Wednesday, 25 February 2015


Mick and Nan Te Koeti, blacksanding on Maori Beach, Bruce Bay 1965. Makaawhio Point is in the  distance. Below: Brendon Wilson (in piupiu) and Sam Tainui, dressed for the occasion at the Hokitika centennial in 1964, outside the replica Hudson and Price General Store in honour of the town's European pioneers.

Saturday, 14 February 2015

Relay for Life 2015

The Makaawhio tent, with 'sleeping quarters' behind.
The kai sales table did a brisk business.
Great turnout of whanau for the Relay for Life Cancer fundraiser in Hokitika tonight. For 20 hours from 4 o'clock this afternoon, walkers in 30-minute blocks are walking continuously around the Westland High School grounds. Big mihi to all our walkers - especially those doing the graveyard shift early in the morning when no one else wanted to do it! - and also to the many other supporters who have been helping with our kai sales.
Taua Marie Mahuika doing laps with Rohatai and Charlotte.

Friday, 13 February 2015

Our own head guide

Shout out to Kahurangi Wilson-Mahuika, our very own Ngati Mahaki head guide on the Ngai Tahu Tourism Whakatipuwaitai Track. Not only our first guide - that is, since the Rangatira Tutoko himself! - but also the youngest. Here he is on his second trip as head guide. Tumeke!

Monday, 2 February 2015

Building our marae 2

Upoko Wilfred Te Koeti signs the agreement, witnessed by Susan Wallace, as the minister waits along with whanau and the Jacobs River School, in uniform. November 27, 2003.
Wilfred Te Koeti, Paul Madgwick, Susan Wallace, Ron Hazeldine (DOC, Hokitika) and Mere Wallace.

Building our marae
Waiting on site to welcome then Minister of Conservation Chris Carter, November 27, 2003, for the formal exchange of land titles to make way for the marae development.

Chairman Paul Madgwick signs the agreement with Upoko Wilfred Te Koeti.

The old schoolyard

Wilsons, Cadigans and Rochfords, plus the local Pakeha families of Watson, Scott and Condon. This was about 1948, in between waves of Wilsons, Mahuikas and Bannisters. Photos courtesy Tui Cadigan.
With the Jacobs River (and Bruce Bay) School reunion this weekend, time for a quick stroll down memory lane. Up to 150 are expected for the reunion, starting with a get-together back at the school grounds, then hangi and reminiscing at the marae. Back to the school on Saturday, then a good old-fashioned BYO knees-up at the Bruce Bay Hall.

Backyard cricket, next door! No sexism here as the girls play the boys as the teacher watches. Doreen Wilson crouching down, Eileen Cadigan, Margaret Cadigan, Thomas? Rochford. 

Friday, 30 January 2015


I took this photo in the late 1980s, luckily capturing three generations of Wilsons who were brought up at Hunts Beach - and stayed - Uncle Bob, Paul and his son Robert. Uncle Bob died in 1991, Paul still lives on the old stomping ground at Hunts Beach, and Rob is now a farmer (and soon to be a father again) up the road at Hari Hari.

They are standing outside the front of the original Wilson homestead, built facing the Manakaiaua River in the very early 1900s by Ernest and Tui (nee Katau Te Naihi) Wilson just after their marriage. All of the timber was pit sawn on site - with Tui and Ernie on either end of the saw - and included a lot of heart totara.

This is the house where the Wilson whanau were all born and grew up. Ernie died in the 1930s, leaving Tui to finish raising the younger of the brood by herself, and when she died about 1952 the homestead later became home to her youngest, Sam Wilson, and his wife Ethel and their two children, John and Dawn. In its last years the house fell into disrepair and about eight years ago Paul Wilson pulled it down before it fell down!