesley Papworth’s former home. The Fantham family is moving to Sydney’s Northern beach area near Mona Vale and are due to fly out on April 2. Their home has been bought by Sandy and Fran Britten who are moving along the beach from 29 Moana Road. Sandy is a professional real estate photographer who decided to buy the house after photographing it.

BeachLife | 7

Rees creates new look logo for the City of Gisborne


refreshed city brand, the work of Wainui graphic designer Rees Morley, has been adopted by the Gisborne District Council as its new logo. GDC last year decided that the old city logo, known as “the sun and the squiggle”, which had been in use for thirteen years and – although it was widely recognised as the city brand – had become dated and was being used inconsistently. A survey of 600 Gisborne people last year identified strong support for the existing sun logo subject to three provisos – that it be made more contemporary, that the colours be changed and that cultural elements be included. Local design agencies were asked to submit proposals and quotes with the successful redesign concept chosen for further development being that of Rees Morley. Rees, from his Urban-i studio in Sandy Cove, then worked with council staff to finalise the design which was recently adopted by council. “The inclusion of the cultural water symbol was a sketched drawing I developed with Nick Tupara from the GDC. Together we developed the concept of this symbol being the East Cape geography, the water ways and bays, the various community groups and the relationships formed and nurtured throughout this region. “I was determined give the Council something not too far removed from the original integrity of the existing sun and water brand. These two powerful, natural elements represent this region perfectly and are easily recognisable in the original and now this refreshed brand.”

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Wetland style upgrade planned for “Schools” beach access


earby residents have been mostly supportive of a GDC proposal to redevelop the Schools Beach Access to improve its function as a stormwater outlet and to improve its visual aesthetics. Council called for submissions to the proposal and of the five received most welcomed the concept of improvements to the popular public access track to the beach from Wairere Road and the plans to improve stormwater drainage. GDC says the overall objective is to improve the management and function of the stormwater outlet. It is also its goal to improve visual aesthetics as well as the functionality and usability of the area as a recreational reserve. The protection and sustainability of the beach foreshore is also a key objective. Works include the construction of two ‘wetland’ areas to detain and control stormwater runoff, the installation of new culverts, a new carpark adjacent to Wairere Road and a new walkway for beach access. Several consents are required. GDC stormwater engineer, Joss Ruifrok, says ongoing scouring of the existing car parking area and persistent erosion of the foredune had prompted the upgrade. The design objective was to develop a low impact, natural approach towards stormwater management. The design centres around constructing two shallow, grassed, temporary storage areas that are designed to contain and buffer stormwater peak flows, reducing volumes discharging to the beach and improving water quality. The two ponds will be temporary storage areas for containing stormwater during wet weather events. For the majority of the time the ponds should be free of stormwater and serve as usable recreational areas. During extreme events the ponds will be close to full, or overflowing. When the ponds are full the overflow will be wide, shallow and sheet-like causing minimal erosion effects. A car-parking area is also proposed to be constructed adjacent to Wairere Road to cater for up to ten vehicles. The car-park will be recessed down about one metre below road level so that parked vehicles do not block the sea views from either Wairere Road or nearby homes. Cars will no longer be able to drive down to the beachfront as they do at present. Instead a 1.5 metre wide limestone chip walking track will be developed on the northern side of the ponds ending with steps to the beach and a timber and chain boardwalk leading on to the sand. The submissions while mostly supportive believe the project is a result of new stormwater run off from the Sandy Cove subdivision and would like the development of Council policy and protocols to ensure developers pay for their impacts on the environment in the future. Other suggestions concern pushchair and wheelchair access to the beach, the consideration of alternatives to the limestone chip paving while most are supportive of preventing vehicle access to the beach. If submission issues are resolved, consents are achieved and Council approval is given work could start before this winter, possibly April or May.

what’s up

Cycle track idea continues its slow, uphill pedal

Residents determined to form some sort of association

hen will we see work start on the proposed cycle way from Gisborne to Wainui? It’s been a long, slow saga with the sad thing being that many people who pushed for the idea 20 years ago are now too old to bike to town if they wanted too! In 1984, the very first BeachLife magazine front-covered news of a cycle track “from town to the beach” as if it was going to happen that year. That was 15 years ago. Many of our once flash 10-speeds and mountain bikes have rusted into oblivion since then! Just recently we heard that a cycle track design proposal had been delivered to the New Zealand Transport Agency by the Opus consultants and there was nothing, apart from funding priorities, in the way of stopping the cycle track from actually happening. Full of enthusiasm BeachLife approached the New Zealand Transport Agency head office and received the following statement from Jenny Chetwynd, NZTA Regional Director, Central Region: “In respect to a cycleway from Gisborne to Wainui, the New Zealand Transport Agency are currently exploring a range of options and expect to finalise a preferred alignment in the next few months. “Once a preferred alignment has been selected the NZTA will consult with the community and all affected parties to gather feedback. The next step will be to seek design and construction funding approval to build the cycleway. “We’re pleased with these recent developments and we look forward to working with the community and the Gisborne District Council as we continue to progress this project.” No need to oil the old chain for a while yet we guess.

meeting of residents at the Cleary Road Hall recently reaffirmed the need for some sort of residents association to champion the causes of the Wainui community. The meeting briefly talked about the “slap in the face” it received from the Gisborne District Council when the concept of a community liaison group was rejected last year after months of careful deliberation. “There we were, all happy and holding hands, and at the last minute they dropped us dead,” said meeting chairman Dein Ferris. “But despite the Council’s dismissal of the idea we are now at the stage where we really do need to form a structured, more formal group to represent the community, to take a consensus of community opinion to the Council over issues that affect us.” The meeting discussed several current issues facing the community including the emergency stormwater drainage channel from the Sponge Bay Estate into the Wainui Stream, the stormwater drain from Oneroa Road back along SH35 along the Dalton’s boundary and the prospect of more stormwater from possible development of the land behind Ocean Beach Motor Lodge. The meeting agreed that “keeping an eye” on stormwater drainage within the community was just one issue which made a “residents’ association” imperative. Certain people at the meeting volunteered to research and report back on the structure of other urban or community groups like Manu Kaiti and the Piha Residents’ Association. Wainui residents do have a dedicated



Redefining the art of coastal living

website concerned about political and other issues that affect all people who live in the community. The website was created originally to spread the news about the fight to stop reticulation and is now a general community noticeboard. The website is currently being edited by Gary Stevenson of Wairere Road. This is the best place to get up to speed with issues affecting the community and to find out about proposed community meetings. There are links on the website for residents to make comments on issues. The website is at

Maggie’s winning with new shoe repair business


ainui Road local Margaret Mayfield stepped into some big shoes recently. Operating as Maggie Mayz Shoe Repairs, she has taken over the business of Andrew Winning, the well-known shoe repairer who had a kiosk in Gladstone Road. Margaret, partner of Roger Willson, who lives along the Sponge Bay straight, has bought most of Andrew’s sewing machines and tools, some which came originally from the Gisborne Shoe Repair Company which was run by Ted Otway in Bright Street from the 1950s. In this throwaway age it’s good to know there is still an old fashioned shoe repair business in the town. Maggie Mayz is at 433a Gladstone Road, near the Roebuck Road roundabout. Phone 027 688 9475.

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BeachLife | 9


MANY MELTING MOMENTS: One of the most popular girls at the beach this summer was Emma Shields who worked long and hard all season at the Okitu Store rolling literally thousands of cooling ice cream cones. Is all that ice cream good for you? You can ask Emma, daughter of Malcolm and Lyn Shields of Williamson Street, who is now back at Otago University where she is in her second year studying for a degree in Human Nutrition with the aim of becoming a dietician. Incidentally, from a historic point of view, Emma is a fifth generation local. Her great-great grandfather was pioneering Wainui Beach farmer, William Cooper, who arrived here in 1874. See our Wainui Beach history feature on page 22.

Now that was a long, hot, dry summer!


t was definitely one of Gisborne’s long, hot summers and here at the beach we revelled in it. It was all about ice creams, swimming, surfing, barbecues and long evenings with friends on the deck. We had heat waves, droughts, high humidity, water tankers, beaches full of holiday makers, all those young people here for Rhythm and Vines, surfing contests and starlit summer nights. The mean maximum temperature for Gisborne from December to end of February is usually 24 degrees, but this year that average was up one degree to 25. The hottest day officially was February 1, where we (officially) recorded 35 degrees at the hottest part of the day. Total sunshine hours for the same period totalled 718, up from the average of 679. On the other side of the coin we had 179mm of rain for the three summer months, down on the 194mm average. Water carriers Judd Water Supplies delivered 213 loads of water from December through to the end of February, at one period delivering as many as 13 loads a day. That translates to 3,301,500 litres carted out here. And that’s just the one company. At the Okitu Store this summer they rolled out something like 7000 ice cream cones, with most of them during the Christmas through to end of January period. This season volunteer lifeguards at Wainui provided the community with 877 hours of volunteer patrols, made four rescues, attended five serious first aids and took part in two searches. Volunteer Lifeguard patrols will finish on the 30th of March. Our surf reporter Kelly Ryan says the water temperature was 10 | BeachLife

the warmest in his memory this summer with fishermen recording offshore temperatures of up to 23 degrees C. “Wave wise, it was up and down, with some real quality when all the top surfers were away at the Nationals at Piha in January. We had an intense looking low-pressure system drop out of the southwest Pacific, intensify and then very slowly track off to the east. It produced a solid E-NE swell for about a week providing some truly epic surfs had by many both up and down the coast,” Kelly says. Down at 58 Murphy Road, Frank Russell, of Surfing With Frank surf coaching, enjoyed a record year. The consistent good weather saw as many as 25 would-be surfers taking lessons each day from Christmas through to the end of January. Over the hill Dive Tatapouri reported international visitor numbers down in number compared to previous years with New Zealand visitors pretty much static. Cliff Blumfield of Wainui Dive was swamped with enquiries for the SolRX sunscreen he imports, which was featured and advertised in the last issue of BeachLife. Stocks soon ran low and Cliff had to send for a new consignment from the US-based manufacturers of the product which most people have reported to be “an excellent, long lasting sunscreen”. At the Wainui Motel, manager Linda Lewin says they had the “No Vacancy” sign out most of January, full most nights with bookings and people just turning up during the day. “The people travelling were a great mix of Kiwis, a lot from the UK escaping from the snow storms, and a lot of Germans. Generally the

people from overseas just can’t believe how amazing this place is. They intend on staying just one night but a lot end up staying two, three, four nights and more. They can’t believe they can be the only people walking on this big beach, something we all probably take for granted.”


n the property scene local real estate agents provide mixed reports. Walker Realty sold four properties between December and the end of February. Neil Walker says for those who are willing to meet the market, there are buyers wanting to purchase beach property. He says it’s a good time to buy at the beach. “It’s been great to have had a summer like we have just experienced. While it has been incredibly hot in the city, I love driving home from town and watching the temperature fall as I turn the corner and hit the sea breeze. On some occasions I’ve seen a temperature drop of up to six degrees. Of course, in winter, it will be warmer than town. Why would you want to live anywhere else,” says Neil. Christine Gunness of Ray White says the property market was quiet over the Xmas-New Year period with most of the visitors being here for R&V: “It was a great time for real estate agents to have a break and enjoy the benefits of Gisborne. February was extremely busy with enquiry, especially with potential buyers hoping to take advantage of the drop in prices. We have been presenting lots of offers on properties but most vendors still want a reasonable price for their property and don’t want to give it away. “We have had a surge of enquiry for beachfront property and lots of viewings. There is still a lot of interest in Wainui properties but people are reluctant to offer top dollar as there is such uncertainty about the market. “However Wainui is a market that can lift very quickly. It takes just one high sale for the rest to follow. Many of the potential purchasers, and we have quite a few, that are waiting to buy beachfront at a steal may find that they will miss out. We sold two Wainui properties in February, 6 Oneroa Road and a Sandy Cove Section. We are getting overseas enquiry over the Internet, and quite a few people keen to invest in beachfront from Auckland and Hawkes Bay,” says Christine.

Bronwyn of Bronwyn Kay Real Estate reports her quietest summer as far as sales at Wainui go with plenty of enquiry but few results due to vendors not wishing to meet the current market conditions. “It would appear that the only sales happening were those that were perhaps on a need-to-sell basis,” she says. The agency carried out a successful auction of the magnificent Wheatstone Road property featured in the last issue of BeachLife. “With interest in the beachfront still being strong, prospective purchasers were disappointed perhaps by the quality of homes available. Buyers assumed a million dollar-plus property would offer the finer things in life, besides the wonderful views. However, any offers made were rejected by the vendors. “As we know, Wainui market values can and do stall from time to time, but when all the signals are green they can explode! I believe those people visiting our fair city and world-class beach envy our lifestyle, and many are anticipating a return to purchase property when real estate markets are once again buoyant. Now is certainly the time to buy into the market as I don’t believe we will see opportunities like this again in our life time.” Houses that did sell this summer include 15A Douglas Street for $382,000; 50 Moana Road on day of auction for $600,000; 56A Moana Road at auction for $612,000; 21 Lloyd George Road; 6 Oneroa Road; a Sandy Cove section; 16 Wairere Road at auction for $555,000, 9 Douglas Street for $455,000, 9 Cleary Road and 103b Wheastone Road. As we go to press the first really cold southerly of winter has arrived with a big south well charging into the bay. The heat pump has been switched from air-con to heat. But let’s hope it’s just a short-lived cold snap and this magnificent summer will drag us through to Easter.




