Thursday 18 July 2019

Books by Meghan Hawkes

The Coming Year - A Look Back at Thames

What caused four tides in one day at Thames?

Who did police think was hiding in a bach at Tapu?

Why was a township of 2,000 planned for the Western Firth?

What was a monkey doing in Karaka Road?

A town founded on gold mining, Thames also has a different, more recent history now dug up from old newspapers.

This dip into the decades gives us a snapshot in time of people and events during 1940 – 1970.

Whimsical, trivial, comical, startling and curious - this is what people, the real gold of Thames and districts, once read about themselves.

Available from

A Line of Duckboards - More Thames Tales

Was the Kopu Bridge going to be named ‘The Star’ in honour of the local newspaper?

What was the disgusting digestor that caused community outrage?

Did the Greymouth ghost pay a visit to Thames?

What of the big tycoon who planned a nitrate works for the town?

Meghan Hawkes once again dips into the decades to give us a snapshot in time of people and events dug up from old newspapers during 1916 – 1946.

Available from


Dead Cert 
 Stories from Thames, Paeroa & Waihi cemeteries

Meghan Hawkes, former columnist for the Peninsula Press, Thames, has gathered together a selection of her much loved Dead Cert columns – the stories behind the headstones. 

Poignant and intriguing, the tales give a voice to a pioneer past long vanished in the silence of the cemeteries.
Available from

Dead Cert Two
More stories from Thames, Paeroa and Waihi cemeteries

Melancholy accidents, avoidable illnesses, tragedies and pioneer pluck - another fascinating look behind the headstones. 

Available from

From Gold Mine to Firing Line - The Thames and the Great War 1914 -1918

Written by members of the Coromandel Heritage Trust (The Treasury) to commemorate the people from the Thames region who went to war, the families they left behind, and in particular the service men who did not return. 

Available from The Treasury


Reader reviews - 

"Excellent  . . . so evocative of the eras . . .so entertaining   . . . keep up the great writing"

NZ Memories Magazine 

 Dead Cert

“I loved it. A fascinating book that I couldn't put down once I started it.”

“Nicely done and a brilliant read. Go on, treat yourself . . . Should be on EVERY local’s bookshelf.”

“It has given me insight into how the good folk of the region lived in far off days, when the pioneers were not yet completely settled."

"The writing style is a gift that takes each page out of the ordinary and you could be 'there', at the event.”

“I really enjoyed reading Dead Cert - it is most interesting
reading about the different people in that area, especially coming across a
familiar name.”

“I like the book very much -- so very readable. Hope you do another one, Meghan.”

“Congratulations to Meghan and Mike. Wonderful typeface, top marks for layout and Meghan your style of writing makes me want to read more. I love the book. A real gem.  A big thank you.”

“The writing style is most captivating . . . you have certainly researched the stories well and created a story so much that one feels a great sense of loss for the families and the community.”

“I just want to tell you how much I enjoyed your latest book. Your style of writing is perfectly matched to the stories you write, and the photos Mike took add greatly to the appeal of the text. Once again my thanks for your dedication and skill. Thank goodness "Dead Cert" saw the light of day.”

“Highly recommended, professional edition, compliments by Mike’s photos.  Excellent for family history and genealogists.  Keep writing Meghan, I love your style.”

“I finished Dead Cert this morning. I feel as though I've lost a valued friend.”

“Some of you know that I love books, and rarely do I give attention to what I am reading. I cannot let this publication go by without a mention of this writer Meghan Hawkes . . . her written words transport you to times past and the book is now one of my top reads ever.”

"Both books travel with me when I am out and about. Truly you have a great gift in writing. Thank you for Dead Cert 2."

"Just finished Dead Cert II and as with  the first one I'm gutted its over -  I just love the stories. Will there be a III book ? I hope so  - I could read your books all day!"

"Really as in, really enjoying the book although 'enjoying' doesn’t really fit the book's contents . . . Love your writing style and the extra info, like a little addendum after some of the stories to put us in the 'those days' picture . . . Slaughter house stench and sewage running the streets etc . . . Star stuff and I am chuffed . . .  Awesome..."

First Year on the Thames Goldfield Blog

 "Your research and attention to detail is wonderful. I loved reading this."

"This is extensive historical blog took considerable research  - I know because I have often researched this Thames NZ Gold rush history myself and  still came up hundreds of times short of what Meghan has nailed down. . . . All other researchers will owe her a big THANKS."

"Congratulations on a very informative blog on the opening of the Thames Goldfield in 1867. Keep up the good work - you are doing a superb job in assembling information."

"Wonderful blog . . . such an interesting story, well done, you have a great style of writing. Be encouraged."  

"What an amazing record  . . .  This will be the ‘go-to’ document with details little known by researchers."

"A great project you have embarked upon. "

 "The most comprehensive history of the Thames Goldfield!!"

 "A mammoth amount of information  providing  little known insights into what was happening before and during the very start of the Thames Goldfield." 

"An amazing initiative creating a digital memory for us." 

"Your research is very extensive and I am really enjoying your approach – it is like being there in that day.  You have a really nice writing style. "

 "Well done  - you are an inspiration  . . . You bring old Thames to life again and especially so for those of us who had family in the area."

"Insightful and thoughtfully put together."

"The most amazing total overview of early Thames -  (historical, business, social) – not found anywhere else."

"What amazingly descriptive accounts of that time. You feel like you are back in that era especially when you know some of the places they make reference to."

"I have personally found every one of your blogs of great interest, and extend my respect to the tremendous value you have generated to the community. "

"This is the contemporary version of digging for gold, without shifting any rock or leaving toxic deposits.  The thing is that the blogs are an amazing legacy . . . who knows who will take an interest in the future and then discover the incredible condensing job that you've done, complete with images. " 

"What an amazing series of stories you have put together over the last year.  Congratulations!  The amount of work you have put into it beggars belief."

"FANTASTIC ACHIEVEMENT! Really well done! Have a little rest!"


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