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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 Opunake.

Peter Snell’s One-track Mind

by Virginia Winder on 17 December 2009

A single sentence spoken by a coaching great to a fledgling runner in 1958 changed New Zealand's sporting headlines forever. The coach was Arthur Lydiard. The runner was all-round sportsman Peter Snell. The sentence was: "Peter, with the sort of speed you've got, if you do the endurance training, you could be one of our best middle-distance runners." Peter believed him: "I thought, 'Gee...

Opunake – the place of the prow of the canoe

by Rhonda Bartle on 14 December 2009

Drive through Opunake and you'll find a quiet little town with new decorative stone walls, faded shop facades and a bright mural or three.    Turn at the old Club Hotel and follow the road that slopes down to the beach and you could be anywhere in Small Town, New Zealand. Except you're not.  You're in Opunake - the home of world famous surf.  Its original past swirls all around you and it's...

A wild and wicked Childhood- the Ollivers of Opunake Beach

by Rhonda Bartle on 14 December 2009

The names of people are often synonymous with where they live, and you can't talk of Opunake without mention of the Olliver clan.    Twelve Olliver children - the offspring of Hilton (Skelly) and Mabel - were born a year or two apart between the years of 1916 and 1936.    They were destined to become the first permanent dwellers at Opunake Beach after what was meant to be a two week holiday...

Yeps have much in store for Opunake

by Virginia Winder on 14 December 2009

A ‘stranger in a strange land’ and a tiny woman who once had bound feet were made to feel like locals in the small Taranaki farming community of Opunake.    About 1904, when the Wai Yep & Co General Store opened its doors in the coastal Taranaki town, Chinese goldminers in Dunedin were despised, shunned and attacked. But in Opunake, the immigrants from the village of Sun-gai in southern China...

A Toast to the Yep Family

by Virginia Winder on 14 December 2009

Every Friday morning over a cuppa and cakes, the Friends of the Opunake Library make a wee toast to Charlie Yep. "We always say, 'This is for Charlie'," says long-time resident Molly Harvey (88). The library is built on the site of the former Wai Yep & Co General Store, on the corner of Tasman and Havelock streets.    The store was closed in 1977, when Harry Yep sold up. He and wife Ruby...