Ohinemuri Regional History Journal 38, September 1994

This article is based on a survey compiled from information gathered by Forms 1 and 2 pupils in 1952 shortly before the Waihi Mine closed. The article has, in the main been reproduced in full except for the section on the Waihi Mine. Details in that section covered the history of the mine, details of mining the ore and details of treatment at the Waikino Battery. These subjects have been covered in detail in previous articles in the Journal and in the book "Goldmining at Waihi" 1878 -1952, by J B McAra.


Waihi is situated 96 miles south-east of Auckland by road and 141 miles by rail. It is 60 miles north east of Hamilton, 30 miles from Thames, 13 miles from Paeroa and 43 miles from Tauranga. It is seven miles from the beautiful Waihi Beach, and is 365 feet above sea-level.

Access from Auckland may be gained either by rail through Hamilton or by main highway across the Hauraki Plains to Paeroa and thence through the Karangahake Gorge to Waihi. The town is quickly reached either by rail or road from Hamilton. The development of Tauranga as a deep water port will no doubt be of great importance to Waihi as, because of the growing importance to New Zealand's economy of the Bay of Plenty and the rapid growth in the volume of goods that will be shipped from that port, this must have its effect on Waihi. The main highway between Waihi and Tauranga is being almost completely reformed and the consequent extension of the services by rail and road between the two towns will no doubt result in an increasing amount of local products being sent to Tauranga instead of Auckland.

There are four licensed hotels. A local newspaper, the Waihi Gazette is published weekly; the New Zealand Herald arrives in Waihi from Auckland each morning before 6 am and the Auckland Star at 6 pm. There are two local banks, the Bank of New Zealand and the National Bank.

As Waihi was originally a purely mining area most of the land of Waihi is held under a tenure known as Residence Site Licenses or Business Site Licenses. For the former an annual rent of five shillings is payable, and for the latter £3 per annum. This is paid to the Receiver of Gold Revenue. Licenses are for terms of 42 years with a perpetual right of renewal under existing law.

The population of Waihi is 3886; it is bigger than the neighbouring towns of Paeroa and Te Aroha, but smaller than Thames.

An employment survey carried out by the Department of Labour and Employment in October, 1948, covering all employment in the district apart from farming and one-man businesses, shows that there were 870 males and 247 females in employment in Waihi and in the adjacent Waikino township. These were spread over the employment field as follows:

Employment group

Number of units



Primary Industries




Bread Bakeries




Wood Manufacturing




Textile, Clothing& Footwear




Engineering, Mechanical




Other Manufacturing




Building & construction




Transport & Communication




Commerce, Finance




Other services








In the "Primary Industries" Group the important unit is the Martha Mining Co. (Waihi) Ltd., which employed 481 men at the time of the survey. Since that time the decline in mining locally has greatly reduced this figure. The "Textile, Clothing & Footwear" Group includes two clothing units employing four males and fourteen females, and a footwear factory employing eighteen females. The "Engineering, etc." Group includes the Akrad Radio Corporation Ltd. employing seventy males and thirty-one females, and five units employing thirteen males, engaged in the repair and maintenance of motor vehicles and cycles. The "Other Manufacturing" Group includes seven men employed in the local gasworks. The "Transport and Communications" Group covers thirteen male railway employees, twenty-nine men engaged in Government and private road transport, and twenty-two male employees of the Post and Telegraph Department.

The "Commerce, Finance" Group is mainly comprised of twenty-six wholesale and retail establishments employing 58 males and 37 females. The "Other Services" Group is comprised mainly of hotels, boardinghouses, tea rooms and like establishments numbering seven, and employing seven males and thirty-two females. Also included in this group are the local schools employing 40 males and 11 females. The Employment Survey disclosed 55 male vacancies all at the gold mine, and 13 female vacancies at 31 October 1948, all at the local hospital. Competition for female labour is keen. All workers in Waihi live within ten minute's cycle time of their existing places of employment.

A small country town like Waihi has inestimable advantages over its larger neighbours in the matter of service received from the Railway Department. This view is not expressed to belittle in any way the efforts of railway officers in the larger towns, but merely to emphasise that in the smaller towns it is always possible to find some-one who has time to listen to one's troubles.

