For 33 years, Whakatāne and District Historical Society has had a gap in its schedule of publications.

In 1977 the society began publishing a monograph series, with the third book in the series to focus on the history of Maketū.

However, the monograph - a detailed written study of a single specialised subject - wasn't published, its author Alister Matheson instead deciding to produce a series of articles on the township's history for the society's biannual Historical Review.

The society continued to publish its monographs, and has now produced 26. But there has remained, until very recently, a gap between numbers 2 and 4.


''Libraries were still asking for a copy because they like to have a full set,'' says society president Tiena Jordan.

They can now get it with the Maketū monograph finally available.

Tiena says the monograph is made up from all the Maketū-related articles that appeared in the society's journal, Historical Review, between volume 37 no 1 (May 1989) and volume 57 no 1 (May 2009). An appendix details other articles relating to Maketū from the Tauranga and Rotorua Historical Societies' journals, neither of which are currently in publication.

''It is almost a complete history of Maketū,'' says Tiena.

Because Mr Matheson continuing to research the material, the new monograph, is twice the size it would have been if it had been published in the 1970s.

Last year the Whakatāne Society received a grant to pay for the digitising of all its journals, making it relatively easy to put the Maketū monograph together.

''Our treasurer put all the [Maketū] articles into a separate file and I did the contents page and the pagination of them. The printer put the page numbers on them and I did the introduction and appendix and away it went - it was very easy actually.''

The articles appear exactly as they did in the journal. There are 23 articles 269 pages.
Alister Matheson was a respected Tauranga Historian who died in 2011.


In 1999 he received the Tauranga Heritage Award from the Bay of Plenty branch committee of the New Zealand Historic Places Trust for his contributions to preserving and documenting Tauranga's history which included Ōtūmoetai and Maketū.

Tiena says the Whakatāne society is very active.

''We are in our 67th year now,'' she says.

Previously the society covered the area between East Cape and Ōtamarākau.

''When the Tauranga society decided they couldn't produce a journal any more we merged their journal with ours, but not the societies, so we extend to about Katikati now.''

Details on how to order the Maketū monograph can be found on the society's website.