Sunday, 12 December 2010

Dr Barry : One Public Hospital for Hawke's Bay A brief History.

In the early days government provided little in the way of health services. People in need of care relied on independent doctors, and family and community support. The first public hospital opened in Napier in 1860, and this served the entire region until a second was opened in Waipukurau in 1879. Other hospitals followed, including Wairoa (1888), Dannevirke (1906) and Hastings on ANZAC day 25th April 1928 the Hawk’e Bay Fallen soldiers Hospital was opened by the Minister of Health & Hasting mayor Sir George Ebbett. It was a low lying single storeyed building set back from Omahu road.
1931 Napier hospital buried in landslide after earthquake. Temporary hospital set up.
A new Napier Hospital on the hill was opened in 1969
In the 1990s the government wanted to rationalise health services, and some hospitals, such as Napier and Dannevirke, closed.
1995 the big debate on one hospital for Hastings and Napier was in full swing.
In 1995, following a hotly contested debate between Hastings and Napier, it was
decided that the regional hospital should be in Hastings.
Napier people were assured, by both political and health authorities from the highest
level down, that after its establishment:
they would have two-thirds of the services they had previously enjoyed
these would include accident services, day surgery and maternity. It would be pointless for Napier to be in competition with Hastings. The
Napier Public Health Action Group [NPHAG] does not, repeat NOT, seek duplication
of a regional hospital in Napier. It DOES seek fulfilment of the assurances given
when our hospital was closed – a public community hospital offering real treatment of cases not requiring high tech equipment.
In the 2000s the region was covered by the Hawke’s Bay and MidCentral district health boards. The main hospital was located in Hastings. District and community health centres were in Wairoa, Napier, Waipukurau and Dannevirke. Māori organisations such as Te Taiwhenua o Heretaunga in Hastings provided health and other social services to Māori in the region.

Monday, 1 November 2010

Dr David Barry - One Public Hospital for Hawke's Bay

Hawke’s Bay District Health Board member, Dr David Barry is Landmarks History Group’s guest speaker for November 2010 on the history of how one regional hospital was formed in Hawke’s Bay. The process which resulted in the regional hospital for Hawke’s Bay had many influences on the decision. A mixture of parochialism, civic pride, Hastings’ growth in population, central and local government influence and medical advances in intensive care, all make the ingredients for a fascinating talk by Dr Barry.
Dr Barry is well-qualified to talk on this subject having been first employed by the hospital as senior pediatrician in 1972, and was chairman of Hastings Memorial Hospital medical staff at the time of the initial moves toward establishing a single hospital

Sunday, 17 October 2010

The Kirk, the Laird and the Lady Principal – an account of the founding of Iona College Jo McGlashan

Iona College was the dream of three visionary yet practical people:
Mr Hugh Campbell of Breadalbane, Havelock North, who offered the Presbyterian Church of New Zealand eight acres of land, initially for the establishment of a Deaconess College.
Reverend Alexander Whyte, Minister of St Columba’s Church, Havelock North, 1898-1910, who saw the need for a Presbyterian Girls’ School and petitioned the Presbyterian Church to establish one.
Miss Isabel Fraser, Principal of Wanganui Girls’ College, 1893 — 1910, whose dreams were for a Christian education for young women and who, in 1909, offered her services to the Presbyterian Church should a girls’ boarding school be established. Incidentally, it was Miss Fraser who introduced the kiwifruit to New Zealand.
These visions coalesced when the 1911 General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church set up a committee to ‘investigate the support for the establishment of a girls’ boarding school’. During the next year a further four acres of land were donated by Mr Mason Chambers; Miss Fraser travelled to Britain where she visited schools seeking ideas and models, and funds were sought throughout the North Island in order to meet the conditions of Mr Campbell’s gift.
At the November 1912 meeting of the Presbyterian Church committee, several important decisions were made: the gifts of land from Messers Campbell and Chambers were accepted and a boarding school for girls was to be established; Miss Isabel Fraser was offered the position of Headmistress — she accepted and, as well, offered her services free for a period of five years!
The committee adopted several of Miss Fraser’s suggestions:
The name of the school was to be Iona College, Iona being the first place in Scotland where Saint Columba had preached Christianity.
The College crest was to be the Celtic cross.
The College’s motto was to be ‘Love, Joy, Peace’ — gifts of the Holy Spirit as outlined by the apostle Paul in Galatians 5.22.
Architects Rush and James were asked to submit a plan for the school taking Miss Fraser’s ideas into account. The committee itself was enlarged and an Executive Committee was appointed.
Miss Fraser again travelled to Britain seeking equipment and staff. She was overseas when on May 14, 1913, the College Foundation Stone was laid by Mr Hugh Campbell at a gathering attended by over 1,000 people. The Foundation Plaque sits in the main building outside the Principal’s office.
Opened in 1914, Iona College is the oldest Presbyterian School in New Zealand. It was established as a girls’ boarding school built on land donated by Mr Hugh Campbell.
The Prime Minister, the Right Honourable W F Massey, opened Iona College on February 14, 1914.
Iona opened with a roll of 48 pupils who were accommodated in buildings that were habitable but unfinished.
In its infancy, Iona developed very quickly and prospered under the leadership of Miss Isabel Fraser, the founding headmistress, who offered her services free for the first five years. During its early years, Iona College developed at an unforeseen pace. In 1916, the staff cottages were built and the swimming pool was opened. In 1917, St Oran’s was built as a separate hospital but, upon completion, was used for boarding accommodation such was the demand for places. By 1918 there were 125 boarders.
Miss Fraser retired in 1921. Her name lives on in one of the school’s four Houses and her generative wish for the school is contained in these words:
"May Iona do its share in furnishing our beloved land with women whose bodies are free with the freedom of health, whose minds are free from all littleness, and whose souls are free with the fruits of the spirit against which there is no law."
Miss Fraser was succeeded by Miss J R Barr, from New Plymouth Girls’ High School, who convinced the College Council that Iona should become a registered secondary school. This became possible after the conversion of a classroom into a science laboratory.
Despite the manse upbringing and excellent academic record of Miss Barr’s successor, Miss Ann Drennan, her term as Headmistress was short and, at the end of 1924, Miss Irene Stollery was appointed as acting Principal and then Principal in 1926.
1924 saw the College near bankruptcy and facing a diminishing roll. Those who worked to keep the Founders’ visions alive included Mr Archibald McLean and Mr J B Campbell (son of Hugh) who became Chairman of the Council in 1931. This period was when Commercial and Primary Departments were added. The other major event which happened in this period was the Napier earthquake.
EarthquakeIona’s buildings were severely affected by the February 1931 earthquake and the College had to be closed for a year while refinancing and rebuilding took place. The opening roll in 1932 was 27 boarders and nine day pupils. In 1927, Miss Christina McNeil joined the staff as a teacher of French. In 1936, she was appointed as Headmistress and Iona was to become her life for the next three decades.
The war years saw Iona standing fast in the face of even more adversity. Girls received certificates rather than books for prizes and the money saved was donated to a welfare fund.
The highlight of this period was the opening of St Martin’s chapel in 1958. It was the fulfilment of dreams, visions and 12 years of fundraising.
For Miss McNeil it was the highlight of her days at Iona. Iona was complete with “a place to work and a shrine in which to worship.”

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

The Kirk, the Laird and the Lady Principal – an account of the founding of Iona College Jo McGlashan

The Kirk, the Laird and the Lady Principal – an account of the founding of Iona College Jo McGlashan, an old-girl of Iona College, and a past chaplain, is the Landmarks History Group speaker for October where she will talk on the founding of Iona College. One person that will be mentioned is founding Principal Miss Fraser, an interesting and farsighted lady who is credited with bringing the first Chinese Gooseberry (now Kiwi Fruit) seeds to New Zealand. As usual the talk will take place at the Hastings Public Library, Warren Street, on Tuesday 12 October from 5.30pm until 6.30pm. Gold coin donation upon entry.

