New research on Kohukohu's kauri history will be presented this week in the first of a series of talks that aim to create a deeper understanding of the Hokianga town's heritage.
Many buildings in towns of early New Zealand were built of kauri, but the centre of Kohukohu township was literally built on kauri, on land reclaimed by kauri sawdust from the town's timber mill. On Saturday, Auckland University masters graduate Duncan Munro will talk about how Kohukohu was shaped by its kauri sawmill and its waste, a wooden world bathed in sawdust.
In the late 1800s New Zealand's population was growing rapidly. Sawmills throughout New Zealand were processing native timber to meet the demand for housing and export income. Milling continued into the early part of the 20th century. However, the problems that arose from disposing of large volumes of sawdust and slab waste into the natural environment was a contentious issue for citizens, government officials and politicians of the time.
Mr Munro's field research included taking underground field samples of reclaimed land in Kohukohu.
“The aim of my research was to fill a gap in our understanding of our forest history,” Mr Munro says.
“The type of reclamation at Kohukohu was unique among my case studies."
He calls it an innovative way to dispose of kauri sawdust and to increase the size of the town. By investigating Kohukohu's reclamation, researchers learned about the methods and attitudes of the day - and have made a contribution to Kohukohu's history.
Kohukohu Community Trust will host this presentation, the first in a series of lectures and events that highlight important landmarks in Kohukohu. Day visitors to Kohukohu can also pick up a free copy of a historic walk brochure at Village Arts Gallery and take a self-guided tour of Kohukohu Heritage Precinct.
Sawdust and Slabs - the disposal of waste from colonial and dominion-era sawmills of New Zealand, the Kohukohu case study will be presented by Mr Munro, followed by question time and afternoon tea. A plate or a koha would be appreciated, August 4, at 2pm, at the Kohukohu Fire Station.
RSVP to Pauline Evans Phone 09 405 5855. Email email@example.com Free historic walk brochures are available from Village Arts Gallery. For more information on Kohukohu go to kohukohu.com.
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