Glossary

Acetylene  A flammable solution that can be dissolved in acetone to fuel a light generating device.
Act of Rebellion In June 1863 the signal mast on Paratutae was felled with a cross-cut saw. A Maori taua or war-party was immediately blamed despite a lack of evidence. Land-hungry European settlers have too been implicated. The cross-cut is still in possession of the Irwin family.
Astragals  Diagonal metal frames holding panes of glass in a light tower.
Beacons and Lighthouse
Committee
Commissioned in 1854 to report on the need for lighted navigational aids. Chaired by Edward Jerningham Wakefield.
Chance Brothers Birmingham manufacturer of lighthouse equipment
Dioptric A lighthouse beam producing system in which a lens is placed in front of the illuminant.
Doty Patent burner Invented in England in 1868 by Captain Doty and produced light from paraffin on the same principle as the Primus stove.
John Blackett
(1818-93)
Marine engineer at Nelson before 1870 appointment as engineer-in-charge of the North Island within the Public Works Department. Appointed engineer-in-chief in 1884 but resigned in 1899 to become a consulting engineer in London. Returned to Wellington in 1892 where he died.
Mahanihani/
Mahinahina
Interchangeable Maori names for the current Lighthouse site. The first roughly translates as “grey misty place” and the latter is the name of a shrub once thought to have been common in the area.
Manukau Bar  New Zealand’s second largest natural harbour and ninth biggest in the Southern Hemisphere. Probably discovered by Maori voyager Kupe. Not visited by European vessels until the early 1830’s after when it became an important entry to Auckland.
Maui’s Dolphin Cephalorhrynchus hectori maui is worlds smallest and rarest marine dolphin. Approximately 100 living specimens only are thought to exist.
Oil vapour burner A lamp whose light is generated by pressurizing kerosene or petroleum, mixing it with air in a vapouriser chamber, and burning under a mantle. Otherwise known as incandescent.
Orpheus HMS Orpheus, 2365 tons (laden) sail and steam corvette of 21 guns wrecked while attempting to cross the Manukau bar on 7 February 1863. Only 69 survived out of a complement of 258 sailors and marines.
Paratutae/Paratutai Freestanding rock on north side of harbour entrance upon-which was situated the Manukau’s first manual semaphore style signal station from 1852 to 1865. Literally translated the name means “bad place”.
Ports of Auckland Landlord of the Lighthouse site and operators of the adjacent Signal Station.
Signal Station Manually operated semaphore signaling mast established on Paratutae in 1854; shifted in 1865 to current site. Now totally electronic though still manned.
Signal Station Lookout An original signal-man’s work station built near the beginning of last century.