Awaiting the proclamation of the Te Aroha goldfield: 1–24 November 1880
Hart, P. (2016). Awaiting the proclamation of the Te Aroha goldfield: 1–24 November 1880. (Te Aroha Mining District Working papers, No. 65). Hamilton, New Zealand: University of Waikato, Historical Research Unit.
Permanent Research Commons link: http://hdl.handle.net/10289/10377
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.
Historical Research Unit, University of Waikato
© 2016 Philip Hart