The Te Aroha goldfield from its opening until Christmas 1880
Hart, P. (2016). The Te Aroha goldfield from its opening until Christmas 1880. (Te Aroha Mining District Working papers, No. 67). Hamilton, New Zealand: University of Waikato, Historical Research Unit.
Permanent Research Commons link: http://hdl.handle.net/10289/10379
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.
Historical Research Unit, University of Waikato
© 2016 Philip Hart