facebook   twitter   mail  

The Gisborne Photo News

About the Gisborne Photo News

Gisborne Photo News was a monthly publication 3rd June 1954 – 5th November 1975, illustrating goings-on in the Gisborne district through the use of black and white photographic reproductions and lively text.


The Logan Publishing Company began at Robert (Bob) Logan’s residence in Gisborne, New Zealand June 1954. Bob’s eldest son John remembers doing the monthly delivery of Gisborne Photo News to dairies and bookshops around town and seeing people eagerly waiting outside for their copy.

In the first issue Bob said:

“Our aims and objects are brief. They are, above all else, to interest and entertain our readers with news of Gisborne in words and pictures. From day to day our cameras will be recording the contemporary scene in Gisborne and district”

What the Photo News roving reporters wouldn’t go to probably wasn’t worth knowing about; they went to everything from birthdays, engagements and 21sts, to Boy Scout excursions and mother-daughter badminton mornings — nothing was considered irrelevant. They even went to the opening of a fridge when it was gifted to a local children’s home.

“It was the life of Gisborne and really the only place it was recorded photographically,” says John Logan. “A lot of this was before photographs were in the newspaper. That’s why it was so successful because local photos were virtually unseen.”

Circulation peaked at 8000 — this meant a copy of the Photo News ended up in almost every local household. Assembling the Photo News was a manual task. Photos were pasted onto a larger piece of paper and the text was created on a typewriter and pasted alongside, before being put onto screens and printed.

Logan Publishing Ltd also produced similar magazines for other towns around New Zealand which belonged to his franchise — Whangarei, Tauranga, Rotorua, Taranaki, Wanganui and Nelson. They also printed editions for Waikato, Thames-Paeroa-Matamata and Franklin.

Gisborne Photo News was printed for 21 years. By that time John Logan says it was no longer viable with more photos being published in newspapers, magazines and with the popularity of television.

These days the publication is more important than ever as a representation of a social slice of life and cultural change in provincial New Zealand used for all manner of research.

As Bob Logan himself said “…we make our bow and leave our fate, dear reader, in your hands. Cordially yours, Editor” (No. 1 June 3, 1954).

Images and text on this website

H B Williams Memorial Library, Gisborne District Council, is unaware of any restrictions on the use of the images and text presented in this archive. The digital reproductions of all images and text in this archive are made available under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 New Zealand license.

H B Williams Memorial Library acknowledges and appreciates copyright owners who have given kind permission for reproduction of their material. Every effort has been made to contact copyright holders. We would be pleased to hear from photographers we have been unable to trace. Please contact staff at the library.

High Resolution Images

To order higher resolution copies of images from the online archive or from selected original images gifted to Tairawhiti Museum, contact:

Tairawhiti Museum
Kelvin Rise, Stout Street
P O Box 716
Gisborne 4040
Tel: +64 6 8673832
Email: info[at]tairawhitimuseum.org.nz

Search Tips

Search keywords as they appear in Gisborne Photo News:

  • Jonathan Smith may appear as J. Smith or Jon Smith

Look under headings that may not appear to reflect your search term:

  • H B Williams Memorial Library appears under the heading ‘The Oasis’ and the article includes the words ‘public library’ but not H B Williams Memorial Library.

There may be anomalies between original printed material and the way information appears on this website. In particular, page numbers on the transcribed article pages may occasionally not align with their page view equivalent. There may also be some spelling errors.


H B Williams Memorial Library welcomes your stories about Gisborne Photo News and comments and suggestions about this website. Please contact us here.

Please feel free to share Gisborne Photo News on your own site through use of our badge:

Gisborne Photo News badge