Ohinemuri Regional History Journal 54, September 2010

Facelift for Historic Bridge

The 105-year-old historic rail-road bridge at Karangahake has been given a face lift. Much needed maintenance is required to the 35m long steel truss bridge, with the rust areas being cleaned and the whole structure re-painted. The bridge is part of the Karangahake walkways and will become an essential part of the Kaimai Heritage Trail which includes historic remains of mining and logging industries in the northern Kaimai Forest Park including Karangahake and Waitawheta.

Mayor Honoured

Hauraki District Mayor John Tregidga's service to his community has been recognised in being made a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit in the last New Year's Honours.

Hauraki District Mayor John Tregidga

Hauraki District Mayor John Tregidga's service to his community has been recognised in being made a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit in the last New Year's Honours.

Ohinemuri Regional History Journal 54, September 2010
Hauraki District Mayor John Tregidga

John arrived in Paeroa some 32 years ago to take over a stationery business, it was supposed to have been a stepping stone to bigger things. However John and his wife Evelyn and his young family soon settled into the way of life in the country.

He was soon involved in the town affairs becoming chairman of the Information Centre and he joined the local Rotary club. He is still a member and was awarded the Paul Harris Fellowship for his services to the club and community.

He took an interest in the local body affairs being elected to the Paeroa Borough Council over 25 years ago. He continued on when the amalgamation of local bodies in 1989 saw the formation of the Hauraki District Council of which he was the inaugural deputy-Mayor, a position he held for 15 years before becoming Mayor six years ago.

He is also chairman of the Hauraki Gulf Forum and a founding director of Tourism Coromandel Board. He has been closely involved in the Martha mine development at Waihi, as chairperson of the Hauraki District Council's Planning Committee.


Paeroa's town centre's designers, SOUL Environments, have won a gold award in the Landscape Design—Urban category of the New Zealand Institute of Landscape architects (NZILA) 2010 Resene Pride of Place Landscape Awards. Both the Hauraki District Mayor John Tregidga and Paeroa Ward chair Julie Bubb attended the awards dinner and both gave credit to the company. Company director Catherine Hamilton said to receive the award was a thrill and it acknowledged a huge team effort from the company and the Hauraki District Council. The award is made every two years.


Reihana Rautahi of Paeroa and 28th Maori Battalion veteran appeared on the $2.80 Anzac postage stamp for this year. He is seen inspecting the Sangro War Cemetery in Italy in 2004 when the Government tour party revisited many of the battlefields including Cassino. Reihana, who is a resident of the Ohinemuri Home and Hospital in Paeroa, was bred and born in Dannevirke before joining the 28th Maori Battalion. He saw service in Egypt and Italy before receiving a shrapnel wound in the head, which left him paralysed down his left side. Invalided home he spent four years in the Rotorua Hospital and then taught French polishing at the Rehabilitation League in Parnell, Auckland. He moved to Paeroa some 25 years ago bringing his polishing skills with him. His expertise was recognised by many from all over the country and he had thriving business until he retired in 1990. He also appeared in the Maori Television Anzac Day programme.


Waihi Community Vision were judged one of the three finalist in the Mitre 10 Community of the Year Award held in Auckland last February. Chairman Kevin Corney and Chief Executive Eddie Morrow represented the group to receive a trophy and certificate. There were 480 entries in five categories and the two representatives were full of praise for the group of members who had contributed so much to the vision all have for Waihi.


Rachel Schmidt of Waihi with her partner Penny Bennett claimed gold medals in 2010 Pacific Rim Gymnastic championship held in Australia. They competed in the synchronised pairs section. Rachel, aged 15, also competed in the individual section where she finished a commendable fifth placing. Her brother, Dylan, aged 13, finished fourth in the his individual section and in doing so scored 37.1, a record for a new Zealand competitor. While both Rachel and Dylan, together with elder brother Callum, have been selected in the New Zealand team to take part in the Indo-Pacific championships in Japan only Callum will be taking part because according to their mother, "there is only so far the pocket will stretch". They are interested to hear from anyone willing to sponsor these talented trampolinists.


Both John and Joan Hill of Cadman's Road were born in Paeroa, went to school here, were married here and in June last celebrated their 60th anniversary of their wedding vows. They celebrated this unique occasion with their bridal party of the day and family and friends at Ohinemuri Home where John is a resident. They met in the late 1940s when both attended young people's bible class at the Methodist Church, in which they were married by the Rev J. A. Dalgish on June 24, 1950. They moved onto John's grandfather's farm, "Three Oaks" in Cadman's Road, the property has been in the family for 137 years. They have both been involved in the community, both in Tirohia and Paeroa. Mr Hill was a member of the Tirohia-Rotokohu Drainage Board for some 42 years and also served on the Ohinemuri County Council for 21 years. He was also its representative on the Hauraki Catchment Board for many years. Mr Hill also held his private pilot's licence with flying being one of his passions. Mrs Hill has been involved as organist in the Methodist Church and when it and the Presbyterian Church combined to form the Co-operating Parish she continues playing for weddings and funerals. She also was an accomplished pianist, playing for school concerts, the Paeroa and District choir and also for many Anzac Day services.

A correction kindly provided by Christine Barbour (nee Hill) (June 2017):-

Dad was born in Buckland & his family returned to Paeroa in 1929 when he was 8 years old. His mother Sarah Tetley was born in Paeroa. Mum was born in Wanganui & shifted to Paeroa at 10 months of age.


Dr Harry White of Paeroa, became the member of the Diamond Cadence Club after he completed his 26th ride in the Wattyl Lake Taupo Cycle Challenge in early December last. The organisers invited the 62-year-old to become the inurgural member of the club which restricts membership to those cyclists who have competed 25 times in the event, which takes competitors around Lake Taupo. The event commenced in 1971 and Dr White's first ride in the 160km journey was in 1981. He is a member of the Paeroa Peddlers, a group of 10 cyclists. Dr White and another seven members did the one circuit, two members went twice around the lake or 320kms.


ArtWaikino staged another very successful exhibition during Labour Weekend, 2009. The event attracted artists and visitors from throughout the Hauraki-Coromandel region, along with those from Auckland, Hamilton and Bay of Plenty. Over the three days some 40 exhibits were sold. The supreme award went to Richard MacDonald of Tauranga, as did the best painting prize. The committee is well advanced with its 10th exhibition being held on this coming Labour weekend in the Waikino Hall.