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Tairua is situated on the eastern coast of the Coromandel peninsula, approximately 45 minutes by car from Thames. This place is of substantial significance to the Petley's of New Zealand, for in 1884 two of the first generation Petley brothers made the move from Auckland to settle in the town.

John Alexander Charles Petley Jr., and Gladwyn Henry Petley both made moved to Tairua in 1880, evidently in search of work and a better, more eventful life. John would meet and marry Elizabeth Douglas in 1884, going on to have 15 children in the town. Gladwin, 11 years later in 1895, married Isabella Douglas, the younger sister of Elizabeth. They went on to have 8 children in Tairua.

The birth of over 25 children, alongside the visiting of others of the Petley family would quickly firmly cement them as a dominant family of the region of the Coromandel peninsula. The Petleys would go on to contribute to society in Tairua in many ways for about 100 years until ~1980. Currently there are no known Petley's still residing in the town, although neighboring towns, Pauanui and Hikuai, are still places of residence of Petleys and their descendants.

Today, the Petley name can be seen in Tairua with the street "Petley Parade" hugging the coast for 400 meters. The old "Tairua Historic Cemetery" is just 100 meters away, hosting burials for many of the family some of which are sadly unrecorded.

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