One of the first items that the newly elected Havelock North Town Board discussed in 1912 was the need for a new post office.
The postmaster agreed, and in 1914 on Napier Road, a new post office was built. This building was added to over the years, and when the post office closed down, was later shifted to Havelock Road.
While letter volumes in today's world are struggling, in the 1800s, mail assumed a major importance for the newly arrived settlers, especially for contact with the old country.
One of the earliest forms of mail delivery was passing letters between ships as they sailed between England and New Zealand.
One early mailman, according to Lester Masters, was 14 year old George Elliot, whose horseback mail run in 1898 began at 9am from the Hastings Post Office. He then travelled to Havelock, and up to Tauroa Station.
George would then cross the Tuki Tuki if the river level was low - if not, he had to travel to the Black Bridge at Haumoana, and travel all the way back on a dirt track back to John Chambers, Mokopeka Station, where if it was a cold day, hot soup would be waiting for George from Mrs Chambers. He then would travel to Ocean Beach and Waimarama along the shore, if the tide was out, and through various tracks, before making the long trip home again.
Getting the mail through was important. For example, a mail train leaving Hastings for Wellington in 1907, insisted that fire hoses - which lay over the train tracks, and were being used to contain a large fire - be removed to let the train through. Which they were.