About Us

Research resources



Established 23 November 2017 - Last updated 19 Jun 2020

Museum now open: Sundays 2-4pm or by appointment
Public Talk: Covid-19 Pandemic of 2020 vs Flu Pandemic of 1918 at Wainuiomata Library 2pm Saturday 11 July by Gavin Wallace


1846 Riddiford Family establishes Orongorongo Station

1857 Wainuiomata School Teachers (1857-1964)

1860 Mar 17 Wellington Militia Ballot - 200 men required - 300 names drawn. Your name having been drawn for actual service in the Militia, you are hereby commanded to attend on Friday 23rd March, instant, at 12 o’clock, noon, at the lower Mount Cook Barracks, W. R. Trafford, Major Commanding. Baring Head: James Davis, pilot. Near Pencarrow Head: H. Phillips, farmer. Wainuiomata: D. Diamond, labourer; John Dick, labourer; John Grace, Esq., JP; Alfred Johnson, farmer; Robert Neil, farmer; Richard Prouse, farmer. York Bay: Thomas Crowther, tailor.

1861 The first school was built about this time
1862 First known interment at the Coast Road Church Cemetery of James Riddle
1863 Wainuiomata District residents subscribe £10 to the Lancashire Relief Fund
1869 First interment at the Sinclair Family Cemetery of Catherine McIlvride
1870 Captain John Mowlem builds Northbrook
1870 Jan 01 John McIlvride is appointed Postmaster for Wainuiomata

1870 Feb 16 The proprietor of the flax mills at Wainuiomata advertises a charge for anyone wishing to employ his patent for preparing flax

1870 Sep 15 The partnership between Peter Langwill, William Alfred Fitzherbert and John Journeaux under the style or firm of Langwill, Fitzherbert & Co., Flax Manufacturers in the Wainuiomata District was dissolved by mutual consent

1871 Feb 06 Upper Wainuiomata Highway District Board of Wardens: W. Fitzherbert (Chairman), H. Sinclair, G. Allan, R. Dick, D. Sinclair, John Mowlem

1872 Mar 08 Mr Fitzherbert's flax mill was destroyed by fire. It was uninsured and the loss estimated at £3000.
1872 Nov The enlargement of the church at Wainuiomata was sanctioned by the annual meeting of Wesleyan Ministers

1877 Oct 13 The empty home belonging to Robert Wyley burned down

1878 Start of the Wainuiomata Water Supply scheme
1878 Feb 21 The Wainuiomata Rifles hosted the Kaiwarra Volunteers in the schoolroom

1884 Wainuiomata Waterworks: Quaintance/Drummond Caretakers

1892 Eliza Campbell nee Dick (1846-1937) of Wainuiomata signed the 1892 Suffrage Petition

Archives NZ Reference AEBE 27184 - Sheet 284 Lower Hutt (Online digital repository)

1892 Kate MAIR Exhibits Paintings of Wainuiomata Scenery

1893 Suffrage Display Panels

1893 Feb 13 Violent Earthquake - "The operator at the Wainuiomata Telephone Station rang up the town office, and was in the act of informing the operator there that they had just experienced an earthquake at the Wainui when the shock reached the head office, and swayed the building." See What is the Wainuiomata Earthquake Story?

1893 Mar 02 Among those who have passed the first section of the B.A. degree examination is Mr Andrew Nisbet Burns, who is in charge of the Wainuiomata School. He has been attending the Wellington collegiate classes for the past two years.

1893 Mar 11 Wellington Storm - Some of the Wainuiomata pipes have burst, the consequence is that Wellington, which is lighted by electricity, is up to the present left in darkness; 8.40 inches of rain fell at Wainuiomata Reservoir in 24 hours.

1893 Apr 03 Andrew Nisbet Burns, of Wainuiomata School, succeeds to the assistanship of Hutt School.

1893 Apr 19 Position for Head Teacher Wainuiomata School is advertised; average attendance 27. Salary about £140 and residence

1893 Apr 23 John McIlvride Jnr is appointed Dog Registrar for Wainuiomata Riding of Hutt County
1893 Apr 27 School Committee elected: Messrs Wakeham, Jackson (Secretary), Burdan, James Wood, R. Dick (Chairman)

1893 May 06 Arthur Nisbet Burns, lately appointed first assistant teacher at the Hutt School, was, on Wednesday, at a concert given in his honor, presented with a silver hunting watch, suitably inscribed, by the residents of Wainuiomata, at which place he has for the last two and a half years acted as school teacher. Mr R. Dick, Chairman of the School Committee, made the presentation, and with Messrs J. Wakeham and James Wood spoke eulogistically of Mr Burns' services. The recipient replied in suitable terms.

1893 Jul 11 Wanted to Know, the whereabouts of Ameen Rumanus, Assyrian hawker, left Masterton about six weeks ago for Wainuiomata.

1893 Aug 12 Eight thousand young trout were sent to Wainuiomata this morning

1893 Aug 21 Wellington Acclimatisation Society intend to obtain more black Tasmanian opossums to stock the Wainuiomata Valley

1893 Sep 15 Hares may now be killed in the Wainuiomata District.

1893 Sep 23 Mr Muter, of the Government Insurance Department, fell 22 feet down a cliff into the river. Cecil Adams pulled him out and used Sylvester's method of artificial respiration to revive him. He was carried into a whare belonging to Messrs J. E. Smith, F. Dyer, and C. P. Skerrett.

1893 Sep 29 The concert in aid of the Wainuiomata School prize-fund last Wednesday evening realised the sum of £3 7s 6d.

1893 Oct 16 W. Rodney Barnes, the well-known English landscape artist leaves for Melbourne today - after thoroughly exploring the beauties of the Wainuiomata Valley.

1893 Oct 18 Mr W. Burdan donated £1 1s to the prize fund of the Agricultural and Pastoral Association.

1893 Oct 27 A. Jensen's Robin Hood, bred by H. Campbell, Wainuiomata wins 1st prize for Coaching Stallion at the Masterton Agricultural Show.

1893 Nov 11 Otaki Electorate - John Glenny Wilson invites the electors to meet him at the Wainuiomata Schoolhouse on 15 Nov at 7.30pm.

1893 Nov 15 Mr J. G. Wilson, a candidate for Otaki, addressed a meeting in the Wainuiomata Schoolroom, Mr J. Wakeham in the chair. The meeting passed a vote of thanks and confidence.

1893 Dec 21 Wellington City Council advertises for tenders for the sole right to collect Grass Seed from the Waterworks Reserve above the dam at Wainuiomata.

1894 Feb 10 Cecil Francis Adams of Wellington received a Certificate of Merit from the Royal Humane Society for rescuing Percy Mater from drowning in the Wainuiomata River

1895 Major General Somerville George Cameron HOGGE (1837-1911) has a summer residence in Wainuiomata

1900 Apr 10 Notice: The bridge on the north side of Mr Jackson's, at Lower Wainuiomata, is unsafe for heavy traffic.

1901 The water-race is repaired with 750mm cast-iron pipe and a Venturi meter is installed

1902 Sep 09 Separate tenders are called for felling bush and scrubbing same in the Wainuiomata Watershed. Specifications may be seen at J. Burrow, Wainuiomata or at Messrs Young and Tripe, Solicitors, Wellington.

1904 Proposals for a new dam are considered

1907 Mar 13 The Inspector for the Hutt County Council reported that the small bridge between the river and the junction of the Moore Valley road, on the Wainuiomata road, was in a dangerous condition, and ought to be renewed.

1907 Mar Captain George ALLMAN (1850-1911) an Irish Mariner holidays in Wainuiomata
1911 Completion of Morton Dam

1914-1915 Members of the Field Naturalist's Club visited the mouth of the Wainuiomata in order to study the shrub Muchlenbeckia Astoni (shrubby Tororaro)

1918 Jan Military call-up J. Burrow Jnr, farmer, Wainuiomata
1919 Sep 19 Mata Co-operative Dairy Company (Limited) was incorporated under the Companies Act 1908
1920 Wellington City Engineer, W. H. Morton, recommends the Orongorongo Scheme
1921 Aug 21 Unveiling of the Wainuiomata War Memorial
1924 Orongorongo Tunnel is put through under the guidance of Bob Semple

1927 Scouts from "over the hill" camped at Brookfield
1927 Wainuiomata Women's Institute established - the fifth in New Zealand
1927 Wainuiomata Development Company Papers and a brief history

1928 Catchpole Stream is corrected to Catchpool - Museum Newsletter November 1977
From a letter written by Mr E. G. Pilcher dated 9th February 1928 and addressed to the Surveyor General
"Dear Sir, I desire to draw your attention to the mis-spelling of a name on the official maps of the Wainuiomata District, viz Catchpole stream, so spelt is erroneous, the name should be Catchpool, having been named after my relative, Mr Edward Catchpool, who arrived by the "Oriental" in 1840, as one of the original settlers of the New Zealand Company... selected land in this locality and the property was afterwards disposed of to the Grace family..." The reply dated 12th March 1928 from the Department of Lands and Survey: "Dear Sir, In answer to your letter of the 9th ultimo, requesting to have the name of the Catchpool Stream, Wainui-o-mata District, corrected on the Survey Maps, I have to advise you that at the annual meeting of the Geographic Board held on the 9th instant, it was resolved to make the correction as desired..."