Tuesday, 14 September 2010

Blossom Queen, A festival And A Riot : Helena La Hood (nee Hannah)



Cynthia Bowers gave a brief history of how the blossom festival started.
Napier in early 1920 had their 30 thousand club with Mardi gras and Carnival Queen and shopping extravaganzas, promoting Napier.
After the 1931 earthquake they took the lead role to Napier's redevelopement.
They help establish the sound shell and promenade, and helped retaillers get back on their feet.
Hastings decided to have a carnival of their own. In 1922 the first Hastings carnival was held, wooden arches were erected across the main street, they had late night shopping, best shop display and a carnival parade with model T's and bicycles.
In 1923 HWC Baird decided that they should hold carnival to celebrate 50 years of the establishment of Hastings.
In 1935 a "progress League" was formed to further the progress of Hastings. help the economy and beautify the district.
In 1937 a carnival was held to celebrate Hastings becoming a borrough as well as King George VI coronation. A ball was held as well as a carnival.
In 1950 Hastings reached a population of 20,000 and was proclaimed a city
City status was bestowed on Hastings in the March 1950 this quote was in the HB Herald Tribune " Hastings, yesterday a swamp today a borough, tomorrow a city" as part of the celebrations of Hastings becoming a borough.
In the earlier half 1950 Harry Poppelwell said Hastings was living snuggly on its laurels do very little to move ahead. He formed a group to see what they could do to get the community involved and progress Hastings as a city. In May 1950 Greater Hastings Incorporated was formed. 100 citzens signed as subscribers and paid 5 pounds as a subscription.
The first event the Greaters Hastings Incorporate dorganised was the Blossom festival. This was supported by the Fruitgrowers Association, the Hastings City Council and also by the Retaillers The first Blossom festival was held in 1950. The shops were decorated and there were 41 floats in the parade as well as bands and walkers. Some retailers used the floats as forms of advertising new products or in the case of Bailey's Motors the newest model car out.
The next event they organised was the Easter Highland Games. The first Easter Highland games was held Easter 1951 at Nelson Park. Nelson park only had a grass track then. The Highland games consisted of athletics, woodchopping, show jumping, Archery. It became an annual event and it attracted top class athletes over the years including Peter Snell, Murray Halberg and Precious McKenzie.
The 3rd event the Greater Hastings Incorporated organised was to make a fantasy garden and park on part of windsor park. This was the foundation of Fantasyland. It become a huge success.

The Blossom parades got bigger and better each year. In 1952 there were 45 floats and the standard of floats improved with lots more decoration. In 1953 there were 47 floats 17,000 people and the standard improve yeat again more creative and elaborate floats less advertising and more blossoms.
In 1954 there 55 floats including floats from Napier, and there was in excess of 20,ooo people. Citzens were coming from Napier and districts.
In 1955 there were 69 vehicle driven floats as well and hand pushed floats and walkers and bands. 600 people came from Wellington by train and there was between 35,00 and 40,000 people there. The strees were lined the whole way round the parade course.
1956 there were two parade one on the 8th September and one the following Saturday the 15th September. The 15th was the main blossom parade and there were 2 trains from Wellington, one from Gisborne and busses from Napier and surrounds. In excess of 50,000 people turned out to watch the parade.
In 1957 the idea of Blossom Queen was introduced. The first Blossom Queen was Fiona MacDonald. The Parade now started at Queen Square went via main street to Stortford Lodge, back down St Aubyn Street to finish at Windsor Park.
The 1958 Blossom Queen was Deidre French.
In 1959 the Blossom Arches were designed and erected in the main street.
The parade was enormous retaillers participated with Shop windows full on blossom displays and catalogue was delivered to every household with a mystery number which you had to find your number in the window display to claim your prize. They had "The Best dressed window "and "The best dressed women" competitions. The parade of floats went for 1 mile long and Napier City Council had a float in the parade too. There was 100 floats as well as pipe band, highland pipes and walkers.
1960 parade became known as the "Blossom Festival Riot" as it was delayed and half canceleld beacuse of the weather. Helena La Hood was the blossom Queen.
Helena will talk more on this and what it was like to be a blossom queen.
1972 was the last blossom parade held in hastings until 1990 when it was re established by Mayor Jeremy Dwyer and David Fine who starte the new Blossom festival we have today.

James Morgan talked about "Hastings Blossom Festival ‘riot’, 1960"
The Hastings Blossom Festival of 1960 became famous for its so-called ‘riot’. The float parade had been cancelled because of wet weather. This, combined with an influx of young people in the city centre, overcrowding in hotels and overbearing crowd-control tactics (like the use of fire-hoses) created a situation where fights readily broke out. Moral panic in the wake of this incident inflated it in the popular imagination to a full-scale riot instigated by rebellious young people. In reality only a small number of people were actually fighting. Twelve were charged, and only with minor offences related to disorderly behaviour.
However the Blossom parade of 1960 goes down in history as the year of the “Blossom Riot”. Because rain delayed the parade many visitors sought shelter in one of the 5 or 6 hotels in the main street and a brawl that started in the Albert Hotel, on the corner of Heretaunga Street and Karamu Road and spilled out into the intersection. Police were called in and after a police car was damaged the Fire Brigade were called and on arrival started hosing everyone in sight. This eventually had the desired affect and things quietly returned to normal. This came to be known as the “Battle of Hastings” or in some cases the “Second Battle of Hastings


Helena La Hood (nee Hannah) Blossom Queen 1960 talks about 1960 Crowning and what its like to be a Queen.





Hastings' Blossom Festival was first held in 1950 and was the creation of Greater Hastings (note the provocative title), an organisation established to provide an Easter attraction (The Highland Games) as "there was nothing to keep people in Hastings, and nothing to attract visitors to Hastings".The Blossom Queen contest was added in 1957. At the height of the Blossom Festivals in the 1950s, an estimated 50,000 people crammed the streets of Hastings to view the floats, decorated with paper crepe blossoms.The rules for contestants entering the 1960 Blossom Queen Contest stated (among other things): they had to be aged between 18 and 28; unmarried; and possess: poise, personality, charm, beauty of face and figure, education, voice quality, speaking ability and be in good health.No swimsuit parade would occur: "This is not a bathing beauty contest - but a blossom festival quest."The winner would receive a wardrobe of clothes valued at £100 and go on a free, two week trip to Surfers Paradise. Greater Hastings would provide a suitable chaperone for the trip.Helena La Hood (nee Hannah) was visiting relatives in Australia when she received a telegram from her father Paul, saying the Hastings Orphans Club had nominated her as a Blossom Queen candidate.

After arriving back from her holiday, Helena had just two days to prepare for the first round of the competition.Three Blossom Queen Concerts were held at the Hastings Municipal Theatre (now Hawke's Bay Opera House), until the judges selected 12 girls out of 23 contestants to advance to the coronation concert on September 1. The first concert night contained a quiz, and Helena was asked: "What are the three independent schools in Havelock North? What are the four great powers of the world? What impressions of New Zealand would you give if you went to Australia? If you won a great deal of money, what would you do with it?"There was much excitement for her when she was selected in the final 12 girls. Judge Rolf Keys said the winner should "have the figure of Marilyn Monroe, beauty of Grace Kelly and the charm of a member of the royal family". Famed quizmaster Selwyn Toogood would do his Magic Carpet quiz show at the coronation, which would be broadcast on radio throughout New Zealand - as well as announcing the winner of the Blossom Queen contest at 10pm. Helena's parents thought they would make her nervous at the contest, so they listened at home.She won a vacuum cleaner at the Magic Carpet show, and a washing machine on Saturday night's It's in the Bag show with Toogood, but laughs as she remembers she never received the prizes.It came as a shock to Helena when her name was called out as winner, and was crowned by Miss Paradise, Jean Clark from Surfers Paradise, Queensland.Helena had made plans to be fitted for a bridesmaid's dress at the weekend, never thinking she had a chance to win. Despite no sleep due to the excitement of being crowned Blossom Queen, she turned up to work the next day at the Loan and Mercantile Agency. Her manager told her not to worry about work that morning, and sent her home. Many public appearances followed her win as Blossom Queen, including opening Napier's new Odeon Picture Theatre that year. She also went for a ride in a glider, rode go-carts, and handed out prizes at a boxing tournament. She visited schools and was promoting Hastings. Miss Paradise Jean Clark was a popular visitor to Hastings, becoming an instant celebrity, and was paraded from Stortford Lodge down Heretaunga St with a traffic officer motorbike escort the day before the Blossom Festival. Thousands of people lined the streets to catch a glimpse of her. As a Seventh Day Adventist, Jean declined to take part in the Saturday Blossom Parade.When Jean left Hastings she wrote a letter of thanks to everyone, and said "she would not like to forget the Maori people". Jean was no doubt referring to young Ted Bennett, the handsome singer of Teddy and the Bears, who she met at a Blossom Queen Concert. Jean and Ted kept in contact, and later married in 1963. Tragedy later struck the marriage with their son Stephen, being in a coma for three years as a result of a car crash, while Jean herself was killed in a car accident in Newcastle in August 1985 - while her son was still in the coma.Helena left for her trip to Australia - with no chaperone - in July 1961, with a yellow orchid corsage presented by Greater Hastings, which had to disposed of before landing in Australia due to the regulations.Little did the army of press representatives that met her at the airport know that between her hair and hat was a yellow orchid corsage. While in Queensland, she met the mayor of Surfers' Paradise, and had morning tea with the Minister of Tourism. The trip was a fitting end to her reign, in which a lot was expected of her. Her last duty was to crown the next Blossom Queen for 1961.

