Thumbnail Image

The discovery of the Waiorongomai goldfield in 1881

The first reports of gold being found in the vicinity of the Waiorongomai Stream were made in early November 1880, and after the opening of the goldfield a small rush took place to this part of the mountain. The first claims were pegged out in December and the following January, encouraged by some gold being found, but few claims were registered, for most prospectors were quickly disappointed. Prospecting was difficult because of the rugged terrain and heavy bush, and interest quickly faded. Then, in early October, Hone Werahiko announced his latest and best find and provided samples of payable ore taken from a large reef. Immense excitement ensued, as this was the first payable reef to be found, and after Werahiko led miners on an exhausting trip to his ‘New Find’ a rush set in and many claims were pegged out. The first official to inspect the ground anticipated that the reefs could be easily worked, once an access track was constructed. The small settlement of Te Aroha was revived because a real goldfield had been found, at last.
Working Paper
Type of thesis
Te Aroha Mining District Working Papers
Hart, P. (2016). The discovery of the Waiorongomai goldfield in 1881. (Te Aroha Mining District Working papers, No. 75). Hamilton, New Zealand: University of Waikato, Historical Research Unit.
Historical Research Unit, University of Waikato
© 2016 Philip Hart