Wellington City Libraries

Te Matapihi Ki Te Ao Nui

Ohariu Valley Oral History : Nikki Jackson

Recorded: Friday 8th June 2012 at the residence of Nikki Jackson, Ohariu Valley

Interviewer: Rebecca Chilton

These files are in MP3 format. If you don't have software that will play MP3 files (e.g. Windows Media Player, iTunes), here are some suggestions: iTunes.

Part 1 (18'40")

Time marker: Summary:
00'32" Nikki is the sixth generation of her family to own their farm. The family ancestors came on the first boat into Petone and bought land in Ohariu Valley in the 1900s.
01'09" Feels it is important to make sure the land stays in the family. Enjoys living out here, the home and the history of the Valley is very dear to her. Hopes that her children will have families in the Valley.
01'59" Leaves at eighteen to go to Australia. Whilst over there, realises that she misses living on a farm in the Valley. After eleven years, comes back to Wellington with a husband and two children. Her and her immediate family have now lived in the Valley for eight years.
02'39" Describes what she missed about the Valley while living over in Australia. Describes childhood memories of horse riding, her first horse, and her first pony club ribbon.
06'42" Describes what her and her brothers would get up to after school and at the weekends, such as making tunnels in hay bales in a hay shed, or walking over to Johnsonville. Talks about going eeling with cousin. Tells of her extended family living close by when she was young.
10'45" Relates how the men of her family learned more of the history than she did, mentions that her older brother will inherit the farm, and that her younger brother will inherit the golf course. Learned more of the history when she moved back after she was married, mentions the example of the church.
12'24" Talks about the old pit dug for cutting up totara trees, and clearing land.
13'08" Shares what sort of things she learned from her mother.
14'09" Recounts memories of the Ohariu Valley Ladies Guild, of which she was the president, her Mother and Nana were members as well. Recognises the importance of making sure the history of the Valley is kept.
16'13" Describes the changes between the first Ladies Guild meetings and what they do now - cup of tea and knitting versus wine and garden tours.
17'23" Knew she wanted to be involved with the Guild when she moved back to the Valley and tells how important it is to her. Has now stepped down as President, is now the Treasurer.

Part 2 (12'33")

Time marker: Summary:
00'06" Tells of how everyone in the Valley knew everyone else and how they all socialised together. Says that all the children went to Ohariu Valley School, and gives some reasons as to why it closed. Recounts how all of her friends were from in the Valley, which made it difficult in her first year of college, as there was only one other Valley girl in her year.
02'54" Speaks of her schooling - her brothers boarded at Scott's College due to the distance. She was a day pupil at Queen Margaret's. Describes how she got to and from college. Tells of how there was a bus to Newlands College and Onslow College, and that a lot of the Valley kids went to either of those, but her parents chose private schools.
04'26" Says that her brothers socialised both with their Valley friends and with their school friends. Describes how one of her older brother's friends has since bought a section in the Valley to build a house on, because of being friends with her brother. Tells of walking to primary school and the adventures they would have on the way. Describes a trick her grandfather would play, where it looked like his Land Rover was driving itself. Tells of a couple of incidents where she was grounded by her parents.
09'32" Had to be tough as children, as they were left to their own devices quite a lot. Every Sunday her parents would play golf, so from the age of 10 onwards, the children would take turns making the Sunday roast, as well as dessert.
11'08" Describes how her and her brothers were streetwise and gives an example. Tells of how they could run fast, and that they knew where to go in case of emergencies.

Part 3 (11'33")

Time marker: Summary:
00'26" Remembers how her parents let the children be children and didn't worry them with adult concerns. Contrasts this with how much her children know. Describes thunderstorms during power cuts in the Valley.
02'25" Describes going camping with friends at the sportsground, and how her friends thought it was the best thing ever.
03'41" Also went back the same way - she thought things in town, such as going to McDonalds, were wonderful. Still enjoyed living in Ohariu Valley more than the city.
04'31" Tells of learning how to drive at age 12, and going for her licence at 15. Remembers driving to Petone Polytech by herself at 15.
06'30" Recalls the African man who was re-piling their house, who would occasionally sing while working.
07'50" Would have a day or two off school for docking. Husband's brother will still come down to the farm from Auckland for this.
08'54" Describes school holiday activities of camping, riding, catching cockabullies and yabbies, and playing on the trampoline.

Part 4 (07'36")

Time marker: Summary:
00'05" Nikki really enjoyed school. Tells of her favourite teacher, describes playground activities, swimming in the school pool, and what they were taught. Talks about the disabled child in their classroom, how they all knew what to do if she had a fit, and that special needs children were not anything out of the ordinary to them. Goes on to mention that she now works with special needs children at Johnsonville School.
04'45" When she started primary school there were about 63 children and about 40 when she left. There were three classrooms, older children in one, middle in another and junior in the third, and they would all join together for the afternoon activities.
06'24" Tells of how the local children and those new to the valley all played together and how the girls and boys also played together.

Part 5 (10'39")

Time marker: Summary:
00'10" Describes Christmas events in the Valley - how the Guild still does a Christmas function. Recalls the yearly school Christmas show and how it was a bigger event for her as a child, than it is for her children now. Tells of other events at school such as pet days or camping at school.
02'23" Describes group trick or treating at Halloween and walking to all the houses. Recounts playing a 'trick' on one resident, and tells of how they would all meet up in the church grounds and tell spooky stories.
04'03" Mentions that there are more cars now in the Valley, and it's not as safe to walk everywhere due to the traffic. Describes of how Valley residents all knew each other, and would often offer lifts, especially in times of need, such as when she broke her toe at school.
09'03" Remembers being told off by the headmaster for giving her friend a ride on the handlebars of her bike. Talks about how the headmaster and his wife were rather strict and ran a close-knit school.

Heritage Links (Local History)