Town Centre

Kohukohu was one of the first European settlements in New Zealand. It's a historic village on the Hokianga Harbour in Northland.

Kohukohu was an important timber milling town and the largest commercial centre in the harbour for nearly one hundred years. The township had a population of almost 2,000 people in 1900, although these days, Kohukohu is a community of 150.

Many buildings in towns of early New Zealand were built of kauri, but the centre of Kohukohu township was literally built on kauri, on land reclaimed by kauri sawdust from the town's timber mill.


KOHUKOHU is the chief centre of the timber industry on the Hokianga river, and the Kauri Timber Company has large mills and offices at the township. Vessels of heavy draught can sail up the indented estuary from the Heads and find berthage at the mill wharves. Kohukohu has churches, a good hotel, several stores, hall and public school, post and telegraph office, and a population of about 300. The timber industry is in itself of great immediate importance, but it also means that as the bush is cleared off thousands of acres of excellent land will become available for settlement. Mr. Breidecker has a vineyard close to the township and produces many hundreds of gallons of excellent wine, and this industry bids fair to be eminently successful in that part of the district. The Hokianga Fruit Association has its headquarters at Kohukohu, and there are many excellent orchards in the neighbourhood.

Notes on Dating Sign Photograph

According to vintage car buff Phil Evans and internet research, the vehicle in this image is almost certainly a 1926 Chevrolet Superior series 4 Touring Phaeton. The Model A Ford Phaeton (1927- 1931) and Chevrolet 1928 Phaeton were very similar in appearance but the fact that the car in the photo has wooden spoke wheels and a horizontally split opening windscreen confirms it as a Superior. The earliest model of a Superior would have been a 1923 model assembled in the U.S.A. but Phil's assessment is that this model is closer to a 1926 model. The vehicle in the photo is not brand new, it could have been in use for a few years. ( A Phaeton refers to a four-seater car with a convertible top , named after the horse buggy of the same name ...)

You will find an image of a Chevrolet Phaeton on this web page.

According to this web page Chevrolet vehicles were assembled at a General Motors plant in Petone Lower Hutt. This plant was opened in 1926. There was also a Ford plant at Wellington that was opened in 1922. These assembly plants opened when the government increased tariffs on the import of assembled vehicles in 1922.

Photograph for sign from Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand.