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 Taranaki.

Road Tunnels of Taranaki

by Rhonda Bartle on 17 December 2009

Tunnels come in all shapes and sizes and Taranaki has its fair share of them. Most were dug by hand and have their own personalities and style.   Since the first tunnel was built in Rome in 36BC, almost 2000 years ago, they have fascinated young and old alike.   And tunnels come with their own jargon - the roof is a crown, the entranceway a portal, the floor is an invert and the sides are...

Peak Pioneer – Jane Maria Atkinson

by Sorrel Hoskin on 14 December 2009

Jane Maria Atkinson was the first recorded European woman to stand on the summit of Mount Taranaki. But Maria (as she preferred to be called) was only there as a result of being taken along as the group cook. Her husband Arthur Atkinson had asked her to join a family group attempting the summit, Maria would be responsible for cooking an evening meal for the company. The party included a...

Gecko With Taranaki Stripes

by Virginia Winder on 14 December 2009

Taranaki's only native lizard has colours befitting the region's sports teams. While it has no black, it's definitely got the amber. The Taranaki gold striped gecko was ‘discovered’ in 1977 by New Plymouth pharmacist David Wilkinson. He got hooked on reptiles two years before when he got his hands on some of the slinky creatures. "I caught some skinks at home and the kids said 'Daddy can...

Ernst Dieffenbach – the first European to climb Mount Taranaki?

by Sorrel Hoskin on 14 December 2009

Ernst Dieffenbach was looking for a challenge. The 28-year-old German was a naturalist travelling on the Tory with colonist E.J Wakefield. It was 1839 and the ship was lying offshore of the future New Plymouth. Before Ernst stood a conical shaped cone mountain, rising majestically above a forest of green, a tuft of cloud hovering over its summit. No man had ever set foot on Mount Egmont's...

An Abbreviated History in Ink

by Rhonda Bartle on 14 December 2009

The first newspaper printed in Taranaki was the Taranaki Herald.  The first issue hit the streets of New Plymouth on 4 August 1852 and was originally published three times a week.  By the turn of the 20th century most of the smaller townships in the province had their own papers.   The Egmont Star 1885 - about 1914 The Hawera Star 1880 - present The Hawera and Normanby Star 1894 - about 1900...

Museum Man – W.H Skinner

by Sorrel Hoskin on 14 December 2009

Taranaki will be forever in debt to a man who protected and preserved both its natural scenery and history for future generations. It's thanks to the foresight of men like William Henry Skinner that the region's people have a plethora of parks and reserves and a museum stocked with Maori and European treasures. William had a passion for Taranaki that was more than skin deep.   William Henry...