WENDY SHUTT 55 Lloyd George Road Wainui Beach

Phone 863 1087

SHOE REPAIRS Formerly Winnings Shoe Repairs • Give your favourite shoes a total makeover! • Shoes too tight? Have them stretched. FLOWER GIRLS: Budding florists Eden Lewin, India McCulloch, Leucadia Shaw and Arnica Lewin sold kerbside corsages this summer. The Lewin girls are daughters of Tony (who grew up at Wainui) and Linda Lewin, who manages the Wainui Motel.

Gladstone Road (Near Roebuck Road Roundabout) Margaret Mayfield Phone 867 1056 | Mobile 027 6880475 BeachLife | 11

beach life

Lysnar Street Christmas gathering

Lysnar Street area residents traditionally have a festive street party each December to celebrate the Christmas season.

Anna Harris’s father Arthur Meier from Switzerland with his Wainui born grandchildren Romy and Toby Harris at the Lysnar Street Christmas Party.

Lysnar Street children Tadhg Grealish, Eva Klavs and Abby Aldridge have their own kind of Christmas party fun. Sharon and Denis McLean with recent arrivals in Lysnar Street, Lesley and Keith Daniels.

John Harris with Kevin and Kelly Ferris and Mike Aldridge. 12 | BeachLife

Friends chip in to give Dave electric wheels


ave “Cloe” McCullough still can’t get his head around how great his friends are. “I’ve got the best friends and family anyone could ask for,” he says. Dave has had a hard road to ride since he was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS) in 1996, so when his friends chipped in recently and presented him with a $2500 high-tech electric bicycle it certainly opened up his horizons. In fact he has a range of 80 kilometres on one battery charge and can travel up to 30 kilometres an hour, according to the manual, but he says he has been clocked at 42kmh, wind assisted. Dave had come to terms with the limitations of having MS, but then received another setback in 2002 when he had an attack from a form of viral meningitis. This had nothing to do with MS and in many ways was more of a curse. He no longer has the virus but the attack scarred parts of his brain, leaving him prone to having seizures which meant he wasn’t medically allowed to drive. Walking, or relying on friends for a ride, has been his only way of getting around for the last six years. One morning last year he watched the Good Morning Show which featured a story about a Whakatane-based company, Electric Bikes NZ Ltd, who had developed a really cool electric bike, and thought “that’s what I need”. At the same time good friend Michelle Nyholt watched the same programme at her home in Pare Street. Quick-thinking Michelle thought, “that’s just the thing for Dave” and made some enquiries to the manufacturers and soon had a secret scheme in motion to buy Dave one. The word went out to all Dave’s friends who chipped in the necessary money and they were soon able to order a Wisper 950se, the top of the range model. However, keeping it a surprise was the key issue until they lured Dave to the Tsunami Bar one night and presented him with the concept. The bike was not quite ready so they gave him a brochure and made a big banner which everyone signed. When the bike arrived on January 13 everyone gathered again for the handing over ceremony where Dave got his first ride on the bike which has literally “changed his life” and he’s hardly stopped smiling since. “It’s unbelievable. I can now go places without relying on others and its just a buzz to ride. I can even go to Makorori and check the surf from the lookout like I used to.” His metallic black bike has hydraulic front suspension and operates on battery power, pedal power or a combination of both. Each night he just plugs in the battery like you would a cellphone. No license, insurance or registration are required. Dave is the son of Jan and Keith McCullough, formerly of Makorori Beach. Their boat building company, Condor Craft, was well known in Gisborne with Keith making some of the very first fibreglass

Wayne’s Waste PHONE 867 3606 MOBILE 027 434 0924

ELECTRIC PEDAL POWER: Dave McCullough had his horizons stretched when friends got together to buy him a high-tech electric bicycle. surfboards in New Zealand. They now live at Snells beach. Dave says that although the MS has been a real trial, it is not a death sentence. Despite constant fatigue and joint pain he gets on with life as best he can, but there is always the chance of having a seizure, especially at night, as a result of the meningitis. However Dave generally keeps smiling: “I just have to accept how things are.” Before MS Dave was a boat builder by trade, a deep sea fisherman and a painter.

Septic Tank Cleaning Services Septic Tank Cleaning & Bin Hire Owner driver: Wayne Baty For all enquiries about the maintenance of your septic tank system. WasteTRACK compliant operator.

BeachLife | 13

beach life

Jenny Allen of Sirrah Street had all her girls on hand to help celebrate her 50th birthday in January. Amy, Jade and grand daughter Natalia were amongst the happy group of family and friends who gathered for a great party.

Jay Quinn may have lost his grasp on the New Zealand Open Surfing title in January but he is definitely holding on to his Australian girlfriend, Amanda Barry. Home for Christmas Jay announced their engagement. Jay is based at Kirra on the Gold Coast of Australia. Family and friends are travelling to the Gold Coast for an official engagement party at the end of this month.

Emma Knox, who grew up in Douglas Street, married Steve Greaves on January 17 at Holy Trinity. Photographed on Wainui Beach (from left) Jared Rofe, Emma Knox, Niki Boyle, Tash Law (obscured), Steve Greaves, Craig Twistleton and Ila Robertson. Emma is assistant principal and classroom teacher at Awapuni School. Steve is a Gisborne plumber and drainlayer. They honeymooned in the Cook Islands and are to live in Gisborne.

• Flight bookings • Package holidays and accommodation • Cruises & tours •

Surfing holidays

• Adventure & sightseeing • Rental Cars & Travel Insurance

37 Bright Street, Gisborne, Phone 868 2700 14 | BeachLife

See Brett Papworth for travel advice.

Georgina Hefford (Talking Heads) married Jimmy Lovelock (Lawn and Garden Services) on March 7 at Opou with the reception at PBC. The couple have a home in Murdoch Road.

Chris Emerre, son of Wayne and Jacque Emerre of Wairere Road, married Beth Tyler from Surrey, England on March 7 at Hahei Beach on the Coromandel. The couple met in Wellington. Chris, who is Caroline Ryan’s twin brother, works in the film and television industry. The couple plan to return to live in Wellington after a trip back to England to finish off a house renovation project.

Wainui Beach’s reliable water supply DRIVER/OPERATIONS MANAGER: As a Wainui Beach homeowner, Greg Judd of Judd Water Supplies knows the importance of a reliable, clean source of household water for those times when the tanks run dry.

Call the big green truck! 15500 litres of quality city water per load.


Phone 867 6028 Greg Judd Mobile 027 230 2464

BeachLife | 15

beachlife Beach says farewell to Luke and Irene


opular Okitu couple Luke Porter and Irene Pender are travelling back to Northern Ireland to spend a couple of years with Irene’s family after living in New Zealand, mostly Wainui Beach, for the last 20 years. Luke, a New Zealand representative and champion kneeboarder, met Irene at the Surfer’s Bar in Rossnowlagh where she was playing in the band at the prize-giving party after a New Zealand versus Ireland surf contest in 1986. It was a classic case of “surfer boy meets the girl in the band” and they’ve been together ever since. After a few years living in England and travelling around Europe Luke brought Irene back to New Zealand where they lived at Kaiti Beach for a couple of years and then first lived in a shed they built on a section they bought at 5 Douglas Street in 1992, slowly building their own home. Irene very soon became a popular person about Gisborne sharing her considerable musical talents and entertaining a generation of locals at bar and concert events. Those with long memories may remember “Pol Pot Girl”, “Loopland”, “The Shams” and more lately “Sonny Jim”. Irene, a bit of a punk rocker and new waver at heart, was not really into traditional Irish music until she came to Gisborne. One St. Patrick’s day she played an Irish music gig for fun and – with that amazing Irish accent – was enticed into the local Irish music scene. For many years she has held regular trad-Irish jams with the local “Madra Dubh” group. Luke has shared the musical journey, learning to play the guitar after meeting Irene in Ireland, and for years has been the bassist in most of the groups Irene fronted. Luke has been the New Zealand champion kneeboard surfer in 1991, 1993 and 2008 and has taught at Ilminster Intermediate for the past 15 years. Irene has a BA in teaching. They have two boys Finn (8) and Shea (6). The trip home to Ireland is all about family, says Irene. After nearly 20 years in New Zealand (with several visits home) she says she “feels the call”. Originally from Ballyshannon in County Donegal Irene has a mum and a sister she’s very close to in Derry, and a brother and many uncles, aunties, cousins and old friends across Northern Ireland. So Derry will be home for two years, they’ll rent a place and the boys will go to school and where they hope to do a fair bit of travelling across to Europe as well. “It’s all about family and friends and the desire to see a bit more of the world while we can.”

16 | BeachLife

Irene waves goodbye as the family heads off for a two year break from Wainui.

Wainui strikes gold at Nationals

THE GOLDEN GIRLS: The Wainui women’s four of Carolyn Hibbert, Jane Goodman, Moria Lee and Chrissy Robertson won gold medals in the Open Women’s short and long course canoe races at the New Zealand lifesaving nationals.

SIBLINGS CELEBRATE SUCCESS: Daniel and Maya Harris were on hand to congratulate little brother Toby after his win in the National Surf Life Saving U16 Beach Sprint championship which he added to his U16 Beach Flags championship from earlier in the day.

ON PATROL: One of this summer’s Wainui Surf Club volunteer weekend patrols. From left – Diego Pedrioli, Trudy Fantham, Kiel Hovell, Oliver Puddick, Ben Tinnelly, Justin Martin and Scott Grimson. The quad bike is a Can-Am twin seat Outlander complete with radio and resuscitation equipment which was acquired this season with funding from the E&C Community Trust.

beach life

Golden summer for Wainui Beach lifeguards


ainui lifeguards topped off a long hot summer with six gold medals at the New Zealand Surf Life Saving National Championships in Gisborne this month. Toby Harris of Williamson Street took double gold by winning the Under 16 beach sprint and Under 16 flags race. Laura Quilter won gold in the Under 19 surf race. The women’s four of Carolyn Hibbert, Jane Goodman, Moria Lee and Chrissy Robertson won gold medals in the Open Women’s short and long course canoe races. And the junior women’s crew of Lucy Suttor, Sophie Peters, Jamie Phelps and Elaine Van Den Worm won gold in the Under 19 short course race. On the patrol scene this summer professional surf lifeguards were based at the Wainui Surf Lifesaving Club from Monday to Friday from the end of December until the end of January. Volunteer patrols watched the beach during the weekends. Every surf lifesaving club in New Zealand undergoes a monthly patrol inspection and Wainui was consistently the top patrolling club in our region this year. “This can be attributed to the importance our club puts on having a quality patrol every weekend and the high percentage of adults who are involved with the club as volunteer lifeguards,” says club manager, Mike King. This season volunteer lifeguards at Wainui have provided the community with 877 hours of volunteer patrols, have made four rescues, attended five serious first aids and taken part in two searches. Volunteer Lifeguard patrols will finish on the March 30. Currently the club is rebuilding a new first aid room downstairs so it can provide a nicer environment to provide first aid with more quality supplies and improved equipment. A second development is to produce a new ski rack area to provide better storage for surf equipment. It is envisaged these developments to be complete

before the start of next season. Prior to the Nationals the club had a strong competitive season with several Wainui members picked to represent Gisborne at the Lion Foundation Surf League at Mount Maunganui. The Gisborne Surf Lifesaving Championships were held at Midway beach over three days in January and this year Wainui members won several open and junior titles and 90 percent of the IRB rescue boat events. The National IRB Championships held in Taranaki on the last weekend of March will be strongly attended by Wainui crews. Several crews are hoping to gain medals including Justin Martin, Mike King, Stuart MacGregor, Steve Sutherland and Yannis Kokkosis. In February, the Surf Lifesaving Gisborne Junior surf Championships was held at Midway beach where Wainui finished third overall. Large number of competitors braved large surf and cold conditions where individual age group winners from our club included Sunny Brown (13 Under Boys), Georgia Harris (12 Under Girls), Jasmine Smith (11 Under Girls) and George Zame (7 Under Boys). The juniors also competed successfully at the Ocean Athletes national championships held at Papamoa Beach in February. The annual house to house appeal was held on February 12 with the club collecting just on $2000 from the community this year, the highest amount ever received. The club would like to thank the community for its continued support. Introduction to surf lifesaving courses will be held throughout the winter months. If you are interested you can train and become a qualified surf lifeguard over the winter months and be ready to get straight into patrols and competitions at the start of next summer. If you are interested in becoming a surf lifeguard, renting the club for a function or have any questions regarding the Wainui Surf Lifesaving Club please call Mike King on 0274 223 364 or email

BeachLife | 17

beach babes

Gavin and Diane Murphy of Lloyd George Road with two-year-old Lucy and baby Caitlyn, born Saturday, May 10 last year.

Their wedding photograph graced the cover of our first issue of BeachLife and now here’s the baby pic! Phoebe and Tim Gander welcomed their 7lb 8oz boy, Sennen Beau, on Thursday, November 27. Sennen is named after the couple’s favourite surf beach in Cornwall.

We knew there was a baby thing happening at the beach, and this photograph confirms it! From left – Hayley Dalton with Jett, Jade Gunness with China, Gina Robinson with Shea, Phoebe Gander with Sennen, Rachael Williams with Kobe, Kelly Thorpe with Matai, and Jane Moore with Poppy. Photograph sent in by Phoebe Gander.

Carpet and upholster y cleaning to the highest standard

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Freephone 0800 000 668 | Mobile 0274 778 341

18 | BeachLife

20 years experience in cleaning industry 10 years in carpets & upholstery

Craig, Jes and Charlize, who live on the corner of Lysnar and Douglas Street, were happy to announce the arrival of Chase David Javier Willson on Thursday, January 8 weighing in at 7lb 12oz.

Poppy Isabella Lee arrived at the beach on Sunday, January 18, 71b 3oz of darling daughter for Jane Moore and Lee Jerome, who live at 61 Murphy Road. Lee, also known as “Pommie Lee the Window Cleaner� and Jane, a physiotherapist at the Gisborne Hospital, immigrated to New Zealand from Essex two and a half years ago. Say hi to Nelly Bee Varey, who belongs to Peter and Sarah Varey of 24 Wairere Road, who arrived on the local scene on Thursday, September 4 last year at 7lb 2oz. Peter is a school teacher at Lytton High.

