This book is dedicated to all the peoples of New Zealand, particularly to those out on the Rangitaiki Plains in the Bay of Plenty; from the original settlers, the Māori people, through to those who came later and drained the swamp. As an incomer to this country I found a great sense of community, and a very warm welcome was extended to me and my family.

From Thornton Beach and Matata, through to Edgecumbe and Awakeri and up to Te Teko, Kawerau and beyond,this is a most wonderful country, full of natural beauty which can match any in the world. I do hope that this book encapsulates some of that magic.


I am thankful for a number of publications which contributed to research for this book including: Nancy M. Adams, “New Zealand Native Trees”, 1967; W. Reed, “A Dictionary of Maori Place Names”; 1961; W. T. Parham, “Island Volcano – White Island”, 1973; Geoff Conley; “Tarawera”, 1985. Further background material was researched in Kawerau and Whakatane Public Libraries, and there was some input from two researchers in the Library of Tasman Pulp and Paper Company in the Mill town of Kawerau. Cover photos are from Wikipedia commons – front cover, Alexander Klink, rear cover Phillip Capper.