I am an Aucklander born and bred. Some readers may remember me although I have been living in London since 1990.

About 10 years ago was contacted by PAT DICKESON, a Maori lady living in Melbourne (where my brother Russell and sister Lynda live) who told me she was my cousin. I was surprised but very interested – and that was start of an amazing journey.

All our Maori cousins are descendants of LOUIS ARNOLDSON who was one of the brothers of my great-grandfather ALBERT PAYKEL. Towards the end of the 19th Century, when the family were heavily involved in the kauri gum industry in the Matakohe area north of Auckland, Louis fathered MURRAY PIHEMA  – from whom all our many cousins are descended.

I am in touch with quite a few.  Louis supported his son who went on to become a decorated WW1 soldier. Louis reportedly turned up at Murray’s home in Matakohe and left him a gift of a car! However, the family connection remained unknown until Pat made contact with me.

The whanau are very proud of their Jewish ancestry.  It transpires that I was at Selwyn College with several during the 1960s without knowing they were my cousins. It’s a close family relationship. My late grandmother DORIS PEZARO (nee Paykel) , and her many brothers and sisters, were first cousins to Murray.

I am visiting Auckland in August with my wife and two young children. To coincide with my visit, and the whanau have invited all their Paykel cousins to the Marae at Okahu Bay. My brother Russell visited the Marae a few years ago. It promises to be an amazing experience.  Pat and one of her sons are planning a special trip from Melbourne for the event.

Final details will follow but for now I need to know how many of you will be attending to assist with arrangements.  Steve Pihema who is organising the visit tells me we will have a tour of the Marae, lunch and a singalong. My cousin Sue Pezaro, who is helping me with planning the visit, has suggested that we should reciprocate by singing some Israeli songs and presenting a gift to the Marae.

I really hope that many of you will attend. It promises be an incredible experience/

Please feel free to bring your children and grandchildren. When you RSVP please let me know how the names of those attending, and the ages of any children.

If you have any questions please email me at or call me on WhatApp on +44 7836 533 030

Graham Jaffe