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World Book Night – win a $50 voucher!

WORLD BOOK NIGHT all libraries will be open an extra hour this Monday 23 April 2018.

  • Dannevirke – open until 6.30pm
  • Woodville – open until 6pm
  • Pahiatua – open until 6pm
  • Eketahuna – open until 5.30pm

Borrow a book during that hour, and go in the draw to win a $50 Booksellers book voucher* (one per branch).

*Staff and family members of staff may not enter.












Bring your unwanted books along to our BOOK SWAP table, and swap with someone else!




Little Bits Gizmos and Gadgets – Children’s Digital Programme 2018

Boy, have we got a treat for the kids this April 2018 school holidays!  Little Bits is an award winning toy kit, which includes circuit boards and other bits’n’pieces which can be snapped together in various different designs, powered up by 9V battery, to create something that actually goes.   Like Lego, only better?

We are running morning and afternoon sessions, with Little Bits, at all our libraries throughout the holidays:

  • For children aged 8-12 years old
  • Supervision provided
  • Sessions are free
  • Booking is essential
  • One session per child
  • Children may attend more than one session, but will be waitlisted. Those who haven’t attended any sessions will be given preference.

REGISTRATION is essential as we have a maximum six per session at Dannevirke (to share two kits) and three per session at our other libraries (to share one kit).

Email with names and ages of children, and contact number, to book.  Or telephone your local library.  Contact details

TIMES – two separate session times daily :

Dannevirke Library 9.30am to 11.30am / 1.30pm to 3.30pm

Pahiatua Library  9.30am to 11.30am / 1.30pm to 3.30pm

Woodville Library  9.30am to 11.30am / 2.00pm to 4.00pm

Eketahuna Library 10.30am to 12.15 pm / 1.30pm to 3.30 pm

April 2018 – Library Sale

We have HEAPs of stock to go in our sale. Starts 9am Tues 3 April, for the entire month or while stocks last.

These are old stock, unwanted donations, items we have multiples of, etc.

First in, first served! Sale stock refreshed as space allows.

Prices : Hardback $1, Paperback 50c, DVDs $1, Magazines 20c, Jigsaws 50c



2018 Customer Satisfaction Survey is open!

Tararua District Library runs a customer satisfaction survey each year. This helps us make sure we are providing what the community wants, guides our budgeting, and is an opportunity for you to have your say!

It’s only 10 questions, so shouldn’t take long.  Please do the survey by following the link.  It’s open until 5.30 pm Friday 6 April 2018.  Thank you.


click the image

Seventy Mile Bush / Tamaki-nui-a-Rua

The Seventy Mile Bush, now mostly encompassed by Tararua District, was an area cleared and settled by Scandinavian pioneers in the early 1870s.  The Maori originally knew the area as Tapere-nui-a-Whātonga (meaning the great food basket of Whatonga) ; the vast forest was rich in native birdlife such as kaka, kiwi, huia, kokako, tui, saddleback, piopio and korimako. The local iwi are the Ngāti Rangitane  and Ngāti Kahungungu.  Many descendents of both Whatonga and the Scandinavian settlers still live in the district.

The Scandinavian settlers arrived from two areas – Napier into Norsewood, and Wellington to Mauriceville.  As the bush was cleared from either end, eventually they met in the middle, roughly at the Junction (Woodville). In 1871 the first government-assisted Scandinavian immigrants (18 families) arrived in Wellington aboard the Celaeno and settled in Palmerston North. The letters the Celaeno immigrants sent back to Norway attracted many more Norwegian families to New Zealand. In 1872, after a disease-stricken voyage, the England brought another batch of Scandinavian immigrants. These included many from the same parts of Norway as the Celaeno passengers. These new arrivals, including Swedes and Danes, settled at Mauriceville. In May 1872 the ship Høvding left Christiania (Oslo) for Napier with 365 Norwegians and 11 Danes. Meanwhile in London, the Ballarat (with 71 Danes aboard) also set sail for Napier. Archives NZ &  List of passengers

Evening Post, Vol. XC, Iss. 109, 4 Nov. 1915

Part of the area was also known as the Forty Mile Bush, while the entire Seventy Mile Bush area extended from Takapau in southern Hawke’s Bay, out to the East Coast, and down to just before Masterton. It was the largest podocarp forest in New Zealand.



“There was a shortage of land in Scandinavia, so the New Zealand Government enticed the new settlers by offering forty-acre (16 hectare) blocks of bushland in return for their work. As further encouragement, the government gave the new settlements names like Norsewood and Dannevirke, which recognised Scandinavian cultures.”

