Musick Point - Early History
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22nd January 1836 William Thomas Fairburn, a missionary for many years
in the area, purchased 40,000 acres from the Maori people, being virtually all the
land from Tamaki River to the Wairoa river. It was known as ‘the Fairburn
Block. For 90 blankets, 24 adzes, 24 hoes, 14 spades, 80 Pounds (money), 900lbs
of tobacco, 24 combs, 12 plain irons. (This
is from the records –Auckland District Vii, private Land Purchases, Deed
No.347, 23rd January 1836, and compiled by Mr. H. H. Turton. – (Extract)
Mason was the next owner of the land of 500 acres called “East Head” the
Bucklands, Eastern Beach Peninsula from Fairburn. He sold his Pakuranga farm to
Fairfield and paid Fairburn 500 pounds for the East Head in 1851. Although the
deed was not processed until 6th September 1852. The Musick Point
Radio Station block was reserved specifically for the Crown, but Manson owned
the land between the two beaches.
Beach was previously called Mason’s Beach. This beach was a great source for
food, not only for the Maori but also for the Pakeha population that followed.
In the early 1930's, the government of the day was attempting to establish communications to ships, aircraft and the rest of the world, as a means of news and general communications. The New Zealand Post Office who had capable radio technicians, was given the task of making the system work. Many sites in and around Auckland were tried, but none suited the task better than the site at Bucklands Beach.
building was commenced in 1938 and a comprehensive station was completed in
Peter Fraser, Prime Minister of New Zealand, opened the “Musick Point Air
Radio Station” on January 12th 1942. The station provided radio
contact for ships and aircraft. Initially the station was operated by the NZ
Post Office on all services and later the Air Radio by Civil Aviation
Corporation, with the Post Office handling all the maritime services. In the
later years ownership changed to Telecom NZ Ltd for the maritime service, and now
by Telecom Corporation NZ who, after the marine services were closed down,
retained the use of the building for their Cellular Service.
building gained its name after Captain Edwin C Musick. He flew in the early
flying boats, trail blazing the route to South America, China and New Zealand.
He piloted the first South Pacific survey flight from the United States of
America to New Zealand, landing his four-engined flying boat called the “Samoan Clipper” on the Auckland
Harbour on 30 March 1937, where he received a hero’s welcome.
11th January 1938 whilst on a second flight from Pago Pago in the South
Pacific bound for New Zealand, he and his crew died in an accident. The make of
the aircraft was a Sikorsky
S42B Flying Boat. The building now stands as a monument to this pioneer and also housed a memorial
the Post office radio operators who were murdered in the Kiribati Islands by the
Japanese during the Second World War.
the entrance to the Musick Point carpark, there is a small post with an engraved
plate advising of the Maori Pa site. Several remnants of pits can be seen near
the actual point, but the area of the golf course being bulldozed in shaping the
land in the early times has removed most of the remains. Near the residential houses
at the road entrance to the point, there was a Maori outpost, but again nothing remains to be
Today when the visitor calls to the area, they will notice on the left of the entrance road the three large palm trees where Post Office holiday cottages once were and above that, local station houses. To the right of this was a tennis court that was built by the early residents for recreation by the original radio operators and technicians. There were also army style barracks and a military style gate with a pillar post box, where armed guards were placed.
there is no sign of the military gate with the ‘pillar post’, and even the roadway cattle stop has been lost in time.
emergency radio bunker was built in 1942, during World War II, following
the attack on Darwin, Australia and the threatened attack on Auckland.
This bunker was built as a precaution in case the nearby Musick Point
Aeradio Station was bombed or put out of action. This small emergency
radio station could maintain contact with aircraft and shipping around
New Zealand or overseas if required. The bunker was concealed, dug into
the ground and made of steel reinforced concrete. It is close to
the defence ditch dug across the peninsula as part of Waiaohia Pa of the
Ngaitai iwi which was abandoned in 1821.
sign to the right was attached to the bunker by:
road appears to be in a poor state but being a private road and maintained by
the Crown, gets little attention by the owners.
to the Musick Point area have been estimated at 150 cars on an average day during
the summer months.
is a great place for bridal parties making their big promise, and many of the
areas are used for wedding photos.
has also been the occasional scattering of burial ashes in the area.