Monday, 13 September 2010

A Festival, A Queen And A Riot

Landmarks Local History talk - Tuesday 14 Sept, 5.30pm
Blossom Queens, bands, marching girls, a "riot". The Hastings Blossom Festival, which in recent years has been revived, was a major event in the life of Hastings from the time the first one occurred in 1950.At its peak, 50,000 people lined the streets to watch the decorated floats in the annual procession, and special excursion trains were arranged to bring people from the Gisborne and Wellington regions. The last of original Blossom Festival was in 1972. Upstairs at Hastings LibraryTuesday 14 Septemberfrom 5.30pm until 6.30pm

Tuesday, 10 August 2010

Judy Siers - Researching HB History and the Women's Rest


Judy Siers has been busy over the las few years involved in a lot of local history projects, one in particular was the "King George Coronation Hall" in Petane built in 1911 to celebrate the coronation of King George. Designed by world-renowned Art Deco architect, Louis Hay, the King George Hall has been an important part of the Bay View community since 1911. It has recently been renovated and painted and Napier City Coincil have commissioned her to write its history.

In her travels she noticed that Hastings have a coronation fountain and monument as a tribute to King Henry in Cornwall Park. Mayor Viggor Brown had a Coronation Hall built in Napier.



Judy Commented on how she is still finding information on James Walter Chapman Taylor.
She showed us 3 painting she had found Turama, Tauroa, and Frederick House he built for his parents all watercolours.


The Womens Rest

The history really started back in 1885 when members of the Women's Christian Temperance Union movement who were recruited to come out to Nz Australia and help women and families.

by the end of 1885 there were 15 branches established in New Zealand including one in Napier.
The WCTU was organized by women who were concerned about the the destructive power of alcohol and the problems it was causing their families and society.
They met in churches to pray and then marched to the saloons to ask the owners to close their establishments. These activities are often referred to as the "Women's Crusades" and their success was both the forerunner and impetus for the founding of the WCTU.
The most famous member and second president of the WCTU was Frances E. Willard who served from 1879 until her death in 1898.



One of the most famous WCTU members was Mrs Lovell-Smith the wife of Hastings photographer Herbert Lovell-Smith who was instrumental in getting the Hastings Branch of WCTU up and running in 1903. The white Ribbon "For God Home and Humanity" was worn by all members. By 1904 Napier Branch had large membership and funds they built the "Willard Institute Building for the WCTU named after teh founder in America.

Ruth Lovell-Smith moved to Hastings in 1918 was always pushing Council to build a "Womens Rest". Not taking no for an answer she set about opening a "Mothers Rest" in Heretaunga Street to prove to Council that Hastings need one. It was so popular and drew the attention o the media. Ruth then got Council on her side and things started to happen. The Garnett Family agreed to sell their timber yard to make way for roading and a "Women's Rest" Mrs garnett said she would give back 750 pound to Council when the Women's rest was built.


Sir George Ebbett who was the incoming mayor continued with the project clearing land and finally laid the first stone of the Women's Rest on the 23rd March 1921.


Plunket were also keen to see a Women's rest established and were also backing the movement

lead by Ruth Lovel-Smith. The Plunket have been part of the Women's right from when it opened.



The Hastings Municipal Women's Rest, built in 1921, is likely the first example of a women's rest built exclusively and separately for this purpose in New Zealand. Funded largely by private contributions and administered and constructed by the Hastings Borough Council this rest took over from an earlier rest room in the area that had been furnished and administered by the Hastings branch of the Women's Christian Temperance Union.The building is a very good example of the Californian bungalow style of architecture, a domestic building normally associated with residential dwellings. The building exhibits many of the distinguishing features of the style and remains in remarkably authentic condition after 85 years in the same use. The building also demonstrates what Cooper et al refer to as a shift from 'public lavatories' to the elaborate buildings of 'rest rooms' designed to accommodate mothers and workingwomen. Located in the central business district in the city's civic square, the Hastings Municipal Women's Rest provided a centrally located rest room space for women and access to other facilities, such as the Hastings branch of the Plunket Society. From the beginning, the rest room facilities were widely used by women from out of town, women who worked in Hastings, and mothers who were visiting Plunket. Since 2003, the building has also been used as a base for the Heretaunga Women's Centre. It continues to be used as a space for women today. As an early example of a women's rest room and most likely the first women's rest built exclusively and separately for this purpose the Hastings Municipal Women's Rest merits Category I registration. The history of the Hastings Municipal Women's Rest assists in showing not only the struggle of women to obtain these services in their community and the evolving provision of these services by volunteers and borough councils, but also touches on the work of organisations of high significance to women at this time such as the WCTU and Plunket. The integrity of the building and its aesthetically pleasing surroundings assist in the telling of this story. The Hastings Municipal Women's Rest is also socially significant within the Hastings region as it has been patronised both by local residents and visitors from the country for over 85 years.

Sunday, 1 August 2010

Judy Siers - Researching HB History and the Women's Rest

Judy Siers will talk on researching Hawke's Bay history, with special mention of the Hastings Women's Rest building.
Tuesday 10th August 2010
5.30pm
Hastings Central Library

Tuesday, 13 July 2010

Hawke’s Bay Helicopter Rescue Trust, Lowe Corporation Rescue Helicopter Service















Late 1960’s
In the early days, local helicopter operators were used when helicopter retrieval and transport was required for patients.
The local operator would come in from their agricultural work and reconfigure the helicopter into an air ambulance. They would remove the spraying gear and replace it with a stretcher, which was often mounted on to the helicopter skids!
As you can see from the photo, once airborne, communication with the patient was almost impossible due to the noise of the helicopter and wind.
The helicopter would normally take the patient to a waiting ambulance before being transported to hospital by road.





1970’s
In the early 1970’s the part-time service attended between 20-30 rescues a year.
The helicopter would sometimes transport the patient directly to hospital or to the road where it would be met by an ambulance.

1980’s
In 1984, the Hawke’s Bay Helicopter Rescue Trust was established from an auction group set up by Chief Inspector Paul Wiseman.
The service was initially established for water rescues and in 1989 expanded to involve patient transfers, police searches, accident recovery and marine emergencies.
The auction group included the Porangahau Diving Club, Waimarama Surf Club, Police, Civil Defense, as well as existing members Noel Houston, Garrie Griffiths and Trauma Doctors Forbes Bennett and Greg Beecham.
Dr Forbes Bennett and Dr Ted Ward from the Hastings Hospital were key supporters of the retrieval and transportation system offered by the service. They were committed to the ‘miracle hour’ theory of getting severely injured people to a medical facility for treatment.
In 1985 a CAA approved helicopter pad was completed at the Hastings Hospital (now named the Hawke’s Bay Regional Hospital).
A Bell Jet Ranger helicopter, owned by Wanganui Aero Works, was used for the rescues and in 1989 the machine was sold to Mike Groome of Te Onepu Helicopters and continued doing part time rescue work.
1988 HB Helicopter Rescue SquadClick image to zoom in
With the arrival of better helicopters (Hughes 500 and Bell Jet Ranger) the air ambulance service greatly improved, especially for the patient as they could be carried internally.






1990’s
In 1991, the Trust came to a ‘cross roads’ when Te Onepu Helicopters sold the helicopter and the Trust had to decide whether to discontinue or to set up a dedicated service.
The Trust and the Hospital recognised the value of the service to the region and decided to pursue the option of setting up a dedicated service.
Andy Train, who was the Commissioner of the Hawkes Bay District Health Board, approached Hastings businessman Mike Toogood, to see if he would be interested in undertaking the necessary investment and work to establish a dedicated rescue service.
Within five months, the dedicated service became a reality when Mike Toogood purchased a Eurocopter AS350BA “Squirrel” helicopter and secured sponsorship support from Lowe Walker NZ Ltd.









As a condition of the Lowe Walker sponsorship, Mike Toogood became the CEO of the Trust and held responsibility for the operation of the rescue helicopter service, responsibilities that continue to the present time.
In 1992, the first helicopter hangar was built at the Hawke’s Bay Regional Hospital and in 2001 a larger facility was established in the hospital grounds when the hospital decided they needed the original site. The hangers were built with generous support from the Hawke’s Bay businesses and the community.
In 1997, Lowe Walker changed their company name to Lowe Corporation. The service has since been known as the Lowe Corporation Rescue Helicopter Service and Lowe Corporation continue to be the Trust’s Principal Sponsor.
2000’s
The Hawke's Bay Helicopter Rescue Trust continues to flourish and expand its capabilities, thanks to the generous support and contributions made by individuals, groups, businesses and sponsors within the Hawke’s Bay community.





Friends of the Hawke’s Bay Helicopter Rescue Trust, Lowe Corporation Rescue Helicopter Service support this service with their financial donations each year.

