1,758 results for Working or discussion paper

  • Ranapia Mokena: son of Mokena Hou

    Hart, Philip (2016)

    Working or discussion paper
    University of Waikato

    Little is known of the early life of Ranapia Mokena. He owned land close to Thames and acquired interests in other blocks, which provided him with some income, but he was never wealthy, as indicated by his being sued for a series of small debts. He invested in a small way in mining at both Thames and Te Aroha, and even worked in one claim. His life was most notable for being a deacon in the Church of England. Ranapia was another example of a rangatira who supported the Crown, as was illustrated by his becoming a member of the Thames Native Rifle Volunteers. Childless, in his old age he brought up a niece’s daughter.

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  • Rewi Mokena: youngest son of Mokena Hou

    Hart, Philip (2016)

    Working or discussion paper
    University of Waikato

    The youngest child of Mokena Hou, Rewi Mokena moved from place to place when young, finally settling permanently at Te Aroha. Having received some education, he was fluent in English. Like the typical rangatira of the time, he acquired interests in several blocks of land, obtained income from these in the short term, but because of financial difficulties was brought before the court several times. His involvement in gold mining started in a small way in 1875. Five years later, he would assist Hone Werahiko to prospect Te Aroha – and to fend off inquisitive Pakeha. He invested in claims in all of the three areas where gold was found. By the twentieth century, Rewi was the most important rangatira at Te Aroha, and had wider influence, assisting the King Movement to seek redress for lost land. From a young age he participated in Pakeha society, notably as a rugby player, and became a prominent Mormon. His complicated private life, including bigamy and a wife’s attempted suicide because of his adultery, did not lower his high standing in Maori society nor damage his popularity with Pakeha.

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  • George Lipsey: a Pakeha Maori who married Ema Mokena, daughter of mokena hou, and some of their children

    Hart, Philip (2016)

    Working or discussion paper
    University of Waikato

    George Lipsey, an Irishman, went to the early Thames goldfield and became a publican. He soon acquired close links with Maori, notably with Ema Mokena, the younger daughter of Mokena Hou. After having two children, they married under Pakeha law just before the opening of the Te Aroha field, thereby ensuring that he was entitled to share in the goldfield’s revenue. From 1873 onwards he had been living at Te Aroha as a Pakeha Maori, erecting the first wooden house and the first Hot Springs Hotel. When gold was found, he encouraged Mokena Hou to open the field, and subsequently invested in the mines (as did Ema, to a much smaller extent). Ema and her two eldest children were granted land in a rapidly developing settlement, and the income received from leasing it enabled Lipsey to erect a substantial residence and to be a benefactor of the new settlement by donating land for churches and a school. A sympathetic landlord, he adjusted the rents to assist residents but opposed giving them the freehold because the land was held in trust for his two eldest children. Despite his steady income, his expenditure regularly exceeded it, and he ended up selling land, though not at first at Te Aroha. Initially opposed to his children selling their land, he came to accept this as being necessary, and spent years trying to obtain the highest prices possible from the government. A leading figure in the local community, he held several local government positions. Sociable, with a fondness for drink that was usually under control, he was especially enthusiastic about horse-racing. As the spokesman for Ngati Rahiri, he advised the latter and was an interpreter. All their children were educated, but some died tragically early deaths. After he died, the children sold their land because they needed money to develop their farms.

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  • Eta Mokena, daughter of Mokena Hou, and her husband, Hare Renata

    Hart, Philip (2016)

    Working or discussion paper
    University of Waikato

    The family backgrounds of both Eta Mokena and Hare Renata can be traced, but little is known about her life compared with that of her husband. From an early age he lived in various places in Hauraki, cultivating, running pigs, catching birds, fish, and eels, and selling some of these to Pakeha. Both owned interests in several blocks of land, and Eta, being childless, gifted some interests to her nephew and nieces. Hare Renata had to fight off other claimants for several blocks of land, not always successfully, and not always by giving truthful evidence. Despite selling some of their interests in land, they were never financially secure. Renata held interests in three goldfields whereas Eta held only one, in a claim named after her family. They settled in several places, and only rarely lived at Te Aroha until their last years.

