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Changing Times highlights revival

by 14 Oct 2009Reviews0 comments

Changing Times The Story of a New Zealand Country Newspaper
Queen Street Wharf

Queen Street to Queen Street: Changing Times records just how closely Warkworth was connected to Auckland in the steamboat era. The first two tees on the eastern side of the wooden Queen Street Wharf were home to the companies that serviced the Mahurangi. Photographer Henry Winkelmann. image stitching Changing Times

There’s a rumour that it’s really a red wine appreciation society.

To allay this misconception, of the Mahurangi Harbour Book Club, I have been asked to do something that I have never done before: Review a book!

So I poured a glass of good red and set to work.

Changing Times at first glance is a historical record of the now-titled Rodney Times, from its first publication in 1901 through to today.

But it is more than just that. As the newspaper has remained local and always reported on local issues, the book reflects the history of Warkworth and Rodney, as well as the three generations of the Cook family.

The book is beautifully designed and full of fascinating photographs including early shots of the town, the Jane Gifford, the building of the Bank of New Zealand and American troops in World War Two. My attention was held through to the end, although I must admit that I scanned through some pages that contained technical information regarding printing presses—in spite of working on ’em as a trainee engineer in my youth.

Through both the text and photographs I was drawn to how important the river was as a source of navigable transport and trade in the town’s history. This highlighted to me the relevance of the revival of the Jane Gifford and the current endeavours of so many people in making the river a major waterway again.

This is an important historical record of the town and its surroundings and, along with Jade River : A History of the Mahurangi, is a treasure for both the current and future generations.


Changing Times Kit de Latour, Times Media Print, 2009.