It is usual to find that nothing is too much trouble, whether it be a matter of locating a consignment of finished goods which may not have reached their destination when expected or of expediting urgently required raw materials. In either case, time and trouble are of no concern, and the Railway Officers really do go out of their way to smooth out all one's difficulties. No prospective manufacturer can afford to overlook this.

In the matter of frequency of service Waihiiswell provided for. By rail there is a daily service from Auckland and Wellington and all intermediate stations. Goods consigned in Auckland up to 4.30 pm are in Waihi by 8 am next day, and goods from Wellington take on an average two to three days, but in cases of urgency made known to the local Stationmaster, this can be improved upon.

There is also a service by road from Auckland, goods consigned up to 4 pm in Auckland being delivered the following day, usually before 10 am, and of course, for urgent small requirements there is always the service car.

Waihi Borough is part of the area serviced by the Thames Valley Electric Power Board, and has one representative on the Board.

The area is largely rural, and the policy of the Board has been to give a continuity of supply during the day time so as not to interfere with primary production. Any curtailment of the supply due to the existing conditions has been at night and industry has not been affected. There have been no cuts of recent years, and although the Board is experiencing the same difficulty as other Boards, it is hoped to avoid any severe restrictions.

The Board has always proceeded on the policy of power supply as cheaply as possible to as many as possible. The charges are amongst the cheapest prevailing in New Zealand. Owing to the nature of the Board's load being largely for primary production, the peak hours are outside the hours generally worked in industry. For that reason industrial loading is in the interests of the Board, and it will facilitate the giving of supply to industrial enterprises and will co-operate to the greatest extent possible.

Waihi is supplied with abundant water. There are two reservoirs holding one million gallons, and twenty-three miles of mains. In drought the reservoirs can supply 250,000 gallons of water daily, and in winter they are overflowing most of the time, the size of the mains being the only limitation to consumption. The Borough Council has drawn up plans for renewal and cleaning of the mains and augmentation of supply.

The water analysis is very favourable with an exceptional absence of mineral impurities, there being only traces of sundry elements. The water is unusually soft and palatable and contains hardly any calcium; in fact far from being alkaline, it has a slightly acid reaction. Drawn from an unpolluted thousand acre catchment area and a further expanse of virgin bush, the water gives a very satisfactory bacteriological analysis and, since chlorination is unnecessary, it is pleasant to drink.

Waihi's nearest harbour is at Tauranga, 43 miles distant by road and rail. Up to October 1948 the Port of Tauranga was a small coastal port which served the district surrounding Tauranga. In October last (ie 1948) the "James Cook" paid its first visit to load timber for Australia, and at the present time Tauranga is the largest exporting port for timber in the North Island.


To deal with the history of this district, one must include the area between Mataura and Matakana Island. In 1350 the Takitumu canoe landed at Bowentown on its way up the coast and some of the members of that canoe remained and formed the Ngaiterangi tribe, setting up Pas at Bowentown, Athenree, Waihi Beach and Orokawa Bay, the chief one being the Maru Pu Whenua at the north-west end of Waihi Beach. This Pa was occupied by the Ngaititunga tribe, a sub-tribe of the Ngaiterangi. The Ngatimaru tribe from Thames attacked and drove them from the Pa but they in turn were killed and eaten by the Ngapuhi tribe. This tribe later left the Pa and it was reoccupied by the Ngaiterangi who remained there until the land was sold the to white men. At one time, it has been estimated, approximately 15,000 Maoris inhabited the area.

They built fortifications and cultivated the land from the sea to the foot of the hills, but relied mainly on their remarkable skill as fishermen, both on the sea and in the muddy creeks, to give them their supply of food. This supply was abundant, the soil was very fertile, and the tribes prospered. While their wives tended the crops and did the general work, including the grinding of flour from fern roots, the men made and polished adzes, meres, and bone spear heads. At this work they were very skilful and took a great pride in polishing and finishing effects. Although they had all their needs for bodily warmth and comfort, they craved for the valuable greenstone, found only in the South Island. Consequently they engaged in a system of barter, a custom prevalent also amongst their northern neighbours.

