Sunday, 22 April 2018

23 April to 29 April, 1868

Don't let any more strange Europeans interfere. 

Thursday, 23 April
Mr Mackay attends a korero with the Ngatipoura at Tararu Point where there is a large gathering of tribes.  The Ngatipoura are owners of most of the auriferous ground not only in the Shortland district, but for miles beyond. It is hoped satisfactory arrangements between the government and Maori for the leasing of much valuable country beyond the township can be achieved.The korero involves lots of speechifying and many professions of loyalty. 

In consequence of Mr Mackay being absent all day and Mr Baillie being at Tapu, the Warden's court is postponed.  It had been adjourned until yesterday and was again adjourned until today but on the opening of the court this morning is further adjourned until Tuesday. This is causing great loss of time on the part of witnesses and solicitors.  Some gentlemen have come up from Auckland in order to be present at the case of Dixon v Graham, which is one of considerable importance.

Superintendent Williamson issues a notice calling for plans for the building of the much needed wharf at Shortland Town.  He invites tenders, receivable until noon on Friday 22nd May, for the construction of the wharf.  Plans and specifications of the proposed works may be seen at the office of the Inspector of Works, Princes Street, Auckland, on and after Thursday next.  Tenders are also invited until Monday 18th May, from persons willing to undertake the formation of a bridle track to connect the town of Shortland and the Tapu Creek. The Superintendent returns to Auckland by the Tauranga.

This evening Mr Mackay leaves for Auckland also, in the cutter Emma, in order to proceed to the Waikato with the Governor. 

Butt’s American Theatre will be closed for alterations this evening and tomorrow, and will re-open with fresh attractions on Saturday night.

Tickler for Shortland with 60,000 shingles.

NZH 23 April, 1868

Friday, 24 April 
A deputation from the the Ngatimaru tribe hold a meeting this morning at Robert Graham’s store, Waiotahi.  Chief Aperahama says  “I have come to speak on account of my brothers and chiefs concerning three subjects, that we, the natives, have all  agreed upon.  First, that we have come to the conclusion that all the land between the Karaka Creek and the Waiotahi shall be called 'Grahams Town'.  Second that all the streets that are laid out in Grahams Town shall all be newly baptized and not allow any of the names of streets in Shortland Town to pass the Karaka Creek, and we leave it all in your hands to see it is carried out.  Third.  Now, listen to me Mr Graham – we have all agreed that you will act for us as our father, and all my brother chiefs have consented that if you wish to make a wharf on any part of the beach of Grahams Town, one and all of us gives you full power to do so, and for you to decide on the best site for the construction of a wharf. We don’t wish to have any payment whatever, and you are at liberty to make use of all the stones and any timber.  If wanted, you can get it cut from any of the forests situated on the side of the Grahams Town township.  And furthermore, that we will not allow any of the stones within the boundary of Grahams Town to be taken for the use of paving the town of Shortland.  Now, further, listen.  Don’t let any more strange Europeans interfere with the survey or make any alterations whatever with the roads at Grahams Town.  We leave all that entirely in your hands, so that we have no more disputes as we have had.”

There is concern that this area is to be given a different name from  the already laid out township of Shortland but it is because  the land leased by Mr Graham  belongs to a different tribe to that of Shortland. 

The Thames Crushing Company make an offer to the claimholders in the Moanataiari  to construct a tramway along the creek to the machine,  the claimholders to  give the necessary labour and receive credit for its value when they send stuff to the machine to be crushed,  The project is very favourably received.

At Tapu Creek, now called Hastings, rumours are circulating of the fabulous wealth of Quinn and Cashell’s claim.    Publican’ and storekeepers are unanimous in their praise of the claim.  It is said that gold and quartz are taken out of the drive in barrowsfull and gold is seen in solid lumps.  A sample being exhibited shows gold lying between a casing of blue quartz.  Like all the other claims in this district, the seam consists of loose blue slate and quartz thickly impregnated with gold.  Messrs Quinn and Cashell appear to possess one of the best claims in the Thames district.

A footpath for the Ladies.

A meeting is held this evening at the Governor Bowen Hotel, Waiotahi, for those interested in the result of the deputations to Superintendent Williamson regarding roads and wharves. Some two to three hundred people gather.  Robert Graham presides.  The report  is read by Charles Mitchell and Mr Brackenbury.  It states the Provincial chest contains no funds for the purpose of constructing the streets and as to the wharf at Waiotahi – the Maori will not concede a site. If a wharf was built at Waiotahi , in the event of dutiable goods being landed, a customs officer would have to be appointed and his salary paid.  With regard to the roads the Superintendent has said the government has no money, however, if  a Highway Board were formed, land scrip could be given to them.  The government would spend no money on the roads until the native title was extinguished and the roads dedicated to the government.
The Waiotahi deputation recommends unity of action between the people of Waiotahi and Shortland.

Discussion takes place as to the Maori allegedly refusing the right to a site for a wharf.   Robert Graham states that the Maori had spoken to him this morning and had absolutely assigned a site without charge to the inhabitants.   As to the formation of a roads board, he did not see how it could be done, but if voluntary contributions were spent on the roads, then legally the Superintendent could still give them the scrip. There could be no jealousy between the two places, they were only two ends to the same town,  As to the government assisting Shortland it was natural they should do so, as Shortland was their first child, but afterwards they, at Waiotahi, would have a good claim on them. Robert Graham recommends instant action with regard to the roads and says he himself is prepared to subscribe £30. Mr Plaice suggests that if a certain proportion of men were taken from each claim for a week, this in addition to a subscription, would enable them to finish the roads in a very short time. Mr Mitchell proposes that a subscription list be opened and that those who cannot subscribe might put their names down for a couple of days work towards the formation of a road from Waiotahi to Karaka. Dr Sam inquires whether the road is to be made and then abandoned, or whether a reserve fund would be kept to repair it.
Mr Graham replies that that would be an ulterior consideration, the first object would be to make the road, then if further repairs were required, another meeting could be called.  Dr Sam says that in that case, the proper course will be to form a county and so obtain their own revenues for expenditure on their own roads.  This suggestion is met with considerable applause.

A passionate Robert Graham says he quite agrees with the idea of the place being constituted a county, similar to Westland, and a memorial signed by the Thames miners would secure such a step. The revenue arising from the export of gold must be expended in the district, however much the Superintendent says there is not  the means. If they only had a footpath for the ladies to walk upon, he should like to see it done. If it could not be done any other way, let them set aside a road and tapu it, as the Maori do, so that no cart should go that way. They must have roads and a wharf in order to convey goods as cheaply as possible to their doors.   If the government erects a wharf they will be taxed to pay for it, and they have had enough of that already. Goods must be landed at Waiotahi and not sent on to Shortland, in order to add a 5s expense to every ton they required.  It had been ordered at Shortland that all goods were to be landed there, but no such order could be maintained.  Goods that require duty to be paid could be landed at any part of the coast.  He had called upon the Collector of Customs in Auckland and was assured of this.  Let the people of Waiotahi and the people of Tapu get wharves of their own, and have their goods brought to their own doors as cheaply as possible.  (Cheers)

Mr Plaice says he thinks there is a little jealously on the part of Shortland with regards to the wharf, but certainly not  so far as roads are concerned, because they will benefit both parties.  He is in favour of making the roads at once and seconds Mr Mitchell's proposal for a subscription list. Dr Sam proposes that the meeting should be suspended until after a public meeting which is to be held at Shortland on Monday.

Tensions simmer as the representatives of the Shortland deputation speak. Mr J Horne says the Shortland people are bringing their own matters to that meeting on Monday. He will not consult with the Waiotahi deputation on the matter now.  He also suggests that this meeting adjourn until the plans and estimates are before them.  With regard to the roads it appears to him they need not expect anything done for them and if they can do it themselves, they should set about it. Mr Swan says he has learned tonight something that he did not know - that there are two townships forming at the Thames. 

Robert Graham replies somewhat defensively that he has taken up the land in the same manner as the miner took up his claim and he has a right to do so.   He has not been able to ascertain where the roads were to be, or more would have been done in that respect.  Every crossing had been bridged by his orders and he has been waiting until the line of roads is settled by the government before doing more. He will take care however, now that the roads have been dedicated by the Maori, that no alteration is made by Mr Mackay or the Governor.  He says this in order that the persons present who have been holding back the improvement of their property might take the hint.

Mr Mitchell moves and Mr Plaice seconds that a deputation be appointed to attend the meeting at Shortland on Monday and confer with them on the subject of roads.  Three cheers are given for the chairman and the meeting separates.

The Evening News correspondent notes of the Thames that   "an epidemic in the shape of a rash desire for public meetings has broken out amongst us and the number of assemblies has become so large that one’s ideas about them are apt to get confused.  A distinguished public character was heard last night to mutter in his sleep “Unless your Honour, we get a wharf, light house and a life boat (with a rocket apparatus) at the Bobbie Burns Claim, and a permanent road across the mud flats, Shortland Town is drowned.”   Though we may joke on this subject, however it is none the less a matter for the most serious consideration.  The roads are at present simply frightful and the want of proper wharf accommodation is severely felt.”

Ariel for Shortland with 7 cases bottled beer, 3 cases geneva, 21 bags sugar, 1 ½  chests tea, 3 cases brandy,  4 cases whiskey, 1 hhd brandy, 12 kegs rum, 4 cases wine, 1 case champagne, 3 cases Old Tom, 4 sashes, 1 horse, 4,000 shingles, 5 bags flour, 2 cheeses.   

 Clyde for Tapu Creek with 4 tons luggage and 40 passengers.

DSC 24 April, 1868

Richness beyond doubt.

Saturday, 25 April
The Union Bank of Australasia open their new branch at the corner of Willoughby Street this morning under the management of Mr Grant.  The bank has secured the services of a professional analytical chemist in order to separate the metals on the spot.

Mr Shalder’s machine which was started during the week has turned out several tons of stuff.  The machinery will be got into more perfect working order after a few days trial.   The patent amalgamator has been found to work exceedingly well.  The machine consists of four hammers and anvils giving a pressure of 70 lb each, two only of which are at present in use. The Good Hope Claim, Murphy’s Hill (Mr Mells and five others) have been working for four months and have cleared the top off the reef so effectively that they can now work at the drives for the next twelve months.   Braithwaite’s claim, Vinegar Hill, promises to be a good thing for the proprietors, who only opened it about three weeks ago. The Ben Lomond have a small Berdan on their claim, but are compelled to resort to more powerful machinery in order to clear the bulk of their stuff.  Mr Bull, whose model stamper has gained such high repute on the goldfield, is about to erect a new six stamper machine on his ground, to be driven by water power.  His present stamper will continue to work up to within a day or two of the time his new machine is ready. The Hand-in-Hand claim have their machine, consisting of four head of stampers, at work and are expecting a good show of gold. The Fear Naught claim, on the Waiotahi, situated next to the El Dorado and Waterfall claims, have struck a very promising leader.  The Young Canadian claim on the Moanataiari is uncovering some rich leaders on what is strongly supposed to be a reef.  At the Tweedside claim, Hape Creek,  a large boulder which had been washed out of its position during recent rains fell in.  The stone was thickly impregnated with gold, but its value has not been estimated.  Another boulder found by some miners in the Moanataiari Creek, weighing 30 lb and for which £30 has been offered, has been crushed and the result is a yield of 8 oz of retorted gold. 

A small crushing a machine of a somewhat novel construction has been erected on the Karaka Creek, which only requires a small supply of water to put it in full working order.  The inventor, Mr R N Smith, intends to provide such machines to those almost inaccessible claims where carriage is an object, so that each may do their own crushing on their own ground. 

The Good Hope, Head Centre and other claims in the vicinity of the Auckland Reserve claim have put in opposition to the application of the Auckland Reserve claim for a water race, which they contend would give the claim a monopoly on the water.  The application is for three sluice heads, running north and south, eighteen inches in breadth, which will comprise about ½ a mile of water.  The Head Centre is now considered the crack claim of the Murphy’s Hill group.  They have some 10 tons now ready for the machine.  This valuable claim has been taped off by the surveyors during the week and a surplus of 49 feet taken off.

At Tapu arrangements are being made to construct a powerful crushing machine at No 3 Creek, which will be the first on the ground, with the exception of a Berdan.  The machinery is being put up by a company under the management of Mr John Gibbons.  The timber for the mill has already been put on the ground at Tapu and some two miles of tramway along the creek will be completed.  The engine will be a portable one driving 15 head of stampers, each having a Chilean mill attached. It is also intended to erect an iron water wheel and turbine capable of driving a battery of 50 to 60 head of stampers.

The Shortland sharemarket report notes this week has been marked by the arrival of a considerable number of speculators who have been investing with avidly. Shares in well-known claims are more inquired about and claims of less repute bargains are to be had every day.  It is now beyond doubt that a certain portion of the Thames goldfield, comprising about 2,000 acres,  is of amazing richness, and the fear once entertained of the leaders running out or becoming unproductive is rapidly disappearing.  The demand for sleeping shares continues and there are a great variety of shares available.

Just before sunset 12 year old James McDonald stumbles across the body of a man lying in the scrub at the junction of the Hape Creek and the Kauaeranga.  About quarter to five Constable Lipsey is informed. The body, lying on its face in the swampy mud, is taken out of the Hape Creek at low water. It is of slight build, with very dark hair and rather above average height.  It is thought to be a man who has been missing from the Mount Pleasant claim for the last eight days.   A man answering this description had started for his home in Auckland and had been seen on board the Maori Chief by his mates, but as he had not reached home his mates realised he was missing.  They did not, however, inform the police.  A miner’s right is found on the body in the name of William Peck. 

 Avon for Shortland with 2 drays, 38 pieces machinery, 10 cases beer, 5 cases Old Tom, 3 cases whiskey, 1 case ginger wine, 1 case bitters, 2 cases port wine, 2 cases gin, 3 cases brandy, 4 cases stout, 4 cases ale, quantity ironmongery, 3 cases boots, 18 bags salt, 2 cases sardines, 2 ½  tons flour, 4 ½ tons chests tea, 6 boxes candles, 2 casks glasses, 6 tins biscuits, 2 cases weighing machines, 30 packages sundries, 1 ton hay,  20 kegs butter, 7 ½ boxes tea, 10 bags sugar, 1 box soap. 

Tartar for Shortland with 10,000 ft timber, 10,000 shingles.

Rob Roy for Tapu Creek with 1 engine and boiler, 8,900 ft timber, ½ ton flour, 3 bags potatoes, 1 keg rum, 10 packages sundries.

A boat too heavily loaded with potatoes is upset at the mouth of the Thames.  The potatoes are all lost but the men get safe to Kauaeranga. 

Heavy rain sets in tonight.

DSC 25 April, 1868

NZH 25 April, 1868

Sunday, 26 April
It is a day of pouring rain.

Hastings (Tapu) is fast assuming the appearance of a nice little township and is wearing quite an air of importance and activity.  The nucleus of the crushing machines has arrived and the managers are employing men to cut roads to the spot on which they are to be erected.  There is an immense quantity of quartz on the ground ready for crushing.  Claims are opening up in all directions and parties are out in different parts of the country prospecting.  There has been a great rush of miners and visitors from Shortland and Auckland, so much so that it has been barely possible to find accommodation for them.   The only two licensed houses are full to overflowing.  Buildings are going up in all directions, from public houses to cottages and fresh streets will soon have to be laid out. Cargoes of timber, most of it for machine purposes, arrive almost daily.  Tenders are now out for the formation of the bridle track to Shortland, which, when finished will prove a great boon to  travelers.

Barrack Hill, Auckland, 1868
Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, 4-8987'

Despite being the Sabbath, a young man who has recently married, is about to leave Auckland for the Thames this evening, with all his worldly goods. Having loaded a spring cart with furniture he drives it up to the Barrack gate, just at the very moment respectable observers of the Sabbath are wending their way to church.  He succeeds in getting as far as the front gate of the barracks when he is met by the band of the 18th Regiment leading the column on its way to attend Divine Service.  Startled by the music and the sound of the big drum, the horse sheers off the road, capsizing itself and the cart down the Barrack Green. The goods and chattels are distributed about in the grass in the most admirable disorder, and the horse and vehicle perform an interesting series of evolutions. The damage however, is confined to the furniture, several portions of which sustain very ugly compound fractures.  The horse and cart are returned to normal position and driven off, while the furniture is carried to its destination with the aid of several little boys.

The Clyde leaves Auckland this evening with a large boiler in tow for Tookey’s Flat.

Monday, 27 April
The rain clears this morning.

Notice is issued that all claims will be protected from tomorrow night  until Thursday morning, in consequence of the Auckland Regatta.

Mr A Andrews of the Auckland Post Office is promoted to the position of Postmaster at Shortland Town and will commence his new duties on 1 May.

The inquest on William Peck is held at the new Thames courthouse.  William was 48 years old, a married man, a native of Devonshire, England, who had been in New Zealand 13 or 14 years.  William was a member of the Wesleyan Church and a man of strictly sober habits.  He was well known in Auckland as a highly respectable and steady hardworking man.  William had served with credit in the 58th regiment. He was, however, subject to pains in the head and had been known to fall on the footpath in Auckland from imagining obstacles in his way.  He had had medical treatment for epilepsy in the past and a year ago had had an attack of paralysis.

William was seen on the 17th by his son-in-law, Edward Cook, when he left Edward’s hut at the Thames to go to Auckland. He was unwell at the time and his mates advised him to go.  Later that evening they saw him aboard the Maori Chief, tender to the steamers, but William never reached Auckland.   They were alerted to this fact when a letter to William, written by his wife, arrived at the Thames two days later. Inquiries revealed the captain of the Maori Chief recalled helping a man from shore to the steamer. The only solution to the mystery of his disappearance appears to be that during the transhipment from the Maori Chief to the steamer he had taken a fit and had fallen overboard in the dusk unnoticed. Constable Lipsey found one track in the mud, but no return track.  The mangroves near where he lay were broken, as if he had made a struggle for his life. He had a lump of mud in his hand. Dr Lethbridge examined the body and could not distinguish any marks of violence. An ear appeared to have been torn off which was most probably the work of a rat. William appeared to have been in the water 8 to 10 days.   Dr Lethbridge considered the man had drowned. The jury return the verdict that William Peck was found drowned on the bank of the Hape Creek but how or by what means there is no evidence to show.  It is presumed he was seized with a fit.

Colours of the 58th Regiment.
Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, AWNS-19001228-6-4

Dueling deputations
The dueling Shortland and Waiotahi deputations meet in the American Theatre adjoining Captain Butt’s hotel. There is a large attendance of townspeople and miners.  Captain John Butt takes the chair.  The report, read by Mr Mitchell, says  the superintendent is not in a position to grant any assistance from provincial or other funds for the making of roads or streets, or building wharves in the district, but states that, as soon as the Maori owners of the land obtain their certificate of title from the Native Lands court, the roads and landing places can be handed over through the government to a board of trustees, appointed under the Highways Act, who will have the power to levy rates to be expended in making roads and streets and, under the Marine Act to erect wharves, and collect dues. The superintendent also said that he will be prepared to give, under the Compensations Act, Crown land scrip for the value of £1,000 which will be available for the contemplated improvements. 

It is moved that a committee be appointed to watch the proceedings of the Native Land court respecting the passing of the certificate of native titles,  and take measures to secure to the inhabitants of this township, under the Marine Act, the collection and expenditure of all duties leviable at the wharves of Shortland, and have the power to take any steps considered necessary in the interest of the township, with respect to the proposed concession of a tramway between Shortland and the Kuranui.  The committee is also to be empowered to take such steps as will be necessary to form the Hauraki and Thames districts into a county.

Captain Butt, in putting the resolutions before the meeting, says the Superintendent has already advertised for tenders for building a wharf, but unless roads are made, of what value will a wharf be?  Quartz is lying on the ground waiting for transit to the crushing machines, and without the aid of roads it is impossible to move it. Albert Beetham rises to express the dissatisfaction he feels at the trivial manner in which the Thames is treated by the government. Beetham is a land agent and share broker who has recently opened the premises of Beetham and Walker at Shortland. He has traveled all over New Zealand during the last 17 years, and more contempt he has never witnessed than is shown by the Superintendent in the refusal of granting assistance for building a paltry wharf. He adds that they are told that Auckland is in difficulties – that officer’s salaries had to paid.  No doubt they had to be but certainly not out of the revenue from the Thames. “When we ask for money taken away from us, we are refused.  We must show the government that we are entitled to some attention and consideration and it is therefore necessary that the committee should go further than the resolutions made,” he thunders.

The Westland Act is well adapted for the Thames.  There is a clause in the act which provides for the construction and maintenance of roads, bridges, wharves and other public works.  Beetham and some committee members have compiled an estimate of revenue, which he reads out.

Mr Beetham's estimate of revenues.. 
DSC 29 April, 1868

Mr Beetham proposes that the committee be empowered to take the steps necessary to form the Hauraki and Thames district into a county.  This is carried unanimously.  After a vote of thanks to Captain Butt, the meeting separates.

NZH 27 April, 1868

Tuesday, 28 April
The streets at the Thames are in a shocking state, and if the wet weather really sets in the roads will be almost impassable, unless by canoe.  In Pollen Street the vast quantity of liquid mud has sent such swarms of fleas indoors that in some of the accommodation  establishments it is utterly impossible to indulge in the luxury of sleep, the lively creatures being so assiduous in their attention, especially to visitors.

Great preparations are being made for the erection of new machinery.  Holman is erecting a small machine the stamper of which is slotted and filled with iron pins.  A Greenshields model, which raises the stampers by means of rollers, is on view at the office of the Thames Advertiser.  A party has consequently gone up to Auckland for the purpose of getting a battery made upon that principle – there is more mechanical ingenuity to be seen in it than in all the other machines put together. The only other machine on the ground for dry crushing is one of Hall’s patent ones in the possession of James Horner.  Like Shalder’s machine it is quite different from anything else on the ground. It revolves with great rapidity, the arms of the spindle throwing the quartz with violence against the serrated sides of the cylinder.   Unfortunately it is not erected; instead it lies idle and rusting in his yard. Bull’s machine is one stamper, driven by water power and so carefully does he attend to it that it is always engaged beforehand for weeks. The stampers of Pratt’s machines are far too light to be of much practical benefit.

Things appear to be going faster ahead at Tookey’s Flat than at Shortland, but in another year’s time it is expected it will all be one town. For broken down swells the Thames is a quite a city of refuge, and at all corners and out-of-the-way places they are to be seen in every conceivable rig-out in fashions new and fashions old, looking for quartz with gold.

There is a discovery of auriferous gold at Tapu by Stanley and party, to the south east of Quinn and Cashell’s claim.  The spot in which the pick is first struck is similar in appearance to the famous waterfall over which the Kuranui Creek runs in the Shotover claim.   Shortly after the discovery a half share changes hands for £300.00.

Spey for Tapu Creek with stores and 3,000 shingles

DSC 28 April, 1868

NZH 28 April, 1868

Permission to use adhesive stamps.

Wednesday, 29 April
The newly named Thames Goldfields Improvement committee meets at the Shortland Hotel this morning and elects to carry forward with the improvements of the district with respect to roads and wharves, and the separation from the Auckland Province.   The secretary is  to write to Superintendent Williamson inquiring as to the terms the Provincial Government will hand over the management of the Shortland wharf with power to collect dues, request information as to the state of negotiations regarding the right to lay tramways in the district, write to authorities regarding bringing the new goldfields regulations into practical operations, and write requesting permission to use adhesive stamps in agreements and transfers of property, until a registration officer is appointed to the Thames goldfield,  to remove the necessity of sending deeds to Auckland.  The returning officer of Franklin district is to receive a memorial signed by 30 electors requesting him to appoint a polling place at Shortland.

James Chartington is sentenced to one week’s imprisonment with hard labour, for stealing a pair of trousers.  A constable will have to be held off every day to see that Chartington does his work in filling up some of the dangerous holes on the Karaka.

Chief Taipari shows some splendid stone taken from the claim in the Hape, Karaka.  The stuff is so rich as to look more like Tapu Creek stone than Karaka gold.  Three European’s and seven Maori have taken up ten men’s ground there.

The town of Coromandel now bears quite a deserted appearance to what it did formerly.  The only activity is Mr Goodall who is superintending the dismantling of the Waihau engine, which he has sold to a party on the Thames goldfields. 

Rumours surface regarding the opening up of Kennedy’s Bay for gold mining.  A large number of Europeans are already working and prospecting in the district.  Messrs J  McGregor, McLeod, Brimner and Keir organised a prospecting party and have been prospecting all this month.  It is said Ropata intends to turn off all Europeans at present working there on sufferance, and will declare to treat with the government with regards to the opening up of that bay if Mr Mackay does not meet with him by this Saturday, 2 May. The gold in that locality is said to be of a very superior quality and it is not improbable that a rush might take place if Kennedy’s Bay should be opened.

Looking south across the Auckland Harbour showing the race of the Maori war canoes during an  Auckland Anniversary Regatta, 1860s

Views in the Province of Auckland New Zealand' by F R Stack

The annual regatta is held at Auckland today. It has been always previously held on the 29th January, the anniversary of the foundation of the colony, and the day and season most appropriate for it.  But this year the annual celebration was delayed in the full expectation that the Prince of Wales would be in New Zealand to witness it.  Instead, after the assassination attempt thwarted his plans, it was decided that the regatta should be held in the presence of the Governor before he leaves for the South.  A lingering sense of disappointment hangs over the day however.   The wharf is too exposed to be pleasant;  nevertheless the outer T is crowded and there are crowds on the high ground along the harbour.  The harbour is filled with small craft rushing through the water at a tremendous pace.  The harbour is not as animated as on previous occasions, in consequence of the entire absence of foreign vessels.  The steamer Tauranga has been selected as the flagship, and is anchored in a suitable position and cheerfully decorated with bunting.  Owing to the roughness of the water visitors to her during the day are comparatively small and several of the ladies who venture on board are compelled to leave due to sea sickness.  At 10am the gun on board the Tauranga announces the first race of the regatta of 1868 has commenced.

The Thames is represented in the second race of yachts 8 tons and under.  There are four entries including the Prince Alfred built at the Thames by Richard White for Mr McGregor. At 10.30am the vessels are off to an excellent start, the yachts running beautifully despite the rough sea.  The race is pretty evenly sustained until the North Head is rounded.  The Prince Alfred has to retire when it passes the flagship heading westward. The wind is dead against the competitors and there is a strong head sea. 

NZH 29 April, 1868

Parliament passed the County of Westland Act in 1867 and the county came into force on 1 January, 1868.  Westland County was a local government area and constituted the government for the area that was split from the Canterbury Province.  It had the same administrative powers as a Provincial Council.
Papers Past

© Meghan Hawkes / First year on the Thames Goldfield 2017 - 2018
Please credit Meghan Hawkes/ First year on the Thames Goldfield 2017 - 2018 when re-using information from this blog.

Saturday, 14 April 2018

16 April to 22 April, 1868

Waterwheels and pianos.

Thursday, 16 April
The week has been a broken one, in consequence of the Easter holidays, but the men now quietly settle down to their work.  There are a number of new machines going up, the result of private and public enterprise.  One on a gigantic scale is about to be put up by a company on the Karaka.  It is to drive 35 head of stampers and by taking quartz at a lower rate, will be supplied with all stuff taken out instead of a selection of the quartz.  Machinery is also about to be erected on the Hape Creek by Mr Greenway of Auckland. 

The Kuranui Company are erecting a 20 stamper battery as the first installment of one of 60 stampers.  They are also about to obtain permission to run a tramway round the base of the ranges to the Moanataiari and Waiotahi to carry stuff from the claims in the creeks to the machine.

As the wet season is fast approaching bad roads need to be cleared so that the difficulty of land carriage to the machines isn’t so severely felt. 

The Hokianga Claim are getting on rapidly with the levelling of a spot for their machine, which when erected, will be the largest water wheel in the place – 36 ft in diameter and estimated to crush 20 tons a day.  The Prince Alfred machine has been crushing for the Albion Claim and it is found to work well, and the results are very satisfactory.  The Star of the Karaka, which struck gold two weeks ago, have uncovered two more leaders, each about a foot in thickness. 

The road up the Karaka Creek is at last commenced.  Eight or ten men have been employed for the last three days but some claimholders are not so forward in aiding the workers as they should. The road at present will terminate at the Hokianga Claim.  Several crushing machines are to be erected on the creek with all possible speed.

Rushes are the order of the day at Tapu Creek, one on the hill immediately at the back of the township and another on the ground close to the Panama Route Claim.  Gold has been struck in both places.  Two tons are sent to Shortland from the Panama Route claim resulting in nearly 11 oz.  Sites have been selected for the machines about to be erected. During the past week the Lord Nelson and Southern Cross claims have struck gold heavily in leaders.  The Hit and Miss claim have also struck a rich leader.  Good machinery is to be erected at the mouth of No 3 Gully, with at least 15 heads of stampers, which are expected to arrive shortly from Sydney.  A large boiler will be down next week.  McIssac’s claim at Tapu Creek is to be worked by means of a company. Buildings are still going up and Tapu will soon have the appearance of a nice little town

Clyde from Shortland for Tapu Creek with machinery for a powerful crushing machine. 

 Rob Roy for Shortland with  18 cases beer, 3 cases drapery, 1 case sardines, 2 boxes tobacco, 2 quarter casks whiskey, 6 cases Old Tom, 4 cases stout, 15 bags sugar, 8 kegs butter, ½ ton bran, 1 ton salt, 4 tons oilmen’s stores, 1 boiler and machinery, 3 tanks, quantity of furniture, 2 kegs spirits, 4 cases spirits, 1 piano.

An afternoon meeting is held to read to the inhabitants of the Thames the address to Governor Bowen which has been drawn up by a committee.  There is no doubt that, had the inhabitants known that His Excellency was about to appear amongst them, a public demonstration expressive of their loyalty to Her Majesty would have greeted him on his arrival.  As they have been deprived of the pleasure and gratification of a public reception, the next course of action is to express their loyalty in the form of an address. There is still a sense of grievance felt that timely notice was not given of the visit.  Had the Thames people been made aware of the honour attended them, Governor Bowen would have been waited on by a large assemblage of people, the streets would have been decorated with flags and other demonstrations of loyalty shown.  The address is to be forwarded to Governor Bowen.

An evening meeting is held of Master Masons at Butt’s Hotel, for business in connection with the opening of a lodge at the Thames.  The lodge is to obtain a dispensation under the Irish constitution and will shortly be opened.

Emblem of the Master Masons

A tale of two wharves.

Yet another meeting is held this evening in the large room of the Governor Bowen Hotel, Waiotahi Flat, regarding the proposed wharves at Shortland and Waiotahi (Grahamstown). Robert Graham presides as speakers argue back and forth.  Jealousy might exist between Shortland and Waiotahi, says Graham, but before the matter is settled scientific and practical men will be consulted.   Then it will be the duty of a committee appointed by the meeting to determine on the best site for the construction of a wharf.

Felix Mack states he has taken levels and estimated the costs for a wharf at Waiotahi.  There is one point which he considers best for a landing place, and if his calculations are received by the committee, he will build a wharf 450 ft long, with a depth at high water of 9 ft 6” for a sum of £650.00.  He admits that the bottom is not good, but there is an abundance of rock in the neighbourhood that will serve to form a breakwater.  He considers the best situation opposite Graham Street;  if at any other point it will entail a further £150.00.  Nine and a half feet of water could be got at the end of the proposed wharf – the steamers Midge and Tauranga could then hand passengers and cargo alongside. 

Charles Mitchell  says that he has heard a gentleman is now in Shortland proposing construction of  a tramway between there and Waiotahi,  and considering where there is open sea it might not be safe in all weathers.  He believes that  the port of entry should be at Shortland.  Promiscuous goods might be landed at Waiotahi, but bonded goods should go to Shortland.

Mr Mackay was spoken to on the subject of a port of entry when the business was chiefly confined to Shortland.  It was then understood that Shortland was to be the port.  Now, however, seeing the business went with the diggers, the Waiotahi should be selected, if a wharf could be built for the sum mentioned.

Felix Mack says he will give a guarantee that the work will be completed in three months. Other speakers are of the opinion the work could be done cheaper.  It is observed that the object of the meeting is not advancing so a committee is appointed to receive estimates for the construction of a wharf at Waiotahi.

Robert Graham also makes several remarks touching on the formation of roads before the winter rains set in.  He is willing to assist the residents in forming and metalling the main line from the landing place at Shortland to the Kuranui Creek or thereabouts, by placing several teams of horses and drays at their disposal for a day to cart the metal.  Manual labour could be provided by each claim supplying a man for the day.  Traffic along the line of Pollen Street after recent showers has cut up the soil to such a degree as to render it all but impassable.  The cross streets of the town are nearly as bad and even the beach line is becoming perilous in places.  There are fears that the trade of Shortland will be seriously damaged during the coming winter and spring months unless something is done at once.

Rumours begin to surface that Commissioner  Mackay is to be removed from his office at the Thames goldfield by the Government. 

NZH 16 April, 1868

Friday, 17 April
The Maori from Taupo and the shores of the Firth leave for their settlements at the Ohinemuri.  The day is fine and the sight on the water is very stirring. As the chief’s canoe passes the steamer, propelled by 40 paddles, everyone keeps time with the mere of the conductor, all the voices in harmony. 

Te Moananui and other important chiefs are passengers by the steamer Midge on their way to Auckland to visit his Excellency Sir George Bowen. Te Moananui’s favourite wife and grandchild accompany the chief.  The lady is dressed in a white satin skirt with some flimsy material over it in which to make her appearance at Government House.

 A wary eye on winter.

The men on the ranges and in the gullies are steadily at work, and on the old claims are to be seen hundreds of tons of auriferous quartz ready for the mill.  All have a wary eye on the changing seasons and approaching winter. The tracks from the Moanataiari, Waiotahi and Karaka will be impassable during a succession of wet days, especially when heavy weights are carried over them.   Parties who have been stacking their quartz remove it to the crushing machines during the short periods of fine weather left.  Last winter, during three months,  it rained every day and the country was not broken up as it is now.  Where quartz is stored in the yards adjoining the engines, men are employed night and day to take care that none of the stone placed in their charge is taken away.

 Among the general community the rumoured departure of Mr Mackay from the Thames is deplored.  A newspaper advertisement is placed – “the miners are appealed to, to make an effort to keep Mr Mackay here.”

 Clyde for Shortland with 3 tons luggage, 2 carcasses beef and 70 passengers.

The little paddle steamer Clyde changes hands and will now convey passengers and cargo from Shortland and Tapu, a task to which she is eminently suited.  She will also tranship passengers from the steamer Tauranga to the shore,  the Maori Chief having been found too small for that purpose during heavy weather.  The Clyde will also occasionally make the trip up to Auckland and is expected to return there today for the purpose of towing down a large boiler. The Clyde lands passengers at Tapu in about two hours from Shortland at a charge of 3 shillings.

At the Police Court, Auckland, Thomas Seon, master of the steamer Enterprise, is charged with breaching the Steam Navigation Act 1866 on 13 April by having on board a greater number of passengers than authorised or specified.  In his defence Captain Seon alludes to the extenuating circumstances of it being Easter Monday and a great many of the diggers from the Thames goldfields having got their protection granted until Tuesday thinking they would get in the steamer at any cost.  They rushed on board regardless of any danger, despite the efforts of the captain. This is no real excuse for the defendant, although he had prevented them from crowding the vessel as much as he could.  The certificate stated that the steamer should not carry more than 125 passengers – there were 215 passengers on board, counted by the Emigration Officer.  It seems to the court perfectly marvelous how so many persons could be packed on board such a small vessel.  With such a large number on board there must have been imminent danger to both life and property.  Captain Seon received from each passenger 45 s a head.  Captain Seon says that he had done all he could to keep them out of the vessel, but he is fined £18 penalty and a further fine of £5 with £3 1 s costs. 

An old Westport resident now living on the Thames goldfields, having recovered from the perilous Easter journey on the Enterprise, writes to a mate - “I am now stationed at Shortland.  Since I came here I have wandered over many of the crack claims, Hunt’s included, and was struck with the vast wealth contained therein . . . Shortland is a large town, and in many respects similar to Westport.  The habits and style of the people here are very different.  They assume more of city life about them, dress in black, with gloves and bell-toppers.  There are a large number of steamers and vessels trading regularly between Auckland and here. The trip to Auckland is a very delightful one.  The steamers in the trade are first class and usually crowded with passengers.  At the Easter holidays a great number went up to town. When I got on board one of the steamers there were about 50 people on board, but during the quarter of an hour before we started there were 300 passengers came on.  Our captain let go, but was not allowed to proceed with that number,  Men were ordered off, but no-one would go, and  in contradiction to  Her Majesty’s Custom’s Officers instructions, the steamer proceeded on her journey, but upon the captain returning the next day he was mulcted in a considerable fine.  Living is exceedingly cheap here.  Both in Shortland, as in Auckland, provisions of all sorts are most reasonable, and anyone can board himself here either at a hotel or privately at about one-half of what it would cost him in Westport.”

DSC 17 April, 1868

Swamped by mud and officialism.

Saturday, 18 April
The recent heavy rains have had a disastrous effect on several claims and tons of valuable auriferous quartz has been washed away.  Tunnelling is very common and the number of claims is getting larger.   Holes 20 or 40 ft deep look abandoned but on venturing a loud holler, a response rises from the chambers followed by figures emerging.  Candles guide the way through shafts where a system of under propping by posts and timber is used in many claims to prevent subsidence of the upper beds.

One party excavates in a most workmanlike manner.  They have cut a shaft a great length from the surface and so have taken the whole area by working upwards in a much safer and more concise way. The operations are of an elaborate character but will not be affected by the heavy rains which characterise the season now fast approaching.

The ss Airedale arrives in Auckland harbour bringing 3099 ozs gold from the Thames for shipment to England via Panama. This is the largest parcel which has yet been shipped by the New Zealand bank during any one month since the goldfields were opened. As the large number of machines now being erected come into operation crushing hundreds of tons of quartz now stacked at the various claims, the export is expected to be immensely increased.

The Thames Advertiser and Miner’s Guide fumes at the negligence of the authorities in not taking steps to  ensure the town's growth and prosperity, namely roads, landings, bridges and means of communication with the various claims.  Streets  and creeks are impassable and there are no landings or a wharf. “The Provincial Government some time ago promised a reward for £4,000 (sic) to any person who should discover a payable goldfield, thereby proving they were alive to the numerous advantages and pickup from such a source .. . The diggings are now only to be looked upon as an enormous milch cow to be milked dry, if possible, to sustain and keep alive a bankrupt government.”

Works wanted at the Thames, with estimated costs, include:

Build a wharf or landing site, at Shortland Town for say £350.00.

Another wharf at Waiotahi, or on the flat where the deepest water is to be found (this will be more costly than the Shortland Wharf on account of its length) £700

Connect the two wharves by a tramway to the beach £500.00

Landing jetty at Tapu Creek £150.00

Roadway from Shortland to Waiotahi, with bridge over Karaka Creek £600.00

Contributions to roads up the Karaka, Moanataiari and Waiotahi Creeks £400.00

“This will exhaust about half the money realised from gold duty alone; and surely it is not unreasonable to expect the government to spend some of the duty.  If these works were carried out at once a desirable impetus would be given to the diggings," says the Advertiser, adding that this would avoid the Thames being "swamped by mud and officialism.”

The population of the diggings is now estimated at 5,000 or 6,000 men, women and children.

The Superintendent, John Williamson, arrives at the Thames this afternoon on the Enterprise, accompanied by Judge Moore, for the opening of the new courthouse. He is also accompanied by Mr Mackay, Colonel Nation and Major Heaphy VC.  The Superintendent and party proceed to the house of Warden Baillie, where they are staying.  Shortly after his arrival it is announced that the new court house, warden’s office etc will be opened on Monday and formally handed over by the Superintendent.

At the time of his arrival a meeting is being held to appoint a deputation from Shortland to meet with the Superintended with reference to the state of the roads and the necessity of having a wharf.  As it is late in the afternoon it is decided not to trouble him but ask for an appointment for 2pm on the 20th.  It is also arranged that Superintendent Williamson will at the same time receive a deputation from the residents of the Waiotahi regarding the construction of a wharf at that thriving township.

A public meeting is held at the old whare courthouse at Shortland regarding Mr Mackay’s general administration of Maori affairs and his contemplated removal from the district where he has rendered such good service.  A report has been prevalent for some days that Mr Mackay is about to be withdrawn from the Thames, but this is not the case. Warden Baillie has now received a letter saying Mr Mackay is not to be withdrawn from the office of Resident Magistrate and Warden.  Mr Mackay’s sterling abilities in the conduct of Maori business are acknowledged.  Superintendent Williamson has decided that Mr Mackay is to spend more time in Auckland than at the Thames. He wants him by his side, to advise and counsel in Maori matters.  This may be merely the harbinger of his removal.  For the present however, he is to maintain the office of resident magistrate and pay monthly visits to Shortland; matters requiring his advice will be referred to him at Auckland.  His services have met with the recognition they deserve and he is appointed to the Office of Chief Commissioner of Native Affairs in the Northern Island.

DSC 18 April, 1868
NZH 18 April, 1868

Sunday, 19 April
Heavy rain sets in this morning and it is feared all work on the claims will come to a standstill.

A good many are leaving the Thames for Tapu following reports of three rushes there.

The NZ Herald correspondent has all his cooking equipment stolen by someone, he writes, “without due respect for penny-a- liners”  (poor writer for hire, a hack).  He is not even left with a billy.

Fourteen pounds is also stolen from the tent of Mr Leaning at the Waiotahi Creek.

A new courthouse.

Monday, 20 April
At the opening of the new Thames courthouse Superintendent John Williamson, Judge Moore, Colonel Nation, Chief Taipari, Father Nivard and others assist with the formalities.   Superintendent Williamson, on behalf of the government, formally hands over to the district the new building, observing that the Bench and the gentleman on the bar must have been greatly inconvenienced by having to perform their duties in the old building.

Mr Mackay, on rising, is received with applause which is immediately suppressed.  He says seven months ago there was not a house in the district and the building they are now sitting in presents one instance of the progress made in Shortland and the Thames goldfield.  In a population consisting chiefly of miners, it is a matter of much satisfaction to him to take the opportunity of congratulating them on the orderly conduct that prevails amongst them. “Those who have been long unbelievers have today proof that there is such a place as Shortland and it is due to you on my part to thank this community for the peace and good order all along preserved.  Had we not been even more than is usual amongst large assemblages of people attracted together in the search for gold, a  law abiding people, it would have been quite impossible to have so long used the very poor accommodation afforded by the old whare hitherto used as a courthouse.” He concludes by remarking that the new courthouse will more than adequately meet the law business of the district. 

Straight after the opening of the court house a deputation of residents on the Waiotahi Flat wait upon the Superintendent to ask if a wharf is constructed at the cost of the residents themselves, would the Superintendent concede the site and take management and control when the wharf was finished? They also ask what assistance he would be prepared to give  in the formation of roads and building of bridges at various crossings.  After a conference with Mr Mackay, the Superintendent replies that the Maori are more prepared to concede a site for the wharf at Waiotahi and the right of concession lies with them.  The roads and lines of street are as yet vested in the Maori and therefore public money cannot be spent on roads not dedicated to the Queen for use of the public.

After the first deputation withdraws, a second deputation from Shortland meets with the Superintendent.   They want information relative to a reported concession of the landing place at Kauaeranga Creek to a contractor for a period of seven years, on condition of his erecting a wharf. The contractor is Mr McNeil who offers to build a wharf at Shortland, subject to the same charges and regulations as at the Queen St wharf, Auckland. As with the Waiotahi deputation, they also want to discuss the best and most practicable means of having the streets of the town passable for the coming winter.  They also ask that if the necessary capital is raised by the townspeople, would the concession for a wharf be made to a trust on behalf of the town.

The Superintendent replies that the concession has not been made, and will not be made, to a private individual and that the government has still to consider whether the proper course would not be to take the whole matter into its own hands and erect the wharf at a public charge, with all the rates and charges derived from it going to the public exchequer.  In the case of Shortland, the Maori have made the necessary concession of the site and Chief Taipari guarantees a subscription of £50.00 towards construction costs. The Superintendent suggests that the land between the high and low water marks belongs to the Maori and if residents want to erect a wharf they must first obtain the consent of the Maori owners.

As to the streets the same reply he made to the Waiotahi deputation holds good.  In any case the Province has no funds.  It is getting nothing out of the goldfield, but some £400.00 to pay for management so far, as the general government has impounded all the revenue to help pay the interest on the half million loan contracted by the Province during the superintendence of  Robert Graham. The inhabitants might, however, take steps to have themselves elected into a highway board, by electing trustees, and then Superintendent Williamson will do what he can under an act which empowers him to grant land scrip to a certain amount in lieu of money for public improvements. Mr Mackay has applied to the Native Minister for a loan towards doing certain works of the town on behalf of the Maori. He is endeavouring to negotiate a loan for the Maori with the Native Minister for £300 as an advance on the rental coming to them, which sum they are willing to apply to the purpose of road making at the diggings.

Captain Butt comments that it appears to him the Provincial Government have neither the money nor the power to do the work.  The Superintendent replies the wharf is not a hopeless point, but the streets are, so far as the money is concerned. The interview with the two deputations takes nearly two hours.

The Thames mining population pay a heavy tax to the Maori owners.  The fee charged for each miner's right is paid to the Maori, being collected for them by the government.  This now amounts to something like £5,000 and no provision has been made for applying any part of the fund contributed by the miners for the formation of roads or other necessary public works.  The traders, who pay 13s a foot frontage per annum of rent and a trading licence of £5, have a right to expect that the roads will be kept in a passable state.  The miners, who obtain supplies from Shortland or Waiotahi and who pay £1 for each miner’s right and 25s 6d on every ounce of gold they produce, likewise have the right to expect that facilities will be given to them to bring up supplies from the town and transport their quartz to the mills without any further taxation.

The unfavourable weather of the past week, as well as the protection granted during the Easter holidays, has hampered mining operations, and rendered the roads up the valleys impassable for heavy machinery now lying ready for transit.  An eight horse power steam engine, Cornish boiler and a five head eight horse power head of stampers are to be delivered on the beach at the Moanataiari for £620.00.   It is estimated a machine will be required for every three or four claims that is not at a distance of half a mile apart throughout the diggings; the want of water is the only obstacle to machines being stationed this way.

Cornish boiler.

The Shortland sharemarket shows a rapid but steady improvement in the value of claims north of the Karaka where several shares have been disposed of in the past week at extremely satisfactory prices.  

The premises of Mr George Wilson, on public reserve B, Shortland, are appointed to be the public pound and Mr Wilson is appointed pound keeper.  Constable Francis Lipsey is appointed Inspector of Slaughter Houses for the district of the town of Shortland. 

Mr Mackay entertains the Superintendent, Judge Moore, Colonel Nation and a number of other guests at a dinner at the Shortland Hotel, in celebration of the opening of the new court house. The performance at Butt’s American Theatre tonight is attended by the Superintendent and party.  The building is crowded and a very attractive programme is performed.

NZH 20 April, 1868

Tuesday, 21 April
An extraordinary yield of 18 oz of gold has been taken from three tin dishes from the Lord Nelson claim at Tapu Creek. Speculative gentlemen from Auckland have invested small sums in the different Tapu claims but are dissatisfied that the ground does not yield an immediate return.

At Puriri there are now five payable claims, and a population of which does not exceed 60. Some of the miners have brought their wives and families and are settling down.

There is a congratulatory air at Shortland that Mr Mackay is not to leave permanently.

During the day a number of upriver Maori come into Shortland Town, old Taraia among them.

The weather has been excessively stormy during the last few days causing considerable loss to those who have stacked quartz on their claims.  In the yard adjoining Mr Goodall’s engine on the Moanataiari about 50 tons of coal is carried away, leaving a deposit of mud in its place.  The road on the beach to Tapu Creek is almost impassable. Two miles from Tararu a landslip carries large trees and boulders down the hills, rendering the spot impenetrable.

The streets and roads of the Thames are in such a state that to cross from the Karaka Hotel to the Bank of New Zealand a detour has to be made of some length.  A few days of fine weather will only harden the mud -  had the government any funds to employ the men who are not quartz reefing, any quantity of material could be got from the range at the back of the town by which all the streets in Shortland could be macadamised..

Frederick Ring is in treaty with the government for the formation of a tramway along the line of Pollen Street from the landing at Kauaeranga to Waiotahi Creek.  This work is much needed.  The line will be level throughout and little more than a mile in length.  It will give the greatest facilities for traffic, which is now almost at a standstill, owing to the wet weather softening the surface soil.  Mr Ring  will make the tramway at his own risk as a speculation. There are now two applications in to run a line of tramway from the landing place at Kauaeranga to Waiotahi/Tookey’s Flat.

NZH 21 April, 1868

Wednesday, 22 April
Superintendent Williamson leaves for Tapu Creek this morning accompanied by Warden Baillie and Mr Lundon.  Once there Mr Sceats, in company of Mr Reid and Mr Pridgeon, present the Superintendent with a petition for the forming of a bridle track between Tapu and Shortland.  The Superintendent most graciously receives the men and promises to accede to the request.

A miner named Burns is working in a new drive when the earth gives way near the entrance. He is severely injured about his shoulder and side.

The first annual licensing sessions are held in the new Thames courthouse before Mr Mackay. There are in all 34 applicants for publican’s licences, which had not one single licensed house at the Thames at the time of the last session.  Of the 34 – 23 are granted and 11 refused.

A correspondent to the NZ Herald calling himself ‘Weak Nerves’ draws attention to the custom somewhat prevalent in Auckland, and more particularly so at the Thames goldfields, of persons carrying butchers knives in the sheath attached to their belts.  ‘Weak Nerves’ is quite at a loss to understand the reason for the practise, perhaps they can only be considered ornamental appendages?  A correct solution would greatly oblige him.

Wahapu for Shortland  and Tapu Creek with (Shortland) 4 tons potatoes, 3 horses, 10 kegs butter and sundries. (Tapu Creek) 1 ton flour, 1 ton furniture.

Spey for Tapu Creek with 4,000 ft timber, 3 hhds beer, 1 cask beer, 1 ton flour, 20 sheep and sundries.

Tapu, Hastings or Heaphy?

Superintendent Williamson formally names the old tapu land of the Maoris, known as Tapu or Tapu Creek, Hastings, after the popular seaside resort in England.   The ceremony takes place at the British Hotel, where it is confirmed by drinking prosperity to the new town.  Major Heaphy declines the honour of having it named after him, and it is at his suggestion to call the area Hastings.  “There is certainly not a prettier place on the shores of the gulf and for its healthy air and fine scenery it has the advantage over the old English watering place,” observes the Daily Southern Cross correspondent.

Major Charles Heaphy
Cyclopedia of NZ 1902

Hastings, England 1860s
British Library, London

Publican's Licenses renewed on 22 April:
Bendigo Hotel
Karaka Hotel
British Hotel
Thames Hotel, Grey Street.  There have been great complaints on the part of police that this house is noisy.  Mr Rose says he has a large number of people and he will endeavour to keep them quiet.
Duke of Edinburgh Hotel, Grey Street
Governor Bowen Hotel, Waiotahi Creek
Unnamed Hotel at Tapu Creek
Victoria Hotel
Waiotahi Hotel
Bridge Hotel, Pollen Street
Empire Hotel, Grey and Pollen Streets
Albion Hotel, Willoughby Street
Shortland Hotel
British Hotel, Tapu Creek
New licenses granted on conditions that the justices should be satisfied of the accommodation provided:
Prince Alfred Hotel, Waiotahi
Rising Sun, Waiotahi
Wharf Hotel, Tapu Creek
No 15 allotment, Tapu Creek
No 28 allotment, Tapu Creek
Royal Hotel, Waiotahi Flat
Applications refused:
Unnamed. Karaka Flat – Michael O’Conner had made an arrangement with some miners to lease a portion of their claim as a business site.  Bench ruled this is an infringement of the Goldfields Act.( One of the applicants for a hotel licence at the meeting admitted that he was erecting the house on a piece of ground which formed part of a miner’s claim.  Mr Mackay said the ground held under miner’s rights was not disposable in such a manner and consequently refused the license. )
Criterion Hotel, Tookey’s Flat
Reef Hotel at the junction of Karaka
Digger’s Rest, head of the Waiotahi
George Hotel. Tookey’s Flat
Punga Punga Flat at the head of the Waiotahi.  (The little settlement of Punga Flat sits at a considerable height above the sea, amongst the hills, one mile from Shortland.)
Digger’s Own Hotel, near Gibbon’s machine, on the Karaka
No 10 allotment, Pollen Street
Reefer’s Arms, Pollen Street – transfer of license – applicant absolutely refused.

The Kuranui Hotel’s license was transferred and an application for the Inverness Hotel at Moanataiari Creek was withdrawn.

A 12 o’clock license was granted for Butt’s Shortland Hotel.

An applicant for premises in Pollen Street made his application nine weeks since but it appears to have been mislaid.  Application refused as the Bench considered there is sufficient accommodation in this part of the township at the present time. 

Alexander Hogg and Company apply for a wholesale license.  The Bench, having examined the maps and plans of the township grants the licensed with this caution – the house, if not kept quiet and orderly will not have its license renewed next time.


Papers Past
Thames Miners guide

© Meghan Hawkes / First year on the Thames Goldfield 2017 - 2018
Please credit Meghan Hawkes/ First year on the Thames Goldfield 2017 - 2018 when re-using information from this blog.