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The Far Downers: The People and History of Haast and Jackson Bay
Author: Julie Bradshaw
isbn: 9781877276071

An excellent regional history of a very isolated area.

The isolation of settlements in South Westland meant it remained a place of pioneers for decades longer than virtually anywhere else on mainland New Zealand.

This isolation, along with the ruggedness of the terrain and weather, bred a very tough and self-reliant community.
Haast was not connected by road to any other part of New Zealand until as late as 1960, when the Haast Pass road to Makarora was completed.

And it was not until 1965 that the through road from Fox Glacier was finally finished. Prior to the road, locals used plane and boat access, and also the long ride through the Haast-Paringa Cattle Track.

Far Downers was the term given to the people of Haast and Jackson Bay by West Coasters from more northerly parts, not meant in a derogatory way, but simply in recognition of their isolation.

The book is divided into two parts, firstly an overview of the area's Maori and European history. Jackson Bay was a special settlement for Europeans begun in 1875, with many Poles and Germans.

The second part of the book consists of nine interviews, which are presented as oral history. All nine (Allan Cron, Ruby Hill, Henry Buchanan, Des Nolan, Ann Mackay, Bernie and Myra Cowan, Betty Eggeling and Mary Jones) grew up in the area, and most were children or grandchildren of the original settlers.

Lots of b&w historic photos

2010 Paperback 152 pages
Good condition


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  • Seller location: Tauranga, Bay of Plenty, NZ

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