1932 The start of the Town of Wainuiomata followed by its extensions
1936 Claude and Freda Williams take over the Wainuiomata Post Office

1943 Orongorongo Deserter's Hut - The Story
1943 May 01 Kittyhawk Crash at Skerrett's Creek & death of Sergeant Thomas Victor Marchant

1944 Boy Scouts group formed
1944 Electricity was connected to 35 new dwellings in the Homedale area
1944 Wainuiomata Volunteer Fire Brigade formed

1945 Plunket Rooms opened
1946 Wainuiomata Rugby Club establised
1948 Sep 23 First medical prescription dispensed by Arthur Saville
1949 Jul 07 Progressive Association meeting attended by 70 members
1951 Red Cross Society started
1953 Wainuiomata Lodge No.379 is establised
1955 Empire Hotel built (now the Palliser)

1958 Glendale School opened (2nd school in the valley)
1958 First parade of Homes - mostly built by local builders
1958 Fraser Barton opened shop in Queen Street

1959 Wainuiomata Beautifying Society established

1962 Pencarrow outfall opened
1962 Dec 26 Storm damages Wainuiomata water supply

1963 Bill KEMP (1927-2019) Lighthouse keeper at Baring Head 1963-1966
1963 Parklands Motel & Wainuiomata College opened

1966 Community Development Survey
1967 Nov 25 Offical opening of Wainuiomata Swimming Baths - Article 20 Nov 2017 50th Anniversary by Clark Stiles

1968 A microstrainer is installed at the Wainuiomata water supply
1968 Sep First Rhododendrums planted on the loop of the old hill road near the summit
1968 Nov Start of Parkway Subdivision
1968 Stemming from 1966 Community Development Survey, Wainuiomata Licensing Trust formed

1969 Proposal for Wainuiomata Water Treatment Plant

1970 Wainuiomata Mall opened
1970 Wainuiomata Intermediate opened
1970 Wainuiomata Bushfire Force established
1970 Fitzroy Tavern opened: 1st premises of Woa Licensing Trust.
1970 Feb Organisations in the Valley

1971 Nov 20 Wainuiomata Art Society Exhibition
1972 A Local Government scheme intended to completely disband Hutt County Council resulted in it being reduced to three ridings - Wainuiomata, Heretaunga and Horokiwi

1973 Mar Hutt County Council call in a Nelson based helicopter to assist with fighting the Nelson Crescent hill fire
1973 Jul 28 Conservation Week Tree Planting in the Nelson Crescent area

1975 Gas arrived - the first consumer was the new Medical Centre in the Strand
1977 First Historical Society Newsletters July, September, November

1978 Hutt County submitted formal application to Local Government Commission to allow borough status for Wainuiomata. This was declined.

1978 Nov 25 Art Exhibition at the Old Coast Road Church - Wainuiomata Art Society

1980 Christopher Frederick JARVIS (1916-1980) Deliverer of Valley News 1950s-1977
1980 Ernest Gordon ANDERSON (1900-1980) Head Teacher Wainuiomata School from 1953

1981 Athol Frederick HASTE (1929-1981) Custodian of the Community Centre
1981 Wainuiomata Licensing Trust purchases Empire Hotel; renamed Palliser after refurbishment

1982 First Kohanga Reo (in NZ) opened in Fraser Street
1982 Book launch of "Wainuiomata - These Passing Years" by Thomas Kenneally

1983 The first Kohanga reo in New Zealand is opened in Fraser Street
1983 Community Marae Complex - official celebrations
1983 Visit by Prince Charles and Princess Diana

1983 Hutt County made another application, on behalf of Wainuiomata District Council, to allow borough status for Wainuiomata. Local Government decided to proceed - it didn't.

1984 Mata Cheese Factory Damaged by Fire
1986 Local Government Commission proposes as scheme to create a Wainuiomata District

1986 Aug Wainuiomata Lions complete 'Welcome to Wainuiomata' sign on Hill Road entrance - in the form of a raised bank with the word "Wainuiomata" shown in flowers together with an information board depicting points of interest in the Valley. Not long after the Wainuiomata Jaycees finalised the Hill Road lookout.

1988 Oct 03 Local Government Commission produces indicative scheme to amalgamate Wainuiomata with Lower Hutt.
1988 Oct 31 Hutt City Council and Wainuiomata District Community Council are abolished
1988 Nov 01 Wainuiomata District Council established

1989 Sep 30 Opening of the Wainuiomata Museum by Mayor Harry Martin
1989 Amalgamation of Lower Hutt, Petone, Wainuiomata and Eastbourne into Hutt City

1995 Wood Family Plaque is laid in Isabel Grove
1999 Wainuiomata Licensing Trust collapsed financially

2013 Mar 16 Historic Wainuiomata Lower Dam Opening
2013 Sep 07 History Panels unveiled

2014 25th Anniversary of the opening of the Wainuiomata Historical Museum
2016 President's Report

2017 President's Report
2017 40th Anniversary Celebrations of the Wainuiomata Historical Society
2017 Nov 19 Henry James (Harry) Martin, the only Mayor of Wainuiomata, passed away aged 92 years

2018 Sep 22 New Heritage Panels featuring Wainuiomata women who registered to vote in 1893 are put on display
2018 Oct 21-28 Free Heritage Hunt Competition with prizes to be won

2019 Jul 13 Official opening of The National Museum of Forest and Rural Fire on The Strand
2019 Sep 30 30th Anniversary of the opening of the Museum