The Scandinavian settlers were not expecting the dense native forest, with the only access by ancient Maori tracks.  They worked hard to clear the land, and the timber was used for building, firewood, and Totara railway sleepers. They had to transport the logs a long way to start with, by wagon, until the first railway section from Napier was complete in 1878, with the line reaching Woodville in 1887. Meanwhile the road from Masterton to the Manawatu Gorge was completed in 1875.

Carriage passing through Forty Mile Bush [ca 1910]

Norsewood was established in 1872, after the arrival of 372 Norwegians, 11 Swedes and 70 Danes in Napier. Most of these people came to Norsewood and Dannevirke.

Dannevirke, about 20km south of Norsewood, is now the largest town in Tararua District. Initially it was a sawmilling town, nicknamed ‘Sleeper Town’,  supporting the major timber industry, but as the forest was cleared, it transitioned to an agricultural hub as farming became the main industry.

Woodville, known as ‘The Junction’ in the 1870s was a strategic location, being located where Hawke’s Bay, Wairarapa and Manawatu met. It had the railway from Napier in the 1878, and the rail from Palmerston in the 1890s. The name of Woodville was chosen because of it’s location within the Seventy Mile Bush.

Mangatainoka, home of the Tui Brewery, lies between Woodville and Pahiatua, right next to the river.

The Mangatainoko River, Seventy Mile Bush, N.Z. From the album: Views of New Zealand Scenery/Views of England, N. America, Hawaii and N.Z., circa 1875, Wairarapa, maker unknown. Te Papa (O.011675)

Pahiatua established in 1881, was largely destroyed by fire in 1897. The first European settlers were Mr & Mrs Hall and Mr John Hughes in 1881.  Mr William McCardle moved there in 1884, and is credited with getting the county formed into a separate riding of Wairarapa North County, and christening it Pahiatua (the home of the Gods).

Eketahuna  was also part of the Seventy Mile Bush, established in 1872. The Scandinavians called it Mellemskov (heart of the forest).

The Seventy Mile Bush went through many name changes, eventually becoming Tararua District in 1989, when the small boroughs of Eketahuna through to Southern Hawke’s Bay were amalgamated.  There is a rumour that the name Tararua was also an amalgamation of the Ruahine Ranges (Rua) and the Tararua Ranges (Tara) which straddle the district.  However, there is also a Maori tradition relating to the naming of the actual Tararua ranges :

“Although all three iwi share links to ancestors who arrived on the Kurahaupo canoe, they have different traditions relating to the origin of the name ‘Tararua’ itself. The Kahungungu version stems from an ancestor, Rangikaikore, who broke his spear tip (tara) into two (rua) while hunting; the Muaupoko and Rangitane tradition is that the name refers to the two wives of their ancestor explorer, Whatonga. Popular folklore has ascribed the name to two specific topographic features; the dramatic steep double peak on the main range, the Tararua Peaks (officially named Tunui and Tuiti); and the double peak of Mitre, so-called by Europeans because its shape resembled that of a bishop’s mitre.”

There are a few pockets of original bush remaining, most notably the 942 hectare Mount Bruce Forest Reserve protected in 1888, now the site of Pukaha Mount Bruce National Wildlife Centre, in Tararua, and partly Wairarapa.

Further information:

Library catalogue

  • “Growing up in Forty Mile Bush” / Harry Combs
  • Forty Mile Bush: a tribute to the pioneers” / Cyril Carle
  • Forest homes : the story of the Scandinavian settlements in the Forty Mile Bush / George Petersen

Te Ara : encyclopedia of New Zealand

The Seventy Mile Bush Fires of 1885

Tararua District today

Tararua Country – videos

Photographs of the Timber Industry on Kete Tararua. Images free to use.


by Natalie Raynel

Animal behaviourist takes training to new heights

Remember, Mark will be at Dannevirke Library on 22 March at 3.30pm to discuss dogs, training and his new book ‘Dog Zen’. All welcome.

NZ Women’s Weekly article provided by Penguin Random House NZ.

Come and hear Mark Vette, the dog whisperer, talk!

All welcome to hear Mark Vette talk – find out what makes a dog a dog, where they come from, how they experience the world, how to create a bond with them, and Mark will also run through a few training tools with the help of his sidekicks, Reggie the Labrador and Tommy the Jack Russell.

All dog owners or animal lovers welcome.

Bring your copy of ‘Dog Zen’ if you want it signed!

Can friendship withstand secrets unshared?

