Learning & Research - Akoranga me Rangahau
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Taranaki Stories

These stories capture the very essence of Taranaki – the people and the landscape.
They record the achievements of those who live here, the struggles of the first settlers, the determination to overcome challenges, those who have made their mark on not only their own, but also future generations.
But the stories are not just about hardship – they are also inspiring, thrilling, mystifying, enlightening and entertaining.


Taranaki Stories

Showing stories tagged as Medicine.

Give Me The Impossible – the story of Truby King and the Plunket Movement

by Rhonda Bartle on 16 December 2009

Give me the impossible. Let me lead a forlorn hope, you know I am always at my best Frederic Truby King A very odd gentleman One generation removed from our very first settlers, Sir Truby King was a mess of contradictions.  He once turned up at Buckingham Palace in a fawn-coloured raincoat, woollen gloves and an old silk hat.  His thoughts, as always, were somewhere else.  He was known as a...

Sir Māui Pomare’s Life-long Quest

by Virginia Winder on 16 December 2009

When Parihaka was invaded by Armed Constabulary and volunteers on 5 November 1881, a five-year-old boy lost his toe. That youngster grew up to be Sir Māui Pomare, New Zealand's first Māori doctor and the Minister of Health. His great-granddaughter, Miria Pomare, talks about his remarkable life. Although Miria was born many years after his death in 1930, she is the holder of Sir...

The Importance of Hip Checks

by Virginia Winder on 16 December 2009

A life of pain could've been avoided if Frances Moral's hips had been checked as a baby. But Frances was born in 1958 - six years before Victor Hadlow began his hip-check mission in New Plymouth. Since 1964, every baby born in Taranaki Base Hospital's maternity unit has been tested by an orthopaedic surgeon. Only two babies have been missed, but they were still diagnosed early in their lives...

Taranaki’s Victor of Bones

by Virginia Winder on 16 December 2009

Hip-check evangelist Victor Hadlow used to have animal dreams. "I've always loved animals - I wanted to be a vet," says the patron of New Plymouth's Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. But in 1948, Victor learnt that New Zealanders had to go to Sydney for their veterinary studies. "You couldn't get a bursary for that, a scholarship, but I could get one for medicine, so I...

Grannie Evans – a remarkable woman

by Sorrel Hoskin on 14 December 2009

It was late evening when Ann Evans answered a knock at the door of her little Hawera home. Her children were fast asleep in bed as she opened the door to find a group of Maori on her porch. A man stepped forward and asked her to accompany them to treat a sick friend. Unquestioningly she agreed.   Wrapping a shawl around her shoulders and grasping her medical bag tightly in her hand she mounted a...

Piqwifery and Pumps

by Sorrel Hoskin on 14 December 2009

Doris and Bill Gordon's family grew up steeped in the medical profession - so it wasn't a surprise when three of their four children turned to medicine.  "We were surrounded by it," recalls Dr Ross Gordon. "It was in the days when doctors were available for their patients. Our phone was answered 24 hours a day. There was always someone there. It was quite obvious to me from the age of nine or...

Bog, bush and candlelight medicine – Dr Doris Gordon

by Sorrel Hoskin on 14 December 2009

Doris Jolly and her friend Francie Dowling gazed apprehensively at the ivy covered windows of the anatomy school opposite. It was the eve of what they feared would be a big ordeal – their first class in corpse dissection. The students at Otago Medical School weren't afraid of the bodies (‘they can't be any worse than dog fish’), but the thought of making fools of themselves in front of the men...

The Monument Builder

by Rhonda Bartle on 14 December 2009

Though he ended up infamous in Taranaki, Salaman's story really begins in India.  Born at Amritsar in the Punjab around 1885 or 1886, his parents were Muslim and his father a herbalist.  Perhaps that's what made him decide to go into the same kind of business.   But first, at the age of 14, he set out to travel the world.  When he arrived in New Zealand around 1903, he became a silk merchant in...