Home' Special Magazines : Rodney Times Historical Insert Contents Focus On: Shelly Beach
This Waikato leader...came to Kaipara with his party to
persuade Ngati Whatua...to join the King movement."
writes CM Sheffield in Men Came Voyaging. He was
unsuccessful but a four-sided memorial of Oamaru
stone with a copy of the treaty set under glass with a
bust of Queen Victoria carved in totara was set up with
"This tapu memorial from whose presence all Maori
were required to back away, long stood on a spot near
the later Shelly Beach wharf," writes Sheffield.
According to Dick Scott in Seven Lives on Salt River,
the plaster and wood bust was given to Chief Te Keene
Tangaroa by Governor Gore Browne as a reward for
loyalty to the British during the wars for the land. Te
Keene died in 1885. The bust was shifted to the mission
village at Kakaraea (Tanoa) in 1887 and is outside the
Otamatea Marae. Information: timespanner.blogspot.
Regattas were popular picnic days for Aucklanders and
Helensville residents at Shelly Beach on New Year's day
before World War One.
Abust of Queen Victoria once resided in a glass
case along with a copy of the Treaty of Waitangi
on Shelly Beach.
Ngati Whatua assembled at Herepeti - the Maori name for Shelly Beach in 1884. "At
this big meeting when the Council Hall, 'Te Tiriti' (The Treaty) was opened, the Maori
King, Tawhiao, was a guest.
Wooden Victoria: The bust of Queen Victoria now at Otamatea
Shelly Beach: This photo would have been taken in the late 1880s as the Queen
Victoria bust is still at the beach but can not be seen clearly in this photo.
PHOTO: HELENSVILLE PIONEER MUSEUM.
Steamers & Gum. The block
was later bought by Auckland
auctioneer Alfred Buckland in the
South Head's Waioneke block of 20,000 acres was taken up by Dr Daniel
Pollen and W.S Young in 1868 to farm, writes Wayne Ryburn in Tall Spars,
Following the sinking of three ships at the entrance to Kaipara Harbour,
including the brig Sophia Pate which ran aground off South Head in 1841
with the loss of 21 lives, a pilot station and custom house were maintained
at Tokatoka until the pilot station was moved to South Head in 1864.
"Captain John James followed Mr James Stanaway as harbour master in
that year and was suceeded in 1870 by Captain R Chapman.
Captain Lowrie came next in 1872 and, during his term, which lasted
until 1880, the custom house and pilot station were transferred to Pouto
in 1874," writes Ryburn. During this time the harbour was surveyed and
buoys and beacons were put in place. However, shipwrecks continued. The
Osprey, top heavy with cargo, was beached at Bucklands wharf, South
Head, and later refloated and repaired at Helensville, writes Ryburn. By
the late 1800s, steamers SS Wairoa and the SS Sterling would tow vessels
across the harbour entrance.
There were two major gum fields at South Head, Waioneke and Otakanini,
so the area's population fluctuated although general numbers were unknown
in the 1800s. There was about 1214 hectares (3000 acres) put aside at
South Head as gum reser ves. "By 1909 about half the reser ves (including
South Head), little of which contained gum, had been revoked and retained
as Crown land for use as farm settlements. Three blocks were established
for returned soldiers after World War Two - the land was acquired from the
"The first block, opened prior to the war's end, was the Otatoa, which
was followed by that at Kawau just after the war, and settled by 1950.
Approximately 30 dairy and sheep farms were established. In 1948, a
fourth, known as Bell Block, Kiwitahi, was subdivided into sheep and dairy
farms," writes Ryburn.
"In 1946, Hec Nicholls (b. 1914) moved to South Head where he milked
cows. Cream was taken by launch to the dairy factory at Helensville."
Electricity supply reached South Head from 1950. Alfred McLeod ran a
sheep farm at Shelly Beach that was purchased in 1938.
"As there were no real roads, fertiliser was barged to the farm and until a
road was put through to the soldier rehabilitation farms after World War
Two, horse and wagon were still in use," writes Ryburn.
During the 1930s depression, gangs of unemployed workers planted
marram grass and lupins in the dunes between Muriwai and South Head
and the first pine trees were also planted.
During this time, "Road gangs of between six and ten men used traditional
methods of spades and hand carts to reform the road (to South Head),"
In the 1970s, when Roy Monk found feral deer outnumbered cattle on his
property, he obtained a licence and fenced hundreds in to become the first
deer farmer at South Head.
September 2011 saw southern Kaipara Maori officially sign their
Treaty of Waitangi settlement at Aotea/Shelly Beach.
Central to the settlement is the return of Woodhill Forest land and
accumulated rentals to Ngati Whatua o Kaipara.
But of equal importance are the Crown's acknowledgments.
These include placing the history of the Kaipara in context, the
commitment and support Ngati Whatua gave to the Crown from
1840, and the cumulative effect of the Crown's treaty breaches
that significantly undermined the rangatiratanga of Ngati Whatua
o Kaipara. Information: www.stuff.co.nz
WARRIOR WELCOME: Josh Wikiriwhi of Wellsford challenges the official party arriving at
Aotea/Shelly Beach for the signing of the treaty settlement PHOTO: GEOFF DOBSON
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