Other formats

    TEI XML file   ePub eBook file  


    mail icontwitter iconBlogspot iconrss icon

The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 10, Issue 12 (March 2, 1936)



A return feast for one previously given.


Pori = tribe or people; a subject or dependent tribe. Rua = two. Sometimes said to refer to the two divisions of Porirua harbour, the main inlet and the arm Paua-tahanui (large haliotis shellfish), erroeously spelled “Pahautanui” on the maps.


The small round-headed tree myoporum laetum which grows plentifully on or near the sea-coast.

Wellington-Hutt Valley Line.


Misspelling of Kai-whara, or Kaiwharawhara, to eat the fruit of the astelia which grows in the forks of the forest trees.


Misspelling of Nga-uranga, the village and beach at the mouth of this stream, meaning the places where canoes were hauled on shore; the landing place, or restingplace.


Misspelling of Pito-oné, the end of the beach; referring to the village of the Ngati-Awa at the western end of the long north beach of Wellington Harbour.


Place where canoes were tied up; mooring place. Maori name of the Hutt River.


Long branch of a river (a tributary of the Hutt River).


Cold food. Also to eat earthworms —a food of the olden Maori when other food was lacking, a kind of emergency ration.

South Island Lines.


Veronica flowering plant.


Numerous meanings, including frostfish (pāra); fragments; dust, remains; a tuber; a large edible fern-root; a kind of cordyline (ti-para); to make a clearing in the bush, etc.


Correctly Tuamarino. Tua = beyond; marino, clear or open, or smooth, referring to the Maori explorers’ view of the plains from the hills.


To make muddy or dirty, etc. Also, paru = thatch of roupo leaves for a house.


A mollusc; a kind of haliotis.


Dead water, stagnant water; salt pool blocked off from the tide.


A variety of flax, phormium tenax; also a mat spread out, a broad expanse.

Nelson Section.

Wai-iti: Little river.


Motu = an island, etc. Here an isolated clump of timber. Piko = winding or curved; corner or angle in a river's course.

Rakau: Tree; timber.

Westport Line.


Long branch of a river.


Large raft of dry flax stalks (korari)


The New Zealand palm.


The shags; cormorants.

Greymouth-Reefton-Inangahua Section.


Inanga = whitebait; hua = preserved by drying in the sun, and packed hermetically for future use.


Weka's place; or a place where the woodhen is plentiful.


Foggy or misty lake.


Little Taipo creek. Taipo = goblin, or spirit of the night; apparition. This is a curiosity in words; the Maori says it is not a genuine Maori word, but was first used by the pakeha—may be derived from atua-po, god or demon of the darkness.


The beech-tree, popularly called birch.


A kind of haka, or dance of welcome, at a tangi. But it may here be a corruption of the Australian aboriginal word for a rough camp of branches, a bush bivouac, imported by Australian gold-diggers. This is often used by New Zealanders in reference to shelters or branch coverings when duck-shooting, and appears in print variously as maimai, maemae, or miamia. Popularly and erroneously thought to be a Maori word. The maimai for a funeral dance and chant (maimai aroha) is, of course, genuine Maori.


The tree Elaeocarpus dentatus, its fruit is one of the chief foods of native birds, especially the pigeon.


Little Mawhera. The Grey River is the Mawhera, of which this stream is a tributary. Mawhera means spread widely open, referring to the mouth of the river.


River of the mountains.


Flying foam; a cascade.


Ika = fish; matua = parent. Ika also is used for a warrior, especially one slain in battle. Ika-nui = a god, or a god-like chief. Ikawhenua = a main range of hills.

Ngahere: The forest.

Kamaka: Rock; stone.


Kai = food, meal; ata = morning; also eat slowly, carefully, leisurely.

page 49

(The Ascent of the Mt. Cook Coy.Continued from page 16).

Mr. R. I. Wigley on the ice motor sledge.

Mr. R. I. Wigley on the ice motor sledge.

grandeur, so utterly convincing in its impression of mountain loftiness and snowy splendour, as that which stands before one through the dining room window of the Hermitage.

These were the days, too, of the ingenious idea of the portable telephone, used to tap the wire to invoke “tucker” from the Hermitage kitchen for parties trapped between snow-fed torrents which rose to roaring flood in sudden half hours. One of the pioneer directors, the late Sir John Findlay, participated more than once in these al fresco meals.

In 1922, the company acquired the Hermitage and R. L. Wigley's larger vision began to justify its lofty aim.

The enterprise was conducted with the utmost skill, energy and initiative. Mount Cook and the region of marvels he ruled became known in all the corners of the earth, more particularly wherever mountain climbers exchanged stories. New Zealand as a place of tourist attractions owes a great deal to the resolute and farseeing policy of this company. However, I pause to give another instance of the sweep of R. L. Wigley's enterprise. In 1920, he had again broken fresh ground in the conception and formation of the New Zealand Aero Transport Company Ltd., the first commercial concern of the kind. He was, as before, ahead of his time. Our people were not yet “air-minded,” and fifteen years had to elapse before a similar project was launched. In a D.H.9 'plane with a Siddeley Puma engine, he and his pilot established a record flight from Invercargill to Auckland, in 8 hours 53 minutes, which stands still, at the time of writing. Once again R.L. was of the “company before the pioneers.”

