160 results for Hart, Philip

  • An overview of mining in the Te Aroha mining district from the turn of the twentieth century until the start of the depression

    Hart, Philip (2016)

    Working or discussion paper
    University of Waikato

    Apart from the mines owned by Edwin Henry Hardy, mining at Waiorongomai stagnated in the early twentieth century. During its first decade attention largely switched to the Tui district, with new treatment processes promising better results, but, as usual, raising capital was difficult and the government was asked to assist. A mining revival was constantly anticipated, especially by the local newspaper, and for the first time base metals were also investigated. Prospecting encompassed new areas, with the Mangakino Valley and the top of the mountain being investigated more thoroughly than previously. In 1913, the battery was destroyed in a fire but was replaced. During that decade and the subsequent one, mining faded away to almost nothing, and only the onset of the Depression caused any revival.

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  • Company formation in the Te Aroha mining district in the 1930s

    Hart, Philip (2016)

    Working or discussion paper
    University of Waikato

    During the early years of the Depression, a few investors sought to form companies to rework almost every portion of the Te Aroha Mining District. Some flotations failed, and even when companies were formed very little work was done. A wide variety of people were promoters and investors, very few of whom had any mining knowledge or access to capital. Competition for ground and low commercial morality led to conflicts and exaggerated claims (notably that Te Aroha’s lodes were linked to Karangahake and Waihi). The Mines Department, anxious to prevent misinformation about these ventures being used to extract money from the gullible and also anxious to defend the industry from harm, was concerned about fraudulent assays and misleading reports from self-proclaimed ‘experts’. All these under-capitalized ventures quickly failed, for what little development took place quickly revealed the poverty of the ore. These syndicates and companies are dealt with chronologically.

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  • David Mclean Wallace: a Waiorongomai blacksmith who founded an engineering firm

    Hart, Philip (2016)

    Working or discussion paper
    University of Waikato

    Born in Scotland and trained as a blacksmith, Wallace arrived in New Zealand in 1873, working at Ngaruawahia, Auckland, and Huntly before settling in Waiorongomai in 1885. Soon obtaining most of the available work, he acquired other blacksmiths’ businesses. Shifting to Te Aroha in 1892, his business grew steadily, and in 1912 a private company comprising Wallace and his sons was formed. With the arrival of the motor car, the firm adapted to repair these, an adaptability assisted by his inventive skills. After patenting a popular miners’ pick, he turned to inventions to benefit farmers. Wallace was involved in many aspects of community life, serving on several committees, and for a while was on the borough council where, occasionally, when opposed by other councillors, he was a belligerent member. But in general he was popular and highly respected.

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  • John Allan Dobson: a Te Aroha mine manager

    Hart, Philip (2016)

    Working or discussion paper
    University of Waikato

    Born in 1830, Dobson was a life-long miner, first in Victoria and then Otago, Coromandel, Te Aroha (notable in the Tui district), and on other Hauraki fields. In 1882 he erected a boarding house in Te Aroha, on temperance principles, but probably his wife did most of the day-to-day management before her premature death after only 12 years of marriage. He was a miner and mine manager in several claims in the Te Aroha district, but after his wife’s death and the decline of local mining he worked on several Hauraki fields. After struggling with some of the examinations, he was awarded a certificate as a mine manager. Dobson was prominent in both the Coromandel and Te Aroha communities. In the latter, he encouraged the development of the district through being a member of numerous committees, including being chairman of the town board. After retirement, he suffered from miners’ complaint, the cause of his death. He was remembered as being a man of great integrity.

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  • Thomas Lawless: a publican at Waiorongomai and elsewhere

    Hart, Philip (2016)

