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Welcome to Piopio, A Thriving Village Nestled Between The
World Famous Waitomo Caves and The Rugged Taranaki Coast


Memorial for Brian and Marie Pyke

From their childhood in Piopio, lasting memories have brought the Pyke family back with a Memorial for their late mother and father, Brian and Marie Pyke.
On Saturday the 29th of February, a seat was unveiled at the Rukuhia Domain by Brian and Marie’s two daughters, Val and Celia. Together with their two brothers, Chris and Nick, the memorial for their parents had been a well-planned out event.

Although Brian and Marie may not have been known to us all, they put forth a tremendous amount of spirit into our village during their many years in Piopio.

Together with their four young children, Chris (6), Val (5), Nick (4) and Celia (1), they initially departed England in 1959 for America. They brought a car in New York and travelled overland to the other side of the States, before then boarding a boat bound for New Zealand.
They arrived in New Zealand in 1960.

Both Brian and Marie were qualified veterinarians and Brian began practicing with Ruawai Vet Clinic in North Auckland. From England, you would expect they were used to rain, however Marie was said to have described her first 10 months in NZ as the wettest she’s ever been in her life.

After a year at Ruawai, they shifted south to Piopio and in 1961 Brian started with the Piopio Vet Club. The family lived in the little vet club house on Kaka street and all four children went to school in Piopio.
Marie diversified her talents and around 1971 she taught at the Piopio District High School (as it was then known) for two years. Both Brian and Marie (and all four children) loved riding horses and formed lasting family friends with many still in our district. Over the years, Brian was president of the Piopio Light Horse Club and Pony Club and he was also instrumental in developing the national New Zealand Riding Club. He was one of the initial instigators in forming the Hanovarian Society of New Zealand. Marie was a dedicated instructor and loved by all.

Brian was also active in the Piopio Theatre, for those that remember the days of local theatricals.

They moved house to behind the Piopio sale yards and later to a small farm on Tikitiki Road, before leaving the district.

Thank you to Celia, Val, Nick and Chris for their special contribution to our community in memory of Brian and Marie.