It is very obvious that all this area of achievement would not have been possible without valiant and loyal support, and from an army so large and so trusty it is invidious to select a few. My engrossing evening with “Charlie” Elms at the Hermitage,
Taking the mails through the great snow of 1908.

Taking the mails through the great snow of 1908.

my long talks with Harold Coxhead, the secretary of the company (who has traversed the world for information on the modern management of tourist resorts), the long and vivid memories of Mr. Richards, the choice reminiscences of C. Elms, junior, when he was service car-driving for experience in the Rockies, the countless anecdotes of the pluck and endurance of those early drivers, all combine to make a rich garnering of epic devotion of men to the service of the company in all weathers and all times. The comradely and “cheerful under fire” atmosphere of the Hermitage itself is simply the reflection of the company's personnel. It had for me the flavour of an R.S.A. regimental re-union, “magging” cheerfully of the tough times of long ago, of miseries shared, and of deeds that were done, and always with something good about the “Colonel.” It looks, anyway, with the return of better times in the world, that Armistice Day has arrived for these doughty brothers in arms.

To R.L. also was entrusted the launching of the Chateau Tongariro. This was one of those undertakings that was scarcely in working order when the full force of the economic blizzard hit the countries which held all its possible patrons. Incomes in America, Australia, England and Europe, shrivelled in a matter of months to a point where a pleasure trip was, as Mr. Disraeli used to say, “outside the sphere of practical politics.” How loyally R.L. gave of his best to make the venture a success, and how he and his associates personally contributed in an endeavour to stem the depression tide, are matters now of history. But, to-day, this imposing edifice is a national feature. The outside world see more pictures of the Chateau and the Hermitage than all other New Zealand buildings put together.

It is a long time since R.L. saw the possibilities of the fascinating travel routes between the Hermitage and the lakes and fairyland of the Queenstown region. Twenty-five years ago the company's cars went over the Lindis Pass road, newly opened to Pembroke, and eventually those staunch Darracqs crossed the Crown Ranges (approximately the height of Ben Nevis), to Wakatipu.

page 50

page 51
A group at the Hermitage, including the late Mr. Andrew Fisher, Prime Minister of Australia (centre) and the late Sir John Findlay (second from left).

A group at the Hermitage, including the late Mr. Andrew Fisher, Prime Minister of Australia (centre) and the late Sir John Findlay (second from left).

It is a far cry from the developed and modernised perfection of transport to the days of the “Beetle” and the first 40 h.p. open tourer Darracq; from the smooth road surface in the Eglinton canyon to the winding detours over the Mackenzie tussock country to avoid the morasses of the unmetalled highways; then there was the exciting invention of the ice motor sledge which was sent to the Panama Exposition and was the product of the ingenuity, in the main, of the late “Charlie” Jones, friend and partner of R.L. from 1906 till 1918.

But all through the adventure-filled years, there was one man of vision and leadership who held to his high purpose. When I was last in Timaru the wool sale was on and the men from out-back were there, with well-weathered skins and eyes that had the wideglancing and far-seeing look of those accustomed to long mountain vistas. (They would laugh at this “romantic stuff,” of course).Whether it was the influence of Mount Cook or not, the handsome main street of Timaru was filled with men of towering height. And among them, and of them, walked R. L. Wigley. I believe that men are largely fashioned by the land that bears them and so I see him as one whose vision is that of the men who look, at their world from great altitudes; whose life work in many ways resembles the grim task of those who conquer mighty peaks; who is wholly and worthily representative of the qualities of his beloved mountain.

The venerable superstition that if three people light pipe, cigar or cigarette from the same match one of them will die before the year is out is probably about as true as the belief that to pass under a ladder or spill the salt means asking for trouble. But how these old wives’ tales persist! The “lighting up” by three persons from the one match is unimportant. What is important to note is that to smoke (habitually), tobacco rank with nicotine (a deadly poison) is very unwise. And unfortunately so many brands are like that! The safe and sure way is to smoke “toasted.” You may indulge in Cut Plug No. 10 (Bullshead), Cavendish, Navy Cut No. 3 (Bulldog), Riverhead Gold or Desert Gold as freely as you please. There's practically no nicotine in these famous tobaccos. It is got rid of by toasting in the process of manufacture, and you get a pure, sweet, cool and fragrant smoke full of comfort and delight. But be wary when buying. Ask for any of the brands named and you'll be right.*

“Many Innovations.”

Ten years ago the N.Z. Railways Department set up a Suggestions and Inventions Committee, which invited members of the staff and the general public to offer notions for improvement of equipment, service, and so on. Up to a recent date the total of suggestions had reached 9,897, of which 914 were recommended for adoption. Awards and commendations were granted in 546 cases.

New Zealand's example was followed five years ago by the Canadian National Railways. In this period the tally of suggestions for the improvement of tools, equipment and working and housing conditions exceeded 10,000, of which more than 5,000 were adopted. More than 8,000 of the suggestions came from representatives of the employees.

Golden Jubilee Of The A.S.R.S.

On the 11th March, 1936, the Amalgamated Society of Railway Servants will celebrate its Golden Jubilee. The history of the Society throughout its 50 years of existence has been full of incident, and the record of this period will be preserved in a special publication now under preparation of the Society. The occasion will also be celebrated by a Golden Jubilee Dinner, at which it is understood representatives of the many branches of this 8000membership organization will be present.