Kauri Bushmen's Memorial Reserve, Paparoa

Kauri Bushmen's Memorial Reserve, Paparoa Kauri Bushmen's Memorial Reserve, Paparoa Kauri Bushmen's Memorial Reserve, Paparoa Kauri Bushmen's Memorial Reserve, Paparoa

The Kauri Bushmen's Association was formed in 1936 with membership open to all men who had worked in kauri forests prior to 1914. The association held three annual reunions before going into recess during the Second World War. It resumed activity in 1949 and bought a fine stand of kauri trees that had been preserved by the Sterling family near Paparoa. This was formally opened as a bushmen's memorial reserve on 26 March 1954. Later in the year a cairn was erected with the following inscription (all capitals):

This reserve / was purchased by the / Kauri Bushmen's Association / N.Z. and Whangarei / Forest and Bird / Protection Societies (Inc) / Otamatea County Council / and the N.Z Government / and on the 26-3-1954 / dedicated to the memory of / pre War 1 Kauri bushmen / who worked prior to 1914. / Erected 1954.

The Kauri Bushmen's Memorial Walk leads through the reserve. The cairn, reserve and walkway are fitting memorials to the men who undertook the difficult and dangerous work of felling, transporting and milling trees from northern New Zealand's kauri forests. Many such men also served in the First World War, see for instance, the Kauri Timber Company's roll of honour in the nearby Matakohe Museum.

See: 'Kauri stand in memory of bushmen', NZ Herald, 27/3/1954, p. 8; A.H. Reed, The New Story of the Kauri, 3rd ed., Wellington, 1964, pp. 79-81; E.V. Sale, Quest for the Kauri, Wellington, 1978, p. 120.

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