Telegraph Hotel Otaki
Telegraph Hotel Otaki

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Mill Road Otaki
Mill Road Otaki

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Post and Telegraph Otaki
Post and Telegraph Otaki

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Otaki Historical Journal Launched

Over 60 people attended the launch of the 2021 Otaki Historical Journal on Sunday 15 August at the Otaki Museum.


Our area’s history has been handed down orally for centuries and documented in writing for almost 200 years. This journal, like the previous 41 volumes, contributes to these resources. It continues the tradition of excellent articles which tell the stories of the history and peoples of Otaki and surrounding areas. There are reminiscences of people who remember Otaki as it was long ago and tributes to local identities who made a big contribution to our community.


We feature a round-up of the projects where people are working hard to save our built heritage and our natural history. You also can read the results of detailed research about the land and the river that support us all.


This high-quality publication features many photos of our area’s past that have not been published before. They come from family albums, official records and the Historical Society’s own archives.


Produced by the community for the community, and others who are interested, the journal is a unique compilation of material. It adds to the information available to our children, grandchildren and future researchers of all ages.


We know readers will find this journal as interesting as always.

See the Journal page for advice on how to buy this and earlier journals.

Price: $20 plus $5 postage within New Zealand. - Earlier issues at varying prices.


    Check out our Newsletter page to see past issues and the News and Events page to read the feeds               from our Facebook 


OHJ_vol 42_cover (002).jpg

The Otaki Historical Society exists to foster an interest in Otaki’s history. This is achieved mainly by publishing the annual Otaki Historical Journal, which records the town’s history through researched and contributed articles that include personal and family memoirs; researched articles about aspects of Otaki history; reprints of relevant extracts from magazines, books or historical documents; and occasionally personal opinion.


Our popular Journal Index has been updated with the entries from issue 42.

 Click here for Volumes 41 - 42 Index

Click here for Volumes 1 - 40 Index.

Use the indices to check if your research topics or family names have been covered in one of our 42 issues. Follow up your findings in your journals or contact the society to purchase the relevant issue or article. 



Kia ora

The big event since our last journal has been the global pandemic, Covid-19. Although we have learnt more about the virus itself and how to manage its effects, it rages in many countries and has changed life for us all in New Zealand. But we can look back to the ways our community managed a similar epidemic a century ago for ideas on managing this one. Covid interrupted everything in 2020 and it meant the Otaki Historical Society committee decided not to publish our annual journal. In August last year the Otaki Growers Trust gave generous donations to many organisations in our community and the Otaki Historical Society was surprised and delighted to be a beneficiary. We would like to thank the growers for their generosity. This donation assists us in producing the journal. The Otaki Historical Society is proud to be part of the Otaki district and community. Our thanks go to all the people who have contributed stories, research, photographs and proofreading – your work makes this unique journal what it is. We also appreciate everybody who supports us as we continue to record the history of this fascinating area. We hope you enjoy this year’s journal.

Kia haumaru, mauri ora Sarah Maclean, Editor


Otaki Museum is a small local museum housed in the restored 1918 BNZ building at 49 Main street, Otaki. The story of our town and its people are told through a changing programme of exhibitions. The museum is open 10 am-2 pm, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. Admission is free. Please contact the museum 06 364 6886 to arrange group viewings.

More information about the museum and its programme of exhibitions can now be viewed on their website.

Join the Otaki Historical Society by becoming a member. 

Join now

A collection of stories about past events and items of interest. 

The photo gallery includes some of the historical images in our collection.

View the gallery