Tinui Parish Anzac Trust

The Tinui AnzacTrust was incorporated on 17 August 2010 with the purpose of safeguarding in perpetuity the exclusivity of Tinui as the first place in New Zealand to commemorate Anzac Day. The Trust has five trustees - please visit the Contacts page for their details.
The mission of the trust is to:
  • raise sufficient funds to support ongoing activities

  • standardise the Anzac Day commemorative service at Tinui

  • develop and implement a broad media strategy which demonstrates the uniqueness of Anzac Day at Tinui

  • keep the Tinui Anzac memorial cross on Mt. Maunsell and all Anzac related memorabilia held “in common” within the Tinui community, including the Tinui War Memorial and the Tinui War Memorial Hall, in good condition

  • negotiate with local land owners all-year access to the Mt. Maunsell memorial cross and maintaining of the track and site

  • keep control of the Tinui Parish Anzac Trust in local hands, and

  • support the Tinui Anglican Parish and the upkeep of the Church of the Good Shepherd at Tinui.

Tinui Anzac History

On the 25th April 1916 the vicar of Tinui Parish, Reverend Basil Ashcroft, held a service at 7.30am in the Church of the Good Shepherd to remember the seven young men of the district who lost their lives in the Gallipoli campaign. In his Service Register for the period, the Rev. Ashcroft recorded ‘25th April - St Marks Day – ANZAC DAY’.  It has become evident that this service was the first ever commemoration of Anzac Day, and was attended by the local Boy Scouts and several residents. An offertory of 4s 6d was received during the service. The Church of The Good Shepherd is still in regular use and is situated approx 150 metres north of the village corner in Manawa Road.
Following the service a group of approximately 40 people climbed Mt. Maunsell (known locally as the Tinui Taipo) the men carrying, in sections, a Cross of 4”x4” jarrah faced with galvanised iron. The Cross was then assembled and erected on site. The idea of this memorial was conceived and organised by the Rev. Ashcroft. This was the first memorial of its type erected during the war. A dedication at the ceremony was performed by the Rev. Ashcroft during which the Last Post was sounded by Bugler A W P Hancock, a local resident home on leave.
Over the years the Cross suffered weather and wind damage and despite regular maintenance and
re-erection on three occasions during the intervening years it finally became beyond repair. On 25th April 1965 it was taken down and replaced by a new Cross made of more permanent materials. The new Cross was also taken up the hill in sections and assembled and raised in exactly the same spot where the old wooden Cross had served as a memorial for nearly fifty years. School children helped by carrying small bags of cement up the hillside track. Before the Cross was permanently fixed in place, a bottle containing the names of all those present at the ceremony was buried in the concrete base. The dedication of the new Cross was carried out by the Rev. Doug Pullar, vicar of Tinui, in the presence of nearly 80 people. The whole occasion was referred to as ‘The Resurrection of a Cross’. The Cross is 3.6 metres high and 2.4 metres wide, and can be seen silhouetted on the skyline 300 metres above the village and parish at a distance of just over two kilometres.
By the end of World War One the number of local dead had risen to 36 (another 12, including one woman and the son of the then vicar Rev. W Tye, died in World War Two). Their names are recorded on the memorial at the Tinui War Memorial Hall. Families that each lost three members to war are named.
Following the end of World War Two, regular Anzac services were held in Tinui but lapsed as former returned services members left the district upon retirement. The services were resumed when it was realized that Tinui’s unique historic commemoration of the first Anzac Day in 1916 should continue to be recognised. An established tradition is for present students of Tinui and Whareama schools to read aloud the names on the memorial during the service. Some of the fallen would have attended the local school and are therefore part of its history.
The New Zealand Defence Force has, in the past, expressed an interest in taking a permanent part in the maintenance of the Cross and it is hoped the registration of the Cross site by the NZ Historic Places Trust on 2nd March 2011 as a Category 1 Historic Site (a site of national significance) will eventually see this become a reality.
‘Tinui Parish’ stretches along the Wairarapa coast from Mataikona/Te Mai in the north to past Glenburn in the south, inland past Blairlogie down to Ruakiwi.
Photo from 1916 of a visit to the memorial Cross
Photo taken in 1965 and supplied by Wairarapa Archives; Whareama, Tinui, Castlepoint and Awatoitoi school children at the raising of the new Tinui Taipo Cross
Members of the Langdon family visit the Cross; three of the family died during World War One
Armed forces at the Tinui War Memorial during an Anzac Day Service
The Church of the Good Shepherd