The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 4, Issue 6 (October 1, 1929)
Pictures of New Zealand Life — Soft Waters of Taharepa
The travelled sybarite in luxurious warm mineral baths has a new pleasure in store for him should he ever discover a certain hot spring on the north shore of Lake Taupo. The charm of it lies in its setting as much as in the delicious “feel” of the waters. It is a shallow rock tank of light-blue water, ever renewed by a constantly boiling spring that bubbles up in the rocks under the pumice cliff about a mile down the east coast of Taupo Moana from Taupo township. There is no bathing spring just like it in all the Wai-ariki country. A little beyond it is the glistening white beach of Waipahihi Bay, below a Maori village.
This bath, called Taharepa, is open to sky and lakeside. One can lie at ease there and lazily watch the ripples creaming on the beach; see even the yellow steam curl drift from Ngauruhoe volcano and the ice and snow of Ruapehu flash in the sun fifty miles away. The Maoris long ago carved a head-rest at the shore end of the bath. You can take a nap there, lapped in the soothing waters. A little low rocky point runs out close by, and on its edge, near the water, is a graceful kowhai tree which just about this time of the year should be covered in golden blossom. It completes the scene, and is prettier than any picture.
The Right Sort of Settler.
We hear now and again from an immigrant who has been unable to make a living in New Zealand. But there are others. Here is a self-reliant, competent example of an English family. They came out to the Dominion six years ago, the husband and wife and two sons. The head of the family is a skilled artisan, and he obtained work right away and kept it. The family leased a small farm at Horokiwi, near Wellington, and pegged steadily away, milking cows and keeping poultry and so on. Lately they were able to buy a dairy farm of two hundred acres when it was offered at a bargain price. The wife and mother in telling the story of the family's struggles and success, declared that “New Zealand is the best country I have ever been in, in which to make money. We are much more comfortably off than we could ever have been had we remained in England.”
And yet the family had had no previous experience of country life. But all four, and especially the plucky woman, had determination and industry, and no doubt mutual confidence and a hopeful vision of the future helped them to find their feet in the new land.
“Farewell to Lochaber.”
New Zealand has numerous communities of Highland Scots and their descendants, and though the Largs councillors in Old Scotland have banned the bagpipes the Caledonians in these Islands are never likely to follow this curious example. Pipe bands are popular, and never a prominent Scot is laid in his grave but the inspiring and heart-stirring strains of the page 25 famous laments are heard. “Lochaber No More” and “The Flowers of the Forest” are played here as they are played in the far-away glens of the north.
Splendid settlers those ex-Nova Scotians, and splendid sailors too. There is a story still told with pride in Waipu and by the Scots of Auckland that on one day in the old sailing ship era there were at anchor in the Waitemata Harbour, either just arrived or about to sail, nine vessels, all commanded by McKenzies, and all McKenzies of Waipu.
The development and uses of hydro-electric energy in New Zealand are not confined to the big Government power works such as those on the Waikato River and at Lake Waikaremoana and Lake Coleridge. Many townships, and even some farms have their own convenient supplies for driving machinery and lighting and cooking. An example of the modernising of back-blocks settlements in this respect is the hydro-electrical system possessed by a small township at the head of Kawhia Harbour, West Coast. This little farming community centre, with a population of about a hundred, has harnessed a rapid stream that flows down from beautiful Pirongia Mountains, a forested range very nearly three thousand feet high. This self-contained generating plant of about 40 horse-power belongs to the township. Besides supplying power to work a dairy factory and to light the settlement with electricity, it heats and lights the public school—a great boon, particularly the heating, in a rural school. There is an open electric fireplace, and electric power is also used in making hot cocoa for the children during page 26 the winter months. So this little school is more down-to-date than those in some larger towns.
New Zealand is wonderfully fortunate in its abundance of natural water power, its thousands of rivers and streams, and the use of these for providing power, is increasing every year.
The Flax Leaf.
Railway Training School'S Rugby Football Team, 1929.
Back row, left to right: Mr. E. W. Hayton (Coach). Cadets: C. J. Paton, C. H. Coup, R. D. Russell, D. C. Curtis, J. E. Russell, C. Singleton, and Mr. M. Bracefield (Manager). Second row: G. A. Glover, L. D. Rhynd, R. R. L. Shaw (Capt.), E. C. Williams, E. S. Anderson. Front row: I. Thomas, F. R. Debenham, A. G. de Joux and D. S. Woodley. (The above is the first team to be entered by the Railway Training School in the Wellington Rugby Union's Competitions.)
There is the possibility of many uses for flax besides those of the present. Flax makes excellent paper, makes artificial silk also, and it should in time give New Zealand all the cornsacks and wool-packs that are needed here instead of sending large sums away to foreign parts. If it were possible to employ the old-time Maori methods, the result would be interesting and profitable. But other times, other labour.
The flax business of a hundred years ago, by the way, was one reason why the Maori was so fond of making war. He needed all the slaves he could capture to make “muka” for the traders, so that he could buy more firearms and powder to prosecute more wars—the eternal circle.page break