Clive Dalton

Member Feature

From Clive Dalton

Hi Rodney

Thought this may be of interest to members

Some years ago Mike Gifford’s son Grant with his digger business was working on the long-forgotten city dump when it was by the Waikato River at Horitui.  Remember what happens to forgotten dumps near rivers!
The tree was 30-40 feet long and 2-3 feet diameter Mike says, weighed tons and was dark red in colour.  Mike had a mill at that time so cut it into various sizes.  In those days you could send wood and get a diagnosis free of charge from the Forest Research Institure (FRI) at Rotorua.  Now as a State Owned Enterprise (SOE) they charge like raging bulls.  The diagnosis was Matai – which had been buried in the swamp for some time.  How long?  The answer came from the Carbon Dating Lab at Waikato University – 1500 years old.
The question remains – where did it come from and when?  Somewhere in the central plateau for sure, and what violent event would have propelled it there?

It was interesting to turn as both chips and fine dust came off the gouge. It didn’t need much polish to highlight the colour.