    Working or discussion paper
    University of Waikato

    An Irishman whose father and mother were publicans, Thomas Lawless was one also for most of his life. After settling at Thames in 1867, he mined there for some years before moving to Coromandel, where he ran several hotels. Returning to Thames, he was a tobacconist for several years before settling at Waiorongomai and running a large new hotel there. With the fading of the goldfield, his financial struggles resulted in bankruptcy and having to sell his hotel. To survive, he had to take on other jobs before returning to Thames in 1887 to run an aerated water factory as well as some hotels. When living in Paeroa from 1891 until 1899 he was an ironmonger, but after settling in Waihi became a publican again, actively assisted by his wife. Subsequently he ran hotels in Taranaki and Whanganui. During most of these years he invested in mines and mining companies on many Hauraki goldfields. Lawless was prominent everywhere he settled, being actively involved in social, musical, sporting, and church activities along with varioys efforts to assist these communities. He was a notable cricketer, and in Thames was a Volunteer. His wives were also involved in social activities and the Catholic Church. His family life seems to have been a happy one, apart from the death of his first wife in a tragic accident. Lawless was a man for whom almost nobody had a harsh word, apart from his defense of the Catholic Church in an argument over religious education in public schools.

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  • Thomas Francis Long: a businessman who prospected at Te Aroha

    Hart, Philip (2016)

    Working or discussion paper
    University of Waikato

    Born in Tasmania, Thomas Francis Long worked as a carpenter and miner before settling in Waihi in the late 1890s. Subsequently he was a miner and contractor at Karangahake and Thames before settling in Gisborne, where his various business enterprises failed, partly because of lack of capital, and he became bankrupt. In 1912 onwards he did some prospecting, partly for base metals, and during 1915 and 1916 explored the Tui portion of the Te Aroha mountain, unsuccessfully. Despite being involved in several small companies, lack of money continued to be a problem, and he became bankrupt for a second time. In 1927 he investigated Waiorongomai, with the same lack of success; it was his last venture before his death at a relatively young age. He was no more successful as a prospector than as a businessman.

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  • Te Aroha: 1882 to 1889

    Hart, Philip (2016)

    Working or discussion paper
    University of Waikato

    Despite a dip in mid-decade, the population of Te Aroha steadily increased as mining continued, farms were developed, and the tourist trade commenced. Businessmen set up shop because of the high expectations held for the district, and the township became lively both commercially and socially. Its development in these years is covered partly chronologically and partly thematically. The increasing numbers of tourists visiting the hot baths, especially after the arrival of the railway, encouraged the erection of excellent hotels and boardinghouses. Although they enjoyed the scenery and the baths, they, like the locals, had to cope with badly maintained roads and footpaths, roaming animals (notably pigs), and occasional gales and fires. But a bridge replaced the punts, and local government in the form of the domain board and the town board gradually addressed the community’s needs, although grumbles continued about the tenure of town sections. And the town was well supplied with newspapers. An active social life was assisted by the erection of a library and a public hall, the latter being used for a wide variety of entertainments provided by both residents and visitors. Dances, ‘rinking’, and sports were popular, and strengthened a sense of community in this young township.

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  • Physical and mental health issues in the Te Aroha district

    Hart, Philip (2016)

    Working or discussion paper
    University of Waikato

    Although Te Aroha was considered to be a healthy district, until the early twentieth century it lacked clean water or adequate sanitation. There were justifiable fears of typhus and other diseases being created by these lacks and by the common ‘nuisances’ caused by unsanitary behaviour. Many people had a poor diet, which was normal for men undertaking prospecting far from their homes. For miners, their working conditions were always unhealthy, and miners’ complaint was common, affecting battery hands also. Medical services remained inadequate until the twentieth century because doctors could not settle for long (for financial reasons) and there was no local hospital. Some doctors, nurses, and dentists visited, but the seriously ill had to be sent out of the district. For injuries, chemists and nurses did their best, as did a dubiously skilled local doctor. Self-medication was common. Examples are given of breakdowns in mental health, which sometimes led to physical attacks on others or to suicide.

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  • Children’s lives in the Te Aroha district

    Hart, Philip (2016)

    Working or discussion paper
    University of Waikato

    Exaggerated claims have been made about the joys experienced by children living on goldfields, but indeed many did have happy memories. Childhood for many included working to supplement the family income at quite a young age, and examples are given of the wide variety of work undertaken. Some jobs, as in the battery, was exhausting, none were highly paid, and not all young workers were well treated. Life could be dangerous, as illustrated by the variety of accidents, some fatal. The river claimed some lives, as did fires in homes. Ill health was common, with periodic epidemics causing deaths – some families experienced multiple deaths. Abandoned or uncontrollable children were sent to Industrial Homes, and some stepmothers lived up to their reputations, and several children suffered from cruel treatment. Although most juvenile crimes were of a minor nature, early experimentation caused moral panic amongst parents. Adults provided organized activities of an improving nature, especially sports and social gatherings, and some even went on trips to other places. Military cadets were formed, and it was possible to participate in arts and crafts, including music. And all children had ways to make their own, unorganized, fun. All of which suggests that for most children, while their life was not as idyllic as some would claim, it was generally happy.

