History of local organisations and facilities

The Kuaotunu Hall

A summary of the history of the building itself (which dates back to the late 19th century), the formation of the Hall Committee (still in existence today), and the historic artefacts currently on display in the hall.

Courtesy of the Kuaotunu Hall Committee

The Kuaotunu Domain Board

An overview of the history of Kuaotunu's Domain Board. This organisation has been in existence since 1904.

Courtesy of Ian Goodall

The Kuaotunu Fire Brigade

From Kuaotunu's first Fire Brigade (which existed during the boom days of the gold mining era) to the formation of the present fire force in 1980, and developments since then.

Courtesy of Ian Goodall

The Kuaotunu Residents & Ratepayers Association

See below for a selection of newsletters which have been published over the years by KRRA (some date back to when the name of the organisation was the "Kuaotunu Peninsula and Matarangi Residents & Ratepayers Association").

Common topics include reducing the speed limits through Kuaotunu, possum control, dune care, and congestion at the boat ramp - some things never change...

More items will be added over time

December 1993 - the sealing of SH25 over Kuaotunu Hill has been delayed for 12 months 

Easter 1999 - SH25 over Kuaotunu Hill is still not sealed

December 1999 - a joint newsletter (Kuaotunu Konnections) between KRRA and the Hall - earthworks have started on the Kuaotunu Hill

December 2009 - Kuaotunu Community Plan completed, kauri dieback disease a threat

Personal memoirs

Reminiscences from Ian Simpson

In this document Ian has written down some of his many memories, including attending the original Kuaotunu School, a fire on Black Jack hill, the operation of the Kuaotunu Post Office and the collapse of the Kuaotunu bridge during a major flood in 1966.

Courtesy of Ian Simpson

Whangapoua Basin - Matarangi to New Chum Bay

This memoir by Robin A.R. Smith (written in the 1960's) gives a fascinating insight into life in the early 20th century.  The Kauri logging and kauri gum industries are covered in depth, as well as the social aspects of life at that time including going to dances at the Kuaotunu Hall.

Courtesy of Fred and Leona Bonkovich

Kuaotunu History Project (September 2022)

There is a group of locals who believe it is time to add to the recorded history of Kuaotunu. Alf Simpson in his book ‘This is Kuaotunu’ has done an admirable job of recording the very interesting activities in our village up to about 1960. Since then, there’s been plenty of activity and development which we feel should be recorded. We are concerned that some who have known plenty have left this world and others are heading along the same track.

Our idea at this stage is to produce a book with various headings or chapters covering subjects such as those listed below. Anybody who would like to contribute information, text or photographs or just talk to us about a particular topic is invited to email us with their contact details at: kuaotunuhistory@gmail.com.

We will then arrange to discuss with them how they or their material can be of assistance. An independent editor will eventually be engaged to amalgamate and collate everyone’s contributions and progress things to a printable stage.

If you know of someone who doesn't receive the Kuaotunu Community Newsletter, or perhaps a past resident, who might have items of interest please contact them and/or email us. We are also happy to hear suggestions on any aspect of the project, such as things we may have missed out, as it is still in the very early planning stage.

Please click the button below to see the preliminary listing of subjects we are considering for inclusion. Each heading will be expanded with subtopics as information and photographs come in.

Media articles

Kuaotunu: Boom! Bustle! Bust!

This article, published in the Coromandel Life magazine in 2014, gives a great overview of the activities of the European settlers in Kuaotunu in the period from the 1890's to the 1950's.

It contains many excerpts from R.A. Simpson's book "This is Kuaotunu", as well as photographs from Alexander McKay.

Courtesy of Coromandel Life magazine

Research reports

Site Survey of the Lower Kuaotunu Valley

Written by Nicholas F. Twohill on behalf of the Historic Places Trust in 1990, this document contains interesting information about the prehistoric, historical and industrial archaeological sites in the Kuaotunu Valley.

The Mining Township at Kuaotunu

This report was commissioned by the Waitangi Tribunal and written in 1999. It documents the author's research into the ownership of what were originally Maori lands at the time gold was discovered in Kuaotunu in the 1890's.

If you have any interesting historical information which you would be willing to share on this page please contact us and we will arrange to obtain a scanned copy