Timeline for Pukete
Compiled By Liz Amoore
Pre European – Pukete (the hill) was a small pa in the wider Horotiu (means swiftly flowing) area. The Pa site is located at the northern end of Braithwaite Park. The Pa was used up until the arrival of military settlers in 1863.
Most areas by the sea e.g. Raglan, Kawhia were settled earlier than Hamilton. This was because trading vessels, boats were able to get into these places. Travelling into the interior of the North Island was more difficult. In the Waikato the only highways were the rivers and streams.
One early traveller noted that they travelled at least 15 miles towards the east along the Waikato River and the only small settlement they saw was Pukete Pa
Some of the very early settlers in the area had Maori wives. One of these was William Searancke who married Hariata and had 4 children. Their second son married Tiahuia, a daughter of King Tawhaio. Te Puea Herangi was their second child. Herangi is Maori for Serancke.
Another was a Frenchman named Louis Hetet who liking what he saw in New Zealand returned to France and bought back with him farm implements, stock, seeds and tools. The principal occupation of these early traders was salting pork and selling it to bigger settlements such as Auckland.
Next to arrive in the Waikato were mission stations. Two big stations were at Tuakau and Taupiri. The missionaries taught the Maori cultivation of crops such as wheat and potatoes
In 1842 trade with the local Maori was well established. The traders bought pigs and potatoes in exchange for blankets and tobacco. It was noted that men, woman and children all smoked.
Beginning of European settlement. After Waikato War 1863-64 had finished land belonging to Maori people was confiscated and surveyed into 50 acre blocks for private soldiers and larger sections for officers.
1865 – September – Area surveyed by J.D.Browne. Area to the south of Horotiu was called Pukete after Pukete Pa which was situated on the river bank near Half Way Hill.
1866 – Road between Hamilton and Ngaruawahia opened
1875 – 50 men employed in cutting a drain six feet wide and three miles long through the Pukete swamp.
1877 – Railway line opened
1879 – Pukete station built
1979 – June - First Pukete school opened - Early families were Abbot, Alexander, Allen, Giffney, Hall, Walsh, Washer, Wood.
1880 – Pukete punt now working, thanks to Waikato District Council who supplied the rope. About 13 children from the Kirikiroroa side (eastern side) use it to cross the river to Pukete School. If anyone wished to cross the river they called on Mrs Walsh (who loaned the punt) or Mr Alexander who were in charge of the wire worked ferry.
1880 – Pukete School house built – Mr Giffney teacher of 25 children.
1883 – August – Pukete school reserve established
1880’s – Kauri gum discovered in payable quantities. One Saturday night in 1880 a party of diggers from the Te Rapa and Pukete gumfields took about five hundred pounds worth of gum to Ngaruawahia.
1885 – January - Pukete Sunday School picnic at Harlow farm
1886 – Pukete school library established at a cost of 7 pounds. Mr McIntosh principal.
1886 – Tenders invited for the digging of 100,000 holes for planting trees on the Horotiu estate at Pukete.
1905 - Creamery established
1907 – Pukete (later called Horotiu as some confusion with Te Puke) post office built
1908 – Third annual Creamery picnic held
1909 – July 29 - First Pukete school burnt down
1909 – Pukete( now to be called Horotiu) hall opened
1915 – Pukete post office changes name to Horotiu (post office closed July 1988)
1960’s – 1970’s – Pukete suburbs developed
1972 – A.F.Porter wins contract to build Pukete primary school at a cost of $35,000. The school will have 10 classrooms, a library, general purpose room, a dental clinic and administration block
1973 – May 21- Pukete School opens on present site with 235 pupils and the founding Principal of Mr Jim Hawes.
1975 – Pukete’s swimming pool opened at a cost of $9,700.
1981 – Pukete post office in Hamilton was re-named Braid Road Post Office
1991 – Fort playground opened at Pukete School
1995 – Pukete pedestrian underpass opens
1996 – October – Pukete Bridge opening
1999 - Library/Media Centre opened by The Hon. Dr. Nick Smith
2002 - Te Manawa Hall opened by Leilani Rorani
2010 – July 29 – The Base opened
2012 – Pukete School playground upgrade begins
2013 – Upgrade of Pukete bridge to 4 lanes
2015 - Pukete Pou is erected and unveiled by Hon Te Ururoa Flavell
TE POU O PUKETE
KO WAIRERE (Top Figure)
The main top figure depicts Wairere who was an important ancestor who was directly linked to the origins of the name Waikato following his birth during the 1600s. He was a famous chief and had many numerous descendants. His tribe,Ngati Wairere are the local iwi upon the lands that Hamilton City is built upon.
Wairere means flowing water in reference to the river waters flowing around his Grand father named Kokako,in mid thigh deep water while performing a baptismal sacred ritual by sprinkling sprigs of karamu leaves over Wairere and at the conclusion of the ceremony, plucked the water to release droplets of water upon the child freeing it from the Tapu (Sacredness) of child birth. From there onwards the old name of the river was changed from Te Awanui O Taikehu to Waikato
Wai means (water) Kato means (pluck) referring to the plucking motion of his hand upon the surface of the water where Kokako sprinkled the child,s head with droplets of water, then released the sprigs of Karamu into the river currents. For local Maori identity and connection to land is akin to describing a bond between a child and its biological parent.
Hence the history behind the origins of the name Waikato now used to identify the people of this region and the connection of the river to the residents of Pukete
NGA HAU E WHA
The four individual faces located on the main body of the Pou represent the four ancient winds (Nga hau e wha) which depict the journeys and travels of people from throughout the nation and across the world who associate with Pukete School. The names are.
Hurunuku atea – The northern wind . Top right
Tahu Makakanui – The Western wind Bottom right.
Tahu mawakenui – Eastern wind. Top Left
Paraweranui- Southern Wind. Bottom left
KO KOURA ( Central Figure)
The central figure depicts Koura, a famed 17th century female paramount chief who challenged men to hand to hand combat in times of battle. She was an outstanding leader and is depicted as an ancient talisman that was found in 1942 at Pukete Pa,an ancient Ngati Koura fortification. The figure has been chosen as a diety for developing a strong leader.
KOWHAIWHAI- “ E TIPU E REA”
The painted pattern in this mid portion of the Pou –ihi depicts the concepts of growing life-force within our children and the need to nurture them and provide them knowledge ,values and virtues through life ahead encapsulating the theme and motto of Pukete School “ Success begins with me “
The right side of the Pou represents the Ira Tangata ( male essence), the left side depicts the (female essence)liken to growing flax plants that represent the parents and the child a place where children grow by learning.
The five carvings at the bottom of the Pou are the Tui, Kakapo,Kea,Kiwi and Ruru birds which depict the school houses which make up Pukete School. Positioned on the Pou so they feel close to the children and the children can take strength from them.