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  • Miners’ and prospectors’ skills in general and at Te Aroha in particular

    Hart, Philip (2016)

    Working or discussion paper
    University of Waikato

    Mining was a skilled occupation, and untrained men were poor miners. A variety of skills were required to trace ore and to develop safe and well-operated mines. Mine managers needed not only to understand all aspects of mining but also required knowledge of geology and an understanding of treatment processes. Ensuring safety was paramount. And ideally, in some circumstances they should have the fortitude to stand up to their directors. In the small mines of the Te Aroha district, as elsewhere, managers worked alongside miners, which could be bad for discipline. Examples are cited of managers who were unfairly dismissed for not finding high-grade ore. It was vital for the welfare of the industry that all their reports were accurate and not adjusted to suit share trading. Until late in the nineteenth century, managers were appointed because of their experience, but from 1887 onwards training was required, though for a time some very competent managers were granted certificates of competency without having to pass examinations in technical subjects. For long a preference was expressed for ‘practical’ men rather than the newly trained, and in the 1890s overseas experts were commonly ridiculed. An ability to trace payable ore on the surface and underground was vital, and also one of the most difficult tasks facing both prospectors and miners. Untrained prospectors were notable for misunderstanding geology and wasting their efforts, as illustrated by some over-optimistic amateurs who failed to find anything of value despite years of effort. But even experienced men struggled to find good ore – hardly surprisingly because of its rarity. At least such men were not tempted by some of the more esoteric prospecting methods tried. Because many in the mining industry realized their lack of knowledge, they were enthusiastic to learn from visiting lecturers and the schools of mines that were established in the 1880s. And several became inventors, with not all their inventions being limited just to the mining industry.

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  • Prospectors’ working lives in general and at Te Aroha in particular

    Hart, Philip (2016)

    Working or discussion paper
    University of Waikato

    The lure of gold attracted some men to suffer hardship in the hope of making their fortune by discovering a rich deposit. Prospecting was a skilled occupation, requiring an understanding of geology that many hopefuls lacked, and as the easy discoveries had been made by the twentieth century required increasingly systematic and scientific work. Although many who believed in the romance of gold hunting argued that prospectors were born not made, the amateurs often failed to understand what they discovered. Many examples can be given of enthusiastic but incompetent prospectors, who hastily marked out ground but equally hastily abandoned it once tests had proved any ore found was unpayable. Some men preferred the life of the prospector to that of the miner, feeling themselves free to come and go and always seeking a new find; it has been argued that for some the search was more important than the financial reward. The search involved very hard work tracing outcrops and reefs through burning the heavy bush or following streams or even probing for the lode with gum spears. When old workings existed, these would be checked as well. Samples had to be taken for later testing. Working far away from families and supplies was difficult and dangerous, requiring carrying heavy packs in usually rugged areas with few tracks and working in any weather. As an example of prospecting, a detailed case study is given of enthusiastic amateurs exploring Waiorongomai in the 1960s. Those who worked for themselves could spend years in isolation, sometimes with some success. By the twentieth century few young people wanted to follow their example, commonly seeing them as ‘hatters’ willing to live a hard life in hope of making their fortune; William Tregoweth was an example of one such ‘sanguine’ man. But they were genuine in their efforts to find gold, unlike many subsidized prospecting parties. When good finds were made, prospectors made little profit when they sold their discovery to investors, and overall they felt themselves to be badly treated despite their crucial role in developing new fields.

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  • John Watson Walker: a leading mine manager

    Hart, Philip (2016)

    Working or discussion paper
    University of Waikato

    After successfully mining in Victoria, in 1869 John Watson Walker was invited to report on Thames mines, and subsequently was asked to stay on as a mine manager. Despite his high reputation as both a manager and company director, in 1881 some shareholders in one company sought his dismissal because he had failed to find rich gold (!). From the 1880s onwards, he envisaged obtaining English capital to enable the development of much larger areas than those traditionally worked. Involved in most Hauraki fields (and beyond) as an investor if not a miner, in the 1880s he was for a time a publican at Te Aroha, and in the following decade acquired a farm nearby. He struggled financially in both decades, and moved from goldfield to goldfield trying to develop his ‘gigantic’ schemes, making several trips to London over more than 20 years in usually fruitless attempts to raise capital. As the first supervisor for the Waihi Company, he investigated new treatment processes, but resigned his position shortly before cyanide was proved to the ideal one. At Thames, his ‘gigantic’ scheme was to work the low levels, and at Te Aroha he attempted to develop a large area of unpayable ground. All his schemes depended not only on attracting overseas capital but on obtaining concessions from both government and union. His last efforts to develop mining on a massive scale were at Waihi, in the early twentieth century. Walker was seen as being a skilled and practical miner, whose opinions were taken seriously. On behalf of investors, he investigated some new areas, and achieved fame for exposing an attempted fraud near Wellington. He attempted to assist the interests of the industry, and urged the need for capital and labour to work together harmoniously. He was outspokenly critical of the Liberal Government’s mining legislation, which he claimed scared capital away. He could be arrogant, as illustrated on several occasions, notably when participating in shooting matches in the early 1870s. And a question must be raised about his treatment of his first wife. But as a mine manager, he excelled, even if his schemes to work large areas were over-sanguine and lacked credibility both because he did not understand the geology and because he over-estimated his ability to raise capital and to get his way with both government and the union.

