TAPORA HISTORY

The history of Maori tells how the western shores of Okahukura once extended to the entrance of the Kaipara Harbour as sand dunes with two channels into the harbour instead of one, as it is now. This portion of land that was more or less sand dunes was known as Tapora, and was inhabited by the Maori. Great storms gradually caused the sand dunes to drift away, allowing the sea to encroach, leaving only sand bars in the harbour where there was once a whare or large temple on the original sand dunes.For ten generations the land of Okahukura remained in the possession of Ngati Whatua. For more than ten years after the Government had purchased the neighbouring land known as Albertland, the peninsula was occupied by the Ngati Whatua tribe.

 

About the year 1876 T. E. FitzGerald purchased the land from Ngati Whatua which included the Okahukura point and 24,000 acres (97 km2) of land. FitzGerald built his first homestead around 1880 on a ridge overlooking Oruawharo River. Here he built a jetty for small boats for access when there was sufficient high tide, but there was a main landing point in deeper water for any tide. Due to the large number of kauri trees, FitzGerald leased the rights of this land to gum-diggers. Due to old age FitzGerald had to retire and terminate his twenty years of occupancy at Okahukura.Following FitzGerald's retirement A. H. Walker leased this land for two and a half years and dramatically improved the landscape by re-fencing and sowing grass. T.C. Williams now leased the land with W. Williams taking over management. For the next ten years Williams and his workers spent many days cutting and burning down bush to allow for sowing grasslands, while opening gumfields and a store at one of FitzGerald's old homes.

 

In the year 1910 Williams was in the process of transferring the management of the block to C. Kemp, when he accidentally fatally shot himself. Kemp took over management of Okahukura, continuing with the development of boundary fences. Nearer the end of 1910 Okahukura was sold to Messrs Bowron and Smith of Christchurch. Kemp was still manager of the Okahukura property and split the property up, selling sections to others and developed roads for access into the new sections as well as communications through a telephone line. The land changed ownership numerous times between World War One and World War Two.Recent history[edit]During World War Two the United States Marines set up camp on 'the run' (Sea View) and used the greater area for target practice. The New Zealand Government then took over Okahukura to use as a soldier rehabilitation settlement in April 1945. The name Okahukura was then changed to Tapora to avoid confusion with another Okahukura elsewhere in New Zealand.

 

The Minister of 'Land and Returned Services' Association brokered a pact to develop the Okahukura peninsula for returned servicemen through ballots. A community to be called Tapora was planned with a shop, school, church and workers' houses (only the school and a few houses were constructed). The ballots for the Returned Services' Association were created in 1947 and Tapora turned into a dairy farming settlement. Tapora is now a thriving community with productive famland, a local primary school and golf course.

Our Address

654 Okahukura Road

Tapora, NZ

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TEL: 09 4221 822

E-MAIL: dewalie@xtra.co.nz

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