1,758 results for Working or discussion paper

  • The Te Aroha goldfield is revealed to be a duffer

    Hart, Philip (2016)

    Working or discussion paper
    University of Waikato

    The consequence of the murder of a Maori miner was the immediate abandonment of the Tui mines, but as the year progressed fields elsewhere came to the fore and Te Aroha was disparaged as a disappointment. As previously, unskilled miners combined with a lack of capital handicapped the field, and as attempts to find a payable main reef failed, mining declined and miners departed for better prospects. No discoveries of any significance were made in any claim, and once the battery commenced work it quickly proved the poverty of the ore. And all hopes of finding alluvial ore were illusory. Some claimholders remained hopeful, even spending their own money to make a road to get ore from the mountainside to the flat because the county council had not made one, and the Waikato Times correspondent’s optimism remained boundless. Overall, insufficient development was done to prove the value of the field, and as prospecting faded and capital was not attracted mining had to cease, with companies collapsing and unworked ground being forfeited. By late 1881, the field was dismissed as being a duffer.

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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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  • 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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  • 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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  • William Dibsell: one of the first settlers in the Te Aroha district

    Hart, Philip (2016)

    Working or discussion paper
    University of Waikato

    A baker, William Dibsell arrived in New Zealand in 1862, settling in Thames in 1868. Later he moved to the Waihou district to run a hotel and store at Te Kawana, near the future Te Aroha, transferring to the latter settlement in 1884 because his business had become isolated from the developing township. A baker and grocer, as at Thames he acquired small interests in Te Aroha’s mines, which would not have provided any profit unless he sold them speedily. He was so successful financially that he could become a moneylender, a rapacious one in the case of one man who became indebted to him. Concentrating on making money, he had only a limited involvement in 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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  • Edward Gallagher: a Te Aroha coach proprietor

    Hart, Philip (2016)

    Working or discussion paper
    University of Waikato

    Edward Gallagher, who arrived in New Zealand at the age of two in 1844, fought as a cavalryman against Maori in the Waikato and Bay of Plenty. His subsequent career was primarily based around horses, having pioneer coaching and cartage businesses in Thames, Ohinemuri, and Te Aroha. When living in Thames he invested in local mines and even did some mining. For several years he also farmed at Puriri. After moving to Te Aroha, his coaches ran to Waiorongomai and elsewhere, profitably. He also did some carting and became a farmer (at Te Aroha West). His investments in Waiorongomai and Stoney Creek mines probably brought him no profit. Gallagher was very active in assisting the development of the Te Aroha district, being elected to several committees and becoming chairman of the town board and later the second mayor. His erratic and abrasive behaviour in his dealings with colleagues on these bodies was notable. In politics he was a strong supporter of the Liberal Party and of the rights of the Irish, but in practice he could be as oppressive as any Irish landlord. He was an important member of the community, but a flawed one.

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  • Chinese involvement in Te Aroha and its mining

    Hart, Philip (2016)

    Working or discussion paper
    University of Waikato

    No Chinese mined in the Te Aroha district, but a few lived there quietly as market gardeners and owners of laundries. A few Chinese children attended the local school, provoking a controversy about these allegedly unclean children that saw the complainant defeated by public and press opinion. Only two Chinese invested in local mining; the career of one of these, Ah Chee, is summarized. Perhaps because so few Chinese lived in the district they were not seen as a problem by anyone apart from rival business men and women.

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  • Bernard Montague: a contractor and farmer in the Te Aroha district

    Hart, Philip (2016)

