The Whau Village
(by John Buchanan, Esq.)

[From  Wise’s New Zealand Post Directory, 1875-76, part III. John Buchanan was a prominent farmer and landowner in Avondale from the early 1860s to early 1880s. He was a merchant with a warehouse business in Karanghape Road, who was an inaugural member of the Mt Albert Highway District Board in 1866, then an inaugural member of the Whau Board in 1868. He was an Elder in the Whau Presbyterian Church, donating land to the Church in the 1870s. The first Librarian of the Whau Library in 1868, he was also involved with the Whau Public School Committee. He left Avondale around 1884, when a fire destroyed much of his farm.]

The Whau Village is situated on the Whau Creek, and is about six miles from Auckland, on the Great North Road. The isthmus at this point is about two miles broad, and the construction of a ship canal, for which the configuration of the country offers great facilities, has been contemplated connecting the two great harbours of the Manukau and the Waitemata. Were this work carried out, it would be a vast boon to this part of the Colony.

A road through the Mount Albert Highway District connects the Whau with the Mt Eden side of Auckland.

The Presbyterian Church, in the centre of the township, is a neat building; and a public hall was built about 6 years ago, in which the Episcopalian Church holds divine services every Sunday. A school with about 50 pupils is taught by a first class certified teacher and his assistant.

A spacious hotel was erected here recently, offering accommodation second to none in the province, outside of the city.

The creek is navigable to small vessels and steamers, and on the banks the manufacturing of bricks, tiles and pottery is carried on successfully.

The Star flour mills, and Messrs Gittos’ tannery, the latter of which employs a great many workmen, are both in this district. There are three stores, a carpenter, and two smith shops.

An express plies daily once each way, by the Great North Road; and, by way of Mount Albert, an omnibus twice.

The district, where not cultivated, has a bleak muirland aspect, but the land is grateful for good treatment. Large quantities of butter, potatoes and oaten hay have been sent in from here.

Looking towards the Waitemata, over the Whau Flat, from the rising ground above, one of the sweetest English and home-like scenes is witnessed that can be seen in this country.

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