I am fortunate enough to know the Kohlhase family from Glen Innes that settled in Wai O Taiki Bay in 1961. The parents, both of Samoan and European descent (commonly referred to as hafakasi) migrated from Samoa to Auckland during the 1940s and found employment; Mr Kohlhase worked on the wharf and Mrs Kohlhase worked as a shorthand typist for Island Territories. They were one of the first Polynesian families to locate and buy their home in the Glen Innes suburb which was at the time predominantly working class Pakeha and Maori families in state housing.
Mr Kohlhase was a keen gardener evidenced by an array of succulents, native trees and an impressive twenty varieties of hibiscus that are still thriving in the garden that is set against a view of Half Moon Bay. The large frangipani plant in the McCallums (Red Rock Aggregates company founded in New Zealand in 1904) red stone rockery built by Mr Kohlhase provided many cuttings that were given to family and people in the area as well as to St Mary’s Parish in Glen Innes where the family attended church. Mr Kohlhase’s quirky nature can still be seen in the garden with an eclectic collection of garden statues and an interesting paint job on the fence.
The house is still in it’s original state which adds to the charm and aura of a much loved family home that exudes a nostalgic ambience of a past era in New Zealand.
Thank-you to the Kohlhase family, especially Caron and Marilyn for sharing their home and knowledge with me. xx