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Historical Society Incorporated

May—June 2016

Prepared by Lisa Truttman, President and Editor

No. 81

Report on the 2016 Conference and Annual General Meeting of the NZ
History Federation, hosted by Avondale-Waterview Historical Society and
Mt Roskill (Puketapapa) Historical Society
The 2016 Auckland conference for the NZ History
Federation began in the Khandallah Automatic
Telephone Exchange Building in Wellington’s
suburbs in May 2015, at that year’s AGM.
Wellington’s conference was lightly attended. Newly elected to the Federation’s committee, Garth
Houltham with his usual enthusiasm for all things
heritage, said to me, “Why don’t we go for having a
conference in Auckland?” Me, newly elected as
President of the Federation, and everything that
meant still dawning on my mind (a very, very great
honour), I said, “Okay. We’ll be the Plan B option.”
A conference co-hosted by my home society of
Avondale-Waterview, and Garth’s home society of
Mt Roskill (Puketapa). Plan A at that stage being,
with every intention, to have the 2016 conference in
Well, after investigation on the Taranaki option and
report back to the Federation committee in October
that year, the committee decided at its meeting at
Couldrey House near Waiwera to do further work
on efforts to ensure that a 2017 conference in
Taranaki was attractive to our members to attend.
This left a gap, and the Plan B Garth and I had by
then roughly mapped out became, quite suddenly,
Plan A for 2016.
What followed was six months’ planning, hoping
for a good response from Federation members, but
continuing with the organisation regardless. Contacting venues, arranging sponsorship, sorting out
tags, bags, stuff in the bags that our guests could
take away to give them information on our main
venue at Alberton House, Mt Albert and other aspects of activities in Auckland. The staff and board
Afternoon tea at Alberton, during the 2016 conference.
Photo: Bill Ellis.
members at Albert-Eden and Puketapapa Local
Board offices were marvellous, taking time out from
their busy schedules to fill a box each of their areas’
brochures and information. I did ask the Whau Local Board for info, but unfortunately they don’t have anything to
hand to promote the area. Thankfully, however, I still had a stock of the Avondale heritage walks brochures back
from the old Avondale Community Board days.
Heather Hannah from the Pointt Chevalier office of Barfoot & Thompson donated enough pens and pads for each
of the attendee bags. Gary Russell of Kinder House and Rendell McIntosh (and staff) at Alberton were keen, very

helpful and we booked their great venues for the
conference. J C Ryders Ltd who run the private
cinema in Riversdale Road, Avondale, said they
would arrange a lovely meal and the showing of
the film, W oman in Gold for Saturday night. For
Sunday’s optional visit, the staff at Te Toi Uku
Clay Works, the ceramics museum in New Lynn,
agreed to specially open for conference attendees. I
worried that only a handful, if that, might be interested in attending that, but decided to plug on anyway. We had no idea just how many might send in
their registration forms.
As it turned out, over the course of the three days
and four events, a total of 68 attendees were involved, representing 26 member societies, along
with other organisations. Twenty-four people were
at the launch of the conference at Kinder House on
the Friday night, 61 at Alberton House for the
AGM and conference feedback and guest speakers
sessions, 43 at Ryders for the dinner and movie,
and 18 at Te Toi Uku on Sunday morning. Our
Plan B option conference turned out to be one of
the biggest in terms of numbers involved since the
turn of this century – and hopefully has provided a
good springboard of interest for the 2017 conference in Taranaki.

Finn McCahon-Jones of Te Toi Uku Clayworks museum at
New Lynn, delighted with John Webster’s gift to the museum
of the “Three Faces of Eve” lamp. My photo.