Thursday, 24 June 2010

Monday, 21 June 2010

Waikaremoana a History by Sir Rodney Gallen

Waikaremoana a history by Sir Rodney Gallen
Sir Rodney Gallen is a retired lawyer (now aged 71) who lives in Havelock North, near Hastings a former and now retired High Court Judge. Sir Rodney Gallen KNZM is also a talented local musician.
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LAKE WAIKAREMOANA AND TE UREWERA NATIONAL PARK Like rough-cut emeralds, Lake Waikaremoana (Sea of Rippling waters) and its little sister, Lake Waikareiti, are set perfectly in the 225,000 hectares of Te Urewera national Park – the largest untouched native forest reserve in the North Island.
The primeaval rain-forest is home to many native birds and remains today as virgin as it was in the 1840's, when Pioneer Missionary William Colenso traversed this remote homeland of Tuhoe, “Children of the Mist”.
The lake itself is a very new feature on a geological time-scale. Previous to its appearance, a very deep narrow gorge cut through the land-block which forms the highlands of Ngamoko and Panekiri. Some 2200 years ago a tremendous landslide rumbled down, probably as a result of a severe earthquake or possibly as a result of continued erosion. The landslide came down from the Ngamoko Ridge carrying millions of tons of fractured rock into the canyon. Across the canyon a huge pile of debris about 300 metres high came to rest. The area is formed from young mudstone, siltstone and sandstone, mostly about 10-15 million years old. These sediments were originally part of the sea floor, but about two million years ago uplift brought them above sea level. The mountains and hills of the area have been shaped by continuous erosion. Major valleys like the Aniwaniwa Valley have been carved more deeply from softer mudstones, while the more solid sandstones have tended to form ridges like Panekire. This vast dam enabled the rainwater to collect into a lake which as it rose gradually backed up the various branches of the former stream to form the many arms and inlets of present day Waikaremoana. As it rose and submerged the forested slopes the trees were killed, although the sturdy trunks of many of them remain standing today. When the lake is low, hundreds of them appear near or above the surface. Toward the end of the 18th century narrow strips of land bordering the lake were designated as bird sanctuaries. Trout and deer were introduced and a ranger was stationed here in Opourau (Home Bay). The Lake House, previously sited above the camp, was a popular Tourist Hotel Corporation hotel and was the end of the road from Wairoa until the road through to Rotorua was completed in 1930. The largest of the 3 hydro-electric stations, Tuai, was completed in 1929. The water released from this was impounded, in the man made lake Whakamarino, and by 1943 this was being used as a supply for the lowest station Piripaua. As work was completed there, the upper development at Kaitawa commenced.


As much as possible of the leakage from Lake Waikaremoana had to be sealed off so that the flow of water could be regulated. Kaitawa commenced operation in 1948. The creation of Urewera National Park was announced on September 29th 1953.

Friday, 21 May 2010

Waikaremoana : Sir Rodney Gallen

Landmarks History Group guest speaker in June is Sir Rodney Gallen who will speak on the history of Lake Waikaremoana.
Hastings Central Library
Tuesday 8th June 2010
Upstairs, 5.30 - 6.30pm.

Tuesday, 18 May 2010

Hamilton Logan Richmonds Part 2

Chairman Sam Robinson and Waitotara founder Rod Pearce remain the only two farmer-directors in what was, until 1997, a wholly farmer-owned, unlisted, under-valued and history-bound Hawke's Bay regional meat company.The heavyweight board will want to extract maximum value out of a buoyant international meat trading situation, hoping that Loughlin and his team could shave the cents and make lucrative trading decisions while the sun shines.Future growth will not come from procurement share increases, which may have driven growth in recent years. It will come from continuous improvements in operational efficiency and marketplace performance.The future belongs to processors that can find new meat cuts and presentations to take them to new levels of profitability, for the customers, suppliers and shareholders. These must be branded and differentiated food products, he says, rather than commodity sales. The Brian Richards-inspired re-imaging of Richmond is essential in the quest for added value for Richmond. It has been about unifying the fragmented and often adversarial supply chain and changing the thinking in the company’s business-to-business relationships.Essentially, employees and suppliers have to see themselves putting attractive meal propositions in front of someone on the other side of the world.Recent historyRichmond pottered along profitably for that decade following one of the big industry rationalisations that were a feature of the 1980s. Richmond purchased Dawn Meat and Pacific Freezing and participated in the closure of Whakatu and the purchase of Takapau from Hawke’s Bay Farmers Meat Co, all during an eventful 1986. The closure of Whakatu was the best for all of Hawke’s Bay.To closure Wairoa would have killed Wairoa as it only has its hospital and Freezing works as two major employers. Hastings and Napier while devastating has much better job opportunities for the redundant employees. They still had one Freezing works and lots of other major industries.Faced with two pivotal decisions in the early 1990s, Richmond declined to get involved with the divestment of Waitaki to Affco and Alliance and a possible purchase of cash-strapped Weddel. Richmond was wise because it would have been buying the wrong set of assets and be headed for disaster. These decisions were before his time at Richmond, which began in 1993 as finance manager for the company, after earlier periods as an investment banker and chartered accountant.However, given the acquisitive nature of the times, those decisions could have condemned Richmond to a regional backwater of the rapidly coagulating meat industry or, worse still, a takeover target.Richmond’s big chance came in an offer to sell out of beef and lamb processing by Hawke’s Bay neighbour Graeme Lowe, of Lowe Walker, also strongly positioned in Northland and Taranaki, where Richmond did not operate.The $27-million purchase, completed in March 1998, quadrupled beef processing and focused new Richmond team on making a success of the large takeover, after opportunities for due diligence had been limited.A subsequent rationalisation of beef facilities closed Lowe Walker Hastings, converted Te Kauwhata to deer and then closed Otaki early in 1999.It took out 17 percent of our beef fixed costs while maintaining throughput at Dargaville, Te Aroha, Hawera and Hastings.Our investment adviser said he had never seen such a complementary fit of facilities, which gave Richmond the benefits of great synergies.A second round of lamb-processing facility rationalisation affected three plants in and around Napier/Hastings and one at Hawera while consolidating further processing in the $14-million new FoodTech plant on the Takapau site.Again, this took out 15 percent of lamb-processing costs for a small slaughter capacity reduction coupled with a large further-processing improvement.Next up was the Waitotara Farmers Meat Company merger (in October 1999) which swapped money and shares for the lamb plants at Waitotara (northwest of Wanganui) and Tirau, southern Waikato. It added a million lambs a year throughput, which is disappointing considering the size of Waitotara before the merger, but the focus of this move was to strengthen its geographical position and “bank the synergies”.In a paper called “Pursuing a Food Company Vision through M&A” presented to the Institute of Directors seminar in Wellington on November 3, 2000, Waitotara brought $2 million in EBIT and $8 million in synergies.Candidly, Richmond was exhausted by the time of the Waitotara assimilation and missed some opportunities and disaffected Waitotara farmer-suppliers decamped to other meat companies.Likewise Richmond has not made all it could have from the purchase in July 1998 and subsequent development of the Gourmet Direct upmarket local supply business, now the flagship for Richmond in food service.. Expansion-fatigue may also be indicated in his assessment of Richmond’s size presently as adequate for all that the company needs to do.Neither Loughlin nor, he believes, any members of the board set out deliberately to become the biggest meat company in New Zealand.“But there was a moment during long discussions about whether to acquire Lowe Walker, when one director said, ‘we had better consider where Richmond will be if we don’t buy Lowe Walker’.”The company has made three consecutive increases of more than $200 million a year in turnover, quickly taking it from number four in the industry by size to number one.A period of consolidation is dictated, taking out costs, raising efficiencies and developing new products.Richmond can never drop its risk management vigilance in such a low margin enterprise, he says.When earnings are as low as one to two percent of sales, a few wrong supply or sales contracting decisions can wipe out profit and a number of them can wipe out the company’s $120-million capital base. This has been a sadly recurring pattern in the meat industry.John Loughlin’s second year as Richmond CEO was the beginning of the distracting noises, as PPCS contended with Affco for control of one-third of Richmond being tendered by the Meat Board.When both were rebuffed, the shares went to the supposed Richmond-friendly investor grouping of HKM; three Maori business people.Not deterred, PPCS wooed HKM and in 1999 was again on the brink of control when Richmond’s farmer-shareholders successfully challenged the PPCS processes and repulsed the raider.A company called Active Equities, owned by Paul Collins and Bruce Hancox, rode to the rescue of Richmond, but that horse has also turned Trojan.Third time-lucky in 2000, PPCS purchased 16.7 percent of Richmond shares (10 percent from Auckland farmer-businessman Peter Spencer) and paid $3.65 a share for 49 percent of Hawke’s Bay Meat Holdings, a joint venture with Active Equities to own 35.8 percent of Richmond’s 41 million shares. Should it exercise the right to purchase the remaining 51 percent of HBMH between February and September 2003, PPCS will then own 52.5 percent of Richmond.The drawn-out fight for ownership control was more distracting for company employees who are fixed in the industry and the Hawke’s Bay region.If company executives had got involved in the industry politics then it would have derailed what we were trying to achieve. Perversely, yet another measure of the Richmond success to date has been the persistence of PPCS in gaining control, although the outcome for Richmond is as yet uncertain. PPCS presumably had an opportunity to block Loughlin’s nomination to the board of directors (before the annual general meeting in December) but chose to endorse his promotion in the expectation of further earnings growth. With two good years behind it and one good year in prospect, Richmond directors finally decided to seek a main board listing on the Stock Exchange last February, along with a $50-million capital notes issue.“Since the 1980s there had been a lot of debate as to whether listing was consistent with long-term farmer ownership..“Without farmers and without their stock coming through, any meat company only has a lot of assets in obscure places with redundancy obligations attached.“So we have to ensure returns are sufficient to sustain both the farming community and to reinvest in the business.“For a long time no-one was winning, with farmers and companies scrapping over the crumbs of the cake,” The listing eliminated the secondary market discount (of 25 to 30 percent) by making the market for shares more liquid. Many among 1900 smaller (mostly farmer) shareholders have benefited, and PPCS fronted up with cash to Spencer, Collins and Hancox pushing the share price to $3 briefly before settling down around $2.60.The money raised from the sale of capital notes has retired bank debt and provided funds for further re-quipping, just completed at Oringi, Te Kauwhata and Pacific Beef (Hastings).While they are an expensive substitute for bank funding, capital notes strengthen the balance sheet and may help to secure the company against prolonged downturns.As a substitute for equity, where Richmond trades on a price/earnings multiple of 5:1, [an after-tax cost of equity of 20 percent], then capital notes, with a pre-tax cost of funds at 10.75 percent, plus tax deduction, sit somewhere between debt and equity in terms of cost, strength and so forth.

