HISTORY OF POKENO

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St Mary on the Hill Anglican Church, Avon Road, Pokeno, 1899-1900

A History of Pokeno

Site

Pokeno is nestled in a small valley on the southern flank of the Bombay Hills, some 50 kilometres from Auckland and 75 kilometres north of Hamilton. It lies, predominantly, to the south and west of the intersection of State Highways 1 and 2. The North Island Main Trunk Rail Line runs immediately to the west of the town centre. The Waikato River turns west towards the sea just south of Pokeno. The name Pokeno is said to mean ʻplace of refugeʼ.

 

Maori Settlement

The fertile valley floor in the vicinity of Pokeno has most likely been occupied by Maori since the earliest days of their settlement of Aotearoa. Pokeno is geographically close to the Tamaki isthmus, the lower Waikato River and the Hauraki Plains, all areas densely occupied by Maori in pre-European times. Traditionally, iwi of Waikato have claimed ownership of the area. Prior to and following 1840, that iwi was Ngati Tamaoho, including the hapu of Te Akitai and Te Uria- Tapa. The townʼs name derives from the Maori village of Pokino located north of the present town centre, which ceased to exist on the eve of General Cameronʼs invasion of the Waikato in July 1863.

In the early 1820s the area was repeatedly swept by Nga Puhi war parties under Hongi Hika, the first of several forces to move through the area during the inter-tribal wars of the 1820s and 1830s. It is likely that the hapu of Pokeno joined Ngati Tamaoho war parties that travelled north to attack Nga Puhi and other tribes.

In 1822 Hongi Hika and a force of around 3000 warriors, many armed with muskets, made an epic journey south from the Bay of Islands into the Waikato. The journey involved the portage of large war waka across the Tamaki isthmus and between the Waiuku River and the headwaters of the Awaroa and hence into the Waikato River west of Pokeno. It is likely warriors from the Pokeno area were among Waikato people who felled large trees across the Awaroa River to slow Hikaʼs progress. According to Tainui historian Lesley Kelly (Te Putu), Hikaʼs entry into the lower Waikato River ʻcaused great consternation among the tribes dwelling near the river mouth, and these, mostly Ngati Tamaoho, hurriedly retreated up the river and scattered up the many creeks and lakes to hiding places in the forest.ʼ Nga Puhi continued south until they arrived at the fortified pa Matakitaki on the Waipa River, which they overran with great loss of life among Waikato.

By the early 1840s the area had come under the influence of Church of England missionaries stationed at the Waikato Heads and at Maraetai on the Waitemata. Church Missionary Society missionary Robert Maunsell was instrumental in persuading Maori to sign the Treaty of Waitangi at meetings at the Waikato Heads in late March and early April 1840. The list of signatories does not include any who identify as Ngati Tamaoho, but Maunsell believed that among the 32 signatories on the Waikato Manukau copy of the Treaty were representatives of most of the iwi of the lower Waikato, as well as others from further south and as far afield as Tauranga.

In 1846 Pokeno became part of the Ramarama Block, purchased by the Crown from Ngati Tamaoho. Among the tribal leaders at that time was the chief Epiha Putini, husband of TePaea. Further payments were made by the Crown in 1852 to hapu excluded from the original contract. The remaining blocks to the east of Pokeno came into Crown ownership through confiscation following the war in 1865. On 27 May 1865 the Compensation Court determined that £30 be paid to the European trustees of Maori land acquired at Pokeno under the Settlements Act 1863. The beneficiaries of the decision were Ruria Takaanini, and her children Ernia Takaanini, Te Wirihana Takaanini, and Ihaka Takaanini.

An early European observation of Maori life in the Pokeno valley was made by the scientist Ferdinand von Hochstetter on his passage through the area in March 1858. He described a village called Mangatawhiri, thought to be east of the later site of Queen's Redoubt on land overlooking the Tani Te Whiora (Leathamʼs) Stream. Hochstetter described Mangatawhiri as comprising;

about twenty huts with about 100 inhabitants, who are enjoying considerable wealth. They very recently had a neat flour-mill built by an Englishman, on a small stream running by the village, which cost them not less than £400. The volcanic soil of the neighbourhood is extremely fertile, and there is no scarcity of horses, cattle and pigs in these parts.

In addition to operating the flourmill, Maori were also cultivating crops of wheat, maize, peaches and potatoes. It is likely that some of these crops supplied the Auckland market via Waiuku and the Manukau.