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  • The temperance movement in the Te Aroha district

    Hart, Philip (2016)

    Working or discussion paper
    University of Waikato

    As over-indulgence in strong drink was seen as a serious moral and social issue, some churches and the local newspaper publicized the temperance cause. Visiting temperance crusaders made some impact, but most of the work to promote the cause was done by the Te Aroha and Waiorongomai Bands of Hope. Details are given of the meetings and the leaders, the latter being crucial, as the cause flourished with good leaders but floundered without them. Attempts are made to estimate the success of the movement, which undoubtedly was less than some enthusiasts claimed. The law could be used to control hotels and to limit their numbers. Some enthusiasts went further still, advocating total prohibition. To illustrate the types of people who were involved and to show how they worked for the cause, the lives of some leading temperance advocates are examined.

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  • The drink problem in the Te Aroha district

    Hart, Philip (2016)

    Working or discussion paper
    University of Waikato

    This paper deals with the downside of drinking alcohol, not with its pleasures experienced by those indulging. Public drunkenness was always deplored, in part because it led to accidents and to criminal behaviour, in particular violence. Details of who became drunkards is given, with examples of some notable drunkards, one of them a leading businessman, and also of how women were affected by having drunken husbands. And two female drunkards are included. To control drunkards, prohibition orders were sometimes issued, but the thirsty had various ways of evading these. Sly grog seems to have been a minor problem, perhaps because there were so many hotels. Details are given of these and how they were conducted, along with accounts of the lives of several prominent publicans, some of whom became a prey to intemperance, an occupational hazard with significant consequences for their health. Because polite members of society and those suffering from drunkards wasting their family’s money were appalled by the behaviour described here, a strong temperance movement developed in response.

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  • Neighbourly and unneighbourly behaviour in the Te Aroha district

    Hart, Philip (2016)

    Working or discussion paper
    University of Waikato

    As is to be expected, many examples could be found of neighbourly and unneighbourly behaviour. Because of the nature of their work, miners and indeed settlers generally had to help each other, and ‘fair play’ was a desired ideal. Residents mingled at weddings, funerals, farewells, and patriotic socials. When people were in need, assistance was given and money was raised by special events, and when fires broke out, everyone did their best to save both life and property. Despite such neighbourly acts, there were plenty of examples of quarrelsome residents and rude behaviour. In small settlements, prying and gossiping were endemic. Disliked residents were mocked, some practical jokes were malicious, and some libels were spread. In particular, local government politics provoked much bitterness over minor matters, and rivalry between Te Aroha and Waiorongomai could be friendly in sport but unfriendly on some issues. A detailed example of one prominent resident, Charles Ahier, is provided to illustrate how a pillar of the community was vilified and how he vilified his critics. Newspapers sometimes provided biased reporting, fanning the flames of petty disputes. But overall, squabbles were outweighed by positive interactions.

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  • The Auckland smelting company

    Hart, Philip (2016)

    Working or discussion paper
    University of Waikato

    Mining in the Tui portion of the Te Aroha field was revived in 1948 by Benjamin John Dunsheath, a small businessman who had owned several private companies, none of them very successful, in a career marked by dubious business ethics. To develop the Tui mines he was assisted by others, only some of whom had mining skills. After defeating opposition from those concerned about possible pollution, prospecting, mostly for base metals, proceeded with reportedly encouraging results. In contrast to the success he anticipated from both mines and his planned smelting works, mining officials were much more cautious. To develop the ground, Dunsheath formed the Auckland Smelting Company, an under-capitalized company whose directors and shareholders lacked mining experience. Consequently, he obtained advice from outside experts and sought assistance, especially financial, from a mostly reluctant Mines Department, which considered the area worth prospecting but did not share his optimism. Most of the development was focused on driving a new level (no. 5) to strike the reefs, but because of inadequate preliminary surface and underground testing arguments arose about its correct direction, which would lead to the departure of their skilled mine manager, Bert McAra, especially after he was asked to provide misleading samples ‘for propaganda purposes’. Because by 1953 the results were disappointing and the reef had not been struck because the crosscut was being driven in the wrong direction, further government subsidies were refused, and in mid-year all work ceased after the company, despite several increases in its capital, ran out of money. Overseas capital was sought but was not interested. This company was an illustration of how not to mine an area lacking easily accessible high quality ore. With inadequate capital and inadequate prior prospecting, it struggled to develop its ground, and to attract investors and government assistance Dunsheath relied on providing incomplete and sometimes false information, causing ructions amongst the directors and disapproval from officials. Its collapse was inevitable from the start.

