Port Albert 100 years
Inextricably interwoven in the fabric of Albertland settlement is the faith and witness of the Methodist pioneers. The first group of settlers to arrive in Port Albert were met by Rev William Gittos who had been appointed to the Kaipara in 1856. He shared the first Sunday services withRev Samuel Edgar who had come to minister in the proposed Unsectarian Church. After working under great difficulties for a few years, Mr Edgar was moved to Auckland. The corporate spiritual life of the scattered settlers became dependent largely qn the people in each locality. In North Albertland and TeArai the Church of Christ emerged; Maungaturoto linked with the Congregational Union, while in Paparoa and Port Albert Methodism was the surviving religious force........
The name "Taita" means a piece of wood lodged in the bed of a river, a snag, and is pronounced correctly with the second "a" lengthened, hence Tytar, not Tyta, with
a - short second syllable. This correct pronunciation would account for the pakeha mis-spelling and mis-pronounciation Taitai, still so named by many f the older folk.
After the original Hutt River settlement of Britannia had dispersed, and the people settled at Thorndon (Pipitea Point), Aglionby and Richmond, the task of opening up the hinterland was undertaken in earnest. The road reached as far as Taita in 1843, Stokes Valley in December 1843, Upper Flutt in August 1844, and the Wairarapa in 1847. Native troubles developed in the district, there being a Taita Stockade near Mr. Thomas Mason's original house, and near what was then the southern boundary of Taita, Boulcott's Farm Stockade, where the famous battle took place in 1846. Taita then was merely a clearing in the bush some few miles from Hutt. In 1845 an Anglican church was built there, a church which is still in use to-day.