The man that lived alone on his island.

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Deer culler and bushman, Bert Barra.

  Bert Barra Renowned deer culler and animal control expert, is a significant figure in both Wairarapa and 20th century hunting history. During the 1930s and ’40s, Bert shot for Internal Affairs, exceeding 24,000 animals over his career and often had the top seasonal tally for Government shooters. He came to Wairarapa in 1935 as a Field Officer for Deer Control in the Tararuas, where he was responsible for the hunting programme. Retiring from the New Zealand Forest Service in the early 1970s, Bert lived out his days in a simple hut with no power at Kaituna in the Upper Waingawa, on the main route to Mount Mitre .  This is named the Barra Track in his honour. Hunters who...

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Master bushman Joe Gibbs.

Joe Gibbs at old Smiths creek Hut, 1958. Photo credit; Selwyn Pawson. Joe was a well known hunter who lived in the Tauherenikau valley for many years serving as the unofficial Sheriff and caretaker of the valley. Joe Gibbs 1879-1969:Joe was born near Murchison on the Buller River. Growing up in this isolated area, he learnt to be an expert bushman in its remote valleys. A horseman and accurate shot, he served in the Boer war. In 1908 he went to the western US and Canada, worked as a sawyer-axeman on the great Californian redwoods, panned gold and worked silver mines. Back in New Zealand, he handled packhorses and sheep on Molesworth, then worked on the Wellington wharves. He joined the...

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The Maori guide "worth his weight in tobacco!"

A painting of Fox, Heaphy, Brunner and Kehu (smoking) with their packs and kit by a camp-fire. Kehu was the Māori guide that showed Heaphy and his party the route down the West Coast that became known as the Heaphy Track. The track had been used by Maori for centuries. Heaphy wrote of Kehu: ‘A good shot, one who takes care never to miss his bird, a capital manager of a canoe, a superb snarer of wildfowl and a superb fellow at a ford, is that same E Kehu; and he is worth his weight in tobacco!’ Kehu had an interesting history. He was originally from the West Coast but had been captured in inter-tribal warfare at age 12 and...

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Boozer hut.

  Boozer hut was named after a 1930s scheelite miner who was notoriously fond of his booze and was restored by DOC in 2011. It is a 10sq m one-room timber-framed dwelling, clad with sheet metal flattened from old steel drums, in the rugged 9400ha Whakaari Conservation Area, near Glenorchy. The shack contains the bed, table, coal range and bric-a-brac left behind by the one or two long-gone miners, who used it sporadically while working their claims. DOC capital works project manager Mr Struthers, who oversaw the restoration, said Boozer Hut had a "high level of historical interest", due to its days as a shelter for scheelite miners since the beginning of the last century."It's a museum piece, a snapshot...

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"The man with the donkey", Gallipoli.

Stretcher-bearer ‘Dick’ Henderson with his donkey and a casualty at Gallipoli. Stretcher-bearers worked in 12-hour shifts during which they would make six or more exhausting trips from the front to the relative safety of the beach, where the medical facilities were. A mild-mannered school teacher from Auckland, Private Richard ‘Dick’ Alexander Henderson, was with the New Zealand Field Ambulance when in late May “a donkey came into my hands”, he said after the war. He soon put it to work helping collect the wounded. Henderson took wounded men by donkey several times a day from Walker's Ridge to the dressing station at Anzac Cove. “I also used the donkey the night our mounted troops were relieved from No.2 outpost, after being...

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