Pukerua Bay has a long association with servicemen. Some of the men were living in the Bay when they enlisted, but many of them were associated with the Bay through friends and family.
Local historian, Margaret Blair, tells their stories in this special issue of COVID Courier.
Plan for the 25th: Stand at Dawn The RSA and New Zealand Defence Force would like us to remember those who gave their lives for our country. At 6:00 am on Saturday 25 April, stand at your letterbox and take a moment to remember our fallen – but please stay within your ‘bubble’.
Sudden death, stabbing and robberies: The Wild West? No – the Pukerua railway camp.
During the construction of the railway tunnels between 1884 to 1886 up to 400 men were employed at any one time by Samuel Brown the contractor. The No. 15 contract, for construction of the railway between Pukerua and Paekakariki including six tunnels, was “considered the most difficult and important [contract] on the line.”¹ Many of the men lived at Pukerua in what was known as “the railway camp” or “Brown’s camp”. They lived in tents, whares and huts or stayed in “boarding houses,” which were probably just tents with wooden floors.
You might have noticed that the old shelter building on the southbound platform of the former Muri railway station has a new coat of paint and is looking pretty flash. This is thanks to the Greater Wellington Regional Council, which is handing ownership of the building over to the Residents Association. It’s the culmination of a long process that began when GWRC closed the station in 2011.
The plan is to make it part of He Ara Pukerua heritage project, and it will have the Pukerua Bay railway history on display in the shed. In the meantime, we have a temporary sign…
The beach heritage marker, part of Pukerua Bay’s He Ara Pukerua heritage project, will be unveiled by Porirua Mayor, His Worship Mike Tana. The marker covers a brief introduction to Pukerua Māori history, George Stubbs, John Nicol, Nobby Clark, beach houses, the 1962 Battle of the Rocks, the Rāhui and early artists.
This will be followed by the unwrapping of the bollard for the Pukerua Bay Surf Lifesaving Club at Brendan Bay, with members of the club.
10 am start, Saturday 3 August 2019 (ical) Southern beach car park, at foot of Goat Track (map)
The He Ara Heritage Group of the Pukerua Bay Residents Association would like to invite you to the opening of 4 heritage bollards on the Ara Harakeke Way. The event will be on Saturday 19 May 2018 and start at 10.00am by the entrance to Whenua Tapu.
That might sound a bit official but it’s really a great chance to see and hear stories about our local history. The bollards have been placed alongside the walkway to mark significant events or places at those sites.
It’s a 2.5 km walk down to the Z Truck Stop and Mayor Mike Tana is officiating at all four of them. He will be ably assisted at each one by our selected historians who will give a potted history of the significance of each site.
A representative from the Hongoeka Marae will bless each one and Mayor Mike will unveil them with a flourish. As a bonus, Mike Jebson from the QE2 National Trust and a resident botanist will speak as we pass the Taupō Swamp sign which was recently rediscovered. The last time it was seen out in the open was when the Queen was here!
At the Truck Stop we will have available some ‘local’ refreshments. They will be non-alcoholic and child friendly. Actually they will be real fruit ice blocks made on the Kāpiti Coast by a couple of ladies just starting their business called Paekākāriki Pops.
It was almost a day for hats and umbrellas last Saturday, but the rain was kind and merely washed the station so Ngāti Toa Kaumata Taku Parai could bless the new Pukerua Bay station building and the He Ara Pukerua heritage sign. Greater Wellington Regional Councillors Jenny Brash and Barbara Donaldson cut ribbons to formally open the station, and Porirua Mayor Mike Tana unveiled the He Ara Pukerua sign, which is the first to mark a Pukerua Bay heritage site. 27 May 2017 will also be remembered as the day well-known Pukerua Bay resident Ray Brown sang his song “Pukerua Bay” which he composed in 1958.
He Ara Pukerua is the name of the Pukerua heritage project, and recognizes the many tracks which are part of Pukerua Bay’s history. There are many other places of interest in the history of Pukerua Bay and the Heritage Group is seeking contributions or memorabilia towards recording them.
Join us in celebrating the new METLINK station shelter (funded and installed by GWRC), and heritage signs at the Pukerua Bay Railway Station on Saturday the 27th of May at 10am. Mayor Mike Tana will present and open the archway and reveal the new Heritage Sign on the platform. All Pukerua Bay residents and visitors are warmly invited to attend.
For further details about the event, please click here.
Background: The Pukerua Bay Residents Association has worked tirelessly in partnership with Porirua City Council to provide a beautiful new wooden archway and historical information sign.
The timbers used in this sign and the others to be installed, come from the Airlie Road over-bridge which was originally built in 1937 and demolished in 2010.
We invite you to share your memories, memorabilia or materials relating to Pukerua Bay. These will complete the research that has been done so the final map can be drawn. Please contact Margaret Blair on 021 1373 263 or email@example.com.