The first to discover valuable data concerning tribes, native to these parts, was Captain Gilbert Mair, who happened to find a section of a Maori workshop, approximately 200 yards above high water mark near Bowentown, which had been laid bare by the prevailing westerly wind. Upon thoroughly searching this area he discovered about 2000 adzes, chisels, greenstone adzes, bone spear-heads, fish hooks, bone needles and greenstone ornaments. Some of this find was considered very valuable and took its place in the Maori section of the Auckland Museum. From 1921 to 1923 Mr S M Hovell of Waihi Beach employed a number of men and was successful in discovering a very extensive workshop, situated about 100 yards from Mair's original find. By systematic excavating there were recovered nearly 2000 adzes and anvils, 5000 greenstones, bone and stone ornaments, some quartzite and jasper, hammers and many fish hooks, drill points, scrapers, and weapons of war. With these were large flakes of rock, showing where the chipping process in the manufacture of the adze had been executed. Later a huge eel weir was discovered on Mr Shaw's property, while drainage operations revealed several valuable eel pots and wooden implements.

European Settlement:

Waihi was originally part of the Ohinemuri Block which was ceded for mining in 1875. The Crown finally purchased this area, or most of the area, in 1882. It was placed under the jurisdiction of the Warden, who was authorised to issue various types of Mining Tenures, ie., Miners' Rights, Claims, and Resident Sites.

The settlement of Waihi commenced in 1878 when Mr George Compston and his wife crossed the Waitekauri River, and took up land in the Huaia Block, where he afterwards resided. The discovery of payable ore at Waihi was made by John McCombie and Robert Lee in February 1878. Another strike was made at Te Aroha and these men abandoned their claim to rush to the new field. In their absence came two Coromandel prospectors, William Nicholls and Robert Majurey.

In 1880 Waihi "town" consisted of a store owned by Mr J Phillips and a shanty, erected by Mr F Corbett, called the Waihi Hotel. In the early 1880's the town began to spring into prominence. Small batteries for crushing the ore had been erected, and the mine had been working a considerable time, when the Martha Gold Mining Company [Waihi Gold Mining Company – E] was formed in 1887. It was not until 1896 that Waihi started to progress rapidly. Once the mining industry was properly established there was a great increase in the number of houses erected. In 1897 the need for the formation of a borough was felt, and in 1902 Waihi was constituted a Borough.

An important milestone on the road of progress was the opening of the railway. On 9 November 1905, Richard Seddon formally declared the Paeroa-Waihi section of the East Coast Main Trunk Line, open. During speeches it was mentioned that the Waihi Goldmining Company had given £75,000 towards the cost of the section. The line to Tauranga was opened in 1928.

The progress of farming on the Waihi Plains has been astonishingly rapid. Anyone acquainted with the district before 1919 would have scorned the idea that a comparatively poor, desolate and wind-swept region could be transferred within a few years into a rich dairying district, yet such has been the case.

Strictly speaking, the plain is a basin, about 19,000 acres in extent, surrounded on all sides by hills extending from this basin and varying from half a mile to a mile in width, are the valleys of Waitekauri, Mataura, Golden Valley, Beach Road, Waimata, and Waitawheta, all now engaged in pastoral pursuits. Their natural drainage is the Ohinemuri River which winds its way until it empties into the Waihou at Paeroa. The main portion of the Plains was thrown open by the Crown during 1912 but due to the War little was settled until 1919, when returned soldiers, and miners who had taken up land as a sideline, started to farm in earnest. The keen spiritofcompetition between the rival sections became evident, and soon many hundreds of acres of land were grassed.

The natural vegetation on the Plains was stunted bracken and manuka which had to be burnt off. The soil was found to be deficient in phosphates, which had to be applied liberally before a good sole of grass could be obtained. When the pasture was well established and treated at least once a year with phosphatic manure, the production, as illustrated by herd testing records, became equal to the older dairying districts of the Waikato.

