The first commercial building in the Wilson Estate built in the extended Shaw Road was a grocery store.
The shop was built Mr McCormach in 1948, the year after the Wilson titles were released.
The store was run by Mr Shaw, who was no relation to the Shaws from whom Mr Wilson purchased the land.
It was sold to the Hitchens who developed the business into a Four Square in the fifties. It was the largest food store at the beach at the time, and was widely frequented. In one corner was the beach library.
Mr Hitchen’s father lived in a bach behind the building. He was a typical English gentleman of the time who walked the beach fully attired suit and tie, but in bare feet.
In the 1960s the store changed hands often: Lyn Haywood, Robyn Buckingham and the Linds’. Robyn Buckingham put in fryers for fish and chips. The business was later sold to Sid and Anne Moody.
It was remembered in the 1980s as having a large counter across the front of the shop and wooden floors. It wasn’t like a Four Square as we know today, but according to a resident, “there was quite a bit of stuff there.”
In the late 1990s it was converted into a restaurant called Jellyfish and Custard. In 2004 the building was occupied by Laurel May Somerville, a Real Estate agent. The agency was in one half of the building and an art gallery in the other separated by a screen.
In March 2005 Andy Kennedy bought the business and developed Flat White. The building was extended towards the beach front in 2015, utilising original beams from the 1900 Taneatua Dairy Factory.
The walls and menus feature developmental maps of the area and local history is depicted by presentations to the patrons.
The Hitchen’s bach was removed from the property to make way for the café extension and was transported to the site in front of the Police Station. It is currently the Waihi Beach Information Centre.
Tūhua (Mayor Island) is the ancestral home of Te Whānau a Tauwhao ki Tūhua of Ngāi Rangi iwiand is privately owned and administered now by the Tūhua Trust Board. They prohibit the removal of obsidian for which the island is renowned.
Captain James Cook named Tūhua, “Mayor Island” in recognition of the Lord Mayor’s Day held in London in 1979.
In 1901 the last of the hapu moved from Tūhua to Otawhiwhi Marae at Bowentown.
In 1953 the island was titled as a wildlife reserve. Today it has healthy populations of bellbirds, tui, wood pigeons, morepork, fantail, kaka, grey warbler, waxeye, kingfisher, pied stilt and harrier hawk. North Island robins were released there in 2002, pateke and North Island kiwi in 2006 and kakariki in 2010.
Most significantly in 1993 a marine reserve was created off the northern end.
Because the island is 29 km. off the Bay of Plenty coast, it has relatively pollution free waters. A wide variety of marine plants and fish populations thrive there, including open water migratory species, fish found throughout New Zealand and several subtropical species.
The Tauranga Sports Fishing Club, established in 1923, leased land at Opo Bay (also known as South East Bay) for a big game fishing club base. A lease was signed in 1955.
The Mayor Island Club House was then built which had kitchen facilities, an oil stove, electricity and a water supply from up the hill.
In 1984 the club was moved to Tauranga and is now known as the Tauranga Game Fishing Club Inc.
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This trail explores the people who shaped the community in the twentieth century, beginning at the initial settlement on Waione Road and finishing at the Doctor North Memorial Reserve.
Lack of roads meant that all good and travellers accessing the north end of Waihi Beach from the south had to cross the ford at Athenree and traverse the beach at low tide. This sited Athenree a place of significance for the district.
Athenree has always been a place of agricultural activities for both early Maori and settlers. Fishing was bountiful and the soil was good.
Today Athenree is a small residential settlement which is growing with increasing subdivisions.