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  • Financial struggles and (rare) successes of miners in general and at Te Aroha in particular

    Hart, Philip (2016)

    Working or discussion paper
    University of Waikato

    The price for gold mined at Waiorongomai was comparatively good during the 1880s and 1890s. But miners hoping for a windfall from their efforts found that the reality of their lives was a constant struggle to make a reasonable living. Although the cost of living in the Te Aroha district was somewhat lower than in some other mining centres, they faced considerable costs in obtaining mining requisites, treating ore, and paying for tramway cartage. As wages were low, usually not significantly above those of unskilled labourers, it was common to supplement wages with other work plus working small allotments. In general, miners preferred to be independent workers rather than ‘wage slaves’, in the expectation of higher rewards, but in practice such miners had to combine mining with other work. At least wages men (when in work) received a steady income compared with independent miners. Holidays were unpaid. Increasingly, contractors were preferred by mine owners, with competition for these sometimes driving down tenders to unprofitable levels. Wages were paid monthly, if then, forcing miners to sue for unpaid wages and to live on credit, which caused problems for storekeepers and miners alike, the latter being encouraged by this system to live beyond their means. Many were forced to borrow money, and many were sued for small debts. Bankruptcy was common, and some were fraudulent. Sometimes debts of both individuals and companies had to be waived, and sometimes debtors evaded paying, for instance by moving elsewhere. Work was not always available, nor was it constant; shortage of water-power, for instance, meant batteries could not operate and mining had to cease, forcing miners to seek other work. Irregular employment usually meant poverty, and local and national government was asked to provide work in periods of high unemployment. Financially desperate miners (like others) sought work elsewhere, with varying success. Unemployment could lead to suicide, and in one case financial loss provoked an attempted murder. In general, the standard of living was low, and few miners were able to save much money. Indeed some did not try to save, wastefully spending any sudden (and rare) wealth, notably on alcohol. Examples are provided of poverty and its consequences for both miners and non-miners. Before old-age pensions were provided, children were required by law to assist their aged parents. Charity, both institutional and personal, assisted many poor, elderly, sick, or (in the case of wives and families) abandoned. Although some examples of prosperity are given, these were unusual. It has been argued that nineteenth century miners should be seen as ‘free independent capitalists’, but their freedom rarely brought significant financial rewards.

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  • Miners’ working lives in general and at Te Aroha in particular

    Hart, Philip (2016)

    Working or discussion paper
    University of Waikato

    The prospects of obtaining prosperity tempted miners to work for years in harsh conditions and often for little reward. Miners had a good reputation for being hard workers and, especially in the early days before companies controlled the fields, for being rugged individualists, restlessly rushing to new discoveries and improvident whenever they had any money. Quartz miners, unlike alluvial ones, were more likely to be settled, living with their families in mining settlements. Many quartz miners did not follow this occupation for all of their lives. Examples are given of amateurs seeking riches but not really knowing how to mine profitably. In Hauraki, miners had to cope with heavy bush and rugged topography, with all the dangers this implied. Working underground required a range of skills, and was intrinsically dangerous, unhealthy, and exhausting. Accidents – especially when using explosives – could be fatal. Money to assist injured miners was raised by their mates in pre-social security days.. Miners had to cope with wet mines, acidic water, gas, and even heat, all of which could be mitigated but not avoided; to minimize the number of accidents, good timbering was insisted upon by mining inspectors. All miners had to endure monotonous work, enlivened by practical jokes. Miners reliant on their own efforts rather than being on a company payroll often struggled financially. Some tributed in mines owned by others, a system open to exploitation by both sides. Increasingly, owners preferred contractors to wage workers, and some of the more skilled workers preferred contracts, including taking up non-mining contracts when mining was in recession. Partnerships were common in small mines, but as some partners did not abide by the terms of the contract, did not keep adequate records, or adhere to mining regulations, resort to the warden’s court was common to settle disputes. Despite such conflicts, there was a solidarity amongst miners because of the conditions of their work. Mining was not for everyone, as some quickly discovered after experiencing the dangerous conditions. And as companies took over, much of the ‘romance’ of mining faded.