Our connections in life are like paper chains. Linking together but occasionally broken. Some links are easily repaired, some are not. “Paper Chains” by Elaine Vickers, is a story of friendship and family. Two fifth grade girls, Ana and Katie, are neighbours and best friends. Their family backgrounds are different. Katie is feeling stifled by her parents and is curious but afraid to ask about her family history. Ana looks at Katie’s family and can only wish she had the same love and devotion from her parents.

Katie is not yet ready to trust Ana with her secrets. Ana shares all hers with Katie. Eventually, their own paper chain is broken. Can their friendship repair the links? Or does a near tragedy divide them further still?

I really enjoyed reading this book. The characters are very believable, the issues are current. Highly recommended for 9 to 12 year old girls.


Nikki Price

What would you do if lost in the Amazon?

Imagine you are an 11-12 year-old boy sent to South America to convalesce.  You board a small plane to travel to a nearby city from where you will travel back to England. With you are two girls, a five year old boy and a pilot. The plane takes off and soars over the Amazon jungle. It does not remain airborne for long!

Four children lost in the Amazon. The oldest boy has learnt basic survival skills from books he has read about brave explorers. One of the girls knows a lot about plants and animals. But they are still only children. How will they survive? And they are not alone!

‘The Explorer” by Katherine Rundell is exciting from the very first chapter. The characters are very real and, as a reader, you want them to survive – intact. You feel their emotions and struggles and above all – their inner strength.  It’s also the winner of the 2017 Costa Children’s Book Awards. Highly recommended for children aged 10-12 years.



Libraries opening late Thursday 22 February 2018

All our libraries will be closed for an all staff meeting on Thursday, 22 February 2018 during the hours as follows:

Dannevirke Library 9am to 11am: OPEN FROM 11am

Pahiatua Library 9am to 11:30am: OPEN FROM 11.30am

Woodville Service Centre & Library 9am to 1pm: OPEN FROM 1pm

Eketahuna Service Centre & Library 10:30am to 1:30pm: OPEN FROM 1.30pm


For assistance involving Council services during these times, please call 06 374 4080 or 06 376 0110 to connect you to our after-hours service. We apologise for any inconvenience caused.

New Zealand History Collection from Bridget Williams Books

We’re excited to announce a new Bridget Williams Books project! ‘Stories from Tangata Whenua’ provides libraries with short, lively pathways into Māori history. Coming soon!

Historian Melissa Matutina Williams and researcher Kerryn Pollock have developed 50 of these stories, based on the multi-award-winning publication Tangata Whenua by Atholl Anderson, Judith Binney and Aroha Harris. Five of these stories were featured on the Radio New Zealand website in the week of Waitangi Day — you can read a sample here.

All 50 will soon be available through the New Zealand History Collection. The stories, delivered as short PDFs, provide highly accessible entry points into the rich historical narratives contained within Tangata Whenua and across the wider Collection.  Stories include:

  • ‘The Children of Parikaha’. On the 1881 government invasion of Parihaka from the perspective of children.
  • ‘Akenehi Hei’s Nursing Advice’. On the first Māori nurse and her struggles and achievements.
  • ‘Te Unga Waka: A Place to Call our Own’. On the Catholic marae opened in Epsom in 1966.
  • ‘Wearing it in Māori Style’. On the adoption of European clothing.

Also coming soon to the New Zealand History Collection is the long out-of-print The People and The Land / Te Tangata me Te Whenua: An Illustrated History of New Zealand, 1820–1920 by Judith Binney, Judith Bassett and Erik Olssen. This landmark reference work is another valuable addition to this indispensable Collection.

  • Provided by Bridget Williams Collection


BWB Collection  How to access the BWB collection?  Either click on the links below OR from our homepage see Tararua Online Resources, scroll down to find the links.

The Bridget Williams digital collection  (links below) is for people interested in all things New Zealand, like the Treaty of Waitangi, and other history.  It’s available at home (click the link, then login using your library membership number and usual passcode) or on our free APNK public computers, or wi-fi within our libraries, whether or not you are a member.  It is a resource that we purchase for your use.

Monsters in South Korea

Colossal, starring Anne Hathaway, is about a young woman who screws up her long-term relationship because she can’t stop drinking. Her boyfriend kicks her out, and she has nowhere to go except her hometown, where she stays in an empty house her parents still own.  She bumps into an old school friend, and he kindly gives her a job at his bar. Of course, that doesn’t help much … sure, she can now afford a mattress but she stays behind after work drinking all night with her old school buddies. In the morning, she always staggers home through the local playground.