Friday, 14 May 2010

History of Havelock North "Where six Roads meet"

Where Six Roads Meet ─ A celebration of Havelock Norths 150th anniversary 1860─2010.
Historian Michael Fowler will be giving a talk on 24 June 2010 to celebrate the 150th year since the founding of Havelock.
Topics mentioned in the talk will include: purchase and history of Karanema’s Reserve; why the site of the township was chosen; naming of the town; the early geography of Hawke’s Bay ─with the role that the rivers played in road and bridge building; early Havelock businesses and personalities; local government; 1931 Hawke’s Bay Earthquake; the Chambers’ hydro-electric scheme; Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn and the 1912 naming controversy with Havelock South, leading to a new name ─Havelock North.
The talk is at the Havelock North Community Centre on Thursday 24 June 2010; from 7.30pm until 9pm. Refreshments will be served after the talk.
Tickets are $10 each, and are available from Michael Fowler; Poppies Books, 26 Havelock Road and the Hastings i-site, Russell Street.
Funds raised will go towards a digital voice recording system for the Landmarks History Group.

Thursday, 13 May 2010

Aerial Mapping





On the 8th May 1936, New Zealand's now oldest aviation company, NZ Aerial Mapping (NZAM),

was officially founded by Piet van Asch in Hastings. Starting out with a Monospar ST25 twin engine aircraft bought directly from the General Aircraft factory in Feltham, England (for ₤1,450), Piet managed to arrange contracts to photograph farms of prominent land owners in Hawke's Bay. They had already put up a great deal of money for Piet to be able to travel to England, buy the aircraft and get the training necessary for the successful start of NZAM. The Early Years The first survey undertaken in New Zealand was for the Geological Survey which started on the 28th April 1937. The survey was of the Richardson Range in Otago and covered nearly 300 square miles (780 square kilometres) at 11,000 feet, yielding 843 frames of photography. From then until the war years, NZAM grew slowly yet solidly. Initially work was generally carried out for the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research (DSIR) and the Public Works Department. In 1938, the first work was won from the Land & Survey Department (L&S), which necessitated purchasing a new camera. This was the beginning of a long and enduring relationship between NZAM and L&S, later known as Department of Land & Survey Information (DOSLI), and now Land Information NZ (LINZ). The advent of hostilities in the Second World War saw NZAM take on a new and vital role. Under threat initially, having been targeted to be integrated into the RNZAF, Piet managed to keep the company separate and to grow it, taking on an ever-increasing workload with defence mapping projects. By mid war, it became obvious that the Monospar would need help. With its limited ceiling, a bigger more powerful aircraft was sought and in 1943 a Beechcraft AT11 was added to the line up. By June 1944, NZAM had photographed a total of 25,570 square miles (66,200 square kilometres) for the war effort. With the advent of the longer range and capacity of the Beechcraft, off shore surveys were a possibility. The first was in 1944 of Fiji, particularly the Suva Peninsula and areas at Lautoka. Since then, NZAM have worked in most of the Pacific Islands and have travelled as far as the Antarctic, Kathmandu, Vietnam and Thailand. The 1950's During the 1950's the company's progress was in ground-based expansion. 1953 saw the introduction of Photogrammetry on the suggestion of the then Surveyor-General. Science graduate Brian Perry led the company in this field with a special kind of acuity and practicality which was confirmed by the carefully contoured maps his staff turned out down the years. In a good month 8000 prints could be produced using the only three types of film available then. However it was still a tightly managed operation within the financial constraints of the Government, which continued to supply NZAM with the majority of its work well into the 1980's. The company's premises in Russell Street had reached maximum capacity. Therefore in 1956 a custom designed headquarters on the corner of Avenue Road and Warren Street in Hastings was built, tangible evidence of the company's progress. This impressive building boasted its own central powerhouse, which provided the essential clean air and water for the photography. The installation of copper tanks and refrigeration and with the use of positive pressure, dust was shut out of all the areas where film was being worked. Dairy industry pumps were even used to suck the films and papers flat in the various enlargers and copy cameras. This set-up was the envy of overseas visitors, providing cheap operation and played a valuable part in reducing dust on the film. In NZ this was of huge importance as NZAM keeps its film negatives forever, as opposed to the UK and Australia, which destroyed stocks after 10 years. Piet's insistence that the company 'produce a high quality article' kept him informed on research and development within the industry which saw equipment moving in and out of the company in fast succession. Three A8 Analogue plotters joined the company and were one of the survivors of the equipment movement era, remaining in use until well into the 1980's. One in fact is still in use today by a former employee for the production of orienteering maps. Throughout this decade, weather had a part to play as much as it is found today. Bad weather impacted on flying time and income on occasions but the usual high standard of product was maintained with an increase in the use of aerial photography being noticed in the 1950's. The 1960's NZAM worked on a number of projects during the sixties, one being the chain cover of all of NZ highways and the subsequent production of folders, which marked where every fatal accident was in order to make road improvements. The most prominent project was for the National Film Units' 'This is New Zealand' which was made especially for the NZ pavilion at Expo 70 in Japan. Three cameras were mounted in the nose of the Beechcraft enabling three screen stereoscopic viewing which won high acclaim. With the introduction in 1965 of the longer length Zeiss cameras, city survey photography produced extraordinary detail. To view wires on a clothesline and shadows on the tarseal from overhead wires excited the NZAM staff. Some of this earlier imagery was printed on a product called cronopaque made by Du Pont. Supposedly indestructible, its Achilles heel proved to be the hot Hawke's Bay sun if left in the backseat of a car too long! Prior to the mid-sixties, NZAM had been trying to discover how to reduce the angle of coverage of the normal lenses that were available for the large-scale city plans Piet wanted so much to supply to the city engineers. This ability to identify ground marks was only the start with special jobs flown twice, once with the wide angle cover to produce large scale contours which were then overlaid on the narrow angle enlargements allowing the photogrammetrist to only mark the odd fence corner to marry the two. 1965 also saw the introduction of halftones so that the city engineers and planners could superimpose information and take ammonia prints for contractors. The popularity of these saw NZAM producing more halftones than prints right into the 1990's. The company's third aircraft, ZK-CDK started survey in 1964. Named 'Matariki' in 1967, this Aero Commander 680F provided an operating ceiling of 25,000ft - treble the camera to ground clearance of the Beechcraft in the high country and 20 knots faster. This aircraft was overhauled in 2003 after a year of 'retirement' and still provides a valuable survey platform for the company. The higher ceiling of ZK-CDK resulted in the aircrew experiencing some cold temperatures in the winter of 1964 - and watching oil pressure gauges go below the minimum due to the oil in the pipelines up to the instrument panel freezing. NZAM started using colour seriously for the NZ Forest Service photography in 1965. Following that a small length of Agfa 7 film was exposed over the Mt Tarawera eruption chasm from the Eagle survey camera, resulting in wonderful colours - the only drawback was that the film had to be sent to Europe for processing. Forestry companies weren't too interested in colour photography until 1967 when a full-scale survey was carried out over the Kaingaroa State Forest to enable studies of a fungus disease (dothystroma). This was quite successful although the Kodak film speed was marginal and when a faster emulsion was available, the Forestry industry became more involved in colour coverage. The increase in work once again led to renewed pressure on space within the office premises and when the chance to purchase the neighbouring property arose in 1965, it was taken and the original builders' yard house was converted with a lunchroom at the back and mosaic room at the front, which later was used for picture framing. The house still stands today and occasionally serves as a function and lunch room. Towards the end of the decade, South Island farmlands were covered and the first flying coverage of the North Island was almost complete. The 1970's and 1980's With the arrival of the Rockwell Commander 690B in 1978, the need for two operational aircraft at higher altitude was met. The Beechcraft was flown to Hobsonville airport in January 1982, where it was collected by NZAM 39 years earlier, and taken to MOTAT for permanent display in Auckland where it can still be seen today. A notable aerial survey project was that of Greater Christchurch in early 1973 at a 1:10,000 scale. This series of mosaics on the national grid were extremely beneficial to the Police in order to base their security plan on with the 1974 Royal visit to the Tenth Commonwealth Games in Christchurch. Forestry mapping for Lands and Survey Department continued as did the forestry coverage for both North and South Islands. An unusual assignment was thermo vision work carried out between Taupo and Rotorua using the first two hours of daylight and the last two before dark. This avoided the main heat of the sun and allowed the recording of 2 degree ground temperature changes for the DSIR. The work enabled hotspots to be recorded and therefore avoided for road extensions and cable locations. The first testing of the DSIR Hasselblad cameras for the Remote Sensing division took place as well as various magnetometer surveys for the department. 1975 saw the purchase of an expensive Kodak Versamat processor to handle the longer lengths of 9 inch film and the testing of 500ft Kodak +X film which at last enabled even development of each and every exposure. The 48 x 48 copy camera also saw major modifications to allow it to make enlargements of the 9 x 9 film in negative size or portions thereof up to 67 diameters. When Piet bought the 12in Zeiss camera he arranged delivery of a 'family' of cameras, which included a 6in RMK 15/23 for each of the aircraft. These cameras with their Pleogon lenses were the price of a house each and the first arrived at the end of 1975 for use in the Aero Commander. The first replacement for the A8 plotters from Wild, which served the company well for a quarter of a century, arrived in 1984 and was analytical instead of analogue. This BC1 provided digital data stored on tapes or discs and allowed plotting within 20 minutes of setup as opposed to between 2 to 4 hours on the A8. Piet retired as managing director in 1980 but remained as chairman, and to fill his one-man position resulted in the creation of two joint managing directors, one of which was Piet's only son, Hugh. A revamp of the Hastings offices was undertaken in 1982-83 with new paintwork, the installation of a new fire alarm system, new roof and film vault to accommodate all the nitrate-based films that were recopied on safety base modern high resolution film. An unfortunate accident on 26 June 1986 saw the first NZAM aircraft, the Monospar ZK-AFF, destroyed in a fire at the Bridge Pa Aerodromme. The likely cause was thought to be a static discharge of electricity during refuelling. Only months short of its fiftieth year in operation with NZAM, one of the salvaged wooden propellers is still on display in the Hastings office. The 1990's and into the 21st Century The previous decades saw the growth of an exceptional company under the guidance of an equally exceptional man. Sadly Piet passed away in October 1996, and even today, he is still strongly associated with NZAM through staff and acquaintances who still talk of his achievements. The '90's saw many changes for the company necessitated by the digital era and the downturn in government and local authority work due in part, to the increase in the 'tender and do' market. The merger in 1993 between computer based land information company Aeroplan and NZAM saw the introduction of not only advanced computer technology and the necessary staff, but the company's first foray into geographical information systems (GIS). Hugh Van Asch and a number of remaining shareholders still held responsibility on the Board with the new owner, Craig Atchison. Through Craig's ability to bring the ideas into the company and the willingness of staff to bring them to fruition, NZAM continued, albeit in some hard times, through this decade. The advancement in technology heeded the need to move the majority of the operation to Auckland to capitalise on the increased market and staff availability. The remaining lab and photo sales worked with a staff of only 3 at times over a period of years until the return of the main operation in 2002. With the company still owning the purpose built facilities at Hastings and Bridge Pa it was therefore decided by the Board to return the company to its original home base. The lifestyle that the Hawke's Bay offered over the major cities meant that staff were more readily available and improvements with technology no longer restricted access to the data and subsequent markets. The operating fleet of the Aerocommander 680 and the Rockwell 690 were complemented with smaller lower level aircraft like the Cessna 205 and Piper Aztec. When the 680 was grounded for a year in 2002, it was up to the 690 to cover the workload that was spread between NZ and Australia due to a merger with an engineering company based in NSW. Cameras were vastly complimented by the purchase of an LH Systems RC30 which provides image motion compensation and automatic exposure control. Added to this is airborne DGPS survey technology and the flight planning software that provides superior results. Film has also improved greatly over the years and the company changes between AGFA and Kodak dependant on who is manufacturing the most superior and cost effective product at the time - a policy firmly installed by Piet himself. There are now digital cameras operating in aerial survey, and there are various other techniques for aerial imagery such as satellite imagery and airborne laser scanning. This decade saw the ownership of the company change for better and worse - the large shareholding purchase of the ex-state owned enterprise Terralink was envisaged to provide a complete one-stop land information stop. The separation of the units giving TIL ownership of the GIS components and NZAM aerial survey and intensive photogrammetric projects like forestry, led to the demise of the idea. Reverting back to full NZ ownership in 2003 saw the company focus once more on core activities. Vast improvements were made especially in photogrammetry which had not maintained an up-to-date presence due to the focus on GIS. Complete new Helava suites were purchased with all the latest software enabling more computer processing and less human intervention. The company purchased its first roll-film scanner and now operates a complete in-house solution, from aerial survey right through to the end photogrammetric and image product.

