Story: Manawatū and Horowhenua region

A Feilding childhood

A Feilding childhood

Historian W. H. Oliver remembers his working-class childhood at Mākino, near Feilding, in this extract from his memoir:

‘All through my childhood at Makino Road, the main trunk line was just across the road from the front gate. Passenger trains thundered past every night, from Wellington to Auckland and back again; goods trains crept by throughout the day … each with a long line of laden trucks, many refrigerated and carrying exports on the first stage of a long journey. In the dairy factory we saw great 56 lb blocks of butter packed into white pine boxes with the fernleaf trademark and the brand name “Pakeha” impressed with a roller on the butter before sealing and nailing.

‘… The little scatter of houses along Makino Road, the dairy factory and the railway siding were a focal point in a world of linkages and flows. … The origins of our neighbours were evident in their speech – England, Scotland and Ireland were next door and just down the road. The names of local settlements invoked a history of transplantation – Kimbolton, Bainesse, Peep-o-Day, Halcombe, Sanson, Bunnythorpe, Ashhurst – as well as an earlier history we did not know – Rongotea, Taonui, Kopane, Awahuri, Kiwitea, Apiti and, of course, Makino itself.’

W. H. Oliver, Looking for the phoenix. Wellington: Bridget Williams Books, 2002, pp. 53–54

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How to cite this page:

Malcolm McKinnon, 'Manawatū and Horowhenua region - Culture and heritage since 1940', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 2 June 2023)

Story by Malcolm McKinnon, updated 1 Apr 2015