Elm and Kelly Thorpe with their baby boy Matai, born on December 14 at 5lb 6oz. A grandchild for KJ and a nephew for Christie (see p.38).

Here he is, attending his first SLS Nationals, Kobe Ernest Tiger Williams, son of Rachael and Daniel, born on December 12 at 8lb 2oz. Grandchild for Trevor and Debbie Williams of Douglas Street.

BeachLife | 19

winter 2009 collections premium labels in store

day J ETS

Wainui born and bred Vanya Brown, and Manly boy Chris Mills, with their new baby Civanah Suma-Star, born March 16, 2008. The couple live at Caloundra on the Sunshine Coast. Bill and Trish Brown of Wairere Road are the proud first-time grandparents.

CARLSON starfish metalicus laurie foon kingan jones juliette hogan STANDARD ISSUE caroline church tolaga bay cashmere

83 gladstone road ~ 867 7339

Meet Adrianna Bataritta Clarke, born in Deusto, Bilbao, Vizcaya, Spain on October 9. A daughter for Amanda and Anders Bataritta Clarke and a grand daughter for Andrea and John Clarke of Wairere Road. The new family is living in Leioa, Vizcaya, Spain. Amanda teaches English and Anders is the North of Spain company representative for the Consentino Group (Silestone quartz products).

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89 Customhouse Street Gisborne WasteTRACK compliant operator

beach history

The eccentric Dutchman and the mystery of the Wainui windmills

A MYSTERY TO SOLVE: Local Dutchman George Ottway with the windmill he built overlooking Wainui Beach circa 1906. It was said to stand on the Wairere Road dunes for 20 to 30 years. But wait, there’s more! Below a second windmill that appears to be on the Moana Road beachfront, much larger but built of similar materials. Can any reader supply more detail about these two structures?


eople often speak about the “old windmill” that used to be a feature of Wainui Beach many years ago. So we obtained these photographs from the Gisborne Museum and set out to try to unravel the mystery of the windmill. Then suddenly it became obvious (at least to Owen Williams who first pointed it out) that the photographs are of two totally different windmills. The smaller windmill above is thought to have stood on the dunes overlooking Wainui Beach, half way along Wairere Road. Is that correct? It was built before the First World War (possibly as early as 1906) by an eccentric Dutchman, George Ottway, and over the years there have been many suggestions as to what he used it for. Some said he used it to grind up shells for the chickens he kept in a shed nearby and to supply the local market with “fowl grit”. One of the more bizarre interpretations was whispered that during the war he was actually a German spy and used the angles of the sails to signal coded messages to German warships off the New Zealand coast. Yeah right! Maybe the ingenious machine, made from salvaged driftwood and flattened kerosene and benzine tins, had multiple uses but the most commonly accepted explanation is that he used it to run the circular saw, that can be seen in the above picture, to cut driftwood into firewood. At the time the photograph was taken Mr Ottway was said to be 71 years old. He also kept a cockatoo and other animal pets. Later photos dated around 1926 show this mill as a ruin and no longer in use. But what of the much larger windmill (pictured left)? Looking at the hill shapes in the background it was most likely opposite the Chalet along Moana Road. Is the old bearded gentleman with the dog Mr Ottway? Did he build a second windmill? This windmill doesn’t appear to have a wood sawing attachment, so what was its use? Hopefully we can solve the mystery in our next issue.

BeachLife | 21

beach history

A place by the sea:

The settlement of Wainui Beach By GRAY CLAPHAM When we moved to live in Lysnar Street in 1979 I became aware that the beachfront reserve and most of the streets around Okitu where I lived were named after members of an early settler family who farmed most of the Okitu and Makorori beach at the turn of the century. And that for a long time was the extent of my historical knowledge of this place I have called home for the past 30 years — until I embarked on this feature on the settlement history of Wainui Beach. As I began my research I was surprised to find how much more history there is before and beyond the Lysnar era. At first it was difficult to source reliable, detailed information about this community’s early development. But by scouring Poverty Bay Herald and Gisborne TImes microfilms at the Gisborne library, searching the internet, haunting the museum, help from Grant and Cooke Surveyors and talking to descendants of the pioneers and the original inhabitants, this feature came to life. Note: I am no historian, so this does not claim to be a definitive and exact history. It is at best an interesting historical overview. 22 | BeachLife


n pre-European times Maori lived in their verdant, south seas domain unconcerned about the need to own the land by individual title. Tribal territories were defended forcefully but the ownership of parcels of land by one person or family was not a concept the early Maori subscribed to. A state-of-affairs that would create a major challenge for the land-needy settlers who arrived on these shores in the wake of Captain Cook. Here at Wainui, before the arrival of Cook, the local people lived a bountiful and industrious, albeit vigilant, life beside the food-rich ocean they called Te Moananui-a-Kiwa. They were the Ngati Rakai people. A hapu group who traced their key ancestry back to the chief Rakaiatane, who came to this area from Whareponga around 1660. Ngati Rakai(-a-tane) were part of a larger iwi, Te Aitanga-a-Hauiti, who lived as far north as Tolaga Bay. There is history of people living here before Ngati Rakai. Circa 1350AD, from the immigration canoe Horouta, Uenuku Whakarongo, a tohunga chief with a powerful connection to the spirit world, was dropped off at Wainui Beach. Here he established a “school” for the teaching and studying of supernatural powers, known as the Wharekorero House of Learning. It overlooked the beach at the base of the Maungaroa (Tuahine) hills near Tuahine Crescent, an area long since claimed by the sea.

INVESTMENT OPPORTUNITY: The billboard (above) promotes the sale of 200 sections in the residential development of the “New Township of Okitu” which went to auction at the Gisborne Opera House on December 8, 1921.

A sacred burial place of these very early Horouta people, known as the Kohurau caves, also existed on Maungaroa. Here bones of the ancestors carried on the Horouta from Hawaiiki, were hidden as sacred taonga, a connection to the ancestry from where they came from. As generations went by great chiefs like Ruapani, Kahanungu, Rakaiatane, Konohi and others were buried there. The caves no longer exist or cannot be located, believed caved in and eroded by the sea. Today the Maori cemetery Rakau A Ue is still sited by Tuahine Crescent, dissected by the road, the last remaining of many ancient urupa (cemeteries) along the Murphy Road foreshore, and the burial place of today’s descendants of the early people. From the time of the arrival of the Horouta there passed some 300 years, perhaps 10 generations, until the arrival of Rakaiatane and his followers who left Whareponga looking for a place to call there own around 1660. The Ngati Rakai grew to occupy the land from Kaiti (this side of the Waimata River) through to Whangara. They lived mainly on the fertile flats, sheltered behind the Maungaroa (Tuahine) and the Papawhariki (Sponge Bay) hills in the area we now know as Lloyd George Road and now the new Sponge Bay Estate. They had strategic pa on Titirangi (Kaiti Hill), Maungaroa, Tuamotu Island, Tatapouri and at Makorori where the hapu’s fishing fleet was based. They kept manned lookouts along the seaward hills at Okitu and Makorori. Makorori was a special place for several reasons. In summer, when the weather was favourable, double-hulled waka would sail out to Toka-ahuru (Aerial Reef) where they would spend several days, and nights at anchor, catching fish and drying them in the sun. On return to land from many days in the blistering heat, the fisherman would recuperate and take treatment for sun exposure at Makorori. It was originally known as “Makororiri”, so named for a rare aloe vera plant which grew there. Maori had discovered the sticky juice squeezed from the plant’s spongy leaves was a salve for sun burn. At “Makororiri” the fisherman would rest for a few days (at a Maori version of a sanitarium) before returning to their homes at the main village at Wainui. “Wainui” was the name for the land area containing the headland and hills of Maungaroa, the flats along Lloyd George Road as far as Sponge Bay and the beach and foreshore along Murphy Road. It was so named because of the wide view of the sea the land offered. The rest of the beach lands, overlooked by the seaward hills along Okitu to Makorori, while belonging to Ngati Rakai, was open ground and mostly uninhabited. It was in fact the buffer in a war zone, and a frequent theatre of battle between the local hapu and their archenemies, the inland people from Mangatu known as Te Aitangaa-Mahaki. A bitter war festered for over a 100 years, being finally

CLEAR STREAM: Taking refreshment from the Hamantua Stream at Okitu in 1887, the boundary between the Cooper and Lysnar properties. settled around 1800 with a marriage merger between the two rivals. Thus by the time crown titles were issued by the Native Land Court in the 1860s the land was seen to be owned by a mix of people of the Ngati Rakai hapu of Te Aitanga-A-Hauiti, and Te Whanau A Iwi, a hapu of Te Aitanga-a-Mahaki. Before the amnesty however, warriors from Te Aitanga-aMahaki would regularly attempt to usurp the coastal stronghold of the Ngati Rakai, penetrating through a backdoor route across country from Whatatutu, down the Waimata river watershed and then through the coastal foothills to Okitu by way of the Te Rimu and Hamanatua streams. Along the hilltops Ngati Rakai had permanent lookouts where sentries kept a constant watch for the enemy’s many attempted raids. The desperate inland hapu was landlocked and hungry for permanent access to the coast with its rich supplies of kaimoana. Ngati Rakai successfully rebuffed the forays of the Aitangaa-Mahaki people on many occasions over more than a hundred

BEACH BUGGY: A rare view of Wainui in the 1890s when the beach was still the main route to the East Coast .

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THE FOUNDER OF OKITU: William Douglas Lysnar 1867-1942

William Douglas Lysnar was born at Auckland in 1867, the fourth of twelve children of William Dean Lysnar, a schoolmaster, and his wife, Frances Sarah Brewer. At Omahu, Hawke’s Bay, where from 1875 to 1877 William Senior was headmaster of a Maori school. During this time Douglas began to acquire a working knowledge of the Maori language, which was later to prove useful to him. In 1879 the family settled permanently in Gisborne where William established a private school, supporting his large family with some difficulty. At the age of 12 Douglas acquired a pony and began carrying mail from Gisborne to Manutuke. In his early teens he left town to work on back-country stations around Gisborne. After returning to town and spending some years working for a barrister named Edward Ward, he joined the legal firm of Sievwright and de Lautour in 1887. He was admitted to the Bar in 1891 and by 1892 he was practising on his own account. His facility with the Maori language gave him an edge in land dealings and he soon developed a busy practice. He earned a reputation as a relentless opponent. In 1893 at Taradale he married Ida Eleanor Tiffen, the daughter of a wealthy Hawke’s Bay sheepfarmer. They were to have two children, one of whom died in infancy. With earnings from his law practice and financial help from his father-in-law, Lysnar purchased several properties within the borough of Gisborne. His purchases later extended to farms and by 1901 he was operating a dairy farm at Makorori, a few miles north of Gisborne, and a butter factory at nearby Okitu. Lysnar was elected to the Gisborne Harbour Board in 1905 and mayor of Gisborne in 1908. At his insistence, proposals were adopted in 1909 to raise a substantial loan for sewerage, electric power, street improvement and a tram system. He retired for health reasons 1911. Lysnar pursued his farming interests acquiring a large station, Arowhana, near Whatatutu. At the same time he became deeply concerned about the influence of overseas trusts and combines in the emerging freezing industry. With a group of local farmers, in June 1915 he formed the Poverty Bay Farmers’ Meat Company and became its first chairman. The company built the freezing works at Waipaoa which was commissioned in 1916. In line with their anti-trust philosophy, the directors purchased the Admiral Codrington, a vessel of 6,629 tons, and equipped her with refrigerating machinery for trade with the United Kingdom. By 1923 the company was insolvent. The National Bank of New Zealand forced the sale of the works and the Bank of Scotland took possession of the ship. As an independent for the Gisborne parliamentary seat he was elected to the Reform Government in 1919, defeating Sir James Carroll. He was said to be an erratic, obstreperous member and a passionate advocate against trusts and monopolies. Lysnar maintained great confidence in the productive capacity of New Zealand farmland, especially that of Poverty Bay whose interests he promoted at every opportunity maintaining his opposition to overseas businesses gaining interests in New Zealand freezing works. During this time he subdivided some of his seaside land which began the early residential settlement of Okitu. He was defeated by the Labour candidate, D. W. Coleman, in 1931. His legal practice continued to flourish during the 1930s where appeared as leading counsel in two of Poverty Bay’s most notable lawsuits. Douglas Lysnar died at Gisborne on 12 October 1942, his wife having predeceased him in 1939. His estate was inherited by his their only daughter, Winifred Frances Lysnar, who donated much of her substantial estate to charitable purposes in the Gisborne district up until her death in 1974.

