West Franklin Breeze
6,200 newspapers delivered to Waiuku and the four rural districts each month
Top Image: The collapse of the western wall of the Waiuku News Building in 1970.
Second Image: The “NEWS” STAFF in 1964 at the time of the final issue of the Waiuku News. Back row: Brian Rountree, (3rd year composing apprentice); Chas Peterson (letterpress machinist); Ron Dally (foreman/compositor) Front: Joyce Deed (clerk); Bill Deed (after school help); Mr Fred Jameson (Editor and Prop). Third image: Waiuku town centre. Fourth image: The famous Manukau Heads Lighthouse – favourite attraction of West Franklin.
Shooting the breeze
The story behind the breeze
Welcome to the West Franklin Breeze, a local monthly newspaper serving Waiuku and the four surrounding rural districts. The newspaper has been started up by Bill Deed to bring locals a selection of fresh West Franklin news which has been sadly missing of recent times.
Bill Deed, the founder of the West Franklin Breeze, has either worked for, owned or had an input into every Waiuku based newspaper except the Advocate of 1914.
Bill started his interest in newspapers when he was going to View Road School. He used to call in to see his sister after school most days. Soon he found the paper bins, and he rescued offcuts of paper that he used to take home and write stories on.
Then owner of the Waiuku News, Fred Jameson, probably said that if he couldn’t get rid of this young lad from fossicking through the bins, why not give him a job to bring the papers off the folding machine to the ladies rolling papers to send to subscribers. Bill received two shillings (20 cents) a week for his work.
In 1963 at the time of the centennial of the HMS Orpheus disaster, he wrote the front page lead story for the Waiuku News. They called him their “Teenage Shipping Enthusiast”.
It wasn’t long before Bill learnt how to handset type and he put this to good use when he started printing his own “newspaper” the Waiuku Star on an old platen press at the News Office. He printed 25 copies and gave them to friends and family.
When the Waiuku News sold out to the Franklin Times in 1964, he was the only person left to handset the type for the weekly Wallace Supplies advertisement placed in the Franklin Times each week.
In 1965, the former foreman of the Waiuku News, Ron Dally started the Waiuku Gazette. Bill started helping Ron while still at college, and when he left school in August 1966, Ron employed Bill as his first apprentice printer.
The Gazette was an interesting paper. It started as an offset printed paper, which was leading technology at that time. After the Franklin Times closed its commercial printing plant in 1967, Ron took over all the machinery and building of the old Waiuku News returning the Gazette to more traditional letterpress printing on an old Wharfedale press built in 1914.
It all ended abruptly in 1970 when the western wall of the building collapsed as foundations were dug for the ASB Bank building which was being built next door. The wall collapsed at 5am and if it had have happened later in the day, Ron and Bill would have been working alongside that wall.
There was a period when Waiuku did not have a resident paper and its interests were catered for with the Franklin Times and later the County News.
In 1992 at the time of the restoration of the Jane Gifford sailing ship at Waiuku (which Bill was chairman of) Ngaire and Bill started the Barnacle Bulletin magazine and published this for five years. During this time the Waiuku and Districts Post was established, and in 1997 Ngaire and Bill became 50% owners of the Post. Ngaire managed the operation until they sold their shares in 2017.
When the Post went into liquidation in 2018, another publication called the Districts Post was started. Bill advised the owners of this publication on various aspects of a local newspaper and he used to write the occasional article for them.
Bill and his wife Ngaire now look forward to this new publication and hope that both the advertising and public support will ensure that it continues. It is bringing the new local newspaper in West Franklin back to its roots and only distributing to Waiuku township and the four rural deliveries.
6,200 copies are delivered to Waiuku and the four rural districts on the third week each month. Publication delivery days are Thursdays for rural districts and Friday/Saturday for Waiuku urban. Our aim for these days is to give our readers more time to catch up on the local news over the weekend.
The Breeze will be published for a period of three months, after which an evaluation of community and advertising support will determine the paper’s future.
If all is well, the process will be to incorporate the paper into a community asset, which will return profits to the West Franklin community.
But help is needed. We need your support, we need your leads for articles, we need your advertising, we need your letters, we need your opinions.
This venture is not for us: it is for you as a community.
The second edition of the West Franklin Breeze will lead with the Waiuku Business & Development Association’s Wrap. The Association’s goal is to support and encourage local business and shopping. The Breeze is pleased to be partnering this initiative.
The Breeze will be bringing you a selection of fresh West Franklin news which we have all been sadly missing of recent times.
Locally Owned & Operated
Behind Local Businesses
West Franklin Focused
A Message From Bill
“I would like to thank the advertisers in this first edition of the Breeze. By supporting my vision for a West Franklin news publication, they are leading a change in the way our news is delivered.
There have been times when my family has thought I was going mad (again), but without saying that in too many words they have put their shoulder behind to give me support. The plan is that any financial advantages this project generates will be returned to our community. More details will come in the next editions as we progress with our plans.“