Due for Release 2021



The events and the people of the Tikorangi District (or Community).​

The descendants of many of the original soldiers who were sent to Tikorangi in 1865 are still there today. Yes, the land many of them are on was originally consficated by the Government of 1863 and, yes, there are still raw feelings despite the very generous goodwill of both Maori and Pakeha residents to each other today.

There is the story of an unsung heroine and, a visit by a prince. What happened to the first white woman and her family to land at New Plymouth?

The early settlers battled bush and scrub covered land, unformed roads, irregular and meagre supplies to establish working farms to bring  their wives and families to. They faced hardship, bush fires, illness and accident.

Read the story of ‘father’ chasing a runaway horse while covered in lather and a barbers cape; the SuperShed, establishment of the dairy industry and an extensive oil industry which transformed a very tranquil country district. Read how a private house in the 1930s came to have its own natural gas supply.

There are/have been many plant nurseries in the districts rich soils, the first of which started in 1870 with some of those pear trees still growing today. Read the stories of men who left home in other parts of the world to succesfully establish themselves in business in Tikorangi; also heartbreaking stories of those who gave their all only to have to walk away from their life’s work. Tikorangi has produced  its share of high achieving New Zealanders.

Read of the industries that have become established in Tikorangi; some now closed and others are flourishing today; the building and opening of the unique suspension bridge across the Waitara  River on Bertrand Road  in 1897 as well as the establishment of the school and cultural activities of Tikorangi. Tikorangi’s rich sporting heritage is told as are the cultural activities the residents and others engaged in over the years. The story of the girls succesful hockey team’s practice sessions with local boys. Find out why the boys played in  long flowing skirts and no shin pads. See the rowing team in their fancy dress.

The book covers the infrastructures of the district; schools, industries, cultural and commercial activities; it gives over 100 biographical details of the descendants of the early settlers, the immigrants who have made Tikorangi home, those who have lived within the district for generations and some of those whose stay was brief as well as some recent arrivals.The book is specific to Tikorangi but it is also generic in that similar stories will have been replicated all over the country.

It is one of those books you can read and re-read as you uncover the intriguing relationships between many of the families.


'I am very pleased to recommend this highly informative account of the history of the Tikorangi district.  This book will invoke memories of the events, pastimes, work environments, schooling and most importantly the people who enriched a thriving rural community.  Generations have contributed to a strong community spirit and I foresee this publication being a favourite on many family bookshelves throughout Taranaki and beyond. I also recommend this book to school libraries in both secondary and primary schools, especially given the increased emphasis on Aotearoa New Zealand histories in the national schools’ curriculum.  Developing a greater understanding and awareness of our local histories is long overdue and this well researched book will be a great resource for generations to come.

Peter Gall

Education Consultant



'This well researched book gives a fascinating picture of the development of a vibrant, typical New Zealand rural community. The resilience, determination and sheer hard work of the people of Tikorangi involved and the challenging quality of the life and the communal infrastructures they built are vividly described in this excellent publication. Stories related extend from the first European arrivals to be landed on the Ngamotu foreshore at New Plymouth in 1840 to the present day entrepreneurs exporting Tikorangi made machines to the far corners of the world.

 This historical publication is very easy to read and will enliven the memories of the ancestors of the first settlers as they re-live the history with glimpses from this book and the stories they have so often heard and will open up the vision and hope for the future. Our ancestors overcame the challenges and thrived and so will the future of Tikorangi. Kia Kaha – stay strong

Gavin M. Faull, 

JP, B.C.A., F.C.A. (Australia and N Z), F.C.P.A. (Hong Kong), F.C.P.A. (Australia), CFInstD

Chairman and President

Swiss-Belhotel International

'Thank you for sharing your expansive book on the history of Tikorangi with me. Your dedication to the district and keeping the history alive is a huge undertaking. You have left no stone unturned. The families who developed this land, the infrastructure – you have covered it all.

The book is a must for all those people who have ancestors who have made Tikorangi what it is today.'

Rob Tucker

Tuckermedia Publishing


Peter Wilson is to be congratulated for undertaking the job of researching and compiling the story of the Tikorangi district in north Taranaki.  Drawing on archives, newspapers and memories of residents, both past and current, he has produced a readable, informative journey through the district’s rich past. Accounts of industries, sporting and social clubs, along with the families who have made Tikorangi their home, chronicle the many changes in the district over time. This book deserves to be read, not only by those associated with Tikorangi, but anyone who has an interest in rural New Zealand communities and what makes them tick.'

Kelvin Day

Kaitohutohu Matua – Kaupapa Motuhake

Principal Adviser – Strategic Projects

Bertrand Rd Suspension Bridge.jpg

The Bertrand Rd Suspension Bridge over the Waitara River provides a quick link between Tikorangi, Huirangi and Lepperton. Closed for many years then rebuilt to its original design this heritage bridge symbolises the strong link between these districts and the resilience of their residents in getting things accomplished.

Mount Taranaki.jpg

All three districts lay under the shadow of Taranaki’s mountain and are nourished by the rich volcanic soils and regular rainfall it produces.