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years but several major battles were fought and many warriors died on both sides. Thus the land where the battles took place was named “Okitu”, or “The Killing Grounds”. Many Aitanga-a-Mahaki victims were hurriedly buried on the hill-slopes at Okitu as the battle survivors made hasty retreats. There is also anecdotal evidence of a raid “behind enemy lines” where an Aitanga-a-Mahaki force entered the unprotected village in (what is now) Lloyd George Road and killed and beheaded hundreds of elderly, women and children as an act of utu for the beating the raiders were getting at Okitu. A large and final battle was fought around 1780, in what we now call the Lysnar Street valley, where the famed warrior chief Konohi of Whangara, a nephew of Rakaiatane and ally of the Ngati Rakai, was injured in a clash in a ravine of the Hamanatua Stream and later died. This was the approximate local picture as it was at the time of the British discovery of New Zealand by Cook in 1769 (where incidentally Cook’s landing party shot and killed a Ngati Rakai leader and grandson of Rakaiatane, Te Maro, on Kaiti Beach). Living in a benign climate by a clear blue and seafood rich sea – much in the way Wainui residents do today – the Ngati Rakai fished, farmed, traded and prospered; defending themselves when necessary, in this sheltered pocket of land at Wainui Beach, with strategic outposts at Sponge Bay, Tuamotu, Titirangi, Makorori and Tatapouri. After Cook’s culture clashing visit here, sixty years went by without known further contact with Europeans. It wasn’t until the arrival of the first European adventurers and traders in the 1830s, that this “land beneath the long white cloud” came under the eye of colonists, poised and ready to carve the countryside up into legally defined parcels so it could be “owned by individuals” in the European tradition. The story of how the local Maori land was eventually acquired here by the colonists was controversial in its day, legally complex and politically manipulated. It is also the foundation of how Wainui Beach was settled and developed to the present. From the arrival of the traders in the 1830s through to the 1860s the coast north of Gisborne (Turanga) was a wild frontier. Most of the land we are concerned with here at Wainui, Okitu and Makorori was still in customary ownership by the Maori who had been here since ancient times. By the 1870s Government-appointed surveyors had been at work and two large, adjacent areas of land just north of Gisborne has been mapped and defined as the “Kaiti” and “Pouawa” blocks in what was then known as the “Turanganui Survey District”. At this time European settlers and their political leaders had decided that pastoral sheep farming was the most viable form of agriculture for the “vast acreages of the east coast”. This was the era when most of the native bush on the coast was cleared and burnt. Maori landowners without the means to raise capital to “break in the land” to establish sheep farms, had been persuaded to lease large parts of their lands to the early European “flock holders”. By the ‘80s, with the prospective arrival of more and more colonists eager to own land to support themselves, more and more pressure was being exerted by those with vested interests to end the leaseholds, buy the land from the Maori and subdivide it into smaller parcels

WAINUI’S FIRST INDUSTRY The Okitu Co-operative Dairy Co Ltd In November, 1901, W. Douglas Lysnar placed three herds of cows on Makarori Station, built a butter factory and a bacon factory at Okitu, and engaged T. D. Bathgate, of Taieri, as buttermaker. The factories were in the cul-de-sac that is now the beginning of Moana Road overlooking the Hamanatua Stream. Both factories were destroyed by fire in 1904. A new butter factory, which Lysnar built in Gisborne, was taken over in October, 1930, by the Okitu Co-operative Dairy Co Ltd.

that could be sold to would-be, small farmers. The colonising companies back in England were advertising extensively to landless rural farm workers promising land to spare in New Zealand. But it was not that simple in reality. These were the early days of the various Native Lands acts. Nearly every year right through to the 1930s the rules changed with clauses and conditions to do with Maori land dealings continuously being altered and amended. The Native Lands courts were the focus of continuous legal proceedings and a knowledge of the “native land laws” was a handy skill. The Native Lands Act of 1865 had allowed Maori land owners to apply for titles to land they owned ancestrally but by 1870 there had been several amendments and new acts passed. The land laws were promulgated theoretically to stop unscrupulous settlers taking advantage of naive Maori landowners, as well as to deter rich entrepreneurs from monopolising the still virgin acreages. Primarily they meant Europeans could only buy Maori land after it had been surveyed and the owners issued with a legal crown title. Years of work lay ahead in the land courts FAMILY PHOTO: W. Douglas Lysnar poses for William Crawford in 1912 with his wife Ida to define land areas, determine the names of and only daughter Winifred who in later years ran the Wainui Beach horse riding school. the multiple owners and provide some form of title that could then be transferred by purchase Between 1865 and 1875 the blocks were “leased” to pastoral under the (shifting) current laws. As historian J.A. Mackay reported: farming pioneers, often wealthy political figures from Auckland “In the case of practically every block (near Gisborne), a tangled investing in the business of pastoralism, employing experienced farm skein as to ownership and boundaries required to be unravelled.” managers from the “old country”. Their job was to burn the native Opening up the large blocks for settlement was the major political forest and clear the coastal scrub to create farms, or large “runs”, for issue of the era and attempts to “open up” the Pouawa and Kaiti the first attempts at growing grass and grazing sheep for a muttonBlocks at Turanga were observed with keen interest nationally. And it hungry nation. At first Maori were happy for the lessees to spend can be noted this was mostly transpiring during the 1880s, a decade the necessary large amounts of capital to “break in” their land, of severe economic depression. improving its future value. And many Maori gained valuable pastoral The complex political, legal and financial machinations that led farming experience working for the leaseholders. to the eventual European ownership of the land that now makes Early leaseholders, according to historian J.A. Mackay included up Wainui and Makorori is a complicated story beyond this writer’s George Sisson Cooper, private secretary to George Grey and later ability to decipher with absolute accuracy. It does however seem Under-secretary for Native Affairs. He held the lease on the 19,200 clear that the lands were slowly and surely surveyed, Maori were acres of the Pouawa Block from 1865, which was managed by given titles, the land was then sold and transferred legally into Captain W.H. Tucker. William Cooper (no relation) later leased 1150 European ownership, with influential local Maori leaders of the era acres in the Kaiti Block at Wainui in 1874. In 1877 Mackay reports assisting in the process. a messrs Barker and McDonald stocking 30,470 head of sheep The ensuing European settlement of the land at Wainui beach – across lands in the Whataupoko, Kaiti and Pouawa blocks. However, following the “opening up” of the Kaiti and Pouawa Blocks – has with the arrival of more and more settlers in New Zealand the many perspectives. Various pioneering families began the settlement leaseholders days were numbered. process at various parts of the beach at different times. This In 1881 there appeared on the Gisborne scene a Britishstory will attempt to describe this 130-year saga to the best of the born lawyer and Auckland-based politician named William Lee writer’s research skills. Once again I must point out that this story Rees (1836-1912). Rees had been a member of the House of is an amalgamation of unearthed newspaper files, title searches, Representatives in 1876 and was an advocate of Crown intervention biographical notes and people’s best intended memories. It is not in the business of Maori land “in order to open up the vast remaining the gospel. acreages remaining of the North Island” to allow for closer

william rees, wi pere AND THE POUAWA and kaiti BLOCKs


rior to 1883 Wainui Beach north of the Hamanatua Stream (Okitu Bridge) was part of an 19,000plus acre parcel of Maori-owned land known as the “Pouawa Block”. The Pouawa Stream was its northern boundary. South of the Hamantua stream the land was known as the “Kaiti Block”, which stretched back to the Waimata River at Gisborne. These blocks were the ancestrally occupied lands of the Ngati Rakai, descendants of Rakaiatane, as discussed earlier.

settlement by prospective boat loads of incoming British immigrants who had been promised fertile farms in a South Seas’ version of Mother England. Rees arrived in Gisborne in 1879 with a reputation as “a clever man with an ability in dealing with the natives”. He entered into association with locals Wi Pere and other influential Gisborne Maori of the time, who saw advantage and profit in being able to trade in their lands. They saw in Rees a lawyer with the skills to interpret the complex and ever-changing native land laws. Rees’s believed only Crown preemption could ensure that “fair deals” took place, with the

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MAKORORI HOMESTEAD: The original homestead on Makorori Station which may have been built by James Andrews. land being sold to bona fide settlers, rather than monopolists and land sharks. He also urged his Maori associates to retain strategic portions of their land, and reinvest in other lands, so they could ensure the financial futures of their people. Rees and others, including Wi Pere, persuaded groups of Maori landowners, mostly Wi Pere’s relatives, to sign over their titles “in trust” to a company they formed called the “New Zealand Native Land Settlement Company”. As trustees they had the authority to deal with the business of these lands on behalf of the multiple owners. Profits from selling or leasing the land could then be invested in further land ventures. However, there was much suspicion and hostility towards Rees from his own people with the courts refusing to accept the legality of the trusts he formed. Unfortunately the scheme was flawed in many ways and many Maori landowner’s “shares” in the company later became worthless as the Bank of New Zealand foreclosed on lands that had been used as security for a failing overdraft. Lands were also taken in lieu of arrears in rates and taxes. One of the Land Company’s early schemes, which made national headlines in 1881 – and, if it had been successful, could have led to a totally different history of Wainui and Makorori – was an attempt to attract Irish farmers to settle on the Pouawa Block. Acting for George Reed, an Irish-born New Zealand newspaper owner and politician, Rees and Wi Pere attempted to facilitate the purchase of the Pouawa Block from its Maori landowners on behalf of Reed. This was to be done by persuading the sixty or so Maori owners to sign over 12,000 acres of their land in trust to allow it to be subdivided and sold in blocks to the Belfast settlers. Paying out

existing leaseholders was all part of the complicated deal. The deal was widely publicised but at the 11th hour judges of the Native Land Court stopped the transfer of title and the Irish crofters were diverted elsewhere. It was in this turbulent political climate that the business of claiming title, leasing, selling and subdividing the lands around Wainui and Makorori beaches was played out. Title searches show that in 1870 title to the 19,200 acres of the Pouawa Block (under the conditions of the 1867 Native Lands Act) was in the name of Hirini Te Kani and nine others of the local hapu. How this block was subdivided and sold to Europeans is beyond this writer’s ability to account for in detail. However, with regard to the land from the Okitu Bridge to Makorori, records show that by 1889, 3009 acres (what we now recognise as Waimoana Station, Makorori Station, the Wainui and Makorori headlands and most of the beachfront lands from the Hamanatua Stream to Tatapouri Beach) was in the name of the New Zealand Native Land Settlement Company and heavily mortgaged to the Bank of New Zealand. In August of that same year several of the original customary owners bought the land back into their names. (It is thought William Douglas Lysnar assisted in this process.) Names on the title included Hirini Te Kani (protégé of the great chief Te Kani-A-Takirau), Eruera Harete (who was also known as Edward Frances (E.F.) Harris, the oldest son of pioneering Gisborne trader Captain John Harris and his Maori wife Tukura), Wi Matangi, Pera Te Weri (from whom the Ferris family descend) and several others of the Ngati Rakai. Mortgages were taken out on the property through the mid ‘90s. Te Kani died in 1896 and Harete in 1898, about the time the land was finally fell into non-Maori ownership.

A BEACH TO ONE’S SELF: Winifred Lysnar posed for William Crawford in 1908 as he took this panorama of Wainui Beach looking south to Tuahine Point.

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n 1897 William Douglas Lysnar, the turn-of-thecentury businessman, Gisborne mayor and prominent politician, purchased most of the land from Hamanatua Stream to Makorori Headland from its Maori owners. It was first known as “Makorori Station” and was developed by Lysnar as a sheep and cattle property with a dairy herd at Makorori. In 1919 he sold 1380 acres at the northern end of the property, along Makorori Beach including the Makorori headland, to a James Andrews, farmer of Whangara, who later sold to the Duncan brothers (they may have been related to Andrews) who farmed the block through to the 1980s. Since 1987 it has been the sheep and cattle breeding and stock fattening property of Richard and Robyn Busby. Some land along Makorori remained in Maori ownership until it was sold to Winifred Lysnar to assist the owners clear crippling mortgages in the 1950s. However a remnant of the property, a three hectare strip of beachfront land between “The Creek” and Makorori Headland still remains in the ownership of today’s descendants of the original Maori owners. Prior to this, the 152 acre rectangle of land, which rose steeply from the beach at Makorori, was leased by a family called Cowan. The Cowans had a homestead in a sheltered valley in the hills above the beach, which was relocated to Wainui when the land was sold to Winifred Lysnar. Back to 1919, Lysnar, who was struggling financially with the faltering Poverty Bay Farmers’ Meat Company at Waipaoa, may have been facing hard times when he sold the northern Makorori land to James Andrews. In a transcript of an interview with Winifred Lysnar before her death she stated: “Father put half the proceeds into shares in the ship Admiral Codrington and with the other half he purchased bush at the back of Arowhana.” The foreshortened Lysnar-owned property, with its new northern boundary near what we now call “The Creek” at Makorori, was then, and still is, known as Waimoana Station. It was bought from Winifred Lysnar by Whangara farmers Ian and Sue Fraser in 1967. (Mrs Fraser still lives in the valley). It is now owned in separate parcels by their children, and by investors and residents who have bought lifestyle blocks in recent subdivisions. However, during the 70 years the property belonged to the Lysnar family many things transpired which gave shape to the beach community of Okitu which we recognise today, including the memorialisation of Lysnar family members by the names used for the streets developed at Okitu and by the gift of the W. D. Lysnar Reserve along the Moana Road foreshore. We are fortunate to have a window where we an view the physical Wainui beach environment around 1900 through the photographic records of early Gisborne photographer, William Crawford. In 1908 Crawford paid a visit to the Lysnar property where he took photographs of the farm and small homestead (the Lysnar’s mostly resided in Gisborne), including a series of coastal vistas, with a young Miss Winifred Lysnar posed on the hilltops above the beach. In these photographs we can study the physical nature of the terrain at the time. Most of the native bush is long gone with just a small patch remaining at the base of the Makorori hill (later to become the Okitu

Bush Reserve). The hills and lowland along the beachfront from northern Wainui to Tuahine Point is a stretch of bare paddocks with just a few remnants of puriri and struggling cabbage trees on the steeper slopes, where some erosion is evident. At Makorori the slopes are still partially covered by a forest of puriri. At the northern end of Okitu, where we now have Sirrah Street, can be seen a modest, single-storeyed, verandaed cottage with a few out buildings, home paddocks and a stockyard which was the Lysnar homestead at Wainui. A narrow, sandy track, where we now have State Highway 35, winds up Makorori hill and in the distance a dusty road parallels the ocean back towards the Tuahine end of the beach, where there is a fledgling settlement of a very few houses. At the centre of the beach, by the Hamanatua Stream, can be seen several buildings centred around the Cooper property homestead, of which more will be written later. Separating the track from the beach is a 100m width of rolling sand dunes, a treeless zone of sand and sea grass stretching from point to point.