An Early Settler:

In 1905 Mr & Mrs Tippett came to New Zealand with other immigrants on the "Corinthic" which sailed from Plymouth, England. They landed at Auckland and Mr Tippett found that he could obtain good employment at the gold mining settlement south of Thames. They came to Owharoa (Waikino) and rented a small house. Mr Tippett worked as a blacksmith in the Waikino Battery, where there was plenty of work, and the wages 7/6 a day for a labourer and 9/6 for a tradesman, made it quite profitable to work the five and a half days per week. After two years Mr Tippett, like many others connected with the Mine and Battery, found that it would be quite cheap to take up a block of land and run one or two house cows and a horse to pull his sulky. He obtained 46 acres of scrub country, cleared an acre for his stock, and commenced building a house. For a further 23 years he worked at the Battery and when the Waihi Plains were surveyed he obtained a further 76 acres, adjoining his farm, as he intended to take on farming full time. Times were hard for those men and women who cleared the scrub and tried to make rich pastures out of poor soil and grasses. As time progressed, however, and with new strains of grass, appropriate fertilizers, and better class of stock, Mr & Mrs Tippett have, like many other settlers, made a success of their farm.


Dairying is the most important local farming activity. Within a short radius of Waihi are 14,000 milking cows; the production of butterfat, with the related activities of pig production (10,000 annually) and the sale of bobby calves (9000 annually) accounts for an annual incomeof£500,000. Dry stock farming is another important activity and in addition a number of store sheep and fat lambs are raised in the district. Thereisvery little growing of crops other than the production of ensilage and hay for supplementary winter feeding.

The historical development of farming in the Waihi district is of interest. Originally Waihi itself was purely a gold-mining town and even the local milk supply had to be obtained from Paeroa. In their original state the hills around the town were heavily clothed in totara, but once mining was established, the better timber was soon cut down for props, etc. for use in the mines, and the smaller material was used for roasting the ore. Today the marks of the old tramlines leading to what was originally heavily bushed country and along which trucks were once pulled by horses to get this timber, are still to be seen, though the rails, of course, have long since disappeared.

Before the Waihi Plains became the rich farming land of today they were a wilderness of teatree and scrub and in parts bare of soil. The first farmers on the plains were miners, who took up farming more or less as a sideline. They acquired their land for as low a price as ten shillings an acre and were looked upon by the people of the district as foolish optimists whose farming venture must inevitably fail. Development at first was slow, but from 1925 or so onwards, the planting of shelterbelts, the digging of bores for artesian water, and the liberal topdressing of the soil, have resulted in what was at one time looked upon as worthless land, now becoming valuable dairying country which commands prices up to £100 an acre, and in isolated cases, even up to £180 an acre.



Without a doubt, if it had not been for the gold mining industry, Waihi would not have been the town it is today.

In considering the production of gold we are inclined to forget that the Martha Mine produces great quantities of silver ore. The ratio of silver to gold is 8 to 1. All the silver used commercially in New Zealand is mined in Waihi. The gold is sent to the Reserve Bank in Wellington where it becomes a medium of exchange and is used to finance overseas trade. The wages bill at the mine is about £3000 a week, most of which is spent in Waihi. The power for the mine now comes from Karapiro, the machinery, steel, cyanide and wire rope from Great Britain, chemicals from America, Oregon pine from Canada, hardwood and explosives from Australia and flint pebbles for use at Waikino Battery, from Sweden.


Although the gold and silver are mined in Waihi the quartz has to be taken to the batteryat Waikino four miles distant so that the precious metals may be extracted. The reason for this is that copious supplies of running water are essential and this water is obtained from a dam on the Ohinemuri River on the banks of which the battery is situated.

Commenced in 1903 [1898 – E] the battery first dry-crushed the ore, but due to the dust causing "miner's silicosis" (or miner's phthisis), a lung complaint, it was later wet-crushed, and the crushers driven by Pelton water wheels [turbines – E]. The battery was also supplied with electric power from the company's own power station at Horahora, on the Waikato River.


In 1932 Mr Keith Wrigley commenced business as a radio dealer and repairer. His work increased and he enlarged his premises, repairing radios on a large scale for outside firms, and began rewinding coils. He then started to build his own radios, and made electric fences, toasters and heaters. By 1939 he had moved to the old King's Theatre and employed a staff of 30.