One highlight of the conference was John Webster, from North Shore Historical Society. As he is also a member of
the Kinder House Society, I asked him on the Friday night if he would tell us a bit about the house – and he proceeded to give us all a wonderful talk on not only the house’s story, but a bit about the surrounds in Parnell as well,
for nearly three quarters of an hour, all from his own knowledge, no notes. He started the conference for us wonderfully. Little did I realise then that he would provide a wonderful ending as well! On Sunday morning at Te Toi
Uku, right out of the blue, he presented the museum’s curator Finn McCahon-Jones with a valuable and precious
Crown Lynn “Three Faces of Eve” lamp, plus two pieces of pottery, one made, dated and signed by Briar Gardner
herself in 1938. Such great timing, and a brilliant conclusion to the three days. Finn was marvellous, giving those
there that morning an animated talk on Crown Lynn and the history of ceramics and pottery in general – it was
hard to pull folks away when it came time for us to leave.
We’ve received emails since praising the weekend, how well organised it was, and how worthwhile it was for those
who attended.
On behalf of the two host societies, I therefore gratefully acknowledge the help of the following who put in time,
resources and general assistance and encouragement into the organising and running of the 2016 Auckland conference:
Volunteers from Avondale-Waterview & Mt Roskill (Puketapapa) Historical Societies: Garth Houltham, Robert &
Margaret Ting, Anneli Torrance, Dawn Moffatt, Alison Turner, Trevor & Fay Pollard
Alberton House staff (Rendell McIntosh, Francesca Lolaiy)
Kinder House Society (Gary Russell)
John Webster (North Shore Historical Society, and Kinder House Society)
Torbay Historical Society (Bill & Barbara Ellis) - providers of scones for the afternoon tea
Wendy Rhodes, editor NZ Memories Magazine, who put in a plug for us in the April issue

J C Ryders, Riversdale Road, Avondale
Te Toi Uku Clay Works Museum
Heritage New Zealand (Antony Phillips, Mid Northern Outreach Coordinator, providing a great presentation on
the organisation as it is today.)
Heather Hannah (Barfoot & Thompson, Pt Chevalier)
Auckland Research Centre, Auckland Central Library
Albert-Eden Local Board and staff
Puketapapa Local Board and staff
Attending societies who brought in plates of food to help us out with the lunch: Otahuhu and Mangere Historical Societies, and the Chinese NZ Oral History Foundation
Lisa J Truttman

Annual Report for 2015-2016
New Zealand History Federation Inc
Presented by Lisa J Truttman, President
to the 45th Annual General Meeting and Conference
at Alberton House, Mount Albert, Auckland, 30 April 2016
I feel that the best word to describe and encompass what your executive committee has been involved with in
the past year is – outreach. This seemingly modern word, actually dating back to the 1870s and meaning “an
organisation’s involvement in the community,” is for the Federation one of the key reasons for our existence as
a nationwide collective of heritage organisations. We reach out to our members, and to others in the fields of
local history, heritage preservation, and institutional collection, display and archiving. We share information,
forge networks, and offer different and user-friendly ways to present the stories of our country.
For a number of years now, the committee has invested in the liaison-outreach part of our operations on your
behalf. Initially, this was ably done by Past President Robin Astridge. In 2015, and into this current year, liaison
and visitations to our members and other like organisations has become part of the Saving History project, led
by Neil Curgenven, who will report to you separately. Your Vice-President Kenneth Stringer, however, on a
trip of his own around Southland and Stewart Island, visited a number of museums and gathered up a sizeable
collection of email contact details for the Keeping in Touch digital distribution list. More avenues therefore
opened up to reach out and share information with others. Thank you to Neil and Kenneth for your efforts.
Reflecting this, we can report that the membership statistics for Federation are healthy. Last year, our Immediate Past President Neil Algar reported to the AGM that we had 82 member societies. That figure is now up to
87. Associate membership is down only slightly, from 49 to 48. Institutional members is up from 44 to 46 as at
the end of last year, but two more institutions have joined us this year so far, bringing the total to 48.
We will continue to address and assist with some of the administration challenges our members are facing and
will face. These include the Incorporated Societies Bill and the requirements to upgrade constitutions once the
new Act becomes law, and we all enter the period of requirements by central government. The new health and
safety regulations, and any implications for those societies with a paid or voluntary workforce. Not to forget
decreasing and/or limited territorial authorities budgets for heritage protection, identification/research and public awareness, especially in parts of the country where so much is potentially at risk, but so few sites are scheduled for statutory protection.
Your newsletter, Keeping in Touch, along with NZ Legacy, continue to be produced as means to communicate
with each other and with the rest of the country and beyond, celebrating our successes and our stories. The