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  • Te Aroha township during the first rush: 1880-1881

    Hart, Philip (2016)

    Working or discussion paper
    University of Waikato

    The most exciting time for a mining township was during the first rush. At Te Aroha, canvas settlements appeared close to the hot pools and between the mountain and the river, and because of the high hopes for a payable field all the features of a permanent settlement soon appeared. Shops of all varieties were erected, the original hotel soon had competition, church sites were chosen, government offices appeared, and because so many of the settlers were family men a start was made to provide schooling and health care. Sport, horse racing, and other entertainments became part of social life, with the hot pools a particular focus for ‘rest and recreation’. Within a few months, more substantial buildings were erected (very necessary because of the high wind common to the district), better roads to and within the settlement were constructed, and a better punt across the river provided. As the prospects of the goldfield faded in 1881, so did the township, but the discovery of gold at Waiorongomai meant that it would quickly revive and indeed flourish.

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  • Social relations and class divisions in the Te Aroha district

    Hart, Philip (2016)

    Working or discussion paper
    University of Waikato

    Although the nature of mining encouraged mateship amongst miners, this ideal was weakened as companies increasingly dominated mining districts. As miners liked to work for themselves to obtain the highest possible financial return and the more proficient ones became managers, should they be regarded as working class or as middle class? But although there were class distinctions, blatant divisions and delusions of grandeur were discouraged, and mining fields displayed at worst a superficial egalitarianism and at best genuine social unity on at least some occasions and issues. Te Aroha, unlike Waiorongomai, was not a typical mining township because of the residents’ close involvement with farmers and tourists, mingling with the latter in the hot pools and when they visited the goldfield. Examples are given of tourists being actively involved in the social life of Te Aroha. Class divisions increased as mining faded, as illustrated by the clothing and jewellery sported by the ‘upper ten’ of Te Aroha compared with their poorer neighbours, a contrast also apparent at the more lower-class settlement of Waiorongomai. But despite sartorial distinctions, all sections of Pakeha society mingled at dances, concerts, entertainments, church, and sport; some Maori participated also, especially in rugby, but remained basically separated from the new society that had taken over their district. Although some younger residents may have admired the antics of ‘new chums’ and remittance men playing at being miners and generally enlivening social life, those who understood that a new field required serious miners disapproved of those who treated mining as a game. Some highly respectable people were on friendly terms with other residents, and some workers with pretensions liked to describe themselves as ‘gentlemen’, but such snobs were liable to be deflated by those who did not regard them as their betters. As was usual, the less respectable people at the bottom of the social scale were looked down upon. There was general resistance to a ‘clique’ of elite members of the community attempting to control the latter and, in particular, the mines for their own benefit. In elections for local bodies, some men stood explicitly as representatives of working men. But all involved in the industry, whether miners, managers, owners, or investors, were united in trying to uphold its interests.

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  • Religion in the Te Aroha district

    Hart, Philip (2016)

    Working or discussion paper
    University of Waikato

    The Christians of the district were split into a variety of denominations, though only a few had strong followings. Opinions varied about the religious zeal of miners, and although the first services to be held after the initial rush to the new goldfield were well attended, this may at least in part have been out of curiosity. The Protestant denominations were notable for ecumenical activities, notably in the temperance movement, running societies for the young, and evangelical crusades. They encouraged religious education, and the only Sunday School, run by the Wesleyans, was attended by children from other denominations. Special meetings and entertainments held by Protestants to attract converts and to strengthen the faith of believers were regularly held and attended by many, even some Catholics. In general, relations between Protestants and Catholics were warm, and there were some ‘mixed marriages’. Details are given of the development of the Anglican, Presbyterian, Methodist, and Catholic churches, covering the erection and expansion of church buildings, their clergy, the expansion of their congregations, and special activities, both social and religious – the former because of the constant need to raise funds. It is impossible to prove the extent and depth of belief, but the moral behaviour of some residents meant that continual efforts were seen as necessary to get them to change their ways.

