Any thoroughly researched and well-argued study of any aspect of the past counts, for me, as history. I do have a preference for historians who probe into the ‘why’ and the ‘how’ but, overall, I think that our scope should be as broad and as catholic as possible. —Chandak Sengoopta, Professor of History, University of London

Thanks to our November speaker 

About 55 attended Mark’s Dickson’s thoroughly researched session on Kapiti’s Changing Coast: A Large-Scale Perspective and found it highly interesting and informative. Read this report.

Mark has been working in the field of coastal change with a number of other academics for some years, and his talk covered everything from ice ages and warmer periods over thousands of years to changes within New Zealand and along the Kapiti Coast in the last 50 years or so.

The Hadfields wind up the KHS year 

Barry Hadfield was the first mayor of the Kapiti Coast and his children will be talking about him next Tuesday 13 December.

David sums up his father’s background below.

“Barry Hadfield (1925-2012) was the first elected mayor of Kapiti. From a relatively young age he felt a genuine calling to serve his community. In this, he was walking in well-formed family footsteps.  Barry’s great-grandfather Octavius Hadfield was a pioneering missionary who arrived here in Kapiti in 1839 and lived among Kapiti Maori for much of his life. Octavius fought hard for Maori land rights and against injustice.  Barry’s grand-father Henry (Octavius’ eldest son), was a farmer, Maori interpreter to the House of Representatives and was regarded as a Maori scholar. 

Barry took over the family farm in his thirties, but soon became involved in community affairs – Rotary, Primary and Secondary School Boards, Paraparaumu Town Committee, Hutt County Council, chairing the Drought Relief Committees. He was finally elected to be Mayor of the new Kapiti District Council in 1974. Following six years as Mayor he was appointed to the Local Government Commission where he served for six years working with Sir Richard Webb and Keith Dockery. 

Barry’s eldest son David (with assistance from his two brothers – and probably the odd chip in from his sister!), will cover Barry’s life and times, including his challenging relationship with his father and bring to life a good-natured, warm-hearted family man and humble leader who made a significant contribution to his community.  In Barry’s time, Kapiti went from a quiet village and farming area (with many holiday homes) to a busy town of over 40,000.” 

  • Tuesday 13 December 7.30 p.m. sharp
  • Kapiti Uniting Church, 10 Weka Road, Raumati Beach
  • In the hall beyond the main door and up a small set of steps.
  • All welcome
  • A koha would be appreciated.

Camp Paekakariki Interpretation Site opened

This very impressive rendition of the history of the Marines camp which covered much of present day Paekakariki was opened on Sunday 13 November. Representatives from the US Embassy, local dignitaries and members of the Kapiti US Marines Trust were present along with about 50 members of the public.

If you haven’t seen it yet, you have a treat in store. The historical material was prepared by local historian Anthony Dreaver. 2022 is the eightieth anniversary of Marines arriving in Auckland and Wellington. Their presence and later action in the Pacific Islands was critical in saving New Zealand from a possible invasion by the Japanese.

Kapiti Horticultural Society Meetings 2023

The first Friday of the month at 7.00pm from February. Educational speakers. All welcome. Free entry. Raffles, Sales Table, Supper. Flower and Vegetable Competitions. ( See Josette for more information.)

Looking back and forward

Thanks for your support and koha in 2022. We started the year under the covid cloud but managed to have the full eleven sessions. The koha keeps us afloat and adequately covers our expenses.

There will be no meeting in January, so our first session in 2023 will be on Tuesday 14 February.

If you have any suggestions for speakers for 2023 let one of us know. We need some names of willing people. The co-ordinators will be meeting in January to start organising a programme for the year.  

Best wishes for the festive season from

Roger Childs, Gordon Dickson and Larry Keim