the town of okitu


n 1921 W.D. Lysnar, in a further attempt to raise needed funds, came up with a scheme to subdivide and market the valley lowland on the north side of the Hamanatua Stream and the seaside acres along the front of Waimoana Station as a new residential development he named the “Town of Okitu”. The land was subdivided into 200 lots, consisting of around 170 residential

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WAINUI BEACH IN 1937: From Tuahine Crescent over the beach front homes along Murphy Road. sections or “bungalow blocks” and around 30 larger acreages advertised as “orchards and farmlets” (today’s lifestyle blocks). A network of “suburban and country lanes” formed the foundation of the current street layout of the Okitu community. Lysnar, Douglas, Frances, Winifred, William(son) and Eleanor streets were named (after members of the Lysnar family) and sites were set aside for the municipal buildings of the proposed village. Lot 17 on the corner of Lysnar and Douglas (currently owned by the McKenzies) was reserved for the post office and the opposite Lot 21 (now owned by Craig and Jes Willson) was earmarked for the village police station. There was a site set aside for a church at the end of Lysnar Street and another larger reserve (where there is now the Douglas Street extension) promised to be the new town’s school. Lots on the corner of the highway and Lysnar Street were expected to be developed as the town’s new business centre. Lysnar employed earthmovers to create the subdivision, flattening and filling the natural roll of the sand dunes beneath what is now Douglas Street. In 1980 I spoke to my neighbours in Lysnar Street, Wathan and Mary Lysnar. Mr Lysnar, (W.D.Lysnar’s nephew) remembered as a young man watching the earthworks in progress and said one day, when all the work had been done and the top soil scraped back over the bare sand, a fierce northwesterly wind sprang up and for several days blew all the top soil off the exposed sections and out to sea. That is why to this day many of the properties in Douglas Street have very sandy gardens. The sale of the land by public auction on Thursday, December 8 at 2.00pm at the Opera House was widely publicised. The terms were 15% cash at the fall of the hammer, 15% in four months, a further 15% in eight months and the remainder over three years at 6%. For farmers there was the option to pay for the first 45% of purchase price with store sheep and lambs in lieu of cash. The sale was handled by Common Shelton and Co with local identity Mr C.G. Bloore the auctioneer. A report in the Poverty Bay Times the day before the sale stated: “There may never again be such a chance of being in first to buy sections in what will certainly be the finest seaside holiday and health resort in New Zealand.” Just a few days before the sale W.D. Lysnar announced that he was gifting the seafront portion of the development to the people of Gisborne – some 22 acres of sand dunes from the Hamantua Stream mouth – to be used as a public park so that “everyone would have free access to the ocean for all time”. This was later added to by Winifred Lysnar and remains today the W.D. Lysnar Reserve. There was much excitement about the prospect of Gisborne’s new “seaside suburb” with the Gisborne Times reporting: “There has never been in the history of Gisborne such wide-spread interest taken in any land sale as the Okitu subdivisional sale has created.” It described the development: “The frontage is elevated, well 28 | BeachLife

grassed, flat land rising to level terraces, which all command an uninterrupted view of the ocean. All this front has been subdivided into business and bungalow sections, corner sites having been reserved for public buildings and the school. The nearest sections to town will make an imposing town centre when once the township is settled. A regular motorbus service will be established once people settle on the new Wainui Beach township.” However, on the day of the sale a developer’s worst nightmare happened. The bids did not come and the sections hardly sold. The Gisborne Times, on December 9, reported that 150 people turned up at the Opera House but showed little interest in buying: “Throughout, the sale was a dragging one and although the auctioneer made full use of his gifts of eloquence the public showed little inclination to part with their money. Only nine lots being sold out of the 200 offered.” Those few that did sell were — 1 Moana Road (in the cul-de-sac by the bridge) for £120 to Mrs Lunn; 8 Moana Road for £100 pounds to Mr H.F. Forster; 9 and 10 Moana Road for £100 pounds each to Mr W. Hazell; 18 Moana Road for £85 pounds to Mr A.S. Parker. 30 Moana Road for £85 pounds to Mr J.H. Dennis; 25 Lysnar Street for £65 pounds to Mr H.P. Hamilton; 32 Douglas Street for £82 to Miss Lunn. In the Lysnar Street valley one block of four acres was sold to D. McRae at $40 per acre. (As reported in the Gisborne Times, December 9, 1921.) The development was in fact a failure. What happened back there in the summer of 1921 can only be the subject of speculation by this writer. Was the prospect of living at the beach less than desirable in the 1920s? Or was it the tall poppy syndrome? Lysnar, at 54 years old, was the recently elected local member of Parliament, having defeated the celebrated Sir James Carroll who had been the local MP since 1893. Lysnar had a reputation as a “dogged” barrister and solicitor and had earlier, from 1908 to 1911, been the mayor of Gisborne and known as a man of “strong opinion”. He was at this time, as its chairman, struggling to keep the Waipaoa freezing works from going under; the company had just purchased the refrigerated ship Admiral Codrington and was in dire straits; insolvent by 1923. In 1974 his only daughter Winifred Lysnar described her father as: “A man of action who no doubt made many enemies. Though, perhaps, uncompromising in his beliefs – and a lot of people don’t like that – father was a man of vision, and often many years ahead of his time.” Winifred, most famous for her celebrated riding school which operated on the old homestead land which is now Sirrah Street from 1955 to 1974, sold the larger part of Waimoana Station to Ian Fraser of Whangara in 1968 and then the riding school property to a Mr and Mrs J.H. McGuiness, who in turn sold it to Bob Harris in 1980. The Harris’s have since subdivided the land into various residential and lifestyle properties and gave us the slightly tongue-in-cheek name “Sirrah” Street, which is “Harris” spelled backwards.

In 1973, prior to selling the homestead property, Winifred Lysnar presented the 2.66 hectares pocket of native bush surrounding the creek beneath Makorori hill to the Government to be cared for by the Forest and Bird Protection Society, now know as the Okitu Bush Reserve.



he Town of Okitu became a “ghost town” after the auction in 1921 and for 30 or so years it remained a barren patch of empty lots. Then, in the late 1940s, after his return from the war, Lysnar’s nephew and local accountant, Wathen Lysnar, put the subdivision back on the market on behalf of his cousin, Winifred Lysnar. Winifred was the only daughter of Eleanor and W.D. Lysnar who had inherited Waimoana Station before her father’s death in 1942. In 1941, from the 1921 map of the “Town of Okitu” subdivision hanging on the wall of his Peel Street office, Wathen Hilton Lysnar was instructed by his cousin Winifred to revitalise the Okitu concept by promoting the sale of numerous sections along Douglas Street, Lysnar Street and Moana Road. As payment for their services, Wathen Lysnar and his wife Mary built one of the first houses at Okitu on the rise at the corner of Lysnar and Douglas Streets, living there until the late 1980s. Daughter, Jill Charteris, remembers it being the only house in the vicinity for many years, on a dusty road edged by boxthorn bushes. From 1941 through to the mid ‘50s the sections slowly sold at Okitu and slowly and surely houses were erected. The earliest purchases were made in 1941 by Clive and Constance Wall, Laura Armstrong and Robert Poulgrain – all in the elevated the strip along the Moana Road cul-de-sac overlooking the Hamantua Stream to Tuahine Point. Another of the earliest homes to be built belonged to Honey and Bill (Wilfred) Haxton who lived at what is now 20 Lysnar Street owned by Kath Green. In the 1980s Mrs Honey Haxton told this writer how for several years she carried household water in buckets from the nearby Hamanatua stream when the tank ran low. Another early arrival was retired farm manager, Ron Cooper and his wife Jean, who bought four sections and built a house looking north into the Lysnar Street valley from a high point in Williamson Street. On one of the sections linking through to Lysnar Street they created a small vineyard. Old “Cooper”, who was this writer’s neighbour in the ‘80s, told me how he designed the property to remind him of a station homestead overlooking its rural domain. The main part of this property is now owned by John and Jo Grant, the vineyard section by Nick and Louisa Chapman. Win and Ruth Ellis were one of the very first couples on the Moana Road beach front shortly after their marriage in 1948. They bought a

two bedroom cottage at 30 Moana Road from spec builder George Piesse. “There were very few other houses here in 1949 – we were pretty much living out in the country,” says Win. “Old Frank Whiteman had a bach made from two old army huts a couple of doors north and Ted Findlay had a house next to where Graeme Collier now is. The Chalet hadn’t been built, so it was pretty much just empty paddocks all the way to Winnie Lysnar’s riding school at the end. It was much the same looking back to the bridge, the shops hadn’t been built then.” Win remembers Douglas Street also being slow to develop but a small building boom saw several houses go up through the late ‘50s and early ‘60s. This began with Bob and Evan Craill and friend Fred McNabb building houses in Douglas Street looking down Frances Street. Bob and Fred were such good friends they build their properties with a shared central driveway which still exists today. The sections available for sale of the Town of Okitu plan only went as far north as number 52 Moana Road at first (currently owned and being newly renovated by Richard and Doris Warren. Then in 1958 Winifred Lysnar had Grant and Cooke subdivide the rest of Moana Road from number 53 to what is now Sirrah Street. A demarcation line can be seen in the building-era styles between the two Moana Road addresses. At number 52 Ted Findlay, a stock agent, had a concrete block house built in the late 1940s; next door Graeme and Raewyn Collier bought a section and built their classic ‘70s home at number 53 in 1974. The suburb grew randomly over the ensuing decades and today we can observe the random nature of the various architectural trends of the various eras. Albeit many of the homes were designed as “beach baches” and built to a budget that reflected the cheap and cheerful status allotted to “beach living” in those times. More substantial houses were built at the “Whales” end of the beach through the ‘80s. The building of the Chalet Rendezvous restaurant in the mid 1950s was a big event for the small beach community, nudging the quiet beachside suburb into national attention. Originally the concept of a Swiss chef and entrepreneur, a Mr Frankhauser, it was built by the H.B. Williams family of Turihaua. Frankhauser and Bill Williams were instrumental in the Chalet becoming the first licensed restaurant to operate in New Zealand. From 1964, under the new managingdirectorship of Auckland restaurateur Bill Lane, it became nationally famous and well patronised by diners from Gisborne and the local vicinity for over a decade. We will stop there with the story of the Chalet Rendezvous as the subject deserves more detailed attention in a later issue. The “Town of Okitu” never quite eventuated as old Lysnar has dreamed of it, but over the decades a little village did slowly develop.

Maungaroa Tuahine Headland Lloyd George Rd

Stock Route

THE BEACH IN 1949: Looking down at the Stock Route, Pare Street, Murphy Road.

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A TOWN BY THE SEA: An aerial photo taken in 1950 shows the baches along an unsealed Wairere Road, the development around Pare Street and the Cooper farm flats before the highway bypass. The trees at the bottom made way for the school in 1962.

Tuamotu Maungaroa hills

Raiha Kamau’s homestead site


Wainui Cook Farmhouse

Sports Paddock

Cooper Property

School Site Old timers can remember the first local dairy on the corner of Lysnar Street and Moana Road where the highway then dipped down to an old wooden bridge across the Hamantua Stream. The site, then zoned commercial, was purchased in 1949 by David Miller, a Gisborne accountant. The site was later bought by Doug and Violet Menzies, who ran a successful milk bar and a catering business in Gisborne (Mayfair Caterers); the shop was run by their son Wayne and his wife Ngaire. The business was later leased by Alan and Nola Saunders and then by Bill and Paddy Tonkins. The story goes that to side-step a rent increase the Tonkins went up the road, bought a vacant site and built a new store, which is the Okitu Store we know of today. There have been several lessees and owners of the store since then, many of them great characters like Gwen and Gloria Findlay, Chester and Marilyn Haar, Murray and Mary Webb, Willie Rutene, and the current owners Gary Quinn and Maryanne Egan. The old dairy which became the local scout den for a while slowly fell into ruin. Believed to be haunted by local children it was eventually demolished. It remained a vacant corner site for many years until the recent building of the Dobbie’s new house. Two sites north at 24 Moana Road there stood for many years two adjoining road front shops, next to a petrol service station and mechanical repair garage. The shops were built in the 1950s by Frank Beckett and they housed a butchers and a hairdressers. The butcher shop was operated by Jack Woolley, who left the Elgin Butchery to start out on his own and also built the weatherboard, tiled-roof house at 28 Moana Road where he lived for many years. The hairdressers was known as the “Beverley Anne Salon”, run by Beverley Bodle (now Carswell), a local girl from Murphy Road who leased the shop at just 18-years-old on leaving school in 1961. Beverley, who used to bike to work from Murphy Road each day, ran a busy hairdressers; cutting and styling the hair of Wainui locals, school children, coasties and servicing a large clientele from Gisborne, until she sold the business to Tricia Lloyd in 1965. She in turn passed the business on to the local milkman’s daughter, Frances Low. The business closed in the mid 1970s. Mike Vita (senior), well known from Vita’s Service Station in 30 | BeachLife