    Working or discussion paper
    University of Waikato

    Born in Ireland, Bernard Montague arrived in New Zealand in 1874 and for some years worked as a contractor, especially on drainage projects. After being a publican and storekeeper for a year, he settled in Waiorongomai in 1882 and invested in the local mines. This involvement led to his supporting criticisms of inadequate council assistance for mining, how the tramway operated, and the Battery Company’s charges. He also speculated in sections in Waiorongomai village, and briefly attempted to be a publican there. For some years he was a contractor in the district, mostly on road construction and repairs, and sometimes was criticized for the quality of his work. Acquiring a farm at nearby Gordon, he gradually developed it, like other new farmers being rather too slow to do so and also rather slow to pay the rent. In time he acquired more farmland, and by the early twentieth century was dairying on what had become a valuable estate. After struggling for years, even becoming bankrupt, by the new century he was financially secure. Montague was a prominent leader of the Gordon settlement, prominent not only for promoting its needs but also for his many conflicts with other residents. In a notably abrasive fashion he criticized absentee owners and those who did not develop their land. Deposed as chairman of the association, he later held other leadership roles, but never ceased to fight with others. At Te Aroha he joined a variety of committees to assist the progress of the community, and expressed himself forcefully (how else?) during the controversy over forming a borough. Residents became used to his quarrelsome nature and some were even amused by it, as in the case of ‘Barney’s Cow’, for he was one of the local ‘personalities’.

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  • Denis Murphy: a miner and farmer in the Te Aroha district

    Hart, Philip (2016)

    Working or discussion paper
    University of Waikato

    After the death of his father, Denis Murphy and his family settled in New Zealand in 1865, moving to Thames once the goldfield opened, mining there for several years. At Thames he was a director of one mining company and became acquainted with James Brown, who would assist him with a mining enterprise at Te Aroha 40 years later. After prospecting in the Ohinemuri district during the early 1870s, he participated in the opening rush there in 1875 and became a director of another company, but concentrated on being a storekeeper and publican. He also acquired a small farm, and was a prominent member of the community, but as the Ohinemuri goldfield declined so did his income, and he was forced into bankruptcy. Before Te Aroha was opened to mining, he a another farm at Te Aroha West, which he slowly developed while earning an income as both a carter and a contractor making drains and roads. One of his enterprises, operating a punt at the Waiorongomai landing, led to his being accused of over-charging and exploiting his position on the county council for personal gain. Prominent in the local community, he assisted its progress, especially after becoming a member of the county council. As a councillor he supported the needs of the mining industry, and, courting much controversy, campaigned to include Waiorongomai in a proposed Te Aroha borough. Murphy claimed to have prospected the district before it was opened to mining, and after its proclamation as a goldfield in 1880 helped to develop the Prospectors’ Claim. Apart from some minimal involvement with Waiorongomai mining, which he strongly supported on the council (including trying to reduce the tramway charges), he was not actively involved in mining again until 1908, when, with James Brown, he worked ‘Murphy’s Find’, close to the original discovery of 1880. Like all other mines in that portion of the field, it was unsuccessful. His private life became a matter of public interest in the ‘Rotorua scandal’, involving a suicide and his apparent seduction of another man’s wife. Although he strongly denied the allegations made against him, his subsequent behaviour refuted his denials. During the last years of his life he suffered from miners’ complaint, a consequence of his years of mining.

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  • Robert John Michael: a Te Aroha labourer

    Hart, Philip (2016)

    Working or discussion paper
    University of Waikato

    An Irishman, Michael prospected at Waihi before settling in Te Aroha in late 1882, where he owned several worthless mines close to that settlement and also at Stoney Creek. He also acquired and developed farmland on the edge of Te Aroha, but struggled to retain it, and fought (sometimes literally) with some of his neighbours. His main occupation became repairing the township’s roads, and was recalled as being the borough’s sole employee, working for years on its roads. His private life was complicated by his partner already being married, meaning they could not marry. Ill health led to the early death of a hard working labourer whose personal life was the most unusual feature of his years at Te Aroha.