Tuesday, 4 May 2010

Piet Van Asch (1911-1996) ─ the founder of Hastings based New Zealand Aerial Mapping

Hastings aerial mapping entrepreneur, Piet Van Asch (1911-1996) ─ the founder of Hastings based New Zealand Aerial Mapping, will be the subject of May’s Landmarks History Group talk.

While at secondary school at Christ’s College in Christchurch during 1925-29, Piet developed an interest in flying.
In 1931 he took an aerial photo of the Whakatu Freezing works and Iona College – both which sold quickly ─ and he realized an opportunity for a business.
After earning his ‘A’ pilots licence in 1934, Piet began to plan an aerial mapping company, which he eventually formed in 1936. He left for London four days later to purchase his first plane ─ a Monospar ST-25 Universal.
In early 1937 Piet arrived back in Hastings, and using Bridge Pa Aerodrome as his base, began what is now New Zealand’s oldest aerial mapping company.
The story of Piet Van Asch will be told by his son Hugh, who also worked for New Zealand Aerial Mapping.
Cyril Whitaker, a pilot at New Zealand Aerial Mapping for 38 years, will also attend the meeting displaying some photographs of the company’s history.
The talk will take place at the Hastings Public Library, Warren Street, on Tuesday 11 May from 5.30pm until 6.30pm. Gold coin donation upon entry.

Tuesday, 13 April 2010

Robin Warren - Warren's Bakery




In 1872 seven young boys arrived from Devonshire England with their parents John and Johannah Warren, and settled in the small village of Havelock (now known as Havelock North). The couple then had four more children, three girls then another boy.
John Warren was fully employed building roads in the new settlement. He died at Havelock North in 1897 aged 71. At his funeral service tribute was paid to John Warren's honesty, integrity, and unassuming manner. Johannah Warren died in 1906 and is buried alongside her husband in the Havelock North cemetery.
Robert Warren, the youngest of the seven boys, who was only 11 months old when he arrived in New Zealand, completed a five year journeyman's apprenticeship with a Napier baker.
In 1892 Robert married Alice Bee, daughter of George Bee senior (the builder of St Luke's Church). On his wedding day Robert purchased a section in Napier Road, Havelock (North), next to St Columba's Presbyterian Church for £65 pounds. He set up a small shop in the front room of his two storied house, and the bake-house was in the back.
The Bakery was on the site until at least the 1930’s when it was sold and re-named Warnes’ Bakery.Robert Warren also began business in Hastings from 1898 with a large bake-house at the corner of St Aubyn Street and Karamu Road, as well as several other locations in the township where he expanded into tearooms and shops.
Catering was a significant part of Robert Warren’s business and he supplied elaborate multi-tiered wedding cakes, and catered at the local race meetings, balls, and weddings.
After his death in 1916, Alice his widow continued the business with the help of the family.
The Baking tradition continued from one generation to the next starting with Pearl Taylor the youngest child of Robert and Alice. Then Velma Brannigan, their grand-daughter, and more recently their great grand-son Malcolm and his wife Robyn.
Sadly Malcolm and Robyn, who took over the Hastings business in 1987, have put Warren’s Bakery up for sale, possibly ending an important part of Hawkes bay history.