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  • Crime in the Te Aroha district, mostly in the nineteenth century

    Hart, Philip (2016)

    Working or discussion paper
    University of Waikato

    The Te Aroha district was claimed to be relatively crime-free. Certainly there was only one murder, in 1881, and most offences were minor. Theft was the most common one, some thefts being very petty, such as stealing washing or fruit. But there were also examples of breaking and entering, stealing mining property, and opportunist thefts committed after fires. Money was obtained on false pretenses, and vandalism of property by adults was of regular concern. There was some arson, and vagrancy was prosecuted now and again. Obscene language and disorderly behaviour resulting in violence (usually because of over-indulgence in drink) and domestic violence occasionally came before the courts. Public disorder in the streets of Waiorongomai was widely reported. Police and bailiffs were sometimes resisted when doing their duty. There were some suicides; attempted suicide was dealt with sympathetically. Some sexual offences came to light, as did a wide variety of other, lesser, crimes. But despite most offences being minor, the district was never free of crime.

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  • Thomas Quoi: a Chinese restauranteur who invested in Te Aroha mining

    Hart, Philip (2016)

    Working or discussion paper
    University of Waikato

    After arriving in New Zealand, Thomas Quoi held a variety of jobs, from 1879 onwards being an Auckland restaurant owner and caterer. He was also an interpreter, especially in court cases, and in the twentieth century ran a bathhouse. Despite suffering abuse for being Chinese, he was notable for assisting charities to aid all races. Praised for being Anglicized – a ‘regular white man’ – he was a spokesman for the Chinese community, of which he was a leading member. Quoi’s involvement in Te Aroha mining was limited to providing capital. Like so many investors, he traded in shares and hoped to sell his mining properties to overseas capitalists. In 1890 he went bankrupt, in part because of losing money through his mining investments. Quoi’s personal life became notorious. Accused of sexual immorality and of being a cruel husband to his first wife, an Irishwoman, court cases revealed lurid details of their behaviour. Her infidelity meant he obtained a divorce and was soon married again, to an Englishwoman, with a happier outcome. Socially, and especially through his gambling until his last years he was a prominent member of the community.

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  • James Gerrish: Te Aroha’s first bellman

    Hart, Philip (2016)

    Working or discussion paper
    University of Waikato

    James Gerrish moved to Thames when the goldfield opened and then settled in Te Aroha during its gold rush. Like so many others, he took up a variety of occupations, none very profitable, for he left his widow and family in poverty. His most notable occupation, and the one for which he was famous, was as the local bellman. Blessed with a loud voice, he cried out the news of the day, along with advertisements for goods and services and public meetings. He was also noted for some disreputable behaviour, notably excessive drinking. Undoubtedly a ‘character’, he was recalled fondly long after his death.

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  • Thomas Mcindoe: a Te Aroha saddler who

    Hart, Philip (2016)

    Working or discussion paper
    University of Waikato

    Starting out as a saddler at Te Aroha in 1891, Thomas McIndoe also became an agent, especially a successful land agent, acquiring some land holdings for himself. After leaving Te Aroha in 1911 he was a businessman in Auckland for the rest of his life. During the mining boom of the 1890s, he invested in many local mines, probably without making much if any money from his share dealings. McIndoe participated in almost every aspect of Te Aroha life, including the Anglican Church, a variety of sports, the Volunteers, the freemasons, and (especially) musical events. Involved in just about every local organization and local government body, he was the first president of the Chamber of Commerce and, briefly, on the borough council. Politically, he was a prominent supporter of the Liberal Party. In addition, he was notable for his charitable acts and for one heroic rescue. His personality was generally amiable, but he had a prickly side as well. He was a notable example of a ‘pillar of the local community’.

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