Topic: Bridging the Tuapiro River

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In 1880 discussions were taking place among the new settlers about a possible bridge across the Tuapiro River.

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The first article appeared in the Bay of Plenty Times on 27 January 1880:

THE PROPOSED BRIDGE OVER THE TUAPIRO RIVER: At the meeting of the Tauranga County Council on Saturday, the following memorial was read: To the Hon County Council. — The memorial of the settlers residing hear the Tuapiro: We, the undersigned settlers residing near the Tuapiro River and others who have frequently to cross the ford of the river on business, wish to call the attention of your Honorable Council to the dangerous state of that ford, and also to the deplorable condition of the path through the swamp on the Tauranga side of the river. This path is not on the future Thames and Tauranga public road, but it is the only track we have, as nothing has been done to the road in that locality — it exists only on paper. This path has often been repaired with ti-tree branches, but it is now worse than ever. It runs about a quarter of a mile through a swamp, in which horses sink to their knees and often injure themselves with the ends of the ti-tree. The ford is a very dangerous one. At high tide, it is four or five feet deep, and when there is a freshet [the flood of a river from heavy rain] in the river it is simply impassable. We know of persons waiting two days to cross over it. The settlers pay highway rates and property tax, but they have no road. A dray or a sleigh cannot be driven across the river. The track is too narrow for a dray, and the ford too deep for a sleigh. We are compelled to get our provisions and goods by boat— a distance to some of us of from twelve to fifteen miles from the Uretara, whereas by road, if we had one, it would be only from six to eight miles. Hoping your Council will now have the road made through the swamp and a bridge built over the Tuapiro, for we have waited a long time to get this accommodation, and it is nominally the Tauranga and Thames public road, — We are your obedient servants : J. F. Stoddard, Hugh Stewart, R. Villiers Surtees, : Mervyn Stewart, George Vesey Stewart, Win. J. Allen, Bernard MacDonnell, W. Salt, Thos. Crawford, John Hamilton, W. H. Johnston, A. T. T. Ansley, Walter Johnston, Thomas Tanner, William Tanner, Jonathan Tanner, J. Wylie & Co., W. J. White, Andrew Roy, J. R. C. Parker, B. Ellis, A. McD. Ralston, C. J. Knapping, J. Topping, T. Parkinson.

Mr Chadwick asked had this memorial not been received at the last meeting? The Chairman : No; it was not received then, but we have forestalled them in the business. We applied to the Government for a sum of £700 for the bridge, and agreed to do the swamp part of the road. I think the Clerk should be instructed to acknowledge the receipt of the memorial, and inform the memorialists that action has been taken in the matter. Mr Chaytor moved a resolution as suggested by the Chairman, which was seconded by Mr Wrigley, and passed unanimously.  (Bay of Plenty Times, 27 January 1880)


The next meeting was reported in the Bay of Plenty times on 31 January 1880:

BRIDGING THE TUAPIRO: A memorial was read from a number of settlers near the Tuapiro river, calling attention to the bad and dangerous state of the approaches to the Tuapiro river, and asking that the Council would have the main road commenced at once and made passable on the Tauranga side of the Tuapiro. The memorialists submitted that "your Council kindly promised to expend the sum of £400 on the approaches if the Government grant money to erect a bridge over the Tuapiro. It is believed that Government has allocated money for that purpose, and now, before the winter comes on we should esteem it a favor if you would direct the approaches to be commenced at once. Many of us are now compelled to pay high rates to your Council and to the local Road Board, and it is very hard on us to be obliged to pay for roads when we have no road at all. "

The memorial , was signed by the following: Hugh Stewart, L. M. Surtees, James Topping, M. T. Mulgan, Frederick Johnston, John Hamilton, Frederick Dowland, William Tanner, Robert Stuart, B. Ellis, Edwd. Keatley, Thomas Boyd, Edward Mulgan, Walter Johnston, Thomas Crawford, Robert Hunter, W. Johnston, and Jonathan Tanner.

The Chairman said he made it his business when he was at Katikati to go over this part of the block, and the road at this place was a perfect bog. There were also two swamps beyond Canon Johnston's which, needed to be improved.

Captain Turner said he had reported on this some time ago. As to the approaches, he had made sections of the ground.

After some discussion it was agreed to defer the consideration of the matter till the next meeting, the Chairman undertaking to call the attention of the Government in the meantime to the communication about the erection of the bridge. (Bay of Plenty Times, 13 April 1880)



Bay of Plenty Times (1880)

This page was archived at perma cc may 2017

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