Her old school friend takes pity on her, and furnishes her place with some old furniture and a TV. Catching up on the news, she discovers that a huge monster has been appearing out of thin air on the other side of the world in South Korea.  It wreaks havoc on the city, and then vanishes.  The world is in turmoil.  Eventually, she realises that the monster is connected to her through the local playground … I won’t tell you how … and that she can influence it’s behaviour for better or worse.

When she shares this amazing news with her buddies, one of them discovers that if he also goes into the playground, a different monster appears. His own monster avatar, if you will.  The problem is, ‘her’ monster is trying to reduce its destruction but he enjoys creating mayhem and chaos. Especially he realises he can also control her, if he threatens to unleash his monster on the Koreans….unless she agrees to certain conditions. Finally she remembers that he wasn’t her friend, but a bully, at school.

 What starts out as a simple light monster/romance movie, actually turns into a drama about growing up, the choices we make, and  taking responsibility. A movie that sticks in your mind long after it’s ended.



Time and tide: the story of the Pelorus mail boat

This superb book by Lorain Day is worth having for the colour plates alone. It is a history of the mail boats operating out of Havelock South, and depicts life in the many bays and coves of Pelorus, Kenepuru and Mahau Sounds, with just a little connection of Totaranui – Queen Charlotte Sound.

The writing is very professional and in my opinion, most accurate. The author has captured the sounds so well. The descriptions and the fish, sea mammals and birds of the area are truly an eye opener.

Page 82 describes life at Whakatahuri: “I recall seeing six coastal decommissioned ships moored awaiting demolition prior to being sent to Japan as scrap (coming back as Toyotas, etc.). It was quite a place, up on the slip-way was the “Matamgi” formerly the ferry between Wellington and Nelson. I boarded this ghost ship and also the moored “Totara”, quite a bitter-sweet experience. To visit the Wells’ family homes was unusual – when the original home began to deteriorate they just built another shell over the house, and you went through two doors to get inside! But eh launches built at Whakatahuri were the best in the world.”

I love this book, it’s a great read not to be missed.

Karen M


Sawbones : soldiers, Indians, and a fugitive Doctor

‘Sawbones’ is the first in a series, and it’s a western with a difference by Melissa Lenhardt and I found it quite simply fantastic.  It follows the story of Catherine Bennett, a qualified Doctor who is struggling to be accepted as equal to the male doctors in New York. One evening she is returning from a visit to the Resurrection Man, when she is set upon. She is rescued by a passing friend, James, who has been searching for her as it seems she is a murder suspect.  One of her patients has accused her of murdering her husband, in a fit of rage when he ceases their affair. Of course, Catherine did no such thing but these people are wealthy, connected, and she cannot reveal her alibi, as autopsies are considered equally as vile.

There is only one thing to do. Run. With the help of some patients, she heads West with her maid, planning to set up her shingle far away. James arranges for her to “die” by identifying a corpse found in the river as hers. Unfortunately, she is seen by a travelling patient so the ruse is ruined. In desperation, she takes a wagon train to the wild frontier where a new town is to be established. During the journey, they are attacked by Indians and the whole train is massacred, except her, and her young apprentice Anna, who is kidnapped by Indians.

US Army Captain Kindle and his men soon arrive, and give chase, but to no avail. Instead, Kindle is injured and Catherine (now known as Laura Elliston) is forced to operate in the field to save his life. His men are in awe of her skill, and when they arrive back at the Fort, she is promptly installed as the Fort doctor.  While nursing Kindle, Laura and he fall in love, and he promises to leave the army and go with her wherever she feels safe.  While planning this, Kindle’s brother contrives to capture Laura – she is to be the bait to bring his brother running, so he can revenge their Father’s death on him.

Highly recommended, a real page turner which will appeal to both men and women, and to those who like westerns, mysteries, adventures and romance.  Followed by ‘Blood Oath’ and ‘Badlands’.



Children’s and Teens summer reading programmes : The End is here!

Today, 12 January 2018, is the final day for report-ins for the ‘Wild About Reading’ and ‘iRead’ programmes.

Wild About Reading – participants need to have completed 4 reports to achieve invitation to our finale/certificate/prize.

iRead – participants need to have completed 3 written reports to be invited to our finale auction.


Read to Win for our High School members, ends on 19 January.  You have until then to amass as many auction vouchers as possible. The online auction will be the following week, and you will be invited to accept the invitation to the private online group event so check your messages.  Each item will be up for auction for 5 minutes, one after another. Like an ordinary auction, the highest (voucher) bid wins.