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NZ Naturist Magazine


   A chronological overview   

This history is largely sourced from the longest-running Naturist publication in this country: the New Zealand Naturist - now known as gonatural.

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(Pre 1910 items.)

Thorndon Esplanade

An early example of how nudity was viewed by the locals in the late 19th century was indicated in this extract from the Wairarapa Daily Times 14 February, 1895:- 

"It is an everlasting disgrace that in a city of something over 30,000 inhabitants, there are 110 better provisions for public baths than exist at present. One small private swimming bath is all that we have, and that is situated in such an inconvenient locality as to be practically useless, except to a few who live in the immediate vicinity. During the present stiflingly hot Summer the want has been severely aggravated, and yet in spite of all the agitation which has taken place, we are no nearer the possession of suitable baths than ever. As matters are now, police regulations notwithstanding, large numbers of men and boys daily bathe from the breastwork, or from the skids of the boating sheds. It is true that most of the adult bathing is performed in the early morning, but all day long, at the Thorndon end most particularly, hordes of boys, in puris naturabilis, are to be seen disporting themselves in the harbour. One can hardly blame the lads very much, but it is an outrage on public decency nevertheless, which should at once be put a stop to. The favourite resort of these bathers is just at the end of the Thorndon Esplanade, a spot constantly passed by women and children all day long. It was only the other day, on a public holiday, that a whole host of naked urchins were seen disporting themselves in the water, in full view of trains and carriages, which were taking people out in large numbers to the Hutt races." (Extract - note that the picture, not originally included, seems to include several beach-goers at the bottom left.)


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