Sunday 22 July 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.

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