A new shipwreck has been discovered at Pouto Pt - however it's history may remain unknown as costs to research it are too high according to one of those who discovered it.
Passionate shipwreck explorer and amateur historian Barry Jones says the wreck was discovered a few months ago after between 1 and 5m of sand moved off the dunes and out to sea.
''This particular wreck has not previously been seen by any of the Kaipara District's elder 80 to 90-year-old residents and needs identifying for our country's records.
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''By the size of the timber, those of us with maritime shipwreck experience estimate the ship to be in the 400-ton region.''
Jones however says to better ascertain the ship's identity which he estimates to be about 100 years old they need to do some testing to find out the type, make-up and age of the wood.
So, after getting permission from Heritage New Zealand to take samples off the wreck to send to Waikato University, Jones was shocked to learn he himself would have to pay for the testing.
''The laboratory wanted payment for each piece of timber tested,'' he said.
''Even the basic carbon dating of each piece has been quoted at $525 and there are five to six different timbers involved.''
Jones says the carbon dating is necessary but at that price it was a real barrier to researching the region's maritime history and this disappointed him greatly.
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As a result he has written to the Education Minister Chris Hipkins to ask what's going on.
''The university, is not a trading organisation, so why are they charging for this service, why are they wanting to charge.''
Jones says the exerCarbon dating and dendrochronology of the timbers will give him sufficient data to fairly accurately identify the date and location of construction.
''At this point, using shipping records, there are three possibilities of ship names from the 1800s which could fit.'
''Doing this testing will just be another piece of the jig-saw for historical records, but still important as part of the nearly 200 wrecks in the Kaipara area.
In a letter to the Hipkins, Jones said...... ''as these universities have salaried staff in suitably equipped laboratories to do these actual tests, please again tell me why I should have to pay?''
Waikato University said the reason it cost so much was because of the amount of labour and resources the process took up.
"It takes approximately six weeks of labour. For example, if you were to analyse a piece of wood, the process would first involve using chemistry clean-up protocols, then quality in-house tests, then converting the sample into its purest carbon form, then the purified carbon sample gets passed through a multi-million dollar piece of equipment.
"In summary it takes many hours and hands, and is quite an intensive exercise."
"It's a highly specialised area, and people entering this field require years of training.
They use state-of-the-art equipment. This equipment needs to be able to detect extremely low levels of carbon isotopes (C14). "
"So in summary, the time it takes, the equipment used, and the fact this is a highly specialised area of research/activity are reasons why radiocarbon testing costs the amount it does."
To request radiocarbon dating for something you've discovered visit:
Museum birthday bash
Dargaville Museum celebrated its 34th birthday by inviting locals and visitors alike to celebrate in a style reminiscent of a bygone era.
Almost 500 people took up the offer and got to enjoy a range of free activities from old fashioned bubble blowing using a twisted piece of number 8 wire, cracking a horse whip, clay making, wool spinning, flax weaving and more.
Museum director Maree Saunders said the event held at the weekend was a huge success.
"Thanks to Raewyn Sills, the Birthday Bash organiser, the NWMM&P Museum Inc Committee and all the volunteers who made this day such an astounding success. The day brought many locals and out-of-towners to the museum.
"Those who attended got to enjoy the food, displays and games on offer. The day was also successful as a fundraiser for the museum and I would like to thank the community for their support."
The museum opened in 1985 thanks to the efforts of locals who wanted to preserve the region's history which includes gum digging, kauri logging and a fascinating maritime history.
Everyone had positive things to say about the day and many praised the museum itself for its exhibits.
Arran James said he felt the museum was the best small town museum he had ever been to.
Former promotions committee member and manager of the Lighthouse Restaurant Barry Jones said he wasn't surprised that people thought highly of the museum.
"I've had people tell me it's the best museum they've too and they've been to museums all over the world, I think the reason they say that is because at our museum not everything is behind glass walls, you can touch things, you can ring the ships bell and move amongst the displays".
Woman Everest pioneer visits
Northlanders will soon have the chance to meet and hear the world's first woman to climb Mt Everest without supplementary oxygen when Lydia Bradey attends a function in Dargaville.
Dargaville Rotary Club successfully arranged for her to visit and speak at the Lighthouse Function Centre early next month.
Dargaville Rotary president Peter Garelja says having Bradey come to Dargaville is a coup for the club. He predicts an inspirational evening.
"Lydia will be able to share the personal journey of overcoming insecurity, fear and discomfort to achieve outstanding successes and personal satisfaction. I'm definitely looking forward to it."
"It is part of the club's strategy to attract high quality inspirational speakers to Dargaville, as a means of further developing leadership within our local community."
Christchurch-born Bradey is still the only New Zealander to have achieved the exceptional feat and her long list of outstanding achievements extends to being one of the few women to successfully guide Everest six times and being on more than 20 expeditions to beyond 6000m.
She has also written a book with Laurence Fearnley, Going up is Easy, that was published in 2015.
The Rotary Club intends to use any profits to help send local young people to participate in experiential leadership courses, such as those offered by the Sir Edmund Hillary Outdoor Pursuits Centre.
Tickets are limited to 200 and cost $20 each. They can be purchased at Moran's Bookshop, Dargaville Hunting and Fishing or ordered online at firstname.lastname@example.org where further information is also available.
When: November 6 at the Lighthouse Function Centre starting at 7.30pm.
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