Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search

 


Insight into Growing up in Hawke’s Bay Children’s Homes

Media Release
An Insight into Growing up in Hawke’s Bay Children’s Homes

The often harrowing and sometimes heartening stories of fourteen people who grew up in children’s homes in Hawke’s Bay are told in a book to be launched on the EIT campus.

An internationally-recognised academic historian of education and a research professor at EIT, author Kay Morris Matthews says Who Cared? Childhoods within Hawke’s Bay Children’s Homes and Orphanages 1892-1988 is a snapshot of the experiences of thousands of youngsters – orphaned, illegitimate, abandoned or destitute – who lived part or all of their childhoods in eight institutions that operated in the region.

The book will be launched on November 22 by John McKinnon, a Hastings resident who grew up in France House, a home in the Esk Valley for teenage boys. Others whose accounts are included in the book, many now very elderly, will also attend the launch.

The first to analyse New Zealand childhoods spent in institutions, Dr Morris Matthews says most people have forgotten or have never known about these atypical upbringings. Many are surprised that the last such home in Hawke’s Bay closed as recently as 24 years ago.

Dr Morris Matthews accessed publicly available information on Hawke’s Bay children’s homes while researching archival material for upcoming museum exhibitions. More generally, institutional archives are embargoed to protect the privacy of those raised in these homes.

Recognising the need to document this important chapter in New Zealand history, Dr Morris Matthews delved into school and government records and, with the help of family and friends, sought out people who had experienced institutional childhoods at first-hand.

All those approached agreed to being interviewed and, given the opportunity to read what had been written, to having their stories published under their names and identifying the institution in which they had lived.

“It was quite an experience interviewing these people,” Dr Morris Matthews says. “I told them I did not want to upset them or to explore anything they did not want to recall but that they were the last of the children to grow up in such homes and that their stories would otherwise be lost.”

There were many raw emotional moments in speaking of their experiences. Some were aggrieved, describing institutions where the culture was tough and there was little ‘caring’ and predictable daily routines included large doses of religion.

Most children were only three or four years old when admitted, and they suffered long-term effects of emotional abuse that included adult sarcasm and being ‘put in the hole’ – a dark cupboard under the stairs – for hours at a time.

A more positive theme was of youngsters who developed self-reliance and resilience at an early age.

“For some, the children they grew up with remained ‘like family’ all their lives, and their networks and friendships remain strong.”

In providing historical context for the development of children’s homes, Dr Morris Matthews outlines the efforts of the Queen’s Fund Committee, an organisation comprising local women who challenged decisions made by the all-male Hawke’s Bay Charitable Aids Board to ensure better support for families struggling under difficult circumstances.


The efforts of Amelia Randall are a particular highlight. This widow – a niece of Napier entrepreneur Henry Tiffen and a highly capable businesswoman in her own right – helped found the first Hawke’s Bay children’s home in 1892 and left a substantial bequest to continue her charitable work.

“If Hawke’s Bay in general has not heard of her,” Dr Morris Matthews says, “I feel this book has put her back on the map.”

Priced at $30, Who Cares? Childhoods within Hawke’s Bay Children’s Homes and Orphanages 1892-1988 was designed and printed by EIT Reprographics and is distributed by Otatara Bookshop

Hawke’s Bay Children’s Homes and Orphanages
• Bethany Receiving Home (1896-1978), Napier
• St Mary’s Receiving Home (1915-40), Napier
• St Hilda’s Orphanage (1918-1958), Otane
• Abbotsford Home (1926-61), Waipawa
• The Hawke’s Bay Children’s Home – Randall House and Gordon House ((1892-1966), Napier
• France House (1924-73), Eskdale
• Hillsbrook Children’s Home (1947-1988), Havelock North


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Labour/Greens Deal (And The NZDF)

If Labour and the Greens were hoping their Budget Responsibility Rules (BRR) agreement would foster an unlikely alliance then hey… mission accomplished! Because it isn’t every day that Sue Bradford, the CTU and Matthew Hooton speak with one voice, as happened yesterday.

Unfortunately though, it’s hard to see how the BRR agreement will work to the advantage of Labour and the Greens in the context of the 2017 election campaign. More>>

 

Little Heading For Court: Apology Over Donation/Hotel Contract Claims Not Accepted

Today I want to publicly apologise unreservedly to Mr Hagaman for any hurt, embarrassment or adverse reflection on his reputation which may have resulted from my various media statements. I have offered that apology to the Hagamans. More>>

ALSO:

Biscuit Tin Of Democracy: World Heritage Site Protection, Ombudsman and Equal Pay Bills Drawn

On Thursday, 23 March 2017 three places are available on the Order Paper for the first reading of a Member’s bill. The ballot was held, and resulted in the following bills being drawn... More>>

ALSO:

Emissions Plan: NZ Needs More Science, More Trees, Fewer Beasts

A combination of technology breakthroughs, much more plantation forestry, and a big switch away from pastoral, particularly dairy farming, are identified as the key elements of any approach New Zealand takes to reducing its carbon emissions to a net zero level, according to a new report sponsored by the New Zealand chapter of GLOBE, a multi-party, global parliamentary grouping. More>>

ALSO:

"Backed To Win Seats": Labour Māori Seat MPs Won't Stand On List

The Labour Party is backing a request from its Māori seat MPs to stand as electorate MPs only, says Labour Leader Andrew Little. More>>

OutsKey: John Key's Valedictory Speech

I rise to address this House for the very last time. It has been a huge privilege to have served the people of Helensville as their member of Parliament, and, of course, the people of New Zealand as their Prime Minister. More>>

ALSO:

Productivity Commission: New Models Of Tertiary Education Are Coming

The report is a broad-ranging inquiry into how well New Zealand’s tertiary education system is set up to respond to emerging trends in technology and the internationalisation of education, and changes in the structure of the population, and the skills needed in the economy and society... More>>

ALSO:

PM's Press Conference: Water Everywhere

Monday's Post-Cabinet press conference focused on water, with the Prime Minister fielding questions about the possibility pricing water taken for export. Mr English said the government was directing their water allocation technical advisory group to include export water in considerations. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Regional
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news