Home' Special Magazines : Rodney Times Historical Insert Contents www.rodneytimes.co.nz
RODNEY TIMES, MARCH 20, 2012
This beautiful, 240 page book will transport you through the vibrant history of the Rodney
district, chronicling the growth of
its community newspaper and
the changes it witnessed, reported
and was a part of.
A must-have piece of New Zealand
history youll be proud to own.
Focus On: Rodney Times
Kindly sponsored by the Cook Family
The Rodney Times was first issued in Warkworth
on March 29, 1901, by Alfred Walter Charles de
The real estate agent and former Tauranga weekly
paper owner bought a Kaipara and Waitemata paper The
Gazette and charged three pence
for the new Friday paper called The
Rodney and Otamatea Times.
He sold it in 1904 and moved to
Helensville to carry on real estate
and establish another paper.
A succession of Rodney Times
owners followed - five in 16 years
- then the Cook family began its
nearly 88 year ownership with
William Thompson Rauparaha Cook in 1917 until third
generation family member Tony Cook sold the free twice-
weekly paper to Fairfax New Zealand in 2005.
The paper once had offices in Rodney townships from
Wellsford to Kumeu, but increasing computerisation and
industry centralisation means the Rodney Times is now
based in Orewa, from which sister publication the North
Harbour News is also produced.
Original owner de La Roche's first editorial stating ``we
throw our columns open to our readers....'' applies just as
The Rodney Times has reported on many changes as the
Rodney district developed from a milling and pioneer dairy
farming scenario to a mix of farming, horticulture, lifestyle
blocks and townships.
The district has grown rapidly in recent
years as more people come to enjoy
the natural beauty, particularly the
beaches, the rural outlook, the Kumeu
and Matakana wine regions, farmers
markets and more. It's now well
established as Auckland's weekend and
One of the main growth areas, the
Hibiscus Coast, has become part of the Albany ward, while
the Rodney ward ser vices the mainly rural area under the
The Rodney Times will remain the area's voice.
After 110 years the Rodney Times is embarking on even
more changes in line with rapid progress in world media.
You can now read the Rodney Times online, and check us
out on Facebook and Twitter.
Visit www.rodneytimes.co.nz for information.
Bob Dylan's lyrics certainly apply to the Rodney Times, the
paper's path well documented in the book Changing Times.
Changing Times is more than the story of Rodney's longest
serving community newspaper.
It would be impossible to tell how the Rodney Times,
established in 1901, survived the lean war years and
the great Depression to eventually become an award-
winning newspaper without including the people and
events that shaped the district.
Author the late Kit de Latour, a former Rodney Times
editor, combines the district's history with the Rodney
Times' changing ownership, style, and printing
upgrades extremely well.
His easy to read chronological account includes
wonderful photographs and many examples of the
changing front pages.
Changing Times is handy for its historical references,
stories of local people and its photos.
Many of the early black and white photos, town folk
and events were taken by Tudor Collins, or come from the Cook family
The book gives the reader the chance to reflect on what Warkworth
looked like during the settler years as a riverside town reliant on
steamboats for trade, travel and communication.
It describes Warkworth in the years before sealed roads as an island
surrounded by mud during winter. It also gives an accoun
on the fire that destroyed the Times and a block of shops o
Queen St in 1931.
The book mostly focuses on the Cook family,
who owned the Rodney Times for 88 years through three
generations. Printer William Cook became its longest-
serving editor until his death in 1942. William's son Elsley
took over the business. He had been working with his
father since 1929 and was behind the Times expansion into
purpose-built brick premises on the corner of Queen St and
Mill Lane beside the Cook family's villa, which they still
own, overlooking the Mahurangi River.
Although Elsley was a former banker, twice wounded in
World War One, learned to fly and was employed by the
New Zealand High Commission, he struggled with the
editor's role and had two competitors - The Rodney and
Otamatea Courier and Lower North News in Wellsford.
When Elsley died in 1955, aged 62, wife Marjorie defied her
detractors who thought a widowed mother-of-three couldn't
run a newspaper and decided to try it for two years.
She ran the paper until 1976 when son To n y took over as managing
director. During that time Marjorie bought the two opposition newspapers,
employed four editors, daughter Annette became the sales manager,
the paper moved to a new building in Mill Lane and in 1967 the Times
was delivered free.
was Tony's move to
eb-offset printing that
opelled the Times
edia Group into one of
he foremost printing
usinesses during the
990s with a number
f printing presses in
buildings he bought on
The Times won 47 media awards in the Community Newspaper Awards
and Qantas competitions.
It took 14 years to get Changing Times into print. Mr de Latour wrote
the first draft of the book in the mid-1990s, but it was put on the back
burner while the Cook family were busy expanding the print and media
empire to even include radio.
But in 2000, staff working for managing director Tony Cook's Times
Media Group on a publication called Celebrating a Century in Rodney,
encouraged the Cook family to finish and publish the ``Cook book''.
It went on sale at last year's Warkworth Kowhai Festival.
Sadly Mr de Latour died of cancer the previous December, but saw the
book's final layout before it was printed.
*Changing Times by Kit de Latour, editor here from 1984-1986, was
published in 2009 by Times Media Group. It is available from Annette
Cook (09) 425 8940.
We're celebrating 110 years of
serving the community.
These are the staff who help bring you the Rodney Times twice a week
This team comprises sales and editorial staff, while another team based
at Penrose puts the paper together for printing - all done via computers
It couldn't be done without your support as an advertiser or reader.
So here's to you as we celebrate 110 years of the Rodney Times.
All type for the Times was handset. Each line was
then laid into a form on a flatbed press, inked up
and printed onto sheetfed newsprint.
Times are a changing
Pictured left: William
Cook, Ada Cook and
their youngest daughter,
Nancy taken 1941.
Changing Times. A newspaper and its community across 110 years
Soft Cover____ copies @$55.50 each $_________
Plus postage @ $5 per copy
Kindly make cheques payable to COOK PROPERTIES and post to PO Box 91 Warkworth 0941 or phone Annette cook 09 425 8940
or alternatively, copies are available at the Rodney Times office, cnr Alice and Florence Avenues, Orewa.
Above: Elsley Arthur Cook.
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