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Paparoa ‘the village in the valley’ is marking the 150th anniversary of the arrival of the Albertland settlers in the Kaipara harbour with three days of festivities at Labour weekend.
The organising committee chair Graham Taylor says registrations are fifilling fast and local accommodation providers say booking early is recommended.
“A couple of Bed and Breakfasts in Paparoa still have spaces and several families are willing to billet people but people need to get in quick,” says committee member in charge of registrations, Roybn Skelton.
The Albertland settlers arrived in the Kaipara from 1862 onwards in a series of ships sailing from England. They settled a total of 70,000 acres of land around the Northern Kaipara, including Port Albert, Pahi, Paparoa, Whakapirau and Maungaturoto.
Each adult received 100 acres of land, with an addition of 20 acres for each child, from the colonial government of the time, and many of their descendents still farm the original grants to this day.
The Paparoa celebrations will feature a street parade, a dance, a landing reenactment and a banquet among many other activities.
The organising committee began preparations 18 months ago and they are now meeting weekly to ensure the success of the weekend.
“It’s not just for people that have Kaipara heritage connections — we’re involving the whole community with events to suit everyone,” says Mr Taylor.
There will be additional charges for some events, including the planned Bush Dance and a banquet featuring the best of Kaipara produce.
Contact Skelton’s Paparoa Drapery (09 431 7306) for registration and details or visit www.paparoa.org.nz.