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The Cyclopedia of New Zealand [Auckland Provincial District]


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Waiorongomai is between two and three miles from Te Aroha, close to the foot of the mountains, at the point where the Government tramway delivers quartz from the mines on the hills above. In the early days of the field, Waiorongomai was a place of some importance; it had a considerable population, and there was a local representative of the post office resident in the district. But in consequence of the output of gold having decreased, the population has dwindled, and the business of the local post office is conducted by the wife of one of the settlers. The township has a hotel, one or two business places, and a public school.

Waiorongomai Battery, Te Aroha.

Waiorongomai Battery, Te Aroha.

The Waiorongomai Post And Telephone Office is conducted in the private residence of Mr. William Jeffray. The office was established in 1895, and for several years there was a permanent official resident in the district. Since the decline of the mining industry, Mrs Agnes Jeffray has acted as postmistress.

The Waiorongomai Hotel (John Bertie, proprietor), Main Street, Waiorongomai. This hotel is a two-storey wooden building of twenty-eight rooms, twenty of which are bedrooms. There are four sitting rooms, and the dining room will seat 100 guests.

Mr. John Bertie, the Proprietor, was born on the Lincolnshire fens, England, in 1842, and was educated at Gravesend, where he was brought up to the wine and spirit trade. He came to the colonies in 1861, and was for five years in Wellington. During the native disturbances he served with the Wellington Rifles, and was present at the engagement where Major Von Tempsky was shot. Mr. Bertie was afterwards in Wellington as the proprietor of several hotels, and, after being four years in Sydney, he settled in the Te Aroha district in 1899.