Behind Timespanner

My name is Lisa Truttman, and I write Timespanner.  But I also welcome guest posts from others genuinely interested in our history. (Please, if all you want to do is spam for your business or website, no thanks.) My passion is history, research, and stories from the past, especially New Zealand. It is also my living. I also dabble with a bit of family history from time to time.

Currently I'm a member of the following societies/groups:
Avondale-Waterview Historical Society (President, 2003-);
Pt Chevalier Historical Society (2008 -; committee member 2010-2015, vice-president 2011-2015, 2016-)
Mt Roskill / Puketapapa Heritage Group (2011- ; vice-president 2013- )
Friends of Waikumete Cemetery (honorary)
Mt Albert Historical Society (honorary)
Chinese NZ Oral History Foundation (2009-)

I serve on the executive committee of NZ History Federation 2007-; President 2015 -

I prepare/edit/have edited the following:
Avondale Historical Journal (2001- );
AWHS newsletter (2001- );
Point Chevalier Times (2009-);
Keeping in Touch (for NZHF 2007 - 2018, and 2020 to current);
NZ Legacy (co-edit, member of the editorial board, for NZHF 2007-2019).

My articles have appeared in Parnell Heritage Journal, Avondale's Spider's Web, Blockhouse Bay's Newstalk and Beacon, Really Roskill and Rosebank Roundabout. I have completed research commissions for territorial authorities, heritage architects and private researchers from the Far North area to Taupo, and supply land history information nationwide.

Timespanner began September 2008 -- and to my surprise is still going. If you would like to contact me, my email is I don't mind email enquiries at all -- but if you would like a fair bit of research done to answer your questions, there may be an hourly fee involved. Historical research is, as I said above, my living. It keeps the bills paid, a roof over my head, and food on the table.

I hold a licence to access Landonline from LINZ, so I can find titles and survey plans from around the country, but my focus is Auckland region.


  1. Hi there, have been doing some research on my family history. A young couple by the names of John & Georgiana Hastie migrated to NZ from London in 1865 and settled in the Whau area (Avondale / Mt Albert). They had 8 children, most of whom remained in this area. Was just wandering if you have come across any mention of the Hastie name in your historical records?

    1. there use to be a family called Hastie living next to us in Rangeview Road Mt Albert in the 1940s. one of their daughters married an american service man after the war and went back to USA with him

    2. Fitz. I have just found John & Georgiana Hastie, they are buried at St Lukes Anglican Cemetery, 704 New North Rd, Mt Albert. Will go and try and find their graves when I am next in Auckland. Lianne Eales (gt gt grand-daughter)

  2. Hi Fitz,

    You may find that the Hastie family settled in West Auckland -- the area of the greater Whau catchment stretched from Richardson Road through to Glen Eden (Waikumete Cemetery streams ultimately empty into the Whau River). I have found a John Hastie at Waikomiti (former name for Glen Eden) in Papers Past -- Auckland Star, 19 May 1891, p. 8. There are no Hasties in the Whau roll for 1875, and none in the Avondale/Mt Albert areas on the electoral roll for 1881.

    Hope this helps,


  3. Hi Lisa,
    We here at the Mt Eden Village Business Association are in the middle of creating a QR Code Heritage Trail on the various buildings through the Village. We have search the various libraries and services online and we have photos for parts of the trail, but there are about ten heritage photos missing. We have just posted on your Facebook page a call out to anyone who may have these photos or can help us track them down. So thought we would get in contact with you directly as well. The list of photos were looking for are:
    • Corner Essex Rd (previously Mozaik Café)
    • Till and Son building (home to Barfoot & Thompson)
    • Garage and Marriots Building – the corner of Valley Rd and Mt Eden Rd, taking in RAD Café down to the Village Winery
    • Essex Rd to Ngauruhoe St including Circus Circus – we would love an old photo of this building (before it became Circus Circus) as it’s the oldest in the Village, but we also want photos of any of the other buildings in this block (now home to Mt Eden Pharmacy, the Vacuum Cleaners Shop and Hair & Bodybliss)
    • Crystal Palace
    • Greyfriars Church
    • Tram shelter at the base of Mt Eden
    • Eden Hall and Poronui St Flats – these are either side of the Poronui St intersection. ANZ is on one side (Eden Hall) and the residential flats are on the other side.
    • Old Post Office (home to De Post)
    • Old Bakery (home to the Paris Mt Eden Bakery – next door to De Post)
    Thank you in advance of any help or advice you can provide.
    Kind regards
    Claire Siddens

  4. Lisa - I just wanted to say how great your site is. I use it often.
    I write historical fiction, and I'm a genealogist. I always want to know what happened 'back then'. Thank you so much for keeping this site going. It is an invaluable resource. I often get lost following a link, reading an article that has nothing to do with the area or era I'm supposed to be searching for, but find too interesting to leave. Please, please, keep up the good work.
    I've linked you to my latest blog on my website BTW.
    Many thanks
    Vicky Adin

    1. Thanks, Vicky. Hopefully, towards the end of this year, I'll have a chance to add more. Cheers! :-)

  5. Dear lisa, I wonder if you can help recently I had a report made up for me about a gentleman who arrived in Auckland in 1847 and he lived in Parnell ,the report is sixty pages and is very detailed BUT for one thing, it lists PARNELL BRICK-WORKS, Mount St, PARNELL, I have tried to find this place but come up blank, I know of a Mount St off Symonds St but that is not in Parnell, I wonder if you have any ideas, thanking you MICHAEL MORLEY, PS there is an article in the NZLANDER 13th FEB 1858 page 4

    1. I'll look into it. Michael. Send me an email --

    2. And by "a gentleman" -- who are you talking about?