Local Opinion

Mounteds on the march

During the Great Strike of 1913 mounted troops from the Waikato were sent to Auckland, including C squadron from Te Awamutu. The troops comprised men who were enrolled from rural areas as special constables. They…

Volcanoes in the movies

I love a good action movie, and if they have an eruption or some other geological disaster as a plot line I am in. With field work at Mount Doom (Ngāuruhoe) last week and making…

Crisis? Here’s the evidence

A little over a fortnight ago I experienced shooting pains in both arms and hands which caused some sleepless nights and then became so unbearable one early Thursday morning my wife took me to the…

When rocks fly

The day this comes out I will be in the field with PhD student Amilea Sork, looking at huge rocks that were violently thrown out of the Ngāuruhoe crater during the 1950s and 1970s eruptions….

The pēpeha

Ko Taupiri te Maunga (Taupiri is the mountain) Ko Waikato te Awa (Waikato the river) Ko Potatau te tangata (Potatau the Man) Waikato taniwha rau (Waikato with its myriad taniwha) He piko, he taniwha! (At…

Eruptions – the complicated basics

In my line of work “I have a dumb question” is usually followed by a great question that has a complicated answer. “How do volcanoes erupt?” is one of these, and really should be explained…

Volcanoes- why do we care?

On 19 February 1975 Ngāuruhoe, our most active volcano at the time, produced one of the more violent recent eruptions in Aotearoa. The seven-hour event launched an ash plume of pulverized rock and hot gases…

Snippets in Time: Trains, white swans and cakes

Meghan Hawkes looks back on the news as it was reported in 1935. Nine train wagons loaded with lime came off the rails near Te Awamutu disrupting rail traffic for the next 12 hours. The…

Celebrating success

My intention with my column has changed in direction somewhat in that I am going to start trying to highlight some of the good work our staff do on a weekly basis. If there is…

Tales from the Past: The sad swaggers

The meat was raw, fresh from Turnwald’s butchery in Ōhaupō, but William Brook immediately started eating it. A swagman, he lived a nomadic life  travelling miles by foot in search of  work, carrying a bundle…

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