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Flames raze Dutch Kiwi

In the “swinging 60s”, the leafy hills of Waitakere were one of the few places Aucklanders could enjoy a wine or cocktail with a meal. Down in Oratia was the Harres’ Town & Coun- try Roadhouse located in the old Parr homestead, Albion Vale. Up West Coast Road was the Lanes’ Back o’ the Moon. And Rolf Feijen and his partner H Romyen ran one of the first licensed restaurants in Auckland when they converted the old Waiatarua Boarding House (then in flats) into the smart and fashionable Dutch Kiwi Restaurant

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View of a section of a wooden bush tramway over a small gully in the Waitakere Ranges. This was the tramway for Mander and Bradley's sawmill which was situated in the upper Nihotupu Stream valley. Historical note: For more information about Mander and Bradley's mill see Ben Copedo's research document: Mander and Bradley's Sawmill Workings in the Upper Nihotupu Valley, 1895-1899, (2011).Auckland Libraries Heritage Collections JTD-08C-01037-1

Mander & Bradley’s timber mill at Nihotupu

The timber firm of Mander & Bradley milled Nihotupu. Francis “Frank” Mander and Samuel Bradley were principals of the company. They bought the rights to mill Wasley’s bush in 1895 from a firm called Clinkard & McLeod who had acquired it from the Wasley family in 1890.

Mander was Onehunga-born and started his working life at 10 years of age. He was in his mid-40s when the Nihotupu operation started, but this was not his first timber-milling venture; he was a lifelong timber man and had already milled at Awhitu, Kaipara and the Northern Wairoa. Mander was later a Member of Parliament and newspaper proprietor.

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The Waiatarua Tunnels

The distribution of our newsletter must be effective and widespread (congratulations Tony Bacon). Since my letter in the March newsletter about mystery tunnels found in Waiatarua I have been contacted, from Waihi where he now lives, by Peter Beveridge, son of Bill Beveridge. Bill was a park ranger between 1970 and 1990 who, in recognition of his extensive knowledge of all things relating to the Waitakere Ranges became colloquially known as “Mr Waitakere”.

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Mary Bendall and the Bendall family – original settlers

Mary Bendall was the only woman amongst the original Crown Grants awarded for settlement at Waiatarua. Mary’s land – which eventually amounted to 264 acres – was at the junction of West Coast Road and today’s Scenic Drive and ran westwards over the hill to today’s Quinns Road.
What distinguishes Mary as a settler was not just that she was the only woman, but that she was a widow with four children aged between 11 and 19 years when she emigrated and chose this remote high point of the Ranges as her new home.

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