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      CHARITABLE TRUST PO Box 312    Ph: 09 402 7748




            THE history of early Paihia is hugely significant in the formation  of this country following the arrival of Europeans.


The families of  Williams and Fairburn arrived in Paihia in 1823, they were two young couples with six children between them, and they came at the request of Chief Te Koki, to establish a Mission Station and a seat of learning.


Chief Te Koki and his tribe built a forty-foot long, four roomed raupo whare to house both families.Marianne Williams, on seeing her new New Zealand home, likened it to a beehive. It became known to many from then on as the “Beehive”.It was to live up to this name, as over the years, it was literally a ‘hive of activity’.


Paihia grew into a lively village that became the centre of administration and settlemant and remained so for the next twenty years.


By 1830, Paihia had eight families living in threir own homes. There were schools, blacksmith, a church, gardens, a fifty-five ton vessel had been built and the Bible translated and printed in the Maori language. The first Maori Christian conversion had taken place and reading and writing skills were increasing.


These early Missionaries established a network of Mission schools throughout New Zealand. At Hokianga, Omana, Tauranga, Gisborne, Otaki, Rotorua, and at Akaroa. Under British rule thirty years later,  Govenor George Grey, used these schools as the base for a State school system.


It was to the Paihia Missionaries that Maori Chief came, asking for British protection, to avoid French colonisation and to enforce some control over increasing European settlemant. It was to these same Missionaries, that Captain William Hobson liased with, and recruited, to interpret and help instutite the Treaty of Waitangi and colonise New Zealand.


Today  , nothing remains to remind us of what was once the first place in this country to be a substantial settlement and a nucleus centre for large scale national activity, except for some well placed monuments and plaques , a tall pine tree and a stone Church.


The Paihia Haven of History Charitable Trust, has set out to raise the funds necessary, to buy the site of the original Paihia Mission Station, and to build a Museum village. This village will contain a large early style homestead, housing early pictures, paintings and stories of the Bay of Islands and New Zealand beginnings,from the first European, Missionary and Maori contacts, a computer room for research and artefacts on display. There will also be a reference library, housing early books written by the many explorers, travellers, whalers, settlers etc., who visited and recorded their experiences in these early years. There will be archives to store the many books and written records we have been asked to preserve by many private individuals wanting a safe home for their family papers etc.


William Colenso’s printing shop, with authentic printing press to be built.


A replica “Beehive” whare to be built.


A coalminers cottage, from the 1880’s when Kawakawa mined coal, shipped from Opua, will become a Café for lunches and teas.


Ruins of the house built by Missionary William Williams are on this site. Protection of these ruins, showing the house outlay, how they lived and the method of making the hand made bricks of Paihia clay, displayed.


Today’s community plays a part. Cottage craft, art gallery, business section, creates and alive, vibrant, people oriented village.


Under the Paihia Haven of History Charitable Trust, we set out to save and restore this very important part of New Zealand’s past. Thousands of visitors pass through Paihia each year. They come to see the Bay of Islands, and Tourist Commission survey shows, they want to experience the History.


‘ What was it like to be a lone pakeha woman amongst the Maori ?’

‘Or for Maori to have these strange white families in their midst ?’

‘Who was Tohitapu ? How did early Missionaries manage to walk amongst warring tribes, carrying no weapons themselves, pursuade them to lay down their weapons and make peace.’

‘Who wrote the Treaty of Waitangi ?’

A Memorial Wall is to be erected as a part of this Museum project. The wall carries the names of all the families, and individuals, who contribute to our Fundraising campagne.


The original Mission Station site, has been divided into one metre squares. Each square is purchased at $250, and donated to the Museum project. Two thousand, two hundred and  fifty five squares, make up the site area.


Contributing Foundation Members are in the following categories:

                        Gold                                         20 squares

                        Silver                                        10 squares

                        Bronze                                     5   squares

                        Jade                                         1  square


Each contributor’s name is to be engraved on the Foundation Members Memorial Wall showing their area of contribution forever.


You will also receive our exclusive Foundation  Member Memorial Certificate to retain and pass on through your family.







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