Circa 1980 -1990

Denise Crispe – attended Mauku 1980-1985

Denise had a special affection for animals which showed through in her early years, with her calves & lambs she prepared for the calf club events. One year at Group day she got Champion Calf while her younger brother Paul achieved Reserve champion for his lamb, that was quite a feat for the Crispe family! She went quietly about her school work. While later on in life in the work force she gained a lot of respect from her colleagues and friends, with her sense of humour and personality.

She also became a top horse rider and achieved her dream of winning the Show Hunter of the Year on the 8th March 2008 at the Kelt Capital Horse

of the Year held in Hastings where Denise competed against names such as Mark Todd and Phillip Steiner. She was ecstatic to beat four professional, in terna tional-level full time riders – a win that was a reflection of her strength and determination both as a person and a rider, and her positive attitude. Denise was the 1 st amateur rider to claim the prestigious title, she was also a senior show hunter judge and chairperson of the Auckland Show Hunter Group, she always did her utmost to ensure others had the chance to compete and enjoy their hunter classes, fellow riders said she was the last person to encourage them before starting a race and the 1st person to congratulate and support them after, whether it was a win or loss.

Her old school motto held true “Not Self but Service”. Her victory win was on her beloved chestnut gelding Oscar (Time’ll Tell.)

Denise drove her truck and horses Oscar and Platt (‘her boys’) back to Mauku on Sunday after staying overnight at Taupo and was over the moon with excitement on her arrival home to share her win with mum and dad Diane and Graham and brother Paul. They all had a celebratory glass of wine together, set out her ribbons to take to work at telecommunications company Cabletalk Astute to show her friends, (she had worked there for 6 years as a dispatcher, co-coordinating faults) and went to bed early.

Denise passed away early Monday of unexplained causes.

She will be fondly remembered for her smile, enthusiasm, kindness and happiness towards others and the strive to always do better.

Denise Crispe 22nd Feb 1974 – 10th March 2008


Barry & Diane Smith (Parents of Justine & Warrick)

When we arrived to live in Bassett Road Mauku in the late 1980’s with our two children Justine and Warrick we were greeted with open arms. The school role was less than 30, I think, and struggling to keep their 3rd teacher or was it the 2nd I can’t remember.

It was late July so it was straight into Country Life Day Committee for me. It was a great way to meet people and although we moaned and groaned mostly it was good fun. The kids loved having and training their calves and what a thrill for a load of “townies” to actually win some ribbons.

The P.T.A. of which I was part of also ran very successful fundraisers with garden rambles serving morning and afternoon teas and lunch at the school.

It all seems so long ago now but we have many happy memories.


Brendon Young attended 1985-1990

(siblings: Andrew and Charleen)

Campbell Chapman & I were the only boys in our year (Out of Robert Van Staalduinen and Daniel Buchanan) that got invited to all the girls birthdays because we didn’t annoy them like the other boys did, that was quite an honour! Though Robert was useful, I was shorter than everyone else in class and he used to have to open the door for me, which went to the back corridor – I was too short to reach the door handle!

Quite a few different memories pop into my mind, those are a few of the more entertaining ones.  I wont go into the stories about getting into trouble for misbehaving during bible class in J1, or the other time Daniel Buchanan decided to copy me throwing a wooden toy up into the ceiling breaking one of the lights getting both of us into trouble with Mrs Cradwick and Mr Kendell!

Also, still in J1, we used to dig holes in the sand pit and a cover them up with sticks and leaves and then sand on top to make traps for fun of course – there wasn’t much wild game, I think we got into trouble when one ofthe play centre kids got caught in one them …

Every summer we had Karaka Berry fights with berries from the Karaka tree, games of bull rush with everyone, which ended and got banned by the teachers when someone got a blood nose.

Kerry Leatheart (who came to Mauku in Standard 4) who got a stereo for his birthday and would bring it into school and introduced me to ACDC!!! We listened to that every lunch time.

I also remember being on lunch duty (responsibility of taking the Big Ben pie orders in the morning and meeting the Big Ben delivery pie man and putting the pies in the oven to dish them out at lunch) … I made the unfortunate mistake of putting the dessert fruit pie in the oven instead of a mince one she wasn’t too impressed about that.

One day there was new image rugby being promoted in Mauku School by this cool Welshman who was promoting it to all the Primary Schools in Pukekohe, he’d call your rugby ball ‘your buddy’, and he was a laugh and a half and made you want to hold onto your ‘buddy’ and pass your buddy to your mate on your wing, the cool Welshman was Phil Kingsley Jones, later to become the manager of Jonah Lomu – who would’ve thought?!

There was the time when we had the combined primary school sports played in Patumahoe, and being in the rugby team us being the Mauku boys, the smallest school of them all but the biggest of hearts were getting thumped left right and centre, we’d enjoyed running round all day and

scrambling through the mud, and come the final match against Patumahoe, those pristine Patty boys certainly didn’t appreciate the mud ridden Mauku mongrel, especially in the serum, “eeewwws” could be heard in the front row of the Patty side … you can take the Mauku boy out of the country but you cant take the country out of the Mauku boy!

Here are my memories of my teachers:

Mrs Cradwick used to talk about her going caravanning with her husband Vic on school holidays – like in Thames I think. They drove a ford falcon with those old style caravans attached and Vic would park outside the school before the start of the holidays on the Friday.

We used to have a health nurse visit us and teach us about being healthy – she was a chronic smoker and smelt like cigarettes and had a croaky voice! How ironic!

Mrs Bull was one of my most favourite teachers, she was very kind hearted and spoke with a soft voice. During singing classes she would wave her hands in the air to show the timing of the beat of the music and I would mimic her and she would smile at me for being such an idiot

Mrs Brady (Whose own children Justine and Melissa went to Patumahoe) started as a part time art teacher once a week. We loved her so much for all the fun we had and she eventually became permanent. She detained me and a few other boys after class for being “mischievous” during class time, I remember her saying to me …. “… you used to be such a good boy … “. Looks like it did me some good.

Mr Mackie used to drive a brown Holden HQ or something similar. He’d drop me off home after school since the buses revised their schedule and students had to live more than 2kms from school to qualify for the free bus. He awarded me the Lion Award, the first person to be awarded with it in Mauku primary, for getting the mail when he asked me to.

Mr Knowles. He used to play the guitar I think and would playa few songs to us in class. His eldest son Dwayne who was a bit older, went to Weslie College at the time, used to come round and tell us rude jokes.

Who could forget Mr Wymer and his two legendary buses:

The Mid-liner. Green on the outside and plush on the inside. Earned its name from the bold white ‘Midliner’ painted on the outside. We’d all look out the class window with great joy and relief because that meant the end of class. A pleasure to be dropped off home in – modern by 1980s standards.

The Rattler.  Bus from the 60’s, which earned its name because of the rattling noise the loose windows made well, it was gross compared to the midliner.


The content of these pages were originally published in “The History of Mauku” 2009, and have been reproduced with permission of Mauku Cricket Club & Mauku Primary School.