Gisborne, bought the land and the run down shops in 1977. He later transported a house-for-removal from the Esplanade which he had trucked out to the beach and placed on the site at the rear of the shops. The shops remained until their demolition in 1984. Before then Mike Vita and Gary Neill ran a popular local fish and chip business for a time and later Mark Barker and Doug Rishworth had a brief go at a vegetable shop, known as “Vegetable Overload”. Mr Whippy leased it for a while to keep his ice cream cold. Before their demolition the shops were used for a while by the WainuiMakorori Vegetable Cooperative. Several young families at the time pooled together each week to buy produce from the Gisborne Markets which was distributed equally, using the shop as a base. The shops are now just a vague memory to most people. However, they still exist in a fashion! In 1984 a resourceful Noel Amor, a family friend of the Vitas, dismantled the building carefully, loaded it onto the flatbed deck of his VW Kombi and re-erected them on the road frontage of his property at 8 Pare Street to use as a garage. Ironically, Mike Vita Junior now owns 8 Pare Street – and the bones of the old shop buildings. The Okitu service station complex, later known as Moana Motors, was built by the Hall brothers – Alvin, Stuart, Winton and Lindsay – with help from their grandfather Matthew Hall, about 1953. They bought the land for £200 when they ran out of room to do mechanical work on the side at their Darwin Road orchard packhouse. As well as a service station pumping Atlantic petrol, it was also a mechanical workshop and a spraypainters. The Hall brothers were all early residents of Wainui Beach – Alvin first in Wairere Road and then building at 15 Lysnar Street (now Kelly and Kevin Ferris’s); Lindsay built along the road at 19 Lysnar and later Winton further along Lysnar Street still. Stuart Hall and his wife Joan bought and renovated an old bach at 14 Murphy Road in 1956; and Bernice (nee Hall) and George McAra, who used to be the pump attendant, built their house at 49 Douglas Street around the same time. The Halls sold the land and business to Whangara storekeeper

HAMANATUA HOMESTEAD: The grand house at Wainui Station in it’s early splendour. The homestead was demolished in 2008. John West in about 1956-57. John West later drowned while snorkeling at Pouawa. Alan Wilson, now 77 and still living in Wainui Road, first managed the business for West then bought it in 1958, changing over to BP petrol, diversifying into the manufacture of stock crates and stock yards before selling to Vern “Flogger” Floyd (later of Enterprise Cars) in 1969, who in turn sold in to Albie Smith, who sold it to Ray Fielder in 1976. Ray Fielder sold to Corey Carlson and Terry O’Connor who then sold to Tim Lloyd. Tim Lloyd, who now owns several service stations in Wellington, rebuilt the building into a modern service station and added the leasable front area which became a fish and chip shop. After several lessees in the garage and the takeaway shop, not to forget Kerry Clarke’s short-lived Pines Alley Surf Shop, Lloyd sold to Noel and Alison Amor Bendall. Noel had the pumps and tanks removed and converted the building into the Amor Bendall winery. In December the Amor Bendalls, who are moving the winery to the Gisborne inner harbour area, sold to Karl and Kay Geiseler of Winifred Street who are now having plans drawn up to turn the 430 square metre space into a modern beachfront family home.

the cooper dynasty and the town of sumter


illiam Cooper was born in Yorkshire in 1845. On his death at Wainui Beach in 1905 he was farewelled as one of Poverty Bay’s earliest settlers and a man held in high esteem throughout the district. He arrived in New Zealand in 1856 with his immigrant parents and four brothers. In 1858 his father was killed by a falling tree and at age 13 Cooper went out on his own working for settler farmers in the Hutt and then moved over to the Wairarapa. Here he became a farm manager and by 1868 he was able to take up some 4000 acres of unbroken land with a fellow shepherd, John Cross. By 1874 they made a “satisfactory sale” of the land. Cashed up Cooper then looked further north to the relatively untouched lands around Poverty Bay arriving here in 1874. He soon acquired two properties in this district totalling 19,000 acres which he began breaking in and developing as sheep runs. Four years later he was to lose everything he owned after the disastrous failure of the City of Glasgow Bank in 1878. (The collapse of this bank half a world away had a huge impact in New Zealand where it had a large stake in the New Zealand and Australia Land Company and held securities over land owned by many settler farmers.) In Cooper’s obituary the Poverty Bay Herald reported: “With the stout heart which has hitherto been the secret to his success Cooper again put his shoulder to the wheel.” Following his financial collapse he arranged for the lease of and ultimately purchased some 1150 acres of Maori-owned land in the “Kaiti Block” in the name of his wife Sarah Ruth Cooper.

This was the property known as “Hamantua” or Wainui Station which consisted of the seaward hill slopes and the flat land all the way to the beach from Oneroa Road to the Okitu Bridge (Hamantua Stream), then inland on the south side of the stream through to the Waimata River in Darwin Road. The stream was the boundary with what was later W.D. Lysnar’s Waimoana Station. The Coopers acquired other larger land holdings inland from Gisborne with the Wainui property considered the “home farm”. At the time of his death Cooper’s three main properties were said to carry 14,000 sheep, 800 head of cattle and 100 horses The Poverty Bay Herald in 1905 reported: “The situation of this property (Wainui Station), some 31/2 miles from Gisborne and overlooking the sea, makes it an ideal spot for a residence. The homestead has been tastefully planted and laid out in harmony with its surroundings, and probably the many residential sites on the beach frontage will in future years be the suburban homes of the merchant princes of Poverty Bay.” William Cooper, who was a leading protagonist in the bureaucratic battle against confusing native land ownership laws and was obsessively involved in early searches for oil in the Gisborne district He travelled to the World’s Fair and visiting petroleum producing states in America in the 1890s. He held seats on both the Cook County Council and the Gisborne Harbour Board. After his death in May of 1905 the Wainui property was run by his widow Sarah Ruth and his surviving sons. A son Charlie was killed in the First World War and son Gordon was severely wounded. The major part of the property went to son Les Cooper after “Grandma Ruth’s” death in 1930 – with a portion of the flats paralleling the beach part of a wider family estate. The station property was later acquired by Les’s son William Benson (Bill) Cooper and his wife Brenda in the 1950s, who eventually sold the farm in 1998. Bill’s son Richard Cooper lives on and owns the site of the old homestead, and Mrs Cooper retains the site with the new house built next to the Okitu Bridge. The old Cooper homestead, which was started in the late 1890s and finished around 1906, was an icon of the beach until its demolition last year, In 1903, not long before his death, William Cooper had his beachfront land subdivided and marketed as the “Town of Sumter”. Sections were available for sale on both sides of what we now call Wairere Road, from Oneroa Road to the Okitu Bridge. There was originally another proposed road, called Ranui Street, running parallel with Wairere Road and linked by proposed Ngaio and Rere Streets. Ranui Road later became State Highway 35, when it was rerouted from Wairere Road across the Cooper flats in 1990. In 1959 the government purchased some of the Cooper estate for the new Wainui School. The school opened in 1962. Prior to the rerouting of the highway in 1990 the land between the proposed bypass and Wairere Road was acquired from the Cooper estate by the roading

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authority of the time. This land was later purchased by Garth and Sandra Ellmers and the subject of relatively recent subdivisional developments at Ocean Park and Sandy Cove. The Town of Sumter never stuck as a name, and the purchase of sites from Cooper’s 1903 subdivisional plan was a slow process. It wasn’t until the 1930s that baches started to appear on the sand dunes on the seaward side of Wairere Road and by 1950 an ex patriot farming community had set up camp along both sides of the sandy track that was the main highway north. Ormond farmer William Graham was typical of those that bought sections from the William Cooper estate along Wairere Road, acquiring an acre of land over four titles in the vicinity of 39-43 Wairere Road in the 1930s. About 1938 Don Graham, now 82 of Haronga Road, remembers his grandfather erecting a garage on one of the sites from which the family spent weekends at the beach. It was not a bach as such, just a place to store things needed for a day of swimming and relaxing. The acreage was reduced with a section being sold off after the war and then the remainder was divided down the centre by members of the Graham family. Extensions were added to the garage by Jim Graham and it slowly became a classic Wainui beach bach. This was much the story with many of the properties along the beachfront being bought as weekend getaways by farmer’s from Gisborne’s hinterland. Escaping the hot, hill country summers for a day or weekend by the cooling sea was the fashion of the times. Ellis and Helen Rouse, East Coast farmers, built a bach on the section at number 111 in 1948. It was a long journey to town from Te Puia in those days and the Rouse’s were typical in their need for a place to stopover while in Gisborne. Later the bach served as a place for family and friends to gather for weekend parties. On their retirement from farming in the early ‘70s the senior Rouses built a substantial home on the site. Continuing the family attachment to the property son Peter Rouse and his wife Dot moved into the house on their retirement from the farm in the ‘90s and still live there today. Viewing old aerial photographs taken of the area around 1950 the pattern of randomly sited bachs on the Wairere Road foreshore can be observed. Only a dozen can be seen on other side of the beach, stopping at a stand of macrocarpa trees where the Wainui school now stands. Behind these properties are the flat paddocks which the Coopers had to give up for the highway bypass. In the distance beyond Cook’s farm can be seen several sheltered blocks where, in the 1950s, several small farming and horticulture ventures were attempted. Wallace Stewart, who had been second

Oneroa Road

Wainui Stream

violinist in the Auckland Symphony Orchestra, bought land on the corner of the highway and Oneroa Road and established a business growing hot house tomatoes and gladiolus. Later his son Jim and wife Pat sold half the property to the Bodle brothers who established the Twins’ Poultry Farm. This property is now owned by Robin Bennett. Brothers Peter and Tim Stewart still own the block by Oneroa Road. Also in this area was the popular Bayly’s Plant Nursery which is now owned by Alan and Sue Lewington.

THE RAIHA KAMAU (FERRIS) DYNASTY AND the EARLY settlement of “wainui”


s mentioned earlier, the land at the “Wainui” end of the beach was the original settlement of the Ngati Rakai hapu dating back to ancient times. After obtaining title to these lands in the first rounds of the Native Lands Court proceedings in 1870, some of the Maori titleholders sold their properties, with the seaward side of Murphy Road up to the Tuahine headland one of the first parts of the beachfront to see houses or baches go up. The Cleary family were amongst the first to subdivide and sell off sections. Oneroa Road and Pare Street were also sold and subdivided around this time. There were many transactions, once again beyond this writer’s scope to detail. The area of the beach from Oneroa Road through to Tuahine Crescent was a fledgling European settlement from well before 1900. However, 90 acres around Lloyd George Road were retained in Maori ownership with the title being in the names of three brothers; Pera Te Kahori, Wi Matangi and Pera Te Weri, descendants of the founding chief Rakaiatane. Wi Matangi and Pera Te Kahori died without leaving descendants. Pera Te Weri and his wife Merewai Manuka farmed the land and had just one daughter, Raiha Kamau, a Maori of full blood who had many suitors. She eventually married the handsome and cavalier half-Maori, half-Scotsman, Charles William Ferris in 1885, who was the offspring of Captain C.W. Ferris of the Armed Constabulary, and Keita Te Rapa Winiata of Nuhiti. Raiha Kamau and Charles (Charley) Ferris and family continued farming the land at Wainui, and other holdings at Nuhiti and Anaura Bay, through to the 1950s. A two-storeyed homestead on the property was the family seat. (The house was burned to the ground and replaced in the early 1930s.) The couple had five children – James Paumea, Donald Mataira (died at Gallipoli), Atarini, Hirini Te Kani and Takatoroa. Talking to descendants of the original Maori owners, particularly Ingrid Searancke (daughter of James Paumea), a picture emerges from the 1890s to the 1950s of a busy, fertile

Road Pare Street Wairere

Murphy Road Rakau A Ue Cemetery

BEACH TOWN BEGINNINGS: North from Tuahine Point hillslope in the 1930s.

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Tuahine Crescent

PEOPLE OF THE LAND: Sometime around the turn of the 20th century Charles Ferris sows seed potatoes while his daughter Atarini follows with the plough on the farm in what is now Lloyd George Road.

triangle of farmland from Sponge Bay through to the beach at Murphy Road. Ingrid Searancke, now 83 and born in 1925, who still lives with her family on three remaining acres of the old property at 41-51 Lloyd George Road, remembers many social events at her grandparents fine home, with other Wainui farming families and friends from Gisborne attending. Close to the beach, sheltered from cold southerlies, frost free with a warm micro-climate and a clean water supply from a springfed Wainui stream, with soils conducive to horticulture, it was an enviable location. A large dairy herd was kept at one time and over the decades many crops were grown here, including kumara, potatoes and other crops. Later seedling plants, strawberries and vegetables were grown. Wainui grown potatoes, of which three crops could be grown a year, and Wainui kumara were held in high esteem and freighted to markets all over New Zealand. At one time, between 1900 and 1915, there was a kautawhare, or a meeting hall, at the back of the cemetery near Murphy Road. It served as a church and as a place for locals to gather. It had mostly a hard dirt floor with long tables and forms to sit on, with a raised wooden-floored platform at the far end with bunks and beds where local children would be put to sleep while their parents played cards, danced or held fund raising events for the building of the new Te Poho-o-Rawiri marae in town. It slowly fell to ruin, finally consumed by fire around 1933. Raiha Kamau died in 1924 with Charles Ferris living through to the 1950s. Hirini Te Kani Ferris had five children and James (Jim) Ferris also had five children – William (Bill), Ingrid, James, Julie and Robert. Bill Ferris was well-known in his day for the entrepreneurial horticultural business he ran on his Lloyd George Road acreage, and another block he bought along Murphy Road, until his untimely death at age 44 from leukemia in the 1960s. At one time Bill and May Ferris sent flowers and vegetable seedling plants all over New Zealand (wrapped in newspaper and tied up with a strand of flax) supplying the Woolworths chain of stores. Most of his children and those of Ingrid, Julie and Robert still live in the Wainui community. One question that could be asked is: Why was the road named “Lloyd George”, after the British politician who was prime minister from 1916 to 1922, instead of after the family with such a strong tie to the area? The name is an anomaly when we consider most of the street names at Wainui are named after pioneering families such as Cooper, Lysnar, Cleary, Murphy and the Maori names Moana, Wairere, Pare and Tuahine are names of consequence to local Maori. Lloyd George became an official road when the government put in the radio transmitter at the end of the track into the Ferris property in the 1940s. It is considered a strong possibility that when it was suggested the road be named “Ferris”, it was declined by the man of

the moment who may have believed street names were memorials for people no longer living and did not want fate tempted. Thus the local authority continued with its trend of naming Gisborne streets after British politicians. One of the earliest European families to arrive at Wainui were the Phelps who initially settled in Murphy Road. George Frederick Phelps arrived at the beach from Wales in 1897 and soon after bought a block of land that can now be described as the beach side of Murphy Road from Oneroa to Cooper Street. At that time there were only a handful of families living at Wainui – the Ferris whanau of Raiha Kamau, the Clearys, the Coopers at Hamanatua Station, the Phelps and the Cooks who ran dairy cows and had a milking shed just over the Wainui stream near Cleary Road. Welshman George Phelps ran bullock wagons from his property, loading wool bales onto scows bound for Auckland which came ashore at Wainui Beach at the “Stock Route”. The family later modernised the operation with Phelps Transport becoming a wellknown trucking firm in the Gisborne district for many years. When George died in 1912 he left behind five children and each acquired one of the sections along Murphy Road, of which most were sold on during the 1960s. Des Phelps remained the longest, with his house on the corner of Oneroa and Murphy from where he operated the family trucking business, Des Phelps Ltd, logging out of the Motu and up the East Coast Later he was joined by his sons Fred and Kevin Phelps who worked in the family business. Fred Phelps then went out on his own as F.J. Phelps Ltd building forestry roads around the district. Fred and Anne lived on the beachfront along Wairere Road, first building a small house at 125 Wairere in 1958 and then building a newer house (now owned by the Rishworths) on a double section at 127 in 1970. Fred – who sold up and left Wainui in 1986 to move to the West Coast, where he and his wife Anne continue to run a gold mining operation on property they own near Hokitika – says he did the local paper run in the 1930s, delivering just on 100 papers as far as the last house at the beach which was the Okitu shop which stood just over the wooden Hamantua Bridge. From there to Winnie Lysnar’s house at the far end of the beach it was uninhabited. By the late 1930s the southern pocket of Wainui was quite established with cottages and baches on the slopes above Tuahine Crescent and along the seaward side of Murphy Road. This was land that Maori owners were first given title to in the 1870s. Much of this area, including Pare and Cooper streets, was subdivided and put up for sale by E.R. and J.R. Murphy in 1926 (known then as the Sumter extension). By the late 1940s Pare Street was well developed with almost all sections on both sides built on. The centre of the community was Oneroa Road. There was Firth’s ice cream kiosk on the corner where Richard Gordon’s shed now is

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and on the other side was a Four Square Store, built in 1935, which housed the post office with a petrol pump. (Now the new Wainui Store.) Beverly Carswell (nee Bodle) was a young girl in the ‘50s living in the house which her parents (Hugh and Bunny Bodle, who came from Hawkes Bay to manage Reliance Tyres in Gisborne) bought in 1945. Their house still stands on the corner of Oneroa and Murphy (now owned by Kris and Rhonda Clapham). Bev can remember stock from farms up the coast coming up from the beach and along Oneroa Road being driven into the freezing works in town, hence the origin of the name “Stock Route”. Next to the shop were empty paddocks and over the road was the Settler’s Hall and a sports ground where gymkhanas and sports days were held. Murphy Road was empty paddocks on the seaward side with Bill Chong’s market garden on the other. The Cook brothers, owned the farm on the hill, would daily walk their cows down Murphy Road to their milking bales where Cleary Road now is. The Cook’s have a long connection to their acres which overlook the Oneroa Road settlement. There was originally a George Cook Senior who bought the land from William Cooper and later left the small farm to his bachelor sons Bill and George Junior in the 1930s, who ran the dairy herds on the property. The farm is still owned, albeit divided, by several descendants of another of George Cook senior’s sons. In 1962 a family arrived at the beach from Wellington after answering a notice in the Dominion newspaper advertising the Wainui Store and Service Station for sale. The vendors, the Jollys, eager to impress, rolled the three children big icecreams and they were sent off to the beach while the big folks negotiated. Peter Krzanich remembers he and his brother and sister stood in

FAMILY PORTRAIT: Reiha Kamau, direct descendant of Rakaiatane, with her husband Charles William Ferris and their young family circa 1900. From left – Hirini Te Kani, Donald Mataira, James Paumea, Atarini and Takataroa.

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awe looking at the surf, their ice creams melting, as they first took in where their parents, Roy and Margaret, had brought them. Croatianborn Roy Krzanich was a self-made man, with an incredible work ethic, who became a legend at Wainui Beach with his “Roy’s Wainui Service Station”. He ran the pumps, did lubes, fixed punctures and did small mechanical repairs while wife Margaret ran the post office and the dairy in the shop next door. At first they lived behind the shop, then bought the big house overlooking the “Stock Route”. They ran the service station and the shop until the late ‘80s, then leased both businesses. It was a sad day when Roy witnessed the service station he was so proud of burn to the ground in 1987. In 1994 an era ended when the Krzanichs sold the shop and the former service station site to the neighbouring Atsalis family of Pare Street and the “Stock Route” house to Danny Keighley, of failed Sweetwaters 1999 fame. Not many months later the older Krzanichs were planning to move to live with family in Australia, however Roy died an hour before boarding the plane. FOOTNOTE: It’s hard to know where to stop this pocket history

of the beach, with still many avenues yet to explore. It has taken six weeks to research and write and still it feels unfinished. However

in this day and age when everything can be archived digitally and regularly updated, it’s rather a beginning than an ending. If this article has sparked memories of important events not covered

herein (or, dread the concept, inaccuracies that need correcting) the writer urges readers to email or write in with further information that can be reported on in forthcoming issues and added to the digital

archive. We look forward to and welcome the receipt of more historic photos and memoirs that can be published in ongoing issues.

our kids

TO TRY THE KIBBUTZ LIFE: Nova with Gidi, Shai and Kaya are leaving the beach to spend some time with Gidi’s Israeli family near the Jordan River. (Nova and the twins are descendants of Rakaiatane through Rakai Kamau and Charles Ferris as detailed in the preceding history article.)

Nova and Gidi are Israel bound


ova, Gidi and the twins HAVE DEPARTED FOR Israel this month where they plan to spend six months living and working on the kibbutz where Gidi’s parents live. Nova, daughter of Fleur Chambers (Ferris) met Israeli Gidi while travelling in Scotland and since the birth of the twins, Shai and Kaya, 21 months ago, they have been living on mum and Pete’s Lloyd George Road property. Now that the twins are “up and running” the couple are looking forward to spending time with the twins’ Israeli grandparents who live in the Kfar Blum kibbutz in northern Israel on the banks of the Jordan River. (Named after Leon Blum, a Jewish French socialist who was three times Prime Minister of France.) Kfar Blum is a communal settlement about the same size as Wainui in a lush, green valley surrounded by snow peaked mountains ten minutes from the Lebanon border. Founded in 1943, Kfar Blum’s

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location near the Jordan River at the foot of Mount Hermon has made it a center for outdoor recreational activities including hiking, kayaking, and rafting. Gidi will work for his father who runs a landscaping business and Nova plans to work in the day care centre on the kibbutz. The arrival of twins came as no surpise to the Avni family. Gidi’s mum is herself a twin, one of Gidi’s two sisters has twins and one of two brothers has twins. They hope to catch up with his large, extended family who are spread throughout Israel. Gidi says he is Jewish by birth, but apart from celebrating the holidays and enjoying some of the customs he does not attend synagogue or adhere to religious beliefs. His family background is through his grandfather who escaped Poland before the holocaust and met his US-born grandmother in England. They last visited his parents when the twins were just three months old.

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BeachLife | 35

our kids

Christie’s island surf paradise That’s Christie Carter from Wainui Beach above. That’s his own wave he’s surfing, known as Mentawai Pipeline, on an island in Indonesia he has leased for 20 years and operates as a surf resort.


hristie Carter can’t be blamed for having the urge to wander. He was born in Gisborne on August 21st, 1975. “Nine months prior, my parents had unknowingly conceived me in Byron Bay, Australia. Upon reaching New Zealand, my mum thought she had picked up a tropical disease, which turned out to be me,” he says by email from Mainuk Island in the Mentawai group off the southern coast of Sumatra. “My mum Karinjean Danielle was born in Hawaii, she met my dad Dick Carter in San Diego. They married and travelled across the Pacific winding up at Wainui Beach, Gisborne.” Christie says he spent most of his life travelling between Gisborne and the US. After his parents parted when he was 13 the custody arrangement meant he spent eight months in New Zealand with mum and four months in California with dad. He says Wainui Beach Primary School will always have a special place in his heart. “I remember walking along the beach to school. The only time shoes were needed was inside the classroom, otherwise it was a free-for-all, stub-your-toe-if-you-want kind of life. “I’ve always been a surfer; on a boogey board until I was 13, and then standing up like my dad from then on. He introduced me to his hobby, and we have always lived near the beach and waves, no matter where home was. I grew up in the company of the best surfers that New Zealand had produced to date, and it was an exciting childhood living in Murphy Road, especially when it was blowing offshore, surfing with my mates Marc and Vaughan Ferris, Craig Clissold, Richard Van Wyk, Damon Gunness, Brent Rasby and Maz Quinn. “On winter break from school during my 19th year an opportunity 36 | BeachLife

arose to work on a 65-foot yacht in Thailand. I joined the crew as first mate and ended up almost two years working on the boat, sailing to Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei, Sabah, Philippines and eventually found myself in the Mentawai Islands of West Sumatra in Indonesia. “On the yacht we visited an area in the Mentawais where we scored unbelievably perfect surf with nobody else around for about three weeks. This was in 1997 and I starting tossing around the idea of finding a way to spend more time in this amazing area. So after we had delivered the yacht back to Thailand, I jumped ship with the idea of starting a surf resort.” Christie went back to the Mentawais in 1998 to explore the possibility of somehow leasing some land to start a surf camp. After several adventures and exploratory missions he eventually found an island with fantastic surf owned by a single family who allowed him to realise his dream. “My eventual contract (after 6 years of negotiation) took the form of renting the entire island for 20 years. It has one of the best beaches in South-East Asia, and a wave that has been dubbed “Mentawai Pipeline” right out front. “Things started slowly and the first couple of seasons were just mates coming out to visit me on the island. Happy mates tell other mates, and this remains the basis of my business today. I had incredible challenges getting the business started up, especially as I had no capital and no investors. Luckily for me the Asian financial crisis made the US dollars that I did have worth a lot more. Fast forward to 2008: “As a legal requirement for the surf resort which I’ve called “WavePark Mentawai Surf Resort”, I own a foreign investment company domiciled in Padang, West Sumatra. I have 15

“ I think of myself as extremely lucky to be able to surf everyday, to meet such an amazing array of the human population that share a beer with me at the bar, and to live in a place of such amazing beauty.” full-time staff during the March – November season, but I keep a staff of 8 full-time all year round. The business has started to snowball in the last couple years, and now my job really is a CEO position, not just a title on my immigration card. I’ve designed and supervised construction on all the facilities on the island, including a two-storey main house with three bedrooms and en suite each, two bungalows, a bar/restaurant, a games room, crew quarters, generator house, fuel garage, massage hut, viewing platform and a speedboat shed. “We have agents and guests from every main country in the world that has surfers. I’ve had guests from Switzerland (no ocean) and Holland (who would have thought?), as well as Italy and Puerto Rico. We had 160 guests in 2008. I now have a full time Kiwi chef, surf guide, bartender and masseuse. My girlfriend Alice Trend (From St. Paul, Minnesota – they met in Padang where she was a teacher of English in 2003) deals with all the bookings from agents and emails and takes photographs of the guests surfing, which we present during a slide show every night in the bar. “Unfortunately it’s not all peaches and cream. Since 1998 I’ve dealt with the dismissal of Indonesia’s president and subsequent political fallout and riots. 9/11 in New York, Bali bombs in Kuta and Jimbaran, SARS and bird flu epidemics, a massive tsunami and years worth of earthquakes. I miss my family and friends from home everyday. I have to deal with corrupt, power-hungry government officials who want their slice of the pie. I pay massive taxes and have a full-time accountant to navigate the mine-fields. I have to hire and fire people and struggle to manage a crew that not only works together, but lives together every day of the season. Politics, greedy western operators, licenses, oppressive heat and unavailability of Pascall jet plane lollies makes it difficult to live here 11 months of the year. “Overall I think of myself as extremely lucky to be able to surf everyday with the guests if I want to, to meet such an amazing array of the human population that share a beer with me at the bar, and to live in a place of such amazing beauty. My business is successful enough to allow me to fly home once a year to visit my family, and I always have enough food to eat. The resort as of now is not “finished”. I intend to build four more bungalows and a pier for loading and unloading within the next couple of years. I would like to get the

ISLAND LIFE: The two-storey main house where Christie and his girlfriend Alice (below left) operate their WavePark Mentawai Surf Resort.

resort finished and then sell the business, although there are many challenges between now and then, including a worldwide recession for starters. Website:

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our kids

London career gives Stephanie the big tick By Heidi Clapham


ome from the UK for summer at Wainui Beach, Stephanie Brown was looking forward to getting back to work. When you realise she has a great job in London as retail marketing manager with one of the world’s most exciting retail brands you can understand why she is keen to get her visa sorted and be winging her way back to London a.s.a.p Stephanie, daughter of Dave and Liz Brown of Wairere Road, is the retail marketing manager for Nike in the United Kingdom. A job that has seen her involved in photo shoots with the English rugby team, a participant at the Nike Plus Human Race and schmoozing in corporate boxes at major sporting events. A combination of factors came together for Stephanie to get the opportunity to work at Nike. Of course having a marketing degree and experience in the sports industry (she worked for Asics in Auckland) put her in good stead, but there was also a good dose of that ‘being in the right place at the right time’. While previously working for an advertising company at the bottom of the food chain as far as advertising and big brands go, Stephanie describes how she had to chase after individuals at Nike, and after one particular stressful time she decided she wanted to be the one being chased and not the one doing the chasing. As fate would have it she got a call from her recruitment consultant about a position going and it was at Nike. She was very enthusiastic, and was definitely available. Her immediate availability, her work history plus a bit of clever negotiation (Nike normally recruit internally), and she secured the contract. Stephanie describes her position as being responsible for all Nike marketing materials that appear in stores all over England and being responsible for the relationship with retailers from a marketing point of view. For the Nike Pro campaign (the layer worn under sports jerseys) she explains she coordinated 1900 window displays of the Nike Pro product in 340 sports stores around England. This campaign had a huge budget at around two million pounds. Stephanie says the work culture at Nike encourages the employees


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CENTRE COURT: Stephanie Brown with boyfriend Shannon Dowsing and London flatmates at Wimbledon. to live and breathe the brand. The Nike marketing office is in London’s Carnaby Street, what was the trendy gathering place of the fashion pack in the sixties. The office floor she describes feels like a basketball court, the walls shaped in the swoosh sign and each room is aptly named after selected sports stars like Tiger Woods and Roger Federer. Stephanie enthuses about the wide range of sport she enjoys watching. While the job at Nike calls for her to take a keen interest in sport, she attends many sporting events by choice. This passion has seen her at Wimbledon, the Aussie Open and the French Open watching tennis, the Monaco Grand Prix and she was at that fateful quarterfinal at the Rugby World Cup. She has watched the All Whites vs Brazil in Geneva, various rugby games at Twickenham Stadium and watched a test cricket match between England and New Zealand this year at Lords. She also still tends to her travel bug, and has left Nike twice to spend time in Greece and Turkey with her partner Shannon Dowsing (also of Wainui Beach). Both times Nike has taken her back, so she must be doing something right. She thinks perhaps it’s the Kiwi work ethic and the ability to ‘just get on with it’ which could coincidentally resonate with the Nike slogan ‘just do it’. An ex-pupil of Gisborne Girls’ High School, Stephanie chose to go to the University of Otago in Dunedin. There she completed a business degree majoring in marketing, and completed her final year on an exchange programme with the Bocconi University in Milan. It was in Italy that she first got a taste of the European lifestyle, which influenced her to make the decision to go to London 18 months later. Stephanie says her career has progressed rapidly in London, and while she does get homesick for New Zealand, the job at Nike has given her a real sense of belonging. It also helps that her big sister Nancy has been living in London for the last eight years. Stephanie says she will stay in London for as long as the going is good. The credit crunch is a new reality and jobs are being scaled back. Not even a big company like Nike is immune with budget cuts inevitable. This doesn’t stop Stephanie maintaining high aspirations however; she would like to experience the opportunity of working in Nike’s office in New York, fully immersing herself in the heritage of Nike’s American culture. Noting the passion and enthusiasm that Stephanie effuses when talking about her job at Nike, it is obvious she thoroughly enjoys what she does and the brand her job represents. With her current success story and the excellent position she has found herself in, it would appear Nike and London has given Stephanie’s career a big tick!


Darnelle’s life less ordinary By Heidi Clapham


arnelle Timbs is a hard person to pin down for a chat. This Wairere Road girl is constantly on the move. Even when she’s sitting down, she’s trying to go as fast as possible. She has spent eleven years rowing – seven years representing New Zealand internationally. She has travelled to Europe for world championship events six times and competed in several other international regattas. She has also completed a Bachelor of Arts degree, majoring in Geography and Political Science, with Honours in Advanced Development Studies and has recently completed her Masters First Class. Darnelle’s international rowing career began when she was asked to trial for the New Zealand Junior Team at the end of high school along with Bess Halley (who also resides in Wainui). Both Darnelle and Bess were selected for the Junior World Rowing Championships and this marked the step from national-grade success, to a long and accomplished international career for the high school friends who uniquely rowed in virtually every crew together at both domestic and elite level. Darnelle trained and studied in Christchurch under the New Zealand Rowing Academy. She then moved to Cambridge, the national rowing base, where she trained for many years among the New Zealand rowing elite squad, rowing alongside the likes of Sonia Wadell, the Evers-Swindells and Mahe Drysdale. Darnelle, the daughter of David Timbs and Ro Darrall, says she never really planned to live the life of an athlete, but she quickly found out what she was in for. At junior level she trained twice a day and then at elite level, life was “pretty much all about rowing”. While many students go off to university with the goal of having as much fun as possible, Darnelle had a different focus. On a busy week she rowed over 50km each day. As a professional athlete she had to constantly watch her diet; no alcohol was allowed and there was random drug testing. Rowing was such a commitment that she had to become a part-time student during her Masters, which took two and a half years, as opposed to the usual one year, to complete. Darnelle says the best thing has been the friends she made in the rowing community. She also loved the competition of racing and the travel it offered, allowing her to fulfill her desire to observe and experience other cultures. She rowed in many different countries – and then, after competition duties were fulfilled, went off on a backpacking stint with friends from her rowing squad. A highlight was winning an Under 23 World Championship in Poland in 2004 and then travelling to Athens to witness the Olympic Games. It was in Athens that Darnelle developed the dream to compete at the 2008 Beijing Olympics and for several years this became the main focus in her life. Unfortunately the dream didn’t become a reality as she was not selected for the final squad, and recently Darnelle decided to finish with rowing for the time being. Darnelle did make it to Beijing however. Last year she went to the Olympics on her own steam to at least experience what she might have been part of. She says it was one of the most exciting things she has done so far. She attended many sports including all the rowing races as a spectator, while catching up with long-time fellow rowers. “The best thing was getting into all the Olympic after-parties with all my rowing friends,” she laughs.

MY MATE FERGIE: Darnelle interviewed the musicians and management of the Black Eyed Peas as part of her Masters’ thesis. From Beijing Darnelle went to rural Cambodia where she worked for several months as a volunteer to try out her next idea of working for a development organisation. Darnelle spent this summer in Gisborne as the Event Coordinator for the BW Camping Festival. As an illustration of her determination Darnelle tells the story of how she once chased the music group “Black Eyed Peas” pretty much all around the world. At an Auckland concert she got the idea that the Peas’ philosophy to music could help with her Masters’ thesis on how music can create beneficial change in the lives of ethnic minorities. She managed to get backstage where she met the Peas’ manager who was enthusiastic about the idea. After competing at the World Rowing Championships in England in 2006 she flew to Canada to try and interview the group on tour. After following the tour for a week, numerous concerts and VIP after-parties later, she finally managed to get an interview on the tour bus. On another rowing trip she stopped over in Los Angeles to interview the bands management and insisted on visiting the notorious LA ghettos to witness a programme set up by the Peas to assist marginalised youth. She then tracked the group down again in Sydney to hand deliver the thesis at their concert and enjoy another after-party. As a result, a local documentary maker has contacted her, interested in possibly turning her thesis into a documentary. At 25 Darnelle is concerned about social inequalities, the contrast between rich and poor. She wants to pursue her passion in this area, having a particular interest in the use of sport and play programmes as a means of improving the futures of children in disadvantaged areas of the world. This month she found a way to attend the Global Sports Forum in Barcelona in Spain where, by chance, she met and made a contact of Australian 60 Minutes journalist and social justice advocate, Jeff McMullen. Jeff is CEO of Ian Thorpe’s Fountain of Youth programme and a champion of “journalism that really matters”. Right now Darnelle is enjoying being back home in Gisborne and is in no hurry to leave. She plans to study Spanish extramurally. She and Bess still enjoy the odd row together on the Waimata river, the place where they began their sporting journey back in high school days.

BeachLife | 39




GIRL POWER: Hannah Kohn shows mature style at the Mount.


i beach residents, wow what a summer! I’ve been surfing since the mid eighties and can’t remember water temperatures ever being anywhere near as warm as this year. One local fisherman told me it was 23 degrees off the coast and its usually warmer in the surf zone. All I know is my spring suit didn’t get much surf time this year but I have worn out a couple of pairs of board shorts. Wave wise, it’s been up and down with some real quality when all the hotties were away at the Nationals at Piha in January. We had an intense looking low-pressure system drop out of the Southwest Pacific, intensify and then very slowly track off to the East. It produced some solid E-NE swell for about a week and with the Southerly winds it produced, there were some truly epic surfs had by many both up and down the coast. It’s March already and that intense summer heat has gone, replaced by cooler and noticeably shorter days. Autumn is upon us and I know that every surfer in Gisborne must appreciate what autumn brings. With summer crowds dwindling, sea breezes dying and the Pacific still very warm, autumn makes surfing in Gisborne just brilliant. At this time of year the southern ocean begins to stir up those distant lows that

BIG SPLASH: Blair Stewart at the Nationals. bring southerly groundswells to surprise even the avid Buoy Weather subscribers. The South Pacific, being still so warm, invites lows from the north to slide close enough to give us a generous helping of northeast groundswell. It is not uncommon this time of year to have two solid swells arrive congruently with light offshores blowing all day. This is a very busy time of year for our competitive surfers and there is a Surfing New Zealand event on nearly every weekend. Men, Women, Grommets, Seniors, Masters, Veterans, Pro Short and Longboard circuits and events are all in full swing and many parents find themselves stretched mentally and financially with all the competition and travelling.

Drive away well connected, a perfect match every time

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I’d just like to say “well done” to all those Gisborne surfers who travel the length and width of this country competing for our district, themselves and to better their skills. And a big thanks also to those parents that drive our groms everywhere, pay their entry fees, petrol, and accommodation then wait in their cars watching for hours on end. (Make sure you thank your mums and dads if you’re one of these). Gisborne has some great surfers and we have had some excellent results over the summer. If you want to enter an event, check out event results or ratings for various Surfing Circuits you should use this website The Nationals, New Zealand’s longest running surfing event, was held at Piha in Auckland this year and Gisborne was well-represented in all divisions and produced four national champions. Daniel Proctor (22) brought the Open Men’s Longboard title back to Gisborne again and has since gone on to win another Hyundai Pro Longboard Circuit event at Sandy Bay. Procter missed the Christchurch Event but will be back in action at Whangamata trying to produce a surfing Hat- trick soon. Daniel looks well positioned to take out the Hyundai Longboard Series this year. Local boy, Blair Stewart, former Open Men’s National Champion in 2003 took out the Senior Men’s division 30+ this year with a fine display and has since gone on to place in the final of the Billabong Pro in Whangamata. John Gisby added two more titles to his record breaking horde, winning both the Over 50s Mens and the Over 55 Mens titles respectively. Makorori local Bobby Hansen won the Billabong Pro at Whangamata in convincing fashion recently and has now won three events on the circuit this yar and is the current leader. Bobby is still competing on the WQS, (World Qualify Series) and is still New

DID YOU JUST TEXT ME?: Pushing the envelope of the telecommunications revolution Jacob Kohn can now state with confidence that mobile phones don’t work while in your pocket out in the surf. Jacob had just competed in the Billabong Grom Search at the Mount and posted the highest heat score of the whole event – a 10.0 and a 9.0 for an almost perfect 19 out of 20 points. The loss of the phone became inconsequential!

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you can select a team of eight WCT surfers you think will do well in each up and coming event and you are awarded points for their placings. You compete against people from around the world and can join local Wainui teams and play as groups. Finally a big congratulations to BIG DAY OUT: Damon Gunness finds near perfection at Schools during a big swell moment this summer. James Tanner from Zealand’s top ranked Kiwi male. He needs to try to break into the top Douglas Street, Okitu, for taking out the Open Men’s division of the 15 of the WQS by the year’s end if he has any chance of making the Annual Makorori First Light Longboard Competition which was held in elite WCT (World Championship Tour). small glassy conditions over Waitangi weekend. Some were saying the The Byron Bay Longboard Club made their second visit to Gisborne “Cat” was back! in February this year. They enjoyed the delights of our district and had Well, good luck to those who are chasing competitions and circuit a friendly competition with Gisborne’s premiere Longboard Club, the titles over the next few months and remember at this time of year, if Moananui Longboard Surfriders. The day was unfortunately cold with you leave the district your probably going to miss something good. a strong southerly wind so the event was moved to Tolaga Bay where the ANZAC spirit was embraced with a friendly, all in, competition. Men, women and children longboarders from both sides of the Tasman rode with valour and styled with glory? Or was it rode with glory and styled with valour? You choose. Everyone was a winner for participating. Spot prizes presented by president Ian (Moti) Procter and all surfers left feeling good about the sports exchange with the Byron Bay Best priced gas refills in town. Longboard Club. Moananui Longboard members regularly travel to Byron Bay to compete in their annual longboard festival and it’s good to see a large group of them, again, making the effort to reciprocate. Visiting with the Byron Bay crew was Hawaiian surfer and elder statesman Keoki Puaoi, from the island of Kauai, a friend of Ian Testing LPG, SCUBA, Fire Proctor, Owen Williams and Kevin Croskery. In the first ever KauaiExtinguishers, heater repairs. Wainui Golf Challenge, Keoki (a.k.a. “The Sandbagger”) soundly Dive instruction and equipment. defeated the editor of BeachLife magazine (a.k.a. “The Lizard). Did you log on to watch the world’s best surfers going head to head at this year’s Quicksilver Pro on the Gold Coast? Australian Joel Parkinson, 27, won the event, defeating Adriano de Souza of Brazil in solid six-to-eight foot surf at Kirra. With winter coming on (another) silly game you can play that’s free is Fantasy Surfer. Log on to to register, and

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BeachLife #3  

Issue 3 of BeachLife Magazine, autumn 2009

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