With the outbreak of the War, and shortage of materials he undertook large scale war contracts and moved further into the field of radio and electronics, and by 1945 had over ninety men and women working in his factory. At the end of the War, the Army contract ceased and rather than dismiss the greater number of his staff he attempted to keep them all employed making radios. There was, however, a drastic shortage of overseas materials and a meeting of the senior men was called to investigate other fields, whereby the large staff could be employed satisfactorily. They decided on tricycles.

Mr Wrigley died in 1946 at the age of 32 and a private company took over the assets with success. The business expanded and with the production of the "Flyer" tricycle, and the "Pacific", "Regent" and "Five Star" radios made this then unknown firm, competing against well established firms, a major manufacturer and a credit to the men responsible for its success.

Recently Akrad Radio Corporation amalgamated with Pye Radios, one of the biggest radio and television manufacturers in Great Britain. Television is not far off as far as New Zealand is concerned and this will put this firm and Waihi into greater prominence on the map. The range of television is about 50 miles and due to the hilly country of the North Island, the major stations in the cities would have to have relay stations at frequent intervals in order that the country districts could be served.

Although Akrad makes much of its own dies, tricycle parts, radio parts and does its own plating and assembling, some parts come from other sources both from within New Zealand and overseas. A feature of this firm is the way unskilled labour on the assembly lines has proved that increased production can be brought about by employing unskilled labour on the assembly line rather than skilled radio mechanics whose wages would be higher. This is speedier than having a skilled tradesmen working on a set by himself. Each person has a certain part of the radio or tricycle to make or assemble and it is then passed on to the next. The first thousand tricycles took on average 12½ hours each to make, today the average is 3½ hours. Making over 800 radios and 1200 tricycles per month this firm employing 100 men and women, sends its products all over New Zealand.


This firm makes slippers, shoes and booties, and employs 36 women and 2 men. The leather and cloth is cut into the required shapes by the men using curved knives, and the edges are trimmed, turned down, and the decorative holes are punched through. The heels, toes, and inner soles are sewn and glued on and the shoes despatched to the Auckland factory for the outer soles to be fitted.

This Auckland firm realized the advantage of decentralization and set up this side factory five years ago. There was no labour shortage, and the girls could be easily trained, the railways and freight services were cheap and regular and gave the firm more room for expanding business in the Auckland factory.


The concrete works commenced three years ago and now employs six men in the making of concrete posts, troughs, pipes, wall blocks and foundation blocks. One quarter of the firm's output is used in the local district and the remainder is sent to other districts.


This industry melts down pig-iron from Australia, scrap iron from the local district and aluminium from scrap aeroplanes, with layers of coke. The metal is then used to make fire grates, trolley wheels, electric stove tops, insides for electric irons and the aluminium alloy is sentto the Akrad radio factory to be used in the construction of radios.


The company was formed in 1939 and the large new factory, 3500 sq. ft. was completed in May, 1951. The articles made include kitchen, dining room, bedroom and lounge furniture, cupboards, coffins and practically everything required in woodwork. At present, production is about £15,000 worth per year. They employ fifteen men and two women, using eleven electric machines and an air compressor for polishing.


Commenced in 1945, this establishment makes all types of men's outer garments and ladies costumes. Due to shortages of materials the firm is not producing as much at present as it was previously. Twentyfive made to measure suits are made per week but in boom times fifty suits were made and twenty to thirty people employed. Most garments are made for sale within the Thames Valley area.


Early Education in Waihi:

In the very early days of Waihi before any local school was established, children in the district had to travel six miles over rough country to attend the school at Waitekauri. During the 1880's two or three petitions were addressed to the Education Board asking for facilities for education to be provided in Waihi itself. As a result, a centrally situated site was procured. The first school building was a draughty wooden room, which was also used as a church and a hall for gatherings of the towns-people. Thefirstteacher was Miss E M Gibb.