Mangatawhiri appears to have been abandoned in favour of Pokino (sic) village within a couple of years of Hochstetterʼs visit. Following the Waikato war the mill was used to produce flour for the settlers before being later converted for use as a flax mill. Pokino village is thought to have been near the intersection of Avon and Fraser Roads, due north of the present village of Pokeno. The current spelling of Pokeno is thus a corruption of the original Pokino.

 

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Unidentified group of Maori men and women alongside a surveyor's tripod on the military road at Pokeno, Waikato, photographed between 1861-1863 by William Temple. Urquhart album, Alexander Turnbull Library PA1-q-250-27-2

 

European Settlement

European settlement of the area commenced in the late 1850s with the establishment of several farms on the valley floor. Saggʼs Farm was at the western end of Hitchen Road, while the Austin and Selby farms were to the west and north of the present town, adjacent to the original line of the Great South Road (now Munro Road). A Mr Mclean is also known as an early farmer.

Colonial settlement of Pokeno was delayed however by the difficulty of overland travel through the dense bush cover of the Bombay Hills. A clay track following traditional Maori routes existed from Papakura south to the Waikato River near present day Tuakau. When the surveyor Henry Hayr was faced with a tapu on this track he established a more direct route from the Waikato River, south of Pokeno, across the hills to Drury (1853-6). Hayrʼs Line, as it became known, was soon widened into a bridlepath although its muddy clay surface often made it impassable for bullock carts. Renamed the Great South Road, it was widened and metalled by the military to provide access to the northern Waikato. Eventually, a string of forts and redoubts were constructed along it, with the military headquarters moving further south as the road progressed until the construction of Queenʼs Redoubt in 1862.

 

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Men of the 12th and 14th regiments (Imperial Army) digging a cutting down Pokeno Hill, on the military road to the Waikato, photographed between 1861 and 1864 by William Temple, Urquhart album, Alexander Turnbull Library, PA1-q-250-52

 

Hundreds of soldiers engaged in road-making camped at Austinʼs farm from December 1861. Pokeno Camp, as it became known, remained a focus for settlement in the valley for some time. A military camp was also established on Selbyʼs farm in 1862 during construction of Queen's Redoubt. Lieutenant-General Duncan Cameron (1808-88) had his headquarters there until accommodation at the Queenʼs Redoubt was ready.

 

Military History

Queenʼs Redoubt was strategically located in the middle of the Pokeno valley, clear of any overlooking hills on which attackers might gain vantage points into the military stronghold. It was within an easy march of the Mangatawhiri Stream, the northern boundary of the Kingitanga territory, and served as General Cameronʼs headquarters between July and November 1863.

Local Maori, witnessing the build up of troops and the preparations by Cameron for the invasion of the Waikato, were further confronted by Governor Greyʼs edict of 9 July 1863 that Maori living north of the Mangatawhiri Stream swear an oath of allegiance to the Queen or be expelled southwards. Cowan describes some Ngati Tamaoho hapu as being in favour of negotiations with the Crown, encouraged by Greyʼs offer of Maori autonomy, but his other policies soon drove them towards the Kingitanga camp.

 

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ʻThe Queen's Redoubt, On the Waikato, the Head-Quarters of Lieutenant- General Cameronʼ, The Illustrated London
News, 30 Jan 1864, p. 105, published in Sketches from Early New Zealand, David Batemen, Auckland, 1985, p. 38.

 

After a few violent skirmishes, war proper broke out on 12 July 1863 when troops under General Cameron crossed the Mangatawhiri Stream a few miles south of Queen's Redoubt. The village of Pokino was destroyed by ʻan unauthorised expedition of soldiersʼ from Queen's Redoubt on the eve of the invasion of the Waikato. The kāinga may have already been abandoned, but its stocks of food and other supplies were certainly commandeered by the army. As Cameron made his first moves against Maori entrenched at Koheroa only a few miles south of Pokeno, a body of Ngati Paoa were harassing a British supply convoy at Martinʼs Farm on the Great South Road. The British were pursued back towards Drury by the Maori war party, suffering 16 killed or wounded and the loss of horses and wagons. As a result Cameron had to spend time and resources fortifying and manning the redoubts along his supply line from Drury. Maori continued to operate behind British lines in the Hunua Ranges and elsewhere during the hostilities, causing considerable fear among the settlers in the area.

The Waikato war ended with the Maori defeat at the battle of Orakau in April 1864 and a mutually recognised boundary line was established at the Puniu River to the north, Lake Taupo to the east and through north Taranaki to the south.

 

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Officers of the Imperial forces outside the mess whare at the 12th Regiment camp, Pokeno. From left to right:
Lieutenant Murphy (12th), Lieutenant Lowry (12th), Captain Miller (12th), Major Hutchings (12th), Urquhart (65th),
Lieutenant Mair (12th) and Captain Williams (12th). Photograph taken circa 1861 by William Temple. Urquhart album, Alexander Turnbull Library PA1-q-250-40-2

 

Helenslee Settlers

Colonial surveying and land allocation went hand in hand with military action during the mid-1860s. In June 1863 the town sections and rural allotments of the future town of Pokeno were put to auction, including lots surrounding the redoubt and along the Great South Road. All were purchased, although many were bought by land speculators who later on sold them. Subsequently, sections were also acquired by the Auckland Provincial Government for allocation to new settlers under the short-lived Waikato Immigration Scheme.

As an early part of that scheme, the Helenslee sailed from the Clyde in Scotland on 10 September 1864 with 334 passengers aboard. The ship docked in Auckland on 22 December. The Helenslee settlers were described as ʻmostly Scotchʼ and predominately Presbyterian. The Pokeno valley was promoted to the settlers as fertile, adjacent to the newly completed Great South Road and with easy access to the Thames Road and the Waikato River, then the main means of passage south into the recently confiscated lands of the Waikato. Auspiciously, perhaps, the immigrantsʼ arrival in the valley was heralded by the sight of large comet in the south-western sky.

The Helenslee was only one among several ships carrying new migrants that arrived at Auckland in late 1864. There was therefore considerable pressure for accommodation in the city and at the migrant camps. The Helenslee migrants were finally moved by cart from Drury to Pokeno in January 1865. Ten to twelve families were in the first convoy along with large quantities of stores and equipment. They were initially accommodated in the Queenʼs Redoubt, its garrison recently reduced to that of a maintenance standard. McLeanʼs Canteen outside the redoubt and the Ngati Tamaoho flourmill, commandeered from its owners at the outbreak of hostilities, were also used to accommodate the new settlers. On the allocation of the town and farming sections, the settlers moved into tents on their holdings, where in some cases they remained for as long as ten months. With the war still being fought to the south, there were times when rumours of marauding Kingitanga war parties and fear of imminent attack forced the settlers to retreat inside the Queen's Redoubt.

The immigration scheme settlers were allocated quarter-acre town sections and ten-acre rural sections. They were required to work on and improve the sections for two years after which a Crown Grant would be issued, giving them ownership. Supplementary employment for male settlers was provided undertaking public works such as road building. However, with Government funds running low, many found it a difficult living and some men were forced to leave their families in Pokeno to seek work gum digging and labouring. When gold was discovered at Thames later in the decade many men left families behind to try their luck. The Rev. Vicesimus Lush reported in September 1868 that ʻ(a)lmost all the men have left for the diggings and some have sent sufficient money home to their wives to purchase cows, pigs, etc. Though the village is not so populous as it was, it has a more thriving appearance.

The Presbyterian minister Thomas Norrie from Papakura visited the settlement in March 1865 and held Sunday service in the chapel at the Redoubt and at the settlement itself. Anglican Bishop Selwyn also preached regularly at the redoubt chapel.15 An Anglican Church was built on the north side of the redoubt in 1863 but within a few years had succumbed to fire or some other disaster.16 On Sunday 30 August 1874, the Presbyterian congregation of Pokeno celebrated the opening of a new church. It was built adjacent to the Redoubt on the site of the former garrison library, earlier destroyed by fire. A second Presbyterian Church was built in 1904 on Pokeno Hill, from where it was moved in 1917 to its present site at the corner of Fraser and Avon Roads. In more modest accommodation, Catholic church services were held for some years in a former billiard room in Market Street, where the Vege Barn now stands.

 

Village life

Historically, Pokeno was a more dispersed settlement than it might appear to be today. While the present town straddles the Great South Road north of Tani Te Whiora (Leathamʼs) Stream and the site of Queenʼs Redoubt, this was not the case prior to the 1920s or even later. Although place names have changed over time, it appears that Pokeno Valley was located east of the present day junction of SH1 and SH2, in the vicinity of the Anglican church of St Mary on the Hill built in 1899. Pokeno Camp, a military camp used prior to the building of the redoubt, was north west of the present village, on Helenslee Road north of the cemetery. Another node of settlement was Pokeno Hill, due north of the redoubt and near the later site of the Presbyterian church.

Using the village schools as markers of population density, Pokenoʼs changing centre(s) can be plotted. A school was established at Pokeno Hill in 1866 to serve the needs of settlers on the eastern side of the valley. This may be the Presbyterian schoolroom in which the first trustees of the newly established Pokeno Road Board of Franklin County met on 15 January 1870. With a roll as high as fifty pupils this school competed for Education Board funding withthe Pokeno Valley School, established in 1878. Another school was opened at the redoubt in 1870, closing in 1888. Pokeno Hill School closed the following year at which time Pokeno Valley School became the only school. Located northeast of the town at Shankʼs Corner, it was eventually deemed too far for younger children to walk to and a side school for children to Standard Two was set up in the town with an opening roll of 40 pupils. By 1927, with the population of Pokeno steadily drifting south to cluster around the railway station, post office and other facilities, a move began to close the Valley School and shift the school to its present location. Eventually, in 1961 the Valley School was replaced by Pokeno School at its present location on Pokeno Road. By this time the population of the village was 515.

By 1871 the Helenslee and other settlers had made considerable progress in converting the town from a military outpost to a thriving township. Flax mills, farming, bush clearing and road construction had all brought improvements to the area. As many as six flax mills are recorded as operating within the valley during the late nineteenth century. Most appear to have been operated by the Dean family, Helenslee settlers whose descendents are still associated with the town. The first flax mill was set up by John Dean on Mr Clarkeʼs farm, using water from the Tani Te Whiora (Leathamʼs) Stream. It may be that this used the former flourmill operated by Ngati Tamaoho. Another operated by a Mr Dougal employed 10 or 12 men and produced 8 tons of processed flax per month. Flax for the mill was brought from Underwoodʼs farm, the mill being located on the Tani Te Whiora (Leathamʼs) Stream at Pokeno. Several mills were later converted to be run by stationary engines powered by coal brought from Huntly.

 

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former Pirritt house, Razorback Road, Pokeno, c.1874/5. Photograph shows James family in residence, c. 1900.
Richard Sisam Collection.

 

At the same time farms such as that of Mr Austin were well stocked and apparently thriving. Puriri forest on the hills was also exploited during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. A timber mill was in operation, owned by Mr Clarke, which used the Tani Te Whiora Stream to float logs down to the Mangatawhiri Stream and hence to the Waikato. As more land came into production for dairy herds a creamery was built at the foot of the hill below the Anglican Church. The daily deliveries by horse and cart made the factory an important meeting place for the community.22 Robert Shanks (a Helenslee settler) built many of the permanent houses in the area, making bricks for their chimneys from local clay.

A blacksmithʼs shop was an essential part of any colonial village, and in 1894 Pokenoʼs was operated by Mr G. Lewis. In 1922 Mr H. Draffin bought the shop from the then owner Mr L. Larson for use as a garage supplying petrol and repair services to local drivers and to the increasing number of vehicles passing through the village each day. Motorists faced challenges on each side of Pokeno, with the steep Bombay Hills to the north and with the regular flooding of the river at Mercer. In the early days of motor transport, when travelling north towards Auckland, it was important to have a full tank of petrol, as older vehicles such as Model T Fords relied on gravity to feed the petrol to the carburettor. If the level in the petrol tank was too low, vehicles had no option but to reverse up the hill. The journey north was eased in 1930 with the opening of the first deviation.

 

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Draffinʼs garage at the foot of the Razorback and New Deviation, Waikato, Waikato Times, Hamilton, 1928, p. 20

 

The main trunk rail line reached Pokeno in 1874, running from Auckland via Pukekohe and Tuakau. Work had begun on a line south from Auckland towards the Waikato in 1865, but was abandoned when the military imperative eased. Work recommenced in 1872. Prior to the arrival of the railway, Pokenoʼs location on the Great South Road gave it some advantage over Tuakau and Pukekohe, but this was now lost. With the advent of motor transport, in the early twentieth century, Pokenoʼs importance as a rest and fuel stop at the foot of the Bombay Hills was revived.

Postal services began with the establishment of a military postal service at Queen's Redoubt in July 1863. As early as May 1864 a six-horse coach service was being run between Pokeno and Auckland by Quick & Company using Cobb coaches. In 1863 a twice-weekly postal service was run between the Queen's Redoubt and Auckland, carrying hundreds of letters each week from soldiers fighting in the Waikato. On 22 August an official Post Office was established at Pokeno for the ʻconvenience of the troopsʼ. The officeʼs original name was Mclean Township. With the reduction of the Queen's Redoubt to a maintenance standard in October 1865 the redoubt post office was closed. A second post office was established at Pokeno Valley in 1879, closing in 1926 after a new Post Office was built in Pokeno itself. Prior to 1926 mail was sorted at the schools for delivery home by the children.

 

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Pokeno Post Office, c. 1930, Lucy Millard Collection (at some time after this photograph was taken the PO was
enlarged to its present size)

 

As with all colonial settlements, fire was an ever-present danger to life and property. In December 1885 the Queenʼs Hotel was burned to the ground. It had been built immediately southwest of the redoubt in 1866 by a Mr George to provide accommodation to travellers moving between Auckland and the Waikato. In 1865 Warneʼs Hotel was opened on Bluff Road, south of the town. (Bluff Road was and remains the southern remnant of Hayrʼs Line leading to the river at Te Ia or the Bluff, on the Waikato River west of the mouth of the Mangatawhiri.) In January 1873 a house owned by Christopher Leatham was burned to the ground in an apparent act of arson. One Helenslee settler family met with tragedy of another kind when, in February 1885, Robert Pendergast of Pokeno Valley murdered his wife at their farm several miles west of the railway station.

A military cemetery was established north of the present town, on Austinʼs farm at what is now the corner of Munro and Helenslee Road. A memorial to twenty men killed during the war of 1863-64 dominates the small graveyard, which also contains the graves of several early settlers. An archaeological survey of the site in 2005 indicated that there are at least two and possibly three further graves outside the present fenced area of the cemetery. It has been recommended that the burial site be extended to include these graves.

In the early decades of the twentieth century James Brown, storekeeper, and his son James, who ran the village bakery, were at the commercial heart of the village. One or the other is recorded as operating a taxi service in 1930, when Pokeno had a population of around 380 and boasted postal, telegraph, savings bank and telephone services. The village also had a butcher, H.F. Draffin, a draper, a postman, a greengrocer, a boarding house run by Miss S. Nixon, and both a stationmaster (C. D. Woodhead) and a postmaster (Robert Patton).

ANZAC Day (25 April) 1921 saw the dedication of a World War One memorial at the crossing of Market Road and Great South Road. The obelisk on a square plinth memorialises fifty-one local men who lost their lives in the war. Like many small rural communities in New Zealand, Pokeno suffered losses out of proportion to its size. (The 1916 census recorded a population of 362). Like the rest of New Zealand and much of the world, Pokeno also suffered in the influenza epidemic of 1918. In November of that year it was recorded in the Pukekohe and Waiuku Times that ʻ(w)omen from Pokeno came down to help (the sick) at Mercer, but that only helped to spread the infection to Pokeno.ʼ A year before the monument was unveiled, Pokeno Hall was erected adjacent to Market Square. It was funded by private donations, possibly as a war memorial hall like so many others of this era. A larger hall was added in 1928-30, relegating the original building to the role of supper room. The hall has been condemned as unsafe for several years.

Pokenoʼs rural mail delivery service was in operation by the 1920s, a decade which also saw the first steps in Franklin County towards the introduction of electricity and the telephone. In 1938 work began on a direct rail link between Pokeno and Paeroa, on the eastern side of the Hauraki Plains. About 27 kilometres of track formation had been completed when work stopped in 1940 due to the Second World War. The track would have reduced the distance from Auckland to the Bay of Plenty by 80 kilometres.

 

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Door in Pokeno Hall bearing inscription ʻDaltonʼs Vaudeville Entertainers – All Star Show – Played Here on Feb. 2
1931 – First Show to Play in This Hall – Built 1930ʼ

 

By 1940, with Pokeno Valley having lost its post office, the community had focused itself on the station, post office and commercial buildings on the Great South Road, north of the site of the Queen's Redoubt. A Plunket Society was active, as were the Pokeno Tennis Club, the Pokeno Football Club (R. Dean, Secretary) and the Pokeno Womenʼs Division of the Farmersʼ Union (Miss S. Otto, Secretary). Retail and farming supply outlets included Wallace & Co. and Farmers Trading Company stores.

During World War Two, a group of Japanese women and children were interned at a house on the south-east corner of Market and Regina Streets. The internees had been evacutaed from Tonga and whilst in Pokeno they were under the close supervision of Policewoman Edna Pearce. Pearce was amongst New Zealandʼs first intake of women police recruits in 1941 and she was initailly reponsible for a group of seven women and nine children. According to her biography, Pearce and the translator who accompanied her from Auckland lived in a Public Works Department hut, whilst the Japanese shared a 7-room house with live-in caretakers, said to be a Mr and Mrs Cooper. The latter was a retired nurse formerly of Norfolk Island. Two more Japanese children were born in Pokeno in 1942. Local residents recall seeing the internees going for chaperoned walks during their time in the village between December 1941 and Februrary 1943.

 

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Pokeno War Memorial, Waikato, Waikato Times, Hamilton, 1928, p. 20

 

Road construction and maintenance continued to be a source of employment for the town throughout the twentieth century. The Public Works Department, later the Ministry of Works and Development, provided housing in Pokeno for its local employees. Its depot was in Marlborough Street. The town also had Railways Department housing on Marlborough and Regina Streets and Maori Affairs housing on Pokeno Road. In the mid-1950s the local economy benefited from the construction by the Government of a coal fired power station at Meremere, 14 kilometres south on State Highway One. Work commenced on the power station in 1956 and it was commissioned in 1958.

In common with the rest of New Zealand, recreational activities such as rugby, tennis and dancing were popular in Pokeno, which was especially known as a base for duck shooting in the surrounding wetlands, streams and the nearby Waikato River. The first rugby team was formed in 1896 and competed throughout the wider district. Tennis courts were among the first community sporting facilities to be constructed, with courts at the Valley School from 1910. Dancing was a popular activity made more enjoyable by the building of halls at Pokeno Valley in the 1890s and at Pokeno itself in 1920. Roy Needham showed movies in the latter during the mid-century. Amateur horse racing was also enjoyed in the early days of the community.

 

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Shell Station and Pokeno Tea Rooms (Geo. Rodgers Proprietor), c. 1927, later Harris Butchery (left) & Willis &
Campbell Store (right), Glenda Harris Collection. See page 21 of this report

 

By the mid-1960s, however, the pace of life in Pokeno seems to have begun to slow a little, with the population having reached a plateau and only a modest level of building activity. Between 1961 and the centuryʼs end the village population settled between 500 and 600 and there seems to have been a gradual ebbing away of shops and services. That said Pokenoʼs position as a refreshment stop on State Highway One cushioned it, to some extent, from downturns in the rural economy such as occurred in the late 1980s.

After more than a century as a popular rest stop on the Great South Road, Pokeno was bypassed by State Highway 1 in 1995. Before this an estimated 11,000 vehicles passed through the town each day. With the bypass some Pokeno residents predicted that the town would go into decline, such as had occurred with Te Kauwhata further south. One attempt to forestall this was the transformation in 2000 of the town into Jenniferann.com, whereby an entrepreneur persuaded the Pokeno community to change the townʼs name for a year and become the physical locale associated with an internet site selling womenʼs lingerie. The townʼs best known commercial outlet, the Pokeno Bacon Shop, also tried to ensure that Pokeno was not forgotten by travellers on the bypass, through advertising and other promotional efforts. Despite concerns about the villageʼs future, and with a main street upgrade and community effort and entreprise, Pokeno is still today a resting place famous for the size of the ice creams sold there and for the quality of its bacon and pork.

 


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Pokeno shops, west side of the Great South Road looking north – from left to right can be seen shops, the former
Post Office and Pokeno Hall, 20/11/07

 

Conclusion

The village of Pokeno has a fascinating history, some aspects of which are of considerable national importance. Although it has the appearance of a small, modestly built and dispersed rural village, that should not mislead the resident or visitor into thinking that the heritage resources of Pokeno are similarly unassuming. As both a resting place and site of conflict Pokeno has long been regarded as a place of strategic importance and usefulness.

 

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Detail of doorway, St Maryʼs Anglican Church, Avon Road, Pokeno

 

queens redoubt
queens redoubt