website, however, has a considerable presence and attracts enquiries on a regular basis, channelled by Neil
Curgenven and myself to relevant societies and institutions. The Federation’s Facebook page, never intended to be
a replacement for the website, but an additional tool in the social media world, now has 92 people who have
“liked” the page, and added it to their news feeds. At the moment, it adds an audience to posts by member societies
who use Facebook, as well as general NZ heritage info from organisations such as Heritage New Zealand.
I have been warmly welcomed to my role as your president for this past year by a number of member societies and
individuals – I truly appreciate and value the friendships and associations I have within the Federation’s committee
and general membership and the wider New Zealand heritage community.
Now comes the bit that my two immediate predecessors in this role as your President have included in their reports
as well – the committee, and the part that all of you, here in this room, could play. We are your committee, the administrators of the Federation funded primarily by your subscriptions. But, as I said before, we will all have challenges to face, those which will affect member societies and, drilling down further, your own membership as well.
We welcome new voices, new opinions, fresh points of view, to join us at our meetings (four per year), and occasional outreach trips as we continue to explore the lay of the land in terms of our nation’s local heritage, listen to
the concerns of groups out there, just like you, still working away at the most precious goal – ensuring our heritage
is passed on for future generations to enjoy.

Guest Speakers

In other news ...

Contact Alison Turner, 825-0300, if you have any
suggestions for our Guest Speakers schedule for the
new year.

I’ve been advised that Auckland Council are looking at
a “rebranding” and republishing of the Avondale
Heritage Walks brochure we put together some years
ago with Matthews & Matthews Architects, funded
back then by the Avondale Community Board. I’ve
asked Council to run the text by us first, in case of any
updates, errors etc.

Upcoming speakers:
4 June — Come hear author and historian Dinah Holman talk about her book A History of Crime: The
Southern Double -Cross.
“I wrote the book because I wanted people to know
about the highly influential and unprincipled late 19th
century group of Auckland merchants, lawyers and
politicians known as the Limited Circle, who used
their powers and influence to acquire vast tracts of
Maori lands (often through the Crown) at bargain prices. Scholarly articles have been written about the Limited Circle, of course, but little is known about them
people in general.
“I provide a fictional parallel story in the book that
provides a more satisfying alternative outcome to the
unfortunate course of New Zealand history in the
1880s.” (Dinah Holman)
6 August — Edward Bennett , speaking on
“St Kevins — the Centre of Everything”

Still waiting to see how the interpretive sign project is
coming along for Saunders Reserve, Tait Park and the
Arthur Currey Reserve. It’s like that, like with other
signs, I’m not told if they’re finally up or not, and will
probably have to have a friend drive me to the various
spots to take a look, especially for the Saunders Reserve
one …
The same goes for the interpretive signs planned for the
Whau Local Board’s “Te Whau Pathway”. I’ve already
seen some errors in the proposed text they’re intending
to use — hopefully things get fixed up before they install anything. However, our Society has not been asked
to take part in the project at all.
I’ve been asked by three libraries (Central, Pt Chevalier
and Blockhouse Bay) and the Friends of Waikumete
Cemetery to speak during Heritage Festival, and have
offered help where need be to Avondale library with
their event. Details to come.

Next meeting of the
Avondale-Waterview Historical Society:
at St Ninians, St Georges Road, Avondale
SATURDAY, 4 June 2016, 2.00 pm