Thursday, 1 April 2010

Robyn Warren - Warren's Bakery

13 April Robyn Warren - Warren's Bakery
Robyn Warren is the Landmarks History Group speaker for April 2009, and together with her husband Malcolm, they are fourth generation owners of Warren’s Bakery.
Warren’s Bakery was established in Havelock North in 1891 by Robert Warren after he served an apprenticeship with a Napier baker for five years. The original bakehouse and store was next to the old wooden St Columba’s Church in Napier Road.
The business expanded into Hastings in 1898, where his bakehouse was on the corner of St Aubyn Street and Karamu Road. Further expansion occurred at several other locations in the town with tearooms and shops. Robert also catered at the Hastings racecourse, and at weddings ─ where his large multi-tiered cakes were the talk of the town.
A pet monkey was brought back from overseas by Robert, and Jacko the monkey and Robert were a familiar, if not slightly eccentric sight around Hastings. Robyn is passionate about the history of Warren’s Bakery, and being New Zealand’s oldest bakery still owned by the same family, there are plenty of interesting stories to tell that have been passed down through the generations.
When: Tuesday, 13 AprilTime: 5.30pm - 6.30pmWhere: Hastings Public Library, Warren Street.
Gold coin donation please upon entry.
For more information please phone Michael Fowler on 027 4521 056

Wednesday, 17 March 2010

Hamilton Logan – Richmond Meats

William Richmond was born at Campbeltown, Argyllshire, Scotland, on 8 August 1869, the son of Thomas Orr Richmond, a farmer, and his wife, Catherine (Kate) Stewart. William left school at the age of 13 and emigrated four years later to New Zealand, working his passage on a sailing ship. He was a rabbiter at Benmore station in North Otago, and later worked his way to Hawke's Bay. William Nelson, the founder of Tomoana Freezing Works in Hastings, offered him a job in 1892 at Chesterhope, a training farm. He became assistant manager in the late 1890s. At Wellington on 9 July 1894 he married Janet Greenlees Mitchell; they were to have a son and two daughters, one of whom died in infancy.
About 1900 Nelson greatly expanded his meat operations and asked Richmond to purchase 300,000 sheep in one season. Nelson offered him £3,000 if he succeeded, and no pay at all if he failed; Richmond succeeded. He sailed to Britain about 1901 to investigate the British meat market, particularly Smithfield. He thought that Nelson was delivering too much prime meat and that the market for seconds was inadequately supplied. Nelson turned a deaf ear, so Richmond ught all the seconds and exported them on his own account, with more than handsome results. From then till 1909 he organised the stock acquisition for Tomoana.
William Richmond travelled on horseback all over Hawke's Bay to select stock. Much of the travel was overnight, to leave more time for stock work. Farmers on his route would often provide him with horses for the next move, to be returned on his way back. Later, he tried motorcycles, but soon turned to cars, having one of the first in Hawke's Bay - a Wolseley. He was reputed to have made the first crossing of the new Wairoa bridge, and to have been promptly charged with exceeding the speed limit of four miles per hour.
In May 1909 Nelson handed all stock and meat trading over to Richmond, and Tomoana became solely a killing and with others, including properties in north Taranaki, northern Hawke's Bay and Reporoa in the central North Island.flats between Napier and Hastings.
Richmond struck financial disaster in 1922; he had purchased hundreds of thousands of stock at an average of 21shillings per head, but after killing and shipping costs they realised less than seven shillings on the London market. He laughingly held lotteries among the office staff on the next day's figure. Richmond was insolvent, but help camegoodwill of farmer clients and business interests.
The company of W. Richmond Limited was formed in 1930 with Richmond as chairman and managing director. Before the Second World War, friction developed between Richmond and many directors over his generosity to farmers, price of stock as an advance. This was seen as contrary to shareholders' interests as Richmond had guaranteed at least the scheduled price as a return.
The problem was temporarily solved by government bulk purchasing during the war, but in 1946 the government stopped buying pelts and wool (meat followed in 1954), and Richmond reintroduced the system of owners' account. Some shareholders saw the advance as a loan, and in 1951 this led to an attempt to sell the business. The affair ended when a large shareholder and friend of Richmond bought out all the dissenters. Richmond, then 81, stood down as chairman but continued to be involved with the company until his death.
Janet Richmond had died in 1916. On 8 July 1918 at Hastings Richmond married Catherine Mary Wilson, who had worked for him as an accountant; they had two sons and a daughter. Catherine gained fame in November 1929 as the North Island's first woman pilot. She died in August 1941, and on 21 November 1942, Richmond married Constance Maurice White (née Mason) at Hastings. He died at Hastings on 23 August 1956; he was survived by his third wife, a daughter from his first marriage and two daughters and a son from his second marriage.
William Richmond neither smoked nor drank. He was, however, keen on betting, and owned racehorses, winning the 1918 New Zealand Grand National Steeplechase with St Elmn. His unerring judgement of stock, together with his drive and business acumen, made him one of the most significant figures in the Hawke's Bay meat industry.
Richmond Meats began trading in 1930, and the company and its founder suffered mixed fortunes in the early years of trading.
In the 1970's more of Richmond meats fell into foreign ownership, but Ceo and business structure itself remained the same. Until the 1980’s, the meat industry was dominated by overseas (largely British) owned companies, renowned for their rigidity, inefficiency, appalling industrial relations, and inept or non-existent marketing focussed on the U.K. It is now largely (though not entirely as will be seen) locally owned, and considerably more efficient, with diversified markets. This has been at the expense of jobs and working conditions: deunionisation, shift work and automation are now common, but that is to some extent balanced with proportionally less casualisation and more permanent staff. The industry has been restructured by the localisation of ownership rather than its overseas takeover.
Richmond pottered along profitably for that decade following one of the big industry rationalisations that were a feature of the 1980s. Richmond purchased Dawn Meat and Pacific Freezing and participated in the closure of Whakatu and the purchase of Takapau from Hawke’s Bay Farmers Meat Co, all during an eventful 1986.Faced with two pivotal decisions in the early 1990s, Richmond declined to get involved with the divestment of Waitaki to Affco and Alliance and a possible purchase of cash-strapped Weddel. Loughlin says Richmond was wise “because it would have been buying the wrong set of assets and be headed for disaster”. These decisions were before his time at Richmond, which began in 1993 as finance manager for the company, after earlier periods as an investment banker and chartered accountant.However, given the acquisitive nature of the times, those decisions could have condemned Richmond to a regional backwater of the rapidly coagulating meat industry or, worse still, a takeover target.Richmond’s big chance came in an offer to sell out of beef and lamb processing by Hawke’s Bay neighbour Graeme Lowe, of Lowe Walker, also strongly positioned in Northland and Taranaki, where Richmond did not operate.The $27-million purchase, completed in March 1998, quadrupled beef processing and focused Loughlin’s new Richmond team on making a success of the large takeover, after opportunities for due diligence had been limited.A subsequent rationalisation of beef facilities closed Lowe Walker Hastings, converted Te Kauwhata to deer and then closed Otaki early in 1999.“It took out 17 percent of our beef fixed costs while maintaining throughput at Dargaville, Te Aroha, Hawera and Hastings,” says Loughlin.“Our investment adviser said he had never seen such a complementary fit of facilities, which gave Richmond the benefits of great synergies.”A second round of lamb-processing facility rationalisation affected three plants in and around Napier/Hastings and one at Hawera while consolidating further processing in the $14-million new FoodTech plant on the Takapau site.“Again, this took out 15 percent of lamb-processing costs for a small slaughter capacity reduction coupled with a large further-processing improvement,” says Loughlin.Next up was the Waitotara Farmers Meat Company merger (in October 1999) which swapped money and shares for the lamb plants at Waitotara (northwest of Wanganui) and Tirau, southern Waikato. It added a million lambs a year throughput, which Loughlin says is disappointing considering the size of Waitotara before the merger, but the focus of this move was to strengthen its geographical position and “bank the synergies”.In a paper called “Pursuing a Food Company Vision through M&A” presented to the Institute of Directors seminar in Wellington on November 3, 2000, Loughlin commented that Waitotara brought $2 million in EBIT and $8 million in synergies.Candidly, Richmond was exhausted by the time of the Waitotara assimilation and missed some opportunities and disaffected Waitotara farmer-suppliers decamped to other meat companies.Likewise Richmond has not made all it could have from the purchase in July 1998 and subsequent development of the Gourmet Direct upmarket local supply business, now the flagship for Richmond in food service.“We have built a first-rate business more slowly than I would like,” he admits. Expansion-fatigue may also be indicated in his assessment of Richmond’s size presently as adequate for all that the company needs to do.Neither Loughlin nor, he believes, any members of the board set out deliberately to become the biggest meat company in New Zealand.“But there was a moment during long discussions about whether to acquire Lowe Walker, when one director said, ‘we had better consider where Richmond will be if we don’t buy Lowe Walker’.”The company has made three consecutive increases of more than $200 million a year in turnover, quickly taking it from number four in the industry by size to number one.Loughlin would far rather be known as the best meat company, not the biggest.“I aspire to be the best, both in terms of shareholder value and prices in the paddock. This is the double, if you like, and so far we are nowhere near where I want us to be.”A period of consolidation is dictated, taking out costs, raising efficiencies and developing new products.Richmond can never drop its risk management vigilance in such a low margin enterprise, he says.When earnings are as low as one to two percent of sales, a few wrong supply or sales contracting decisions can wipe out profit and a number of them can wipe out the company’s $120-million capital base. This has been a sadly recurring pattern in the meat industry. John Loughlin’s second year as Richmond CEO was the beginning of the distracting noises, as PPCS contended with Affco for control of one-third of Richmond being tendered by the Meat Board.When both were rebuffed, the shares went to the supposed Richmond-friendly investor grouping of HKM; three Maori business people.Not deterred, PPCS wooed HKM and in 1999 was again on the brink of control when Richmond’s farmer-shareholders successfully challenged the PPCS processes and repulsed the raider.A company called Active Equities, owned by Paul Collins and Bruce Hancox, rode to the rescue of Richmond, but that horse has also turned Trojan.Third time-lucky in 2000, PPCS purchased 16.7 percent of Richmond shares (10 percent from Auckland farmer-businessman Peter Spencer) and paid $3.65 a share for 49 percent of Hawke’s Bay Meat Holdings, a joint venture with Active Equities to own 35.8 percent of Richmond’s 41 million shares. Should it exercise the right to purchase the remaining 51 percent of HBMH between February and September 2003, PPCS will then own 52.5 percent of Richmond.
Perversely, yet another measure of the Richmond success to date has been the persistence of PPCS in gaining control, although the outcome for Richmond is as yet uncertain. PPCS presumably had an opportunity to block Loughlin’s nomination to the board of directors (before the annual general meeting in December) but chose to endorse his promotion in the expectation of further earnings growth. Capital structureWith two good years behind it and one good year in prospect, Richmond directors finally decided to seek a main board listing on the Stock Exchange last February, along with a $50-million capital notes issue.“Since the 1980s there had been a lot of debate as to whether listing was consistent with long-term farmer ownership,” says Loughlin.“I had always maintained it was, in that ‘value’ is a measure of future earnings, in other words sustainability, which cannot be gained at the expense of farmers.“Without farmers and without their stock coming through, any meat company only has a lot of assets in obscure places with redundancy obligations attached.“So we have to ensure returns are sufficient to sustain both the farming community and to reinvest in the business.“For a long time no-one was winning, with farmers and companies scrapping over the crumbs of the cake,” he says.The listing eliminated the secondary market discount (of 25 to 30 percent) by making the market for shares more liquid. Many among 1900 smaller (mostly farmer) shareholders have benefited, and PPCS fronted up with cash to Spencer, Collins and Hancox pushing the share price to $3 briefly before settling down around $2.60.The money raised from the sale of capital notes has retired bank debt and provided funds for further re-quipping, just completed at Oringi, Te Kauwhata and Pacific Beef (Hastings).While they are an expensive substitute for bank funding, capital notes strengthen the balance sheet and may help to secure the company against prolonged downturns.

Tuesday, 16 March 2010

Hamilton Logan – Richmond Meats

9 March Hamilton Logan – Richmond Meats
Hamilton Logan, past chairman of Richmond Meats will talk on the history of Richmond Meats, and founder W Richmond.
Richmond Meats began trading in 1930, and the company and its founder suffered mixed fortunes in the early years of trading.
Landmarks spokesperson Michael Fowler said “This company’s history is fascinating; from the charismatic owner to the takeover attempts by Brierley Investments, mergers and finally the intense struggle that led to the end of Richmond Meats as it was known in 2005”.
“Hamilton Logan will recount these stories with personal anecdotes, including meeting with past Prime Minister Robert Muldoon to de-licence the meat industry in the 1970s.”

Wednesday, 10 February 2010

Rohan Luttrell - The Carlton Hotel

The Carlton Club Hotel, (J. D. Rivers, properietor), corner of Heretunga Street and Karamu Road, Hastings. The Carlton Club Hotel is one of the finest and best known hostelries in the province of Hawke's Bay. It is built on modern principles, with the view of obtaining the greatest amount of comfort, convenience, and sanitary efficiency. The ground floor is approached from either thoroughiare, and contains a commodious commercial room, comfortably furnished with writing tables, and every convenience for the transaction of business: a large, handsome, and well-appointed dining room (a most popular place for luncheon), capable of seating eighty guests; a first-class billiard room, fitted with one of Burroughs and Watts prize tables; a number of comfortable card rooms and sitting rooms; public and private bars, supplied with choice wines, liquors, and cigars, for which the Carlton Club Hotel has maintained a good reputation; an efficient office, fitted with a large safe for the convenience of guests; a lavatory, with hot and cold water service; and the quarters of the Heretaunga Club. The latter are luxuriously furnished, and include a billiard room, a reading room, a writing room, a sitting room, and a club room. At the rear of the building there is a large and well-appointed kitchen, a scullery, a storeroom, a laundry, and offices. A number of sample rooms, conveniently fitted up, adjoin the hotel. The upstarirs portion of the house is reached by a fine staircase, and is devoted to bedrooms and private sitting rooms, which are furnished with the greatest luxury and good taste. There is also a handsome drawing room, and a travellers' writing room. Numerous bathrooms and lavatories for ladies and gentlemen respectively, are conveniently placed throuhout the building, and every precaution has been taken for escape in case of fire. The hotel is lighted all through with incandescent gas light, the main entrances are fitted with large incandescent are lamps, and the rooms are supplied with electric bells. The corridors are wide, and furnished with excellent taste. The office is connected by telephone with Napier, and the reading rooms are supplied with all the leading Australasian weekly and daily papers, and the latest directories. The cuisine of the “Carlton Club” is excellent, and the services of a first-class chef, with a number of assistants, have been retained by the proprietor. The hotel is one of the most popular places of resort in Hastings, and is largely patronised by tourists, commercial men, and the travelling public. It is the meeting place of the Hastings Farmers' Union, the Hastings Golf Club, and the local volunteer corps. Mr. J. D. Rivers is ably assisted in the domestic management by Mrs. Rivers, and both host and hostess co-operate in making things pleasnt and satisfactory for all who are visitors or guests at the Carlton Club Hotel.

Mr. J. D. Rivers, the popular proprietor of the Carlton Club Hotel, was born in Wellington on the 5th of June, 1864. He was educated at the Thorndon public school, under Mr. Mowhray, and was afterwards employed for about five years by Mr. McKenzie, as a drover in the Manawatu district. Mr. Rivers subsequently gained considerable experience in the fellmongery trade in Wellington, Hawke's Bay, and Gisborne, and was then employed as barman by Mr. Jull, at Hastings. Five years later he took up a similar position in the Albert Hotel, Hastings, which hotel he afterwards acquired, and conducted on his own account. He then disposed of this house, and took over the Carlton Club Hotel, which he has since successfully conducted. Mr. Rivers is married and has one son and two daughters. He is further referred to as Quarter-master Sergeant of the Hawke's Bay Mounted Rifles.
Rohan Luttrell is the first speaker for the Landmarks History Group for 2010, and he will give a history of the Carlton Club Hotel (now the site of Breakers on the corner of Karamu and Heretaunga Streets).
The Carlton Club Hotel was built in 1882, and survived the 1931 earthquake because of its wooden construction. The Luttrell family took ownership in 1933 and the hotel was kept in the family until the building was demolished circa 1970 to make way for the present building, now occupied by Breakers.
Rohan Luttrell lived in the Carlton Hotel as a child and witnessed some of the unusual goings on that occurred. These include the antics of a touring French Rugby team staying at the hotel and the 1950s Blossom Festival riot in Hastings, which started in the Albert Hotel across the road.
The talk promises to be entertaining and informative, with Rohan recalling his memories of growing up in the hotel in Hastings.

Monday, 1 February 2010

Rohan Luttrell - The Carlton Hotel

Rohan Luttrell is the first speaker for the Landmarks History Group for 2010, and he will give a history of the Carlton Club Hotel Later becoming teh Cobb & Co Restaurant. (now the site of Breakers on the corner of Karamu and Heretaunga Streets).
The Carlton Club Hotel was built in 1882, and survived the 1931 earthquake because of its wooden construction. The Luttrell family took ownership in 1933 and the hotel was kept in the family until the building was demolished circa 1970 to make way for the present building, now occupied by Breakers.
Rohan Luttrell lived in the Carlton Hotel as a child and witnessed some of the unusual goings on that occurred. These include the antics of a touring French Rugby team staying at the hotel and the 1950s Blossom Festival riot in Hastings, which started in the Albert Hotel across the road.
The talk promises to be entertaining and informative, with Rohan recalling his memories of growing up in the hotel in Hastings.