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Questions and answers about things past in Motueka

From time to time we all wonder about things we see around town. What was that building originally used for? When did that structure get moved? Who first ran that shop in High Street? When did this festival or event originate?

These pages provide a way for you to ask the questions you've always wondered about, and to give answers to questions to which you know the answers (or can help).

  •  Answer:  Just run down the list of questions below - if you're interested in a question and think you can shed some light, simply click on the link to do that.

  •  Ask:  And if you want to ask a question of your own, click here »

Question 18:
I'm trying to find some info on 42 King Edward Street. The house has been added to in bits and pieces and is a bit of a mish mash inside, so I'm trying to find anyone that would have any information on the original house, or even better some photos? I've tried google and the owner has tried the council, all to no avail. So any help would be greatly appreciated. - Carol Crowle.
[Answers so far here]   Send your answer here »

Question 17:
How did Little Sidney Valley get the name? - Audrey Spooner.
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Question 16:
How old approx would the large totara tree on Totara Park Reserve be? - Maree H.
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Question 15:
I am trying to find information on Miss Decks Private school. I believe it was run from James George Decks house (Sandridge, in Thorpe Street) by his daughters, Ruth and Alice Deck. - Jan Miller.
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Question 14:
I am trying to find out the exact date that fire completely destroyed the MV Wairau alongside the Motueka Yacht Club. I was connected with the port for 9 years, the last 2 in the capacity as harbourmaster manager. I would like this information in regard to a history of the Sullivan Shipping Co, who owned the Wairau, being put together by Martin Berthhold, a Wellington marine historian. He has a rough date in mind - Sept 1976 - but we can't substantiate it. Many thanks if you can help me with this information. - Rob Williams.
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Question 13:
As kids we used to bike through the long grass at the back of the cemetry and come out at the beach where there was an adventure playground that went out into the inlet. It had rope bridges, net bridges, logs on chains and ended up at a fort in the middle of the inlet. It could be seen when you drove to to the wharf. This would have been in mid to early 70's. Where did it come from, who made it? I think the ocean eventually washed it away but what a place to have as a kid. Can anyone shed light on this magical place, do you remember it?
[Answers so far here]  Send your answer here »

Question 12:
I have come across some early 1920s rugby football photos of the Tikaokao or Tikao-kao club, which I believe was somewhere out the back of Motueka. I have been unable to find any information on this club on the internet and would like to know if anyone out that way can enlighten me.
[Answers so far here]  Send your answer here »

Question 11:
Can anyone shed any light on history of Dummy Bay? Even just how it got the name would be interesting.
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Question 10:
We came across a headstone which simply read Our Muriel at a small cemetery while on a Sunday drive in the Orinocco/Pokororo area - Beatson and Brereton families amongst others were buried here. Does anyone know who Muriel was and anything about her? - Ann Mac
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Question 9:
St Peter Chanel School:  I'm Scott from St Peter Chanel School. I want to know if there was a building before our school or was it farm land?
[Answers so far here]   Send your answer here »

Question 8:
Aspects of Motueka's history:  We have a whole lot of questions here asked by pupils at Motueka South School as part of a class project. Read them here and if you have any answers let us know and we'll fill them in as we go.
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Question 7:
Why did they start/stop growing tobacco in Motueka? What types of tobacco were grown in Motueka?
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Question 6:
From the Motueka River, there is a ditch or channel which one crosses toward the river end of Whakarewa St. It traverses N.E. through Northwood Hops' property and can be seen at the beginning of Queen Victoria St (North) and again at the Western end of Parker St thence heading toward the Motueka side of the bridge area. Some 5 years ago there was a sign at the Queen Victoria St site (now removed) explaining that it was a waterway used by Maori but I have heard that it was a race to serve a timber mill at approximately what is now Birdhurst's building, and more recently, I was told it was a flood relief channel for the river. Can anyone shed any light on when and why it was constructed?
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Question 5:
I've searched the Museum for photos of the G U S store at 2 School Rd Riwaka, and there appears to be none. Does anyone have old photos of this store. It is currently used by Resurgence Coffee and was used for a few years by Kiwi Kayaks and painted red.
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Question 4:
Who carved that wonderful work at the entrance (from car park) to the Riwaka Resurgence walk? And what does the carving signify?
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Question 3:
What was the original use of the big old building in Inglis Street that is now a Masonic place?
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Question 2:
Regarding the big tower beside the TDC offices in Hickmott Ave, what was it put there for and what function of functions does it serve now? Are the dishes that look like microwave transmitters for cellphone area linkage or for TV broadcast links?
[Answers so far here]   Send your answer here »

Question 1:
I've seen and heard so many figures quoted about the population of Motueka? Is it 7,000? Or 15,000? What is the official count?
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