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  • Financing companies in general and at Te Aroha in particular

    Hart, Philip (2016)

    Working or discussion paper
    University of Waikato

    Those investing in mining companies were, wisely, warned to tread warily to avoid being duped by ‘wild cat’ promotions, for many companies were blatant speculations and most would fail. The three main causes of failures were misrepresentation of the value of the ore, over-capitalization combined with insufficient working capital, and mismanagement. Mining investment was a form of gambling, with professional speculators seeking quick profits not long-term rewards. Companies were floated on the basis of inadequate prospecting, and some flotations were unquestionably fraudulent. Laws creating no or limited liability companies were designed to protect investors, but they encouraged floating companies with inadequate capital. Issuing partly paid-up shares required shareholders to pay calls, but often they preferred to forfeit their interests; and sometimes dummies were used to avoid payment. Despite claims of having found good ore, much unproven ground was floated, and share prices fluctuated depending on the latest reports of ore values. Fraudulent or at best exaggerated assay results were produced, for often samples did not reflect the general values. Examples are cited of how to salt mines or provide misleading assays and of companies shepherding their properties in the hope of nearby companies making good discoveries and enabling them to sell their ground for an unearned profit. Management was an expensive cost, especially in overseas companies, but insufficient money was provided to prospect and develop ground. Press ‘puffery’ was condemned, but newspapers relied on information provided by mine managers. Surveyors sometimes produced plans showing reefs that did not exist, and many ‘experts’ imported from overseas were selected to produce the optimistic reports that company promoters required. Examples are cited of deliberately false reports and dubious prospectuses listing carefully selected shareholders’ names to attract investors. And in some cases companies even had either no title or an insecure one to the ground being floated. As stockbrokers could not be trusted, there was opposition to brokers being directors. Nor could miners always be trusted, as they played the market also. Overselling and forward selling of shares were problems, but the main ones were that under-capitalized companies had insufficient working capital: several examples are cited. Some companies were over-capitalized, and it was common to erect expensive plants prematurely. Because only a small percentage of the nominal capital was paid up, companies had to rely on calls to increase their capital. And vendors and company promoters made excessive profits from floating mines. In short, company flotation was more a form of gambling than a way of enabling honest mining.

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  • Awaiting the proclamation of the Te Aroha goldfield: 1–24 November 1880

    Hart, Philip (2016)

    Working or discussion paper
    University of Waikato

    Rumours about finds and prospects could not be proved either way until more prospecting could be done, and this had to await the official proclamation of the new goldfield. Despite optimism, no reef, or even a leader, had been discovered, and all the hopes were based on surface stone of uncertain value. Apart from the original prospectors, nobody was doing much development, most waiting to see where others made good finds so that they could peg out adjoining ground. Although increasing numbers continued to arrive, some in organized parties, most of their time was spent hanging around the hotels discussing the latest news and arguing about the value of the local ore, which even some experienced miners misunderstood. As officials considered that delaying the opening would create more difficulties, they were not convinced the field would be valuable. They, like some journalists, discouraged exaggerated hopes and men from rushing to Te Aroha. Two canvas settlements were formed, with storekeepers arriving in increasing numbers to service them. As opening day approached, the influx increased, and so did arguments over the new regulations to be applied. On the eve of the day of the proclamation, hundreds were ready to compete for mining claims and for residence and business sites.

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  • Rumours of gold at Te Aroha

    Hart, Philip (2016)

    Working or discussion paper
    University of Waikato

    From the time of the opening of the Thames goldfield, miners were tormented by the belief that the best gold would be found in Te Aroha mountain, on their southern horizon - so near and yet so far because of Maori resistance to prospecting that district. Some Maori claimed to have found gold there, and visiting Pakeha from at least the 1850s onwards detected gold in the vicinity. The first time gold in the Waiorongomai valley was noted was in 1868. Several prospectors claimed to have explored the district, illegally and, potentially, dangerously, especially after Ohinemuri was opened to mining in 1875. But not until Hone Werahiko found gold in 1880 and the field was officially opened on 25 November would it be possible to prove whether a payable goldfield existed.

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  • The opening day of the Te Aroha goldfield: 25 November 1880

    Hart, Philip (2016)

    Working or discussion paper
    University of Waikato

    Possibly 800 people were present on the opening day of the new goldfield, most of who wanted to acquire mining claims or residence and business sites. The excitement meant they were up early in the morning, and, after struggling up the steep Prospectors’ Spur, following the reading of the proclamation the shots to indicate that pegging out could commence were fired at 10.00. As several parties marked out the same ground or overlapped others’ claims, Harry Kenrick and his officials readied themselves to resolve disputes. About 60 claims were pegged out, but Kenrick believed that, once these were surveyed, the real number of claims would be much less; his behaviour and recommendations were much praised. In the township rush, 54 sites were competed for, again with rival claims to ownership. Compared with previous rushes, this opening day won accolades for its orderliness, and the new regulations required claims to be fully manned. The names chosen for claims revealed something about their owners, who, like everyone else, hoped for a prosperous field, for it had the potential to benefit the whole region.

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  • Adam Porter: a miner who became a ‘self-made man’

    Hart, Philip (2016)

    Working or discussion paper
    University of Waikato

    Adam Porter won the accolade of being a ‘self-made man’ because of rising from humble beginnings in Scotland. After arriving in New Zealand, aged 12, and working hard for some years, he joined the South Island gold rushes from 1861 onwards, sometimes as a miner and sometimes as an investor, storekeeper and publican. Even as a young man he was involved in local politics. After settling at Thames after the goldfield opened there, he concentrated on prospecting in Ohinemuri and in promoting the interests of the mining industry generally. From 1875 onwards he would be a director of many mining companies, and would encourage the prospecting of new districts, especially in his capacity as an Ohinemuri representative on the county council. Amongst his many policies designed to benefit the community was the promotion of education, including secondary education. By the late 1870s he was based in Auckland. From 1878 onwards he claimed to know that gold was to be found at Te Aroha, and urged the government to acquire Maori land there for Pakeha farmers and prospectors. In mid-1880 he arranged for a government-subsidized prospecting party to examine the mountain under the leadership of Hone Werahiko, and liaised with both the warden and the government on the latter’s behalf, on occasions implying that he had shared in the discovery of gold. He may have tried to obtain control over the new find, but despite this he remained Werahiko’s agent and would be the executor of his estate. As well as investing in the Te Aroha and Waiorongomai fields, he was involved in the development of mines throughout Hauraki in the 1880s. Over time he took an increasingly leading role in promoting the mining industry, as for example a member of the Thames Drainage Board and of the Auckland Chamber of Commerce. For many years he attempted to obtain government assistance for mining, and was also interested in new mining technology. In his last years he was a leading member of the Auckland business community, investing in non-mining ventures and being a good employer (though critics disagreed). He also became involved in local government issues and the temperance movement before speaking his mind on national issues, finally standing for parliament as an independent-minded supporter of his old friend from his West Coast days, Richard John Seddon. Harsh working conditions on the West Coast led to poor health and an early death. He left his family a comfortably legacy, and was remembered as having a genial, kindly, and witty personality but also having a good sense of his own importance. He seized opportunities, sometimes in a manner that offended others, but tried to benefit not only himself but also the wider community.

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  • The Te Aroha goldfield from its opening until Christmas 1880

    Hart, Philip (2016)

    Working or discussion paper
    University of Waikato

    To explore the new field, men were attracted by the excitement and the great hopes expressed, although others deprecated rushing to Te Aroha before payable gold was found. In the immediate aftermath of the opening, disputes over ownership of township allotments and mining claims were resolved quickly and peaceably, mostly without the need to involve the warden, Harry Kenrick, who was praised for his handling of issues brought before him. He declined requests for protection, requiring claims to be manned for the first month to encourage working rather than speculation; unworked ground could be forfeited and granted to others. Kenrick expected the goldfield to be a permanent one, and preliminary work was encouraging, though the hopes were exaggerated, and much ground was abandoned after initial examination. As most prospectors did not understand geology, tests were made in Thames to discover the nature of the stone they uncovered. During December new finds were made, notably in the Tui district, but as all the ore was low grade, some decried the field whereas others were more optimistic, with little evidence either way. An examination of the occupations of those who became owners of claims revealed that most knew nothing of mining. As capital was required for development, some small, undercapitalized, companies were formed. By the time mining ceased for the Christmas holidays, preliminary development had taken place in several claims, but the amount done was not sufficient to prove whether the field would be a success.

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  • Alexander Mackay: a prospector and miner in Hauraki

    Hart, Philip (2016)

    Working or discussion paper
    University of Waikato

    A Scot, trained as a carpenter, Alexander Mackay was a prospector and miner for most of his life. After fighting in the Waikato War, he went to the new Thames gold field, where he invested in and worked in several mines. From late 1868, he concentrated on prospecting in Ohinemuri, illegally, and claimed to have found gold in several places. After mining at Karangahake in 1875, he worked on other fields, including Waihi and Waiorongomai. Lacking capital, he usually worked for wages, and was not very successful in his prospecting or in obtaining a good financial return. He spent many years seeking rewards for all the discoveries he claimed to have made, unsuccessfully, for other prospectors refuted his claims. Because of his financial difficulties, he was involved in an attempt to obtain money by fraud in 1886 and became bankrupt in 1891. His complicated family life was marked by violence, drunkenness, and immorality, including adultery, prostitution, illegitimacy, and having his (legitimate) children taken off him.

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  • Mining at Te Aroha before the murder in February 1881

    Hart, Philip (2016)

    Working or discussion paper
    University of Waikato

    Mining was slow to restart after the Christmas holidays on a goldfield whose value was still unknown. Some miners did not return, but other men, mostly with mining experience, replaced them. As was pointed out, more testing was required to justify the cautious optimism, and more explorations did not discover any payable ore or a reef of any sort. More capital was needed to fund adequate development, and the lack of a battery held back the field. Some searched the nearby countryside, fruitlessly, but at Tui the mostly Maori miners working there seemed to be having better results. Unskilled miners who drove incompetent and even dangerous adits wasted their efforts, while others were accused of shepherding their ground. Two companies formed during January attracted many small investors, but experienced miners started leaving for newer finds, and non-miners abandoned their attempts at mining after discovering that gold was not easy to find. But others remained hopeful, and waited for the erection of a local battery to prove the value of what they had found.

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  • The discovery of gold at Te Aroha and its consequences: January to October 1880

    Hart, Philip (2016)

    Working or discussion paper
    University of Waikato

    By mid-1880, when there were expectations that gold would be found at Te Aroha, at last Ngati Rahiri permitted prospecting. A government-subsidized prospecting party under Hone Werahiko set out in early August and announced an apparently valuable find one month later. As the discovery was on Ngati Rahiri land, a goldfield could not be declared open immediately, but despite this increasing numbers of prospectors arrived. Newspapers were cautious, not wanting to encourage a rush based on nothing but rumours, some of them extravagant, notably one of finding ore that would produce 200oz to the ton. Despite being doubtful about the prospects, officials prepared to proclaim a new goldfield. In late October, good specimens were shown in Thames, encouraging more to leave both there and the Waikato to explore. After the warden inspected the ground where Werahiko had found gold, which was off limits to everyone except the original prospectors, he arranged to have the only test made before the field was opened. Although this gave an uncertain indication of whether the ore was payable, and little real work was being done outside the prospectors’ claim, regulations were devised permitting the proclamation of the new field.

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  • The prospectors’ claim at Te Aroha

    Hart, Philip (2016)

    Working or discussion paper
    University of Waikato

    High up the mountain, on the edge of a precipice, the Prospectors’ Claim was at first examined only on the surface, producing some valuable stone. After the goldfield was proclaimed, two tunnels were driven under the supervision of experienced miners, but despite encouraging signs, no reef was struck. Once the first parcel was tested in Thames in early December, the owners realized the value of their ore was less than anticipated, and when a crushing was made in the new Te Aroha battery in 1881 the returns were lower than expected. Consequently, mining ceased, and the ground was abandoned. In September 1882 four experienced miners acquired part of the ground as the optimistically named Golden Hill, but after obtaining the usual ‘encouraging’ results their work came to nothing. There was some interest in the ground subsequently, but a lode was never found, and seemingly will never be found.

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  • John Mcsweeney: labourer, miner, farmer, publican

    Hart, Philip (2016)

    Working or discussion paper
    University of Waikato

    John McSweeney was important in the history of Te Aroha mining because he assisted Hone Werahiko in the latter’s initial prospecting of the mountain. During the Te Aroha rush he invested in some claims, and later invested in the Waiorongomai field in a small way. After farming for some years, he became a publican in Te Aroha and, later, in Auckland, ending his life in a comfortable financial position. Not being a leading member of the community, little is known of his personality, although the personal life of the girl he first wanted to marry did create a brief sensation just before he married someone else.

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