Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Book Review: The Enderby settlement: Britain’s whaling venture on the sub-Antarctic Auckland Islands 1849-52 / by Conon Fraser.

The Enderby Settlement : Auckland Islands

“Englishman Charles Enderby hoped to set up a whaling base and farming settlement on the Auckland Islands. In 1849 and 1850, 200 settlers arrived from Britain. They built a town, Hardwicke (named after the ship that brought them there, “Earl of Hardwicke”), but agriculture was difficult and they left in 1852”.
Te Ara Encyclopedia of New Zealand

This book is about Charles Enderby and his failed attempt to set up his whaling station. In 1849 the whales were scarce and he discovered that the Maori were already there, they had understood the islands to be uninhabited. The HMS Fly had visited the islands some time previously but neglected to pass on the correct information, Maori had been living there for some 8 years by that time.  

Never the less they went ashore and attempted to set up their new colony but it was to be a disaster, it was too isolated and a very stormy climate, so together with the inexperienced settlers, this meant that by 1852 they had given up. They upped sticks and took everything, not even a trace of the grand Government House was left behind!
Government House was described as “A splendid wooden house – English built – 14 rooms” see pg. 61.

A fascinating story of New Zealand’s history on the Auckland Islands. The author sadly passed away before his work was published.
This map shows where the settlement was sited, from page 15 of this book.

Monday, 19 January 2015

Discover Rotorua Heritage : Moncur Drive

Moncur Drive named after expert knitter.                                      

Moncur Drive is a quaint, tree-lined street of mainly residential dwellings with the exception of the Commercial Travellers Association. 
 In the early 1900s, Goudie’s Nursery ran from Otonga Rd back to the thermal area. This sequoia tree and lane of trees on Kiwi Street marks what was the back entrance. The track that was the main entrance to the nursery off Old Taupo Road is now Moncur Drive (8, 9).
Moncur Drive was named after Alexander Francis Moncur (1889-1976). Labour MP for Rotorua  1935-1943, Rotorua mayor 1947-1953 and expert knitter (3).

Born in Thorpedale, Australia on 9/3/1889, Moncur came to New Zealand in 1906 and had worked in West Coast and Waihi mines and for the Railway before owning a taxi business in Whakatane (4).

Moncur may have had some impact on Rotorua before taking up his roles here. He was Chairman of the Auckland Branch of the Amalgamated Society of Railway Servants during the railwaymen strike at the time of the Prince of Wales’ Visit to Rotorua in 1920. The Prime Minister, Mr. Massey, had to take an arduous car journey from Rotorua to Wellington for negotiations where further train travel for the Prince was agreed on (5, 6).

Moncur was a Borough Councillor in Whakatane and involved with the Labour Party there before moving to Rotorua in 1935 (4) Moncur was the mayor of Rotorua from 1947 to 1953, a period where there was growing demand for houses and increased water supply (7).
Author of Rotorua streets, Philip Andrews, notes that ironically Moncur “had opposed the naming of streets after local personalities” while serving for council (3). Andrews also states that Moncur knitted baby layettes while Parliament sat. Moncur later made comments against the efficiency of hand-knitting despite having “the reputation of being an expert knitter” and got himself into some hot water with more than one “woman knitter”! (3, 8, 9)
2.       Allen, P. (1990). Rural community, Rotorua, 1920: just before and during 1920’s. Rotorua: P. Allen.
3.       Andrews, P. (1999) Rotorua streets: the stories behind the street names of Rotorua & district. Rotorua: Bibliophil
5.       Prince and strikers. (1920, April 30). The Register (Adelaide, SA : 1901 - 1929), p. 7.
6.       The Rotorua Post. 28.10.1953 A.F. Moncur. [Microfilm]
7.       Stafford, D. M. (Donald Murray). 1988. The new century in Rotorua: a history of events from 1900. Auckland [N.Z.] ; Rotorua [N.Z.] : Ray Richards Publisher and Rotorua District Council.
8.       WOMEN KNITTERS: Evening Post, Volume CXXIX, Issue 135, 8 June 1940, Page 10
9.       WORK OF WOMEN KNITTERS: Evening Post, Volume CXXIX, Issue 137, 11 June 1940, Page 6

Post by Sandra Quinn, Heritage & Collections Librarian.

Tuesday, 13 January 2015

Discover Your Home, our reading recommendations

Discover @ the Library

See what you can discover @ the library from your home and about your home. The New Zealand bay villa is familiar to most kiwi’s and in every town, city and rural setting you can see these houses being lovingly restored. Why don’t you come in and check out our display on the 2nd floor or read some interesting snippets on early New Zealand housing online via your laptop, tablet or phone.

Stewart, D. (2002). The New Zealand villa: Past and present. Auckland: Penguin Books.

This book traces the origins and development of the bay villa that forms a substantial part of our housing in New Zealand. The author takes the reader on a journey through a typical villa, beginning with the exterior and leading us inside, exploring the house room by room. The enjoyable part of this book is the social history that woven throughout and the photos that evoke memories of the past. This is essential reading for prospective buyers and villa owners.

  Online resource
Housing - - Te Ara: Encyclopedia of New Zealand

Petersen, Anna K. C. (2001). New Zealanders at home: a cultural history of domestic interiors 1814-1914. Dunedin: University of Otago Press.
New Zealand and New Zealanders have been influenced by European design.  Early Maori whare were deemed to be uncivilised and therefore Samuel Marsden arranged for chiefs in the Bay of Islands to visit his parsonage in Parramatta.
When the first three English families arrived at Rangihoua in 1814 with very few personal possessions, they were each allocated a room in one large raupo whare built for them by Maori.  1
Maori had their own cultural significance of items within the whare and did not readily take to the new English ways. The chiefs who adopted the foreign customs, of dealing with food such as eating with knives and forks, retained their mana because they were seen to be enlightened enough to make a choice.  2 
1. p. 17 & 2. p. 23

Tuesday, 6 January 2015

Book Review : Matters of the Heart by Angela Wanhalla

Matters of the Heart by Angela Wanhalla

This book traces the history of interracial relationships in New Zealand, over a two hundred year period, beginning in the 1770’s and ending in the early 1970’s. The relationships in this book look at an emotional connection rather than a temporal, social or economic context. The role of the state in these relationships is also explored.  

Available to borrow now from Rotorua District Library on the 2nd Floor. 306.846z WAN