The opening day of the Te Aroha goldfield: 25 November 1880
Hart, P. (2016). The opening day of the Te Aroha goldfield: 25 November 1880. (Te Aroha Mining District Working papers, No. 66). Hamilton, New Zealand: University of Waikato, Historical Research Unit.
Permanent Research Commons link: http://hdl.handle.net/10289/10378
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.
Historical Research Unit, University of Waikato
© 2016 Philip Hart