Taheke- late 40’s.
In the sidebar to your right you will see a small photo of a hotel where I lived as a child. This is the view looking the other way, from an upstairs window. No tarseal, herds of cattle being driven to the works by drovers with stockwhips and dogs guiding them along. They were probably headed for Moerewa Freezing Works. Now defunct.

On the right is an old hall where my father ran a boxing gym, and locals, mostly Maori, used to come some evenings to train and enjoy themselves. There were punchbags of various description, fast skipping, sparring too. Boxing at that stage was still in some Secondary Schools but rapidly ending. Tournaments seemed common and my father, as a younger man had been a keen participant.

The hall is no longer there which is a pity. The area was depopulated after this time by the migration of Maori to other centres because of the opportunity for paid employment. Many from this area went, I think to work in the new paper mill in Tokoroa, or was it Kawerau.

This open space was often the arena for fist fights. Fisticuffs & hotels went hand-in-hand then, it was exactly like the Westerns that were such a staple of our movie diet. As a little boy I admired the cowboy’s code and this sort of event seemed quite normal. What I saw in movies looked very familiar.

This road in now tarsealed, going through and leading to settlements with names such as Kawakawa, Moerewa, Kaikohe, Opononi and Rawene and others of course, but who I hope I haven’t offended by leaving them out
! All right then. Mitimiti, Kohukohu, Waima, Waimate, Horeke, Pakaraka, Paihia, Kerikeri. In the Hokianga there don’t seem to be many towns with non-Maori names.