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  • George Stewart O’Halloran: a pioneer publican and storekeeper at Te Aroha

    Hart, Philip (2016)

    Working or discussion paper
    University of Waikato

    Born in Ireland, O’Halloran and his brothers went to Australia in 1860 before moving to New Zealand a few years later. After fighting against Maori for some years, as a member of the Armed Constabulary he made roads in Maori districts before settling in Thames and investing in mining and taking up a variety of often short-term occupations. He would struggle financially for all his life, both he and his wife becoming bankrupts. In 1875, he settled in Ohinemuri, where he was a director and legal manager for some mining companies as well as being a commission agent and, as well, becoming active in the community. His solution to the Maori ‘problem’ was for the government to acquire their land. At the end of 1878 he moved to the Te Aroha district as a publican and storekeeper, first at the Te Kawana landing on the western side of the river and then settling at the site of the future Te Aroha in early 1880, where he became the licensee of the Hot Springs Hotel. He was a strong advocate for the development of the district, seeking council and government assistance and personally helping to provide and improve roads, punts, and the baths at the hot springs, sometimes leading to conflict with local rangatira. After assisting prospecting, indirectly, he was involved in Te Aroha’s first rush, which greatly increased his bar trade, and invested in local mines. In addition to being a publican, he was a storekeeper and had other occupations as well; for a time his wife ran a boarding house. Most of these occupations were short-term and financially unprofitable. During all his years at Te Aroha he and his wife were actively involved in the community. After leaving Te Aroha, he held a variety of jobs in Australia and then back in New Zealand, but his financial struggles may have been one reason for how he ended his life.

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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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  • 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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  • John Bernard Kilian: a Waiorongomai publican and his family

    Hart, Philip (2016)

    Working or discussion paper
    University of Waikato

    The Kilian family arrived in New Zealand from Capetown in 1864. Although a carpenter, Kilian moved to the new Thames goldfield four years later and was, briefly, a miner and a mining investor. Having returned to Auckland, he struggled financially during the 1870s in several occupations, notably as a publican, and had to file as a bankrupt. In 1881 he moved to Waiorongomai and was the landlord of the splendid new Premier Hotel. Once again he invested in local mining, but his financial problems led to a second bankruptcy, in 1884. Members of his family were active in the social life of the community, but their happiness was shattered by the accidental death of the only son. After returning to Auckland, once more Kilian held several jobs and all the women of the family helped to run a boarding house. Although many young men at Waiorongomai flirted with the more popular of the two daughters, she married an Auckland clerk and shipping agent, but this marriage would end in a messy divorce, forcing her to flee the country with her lover.

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  • Patrick Quinlan: a publican at Te Aroha and Auckland

    Hart, Philip (2016)

    Working or discussion paper
    University of Waikato

    Born in Panmure in 1854 to an Irish Catholic military family, Patrick Quinlan became a publican in Te Aroha at the end of 1880. He invested in a small way in mines close to the township and in a much larger way in Waiorongomai mines. After giving up his hotel in early 1885 he was a carter and contractor, but struggled to make his way financially. He was a prominent participant in the social life of the community, notably in horse racing and in helping his church. Other family members lived in Te Aroha at the same time, notably his brother-in-law, Henry William Baskiville, a butcher. After leaving Te Aroha in 1888, he became a very prominent and popular publican in Auckland, notable for the battles between his ‘free house’ and other hotels and brewers. Famous for his amiable nature, his involvement in horse racing and sport, and his charitable work, his impressive girth and ‘Irishness’ made him a cartoonist’s dream. During the 1890s he invested in the mining boom, and in 1899 stood for parliament as an independent Liberal, very unsuccessfully. In 1908 he gave up his last hotel to settle on a farm at Taihoa, near Morrinsville. Once again he became a prominent member of the community, especially through his involvement with the Matamata Racing Club. When he died he was fondly remembered as having been ‘generous and open-handed to a fault’.

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  • Two Roycroft brothers and two of their brothers-in-law, all miners at Te Aroha

    Hart, Philip (2016)

    Working or discussion paper
    University of Waikato

    James and William Roycroft commenced their mining careers at Thames, where they were notable athletes, especially James. But James also became notable for being accused of theft, violence, and excessive drinking. Both men moved to Waiorongomai in 1882, but as their involvement in mining continued to be mostly unprofitable they were also carters, contractors, and timber cutters and merchants. Their financial struggles never ceased, and William was forced into bankruptcy. James continued to drink to excess, and when his wife attempted to use legal means to stop this he used violence against her. Two brothers-in-law also mined at Waiorongomai for a time. Axel Leonard Forsman became a struggling farmer instead of a miner. When in Thames, he had been involved in petty squabbles and minor offences. His son Robert, a carpenter as well as a miner, imagined he had found oil near Waiorongomai. The most that was recorded about his children’s lives was his daughter’s ‘wonderful egg’ trick on her parents. John Henry Emett also had a variety of occupations and struggled financially; his mining at Waiorongomai in the 1890s was no more successful than the others’. After leaving Waiorongomai, the families settled elsewhere, especially at Waihi, without achieving prosperity. James continued to drink to excess and to ill treat his wife, and was again accused of being a thief. His widow would struggle to cope with her large family after his death. In all these cases, their lives had features typical of many other working class people of the time.

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  • Alfred Henry Whitehouse; a bootmaker who became a pioneer of New Zealand films

    Hart, Philip (2016)

    Working or discussion paper
    University of Waikato

    In December 1880, Alfred Henry Whitehouse set himself up in business in Te Aroha as its ‘Pioneer Bootmaker’. He had a very small involvement in local mining. As well as making boots and shoes, he tried to earn more money by erecting houses and being an agent, a clerk, and, very briefly, the town clerk. Actively involved in local politics, he was especially critical of the local newspaper and the domain board, sometimes being abrasive and tactless, as he could be in private life as well. More positively, he was active in sporting and especially social events, with a particular interest in music. After leaving Te Aroha at the end of 1888, following the death of his first wife, Whitehouse was a commercial traveller for some years before holding public performances of the newest phonographs and of the early varieties of ‘moving pictures’. Not only did he arrange exhibitions of imported short films, he made the first New Zealand ones, using another man as the cameraman. He toured his exhibitions all around the North Island, including in his programmes a variety of musical selections and other attractions. By 1910, facing increasing competition and with his advancing age, he gave up this occupation. Financially, it had been only a modest success, but it earned him an honoured place as a pioneer of the New Zealand film industry.

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  • Harry and Charles: Henry Ernest Whitaker and Charles Stanislaus Stafford at Te Aroha

    Hart, Philip (2016)

    Working or discussion paper
    University of Waikato

    Harry Whitaker was a member of a prominent political family, and Charles Stanislaus Stafford came from an Anglo-Irish landowning family. They both invested in mines in the Te Aroha district, Whitaker being particularly active in promoting the interests of the mining industry. But he was also seen as manipulating the share market to benefit himself and as assisting Josiah Clifton Firth’s ‘clique’ to control the field, meaning that for many residents some of his actions were deeply unpopular. Both men acquired and traded in land both within and outside the settlements, and developed their Wairakau estate, all profitably. Whitaker also established the Te Aroha News, and in a variety of ways was a leading member of the community. As a member of the county council he tried to help the district, but once again was seen as working too closely with Firth for their mutual benefit. Stafford also tried to assist local development. Both men were prominent socially, notably in horse races and various sports. Whitaker in particular was renowned for his lively personality, personal charm, and elegant attire, but unusually did not marry nor, apparently, flirt with the opposite sex, which may or may not be significant. Whitaker left Te Aroha for Auckland and, later, Africa before returning to Auckland in 1918 for one last involvement with mining. After farming at Whakatane, Stafford became prominent in Kalgoorlie during the mining boom of the 1890s before retiring to London and making a late marriage. Unlike Whitaker, he ended his life a prosperous man.

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  • William Buchanan Maxwell: a veteran who became ‘Te Aroha’s pet adornment’

    Hart, Philip (2016)

    Working or discussion paper
    University of Waikato

    Famous in Te Aroha as a veteran soldier, Maxwell had fought in the Crimea, China, and India before fighting against Maori in New Zealand. Proud of his four wounds, he would lead a detachment of volunteers marching off to war in 1915. In his personal life, despite his involvement in the New Zealand land wars he would marry a Maori. After the fighting ceased, he had a variety of low-skilled jobs in Rotorua, Tauranga, and Ohinemuri before settling in Te Aroha, where he was a fireman. At Te Aroha he did a little prospecting, but did not really deserve the title ‘miner’. His jovial personality made him one of Te Aroha’s most popular residents.

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