Article for VillagePRESS by Karen Logan via Reg Harris
Opening of the Great North Road through the valley provided work and wages for early settlers in the area and the Puhoi Road Board established, but no certain facts have emerged as to when the first small building was erected. Built of timber with a shingle roof it occupied the same site as the present concrete structure. Advancement of the settlement depended on accessibility to the markets and good roading was a vital necessity, Great interest in the formation of the Road Board was evident and it became an active body in many respects as the necessary track was gradually cleared of bush enabling road formation to take place. House removals, additions, valuations and rates, culverts and metalling kept the active committee busy. Early in April 1911, the board received a circular from the department of Agriculture & Tourism, requesting Finger Posts be erected at crossroads Puhoi, Tahekeroa, Upper Waiwera corner and also at Mahurangi Heads and Campbells Road.
far as is known the present building was erected in 1913, the 50th
anniversary of Puhoi. ln May of that year the committee decided the
premises were too small and suggested a more "up to date" building was
required. Mr Michael Wenzlick at a meeting moved a new building costing round
about £50 would be appropriate. Mr E Barker seconded the motion which was
carried on 13th May 1913. By June 7th. tenders were called for a new office.
Mr James Masson agreed to erect a wooden office according to specifications
for the sum of £103 -10.0. It was decided concrete walls would be more
substantial and the committee accepted an offer of £100 from Mr J Schischka to
build the construction. On completion extras amounted to £18.5.8d. When
tenders were called for the old building Martin Wenzlick was successful with
an obvious higher but not given tender price than Mr E Barker's £3 and Mr Jack
The building remained a venue for meetings, card playing,
mail and parcel collection depot and for a time became a small craft outlet.
1976 an enthusiastic community re-opened the building as a library, operating
under the Country Library Service until it was discontinued. Under the
jurisdiction of the Rodney District Council in 1998 it continues to serve, on
an exchange system with Snell's Beach and Orewa Libraries. With an emphasis on
local and New Zealand history the tiny institution is currently slowly
collecting information and books for it's own collection. In New Zealand
Heritage Year 1990 a time plaque was erected and unveiled by the Rodney Mayor,
Sir Gordon and Mrs Mason.