With the rapid increase of mining activity there was a corresponding rapid increase in population and by November 1892 the roll was 60. A new school was erected but in 1894, with the roll at 100, further additions were made. Up to this time Miss Truscott who had succeeded Miss Gibb, had controlled the school but the Board thought it was time a male head teacher was appointed. When the School Committee was informed there was very strong disapproval. However, Miss Truscott applied for twelve months leave for health reasons and Mr A M Benge was appointed the first male Head Teacher in 1896.

The roll rose to 538 in 1900 and in 1901 the Waihi school changed its status to a District High School. In 1902 the Secondary roll was 38. By this date the total school staff was eleven. The early years of the present century saw Waihi develop into a boom town and in 1908 over 1000 pupils attended the school. The terrific overcrowding was somewhat relieved by the opening of the East School and, later the South School.

The main school buildings were again remodelled in 1928 and a concrete fence erected along the front boundary, making possible the cultivation of gardens and rockeries. Then came the fire. On 17 March, 1931 the school was destroyed with the loss of all records and children's and teachers' books. With the lapse of only one day, work was resumed in six different buildings in various parts of the town, and sufficient money was raised by the efforts of local citizens and committees,toreplace practically the whole of the pupils' property lost in the fire.

In May 1932 the present school buildings were occupied and in June officially opened as a Junior High School. The Waihi East, Waihi South, and later Waihi Beach and Waitawheta schools were converted to contributing schools catering for pupils from Primer 1 to Standard 4. At present the school is regarded as an Intermediate school with a Secondary Department attached. It is the only remaining District High School of this type in New Zealand.

Waihi East School:

The original school was opened early in 1909 and consisted of a block of five classrooms, under the control of the Headmaster Mr Mackie. For many years pupils from the infants to standard six were catered for but, in 1932, Standards 5 and 6 pupils transferred to the Intermediate School. In 1939 the school was destroyed by fire and the rebuilt school, with two infant rooms and three rooms for the standard classes, was opened in 1940. The present roll is 160 pupils. There is a staff of four teachers and the Headmaster.

Waihi South School:

The Waihi South School was opened on 15 February 1909. The first Headmaster was Mr H T Gibson. The school buildings consisted of four rooms with the desks raised on galleries. On 23 May 1932, when the Intermediate Department of the Waihi District High School was opened, all the Form I and II pupils were transferred there and 150 pupils from Primers to Standard 4 were transferred from the disestablished Central School to the South School. The roll was then 340 and three new rooms were added to the school. In 1949 two more rooms were added and another in 1951. The present roll is 400.


This school was established primarily for the training of experts in mining, but it also offered facilities for advanced education in a town where university education was not available.

In July 1897, the school opened with Mr P G Morgan, as Director. The building has been enlarged several times to include lecture rooms, chemical and assaying laboratory, furnace room, balance room, electrical workshop, museum library, storeroom and office. Under able instructors pupils were taught mining, electricity, geology, engineering, surveying, mathematics, chemistry, mineralogy, metallurgy and draughtsmanship. In addition, for a small fee, samples of ore from prospectors were assayed. Men trained in the School of Mines now hold responsible positions in Waihi, Waikino, and Australian and South African gold fields, while others have left to take up similar positions in the newer fields of New Guinea and Fiji. The School closed down in 1950.


The churches of Waihi date back to the gold rush days, and at the present day the Anglican, Presbyterian. Methodist, Baptist, Salvation Army, and Roman Catholic churches are all well established.


From a cultural point of view the pattern in Waihi follows that found in the average town of its size. The local branch of the Community Arts Service (the C.A.S.) has sponsored the formation of Choral and Dramatic Societies. In addition affiliated bodies include the Waihi Music Circle and two Dancing Societies, while the Waihi Branch N.Z.E.I., Miners' Union, Federated Farmers, and Women's Institute have representatives on the Executive Committee. An annual concert combines all local groups. Besides fostering local talent the C.A.S. has been responsible for the visits to the town of many leading New Zealand and overseas artists. At least two plays by professional and amateur companies are performed each year. The activities include the showing of 16mm films and the presentation of art displays. In all, the C.A.S. provides a valuable contribution to the cultural activities of the town.


Sporting activities include rugby football, cricket, tennis, basketball, