In this issue

  • Business as usual
  • Feedback on Ann Evans’s talk in February
  • The forthcoming March session – John Robinson on Kapiti and the Musket Wars — Tuesday 31 March
  • Other confirmed sessions for 2020

Business as usual

We’ve decided to go ahead with the session at the end of the month, following the government’s meeting guidelines for “social distancing”. We will have the seats spread out and if we get a big crowd we will move to the church.

Thanks to our February speaker: Ann Evans

We had 40 people along to hear Ann Evans speaking on the amazing story of Whareroa Farm.

It was an excellent presentation involving a Power Point which incorporated some fascinating historical documents and photographs (some provided by Paekakakariki stalwart, the late John Porter.)

The story of the saving of the area for the community and the subsequent far-reaching development of planting, tracks and pest control is a great tribute to Ann and her team of Whareroa Guardians.

They do a fantastic job!

The audience – which was a very good number to start our 2020 programme – thoroughly enjoyed the session.

The March speaker – John Robinson

We were scheduled to have Professor Mark Dickson speaking on the history of our coastline, but as he is unable to come down from Auckland, we will slot him in later in the year. At short notice John has offered to speak on Tuesday 31 March.

The Musket Wars; Kapiti in New Zealand history

Musket wars

Although the Musket Wars in the first four decades of the nineteenth century were turbulent, bloody and destructive, with the collapse of society and a population reduction of around one-half, that period is almost written out of current historical accounts.

During that period the mass organisation of allied tribes and the use of increasing numbers of muskets extended the already existing general state of war between tribes.  The Kapiti region was completely transformed.  Two great war parties from the north swept through, killing many and driving others into the hills.

The resident tribes were weakened and easy prey for a series of northern tribes who had been driven from their homes by their more powerful enemies.

They came in a number of migrations and conquered Kapiti, and then went on to attack others in the South Island, destroying a number of tribes in bloodthirsty fighting followed by cannibal feasts. Subsequently over-crowding in the Kapiti area led to arguments and savage battles among those newcomers, between Otaki and Waikanae.

Unrestrained slaughter

(John’s book is available from Paper Plus for $30 or can be bought online from the Tross Publishing website.)

Tuesday 31 March at 7.30pm
Kapiti Uniting Church
10 Weka Road, Raumati Beach
Enter via the main church door.
Gold coin koha. Thanks
A light supper will be served following the talk.

Later in 2020 – confirmed speakers and topics

We live in uncertain times, so the programme details may change. We’ll keep you informed.

KHSApril 21 — Roger Childs on Gallipoli – Myth and Reality. Did this disastrous defeat really build national identity?
May 26 — Sir Kim Workman. I thought I would talk about his connections with the Kapiti Coast, through firstly, my  Ngai Tara whakapapa, the earliest iwi to live in the Kapiti  area, and secondly through my great- great-grandfather, Scottish whaler John Stanton Workman, who first arrived in Aotearoa in 1834, and whaled at Tokomāpuna Island from 1840.  I would then share the experience of growing up in a mixed descent whānau, with a Māori father and a Pākehā mother, and the influence of my tipuna, on my life.
June, July, August – Mark Dickson on putting the evolution of the Kapiti Coastline in a global and national context. Wendy Huston on the history of Seven Oaks and the Kapiti Retirement Trust. Hari Jackson on his heritage in the Kapiti area. (Exact details of dates and topics to be decided.)
September 22 – Anthony Dreaver on the former Otaki Health Camp and its historical buildings.
November 17 – Bruce Taylor will focus on the impact on Kapiti of the Wellington to Palmerston North rail link. I will still describe the history of the line but put particular emphasis on the role of the railway in the development and history of the Kapiti district (Paekakariki to Otaki).
December – David Hadfield on a topic related to his heritage.

Suggestions for topics and speakers are always very welcome.

The organisation for 2020

Essentially we are continuing on the same basis as last year with monthly speakers on a Tuesday evening, with a gold coin koha. The koha covers our expenses. So there are no subscriptions and no need for an AGM.

If you are on the mailing list you are a member.

Roger Childs and John Robinson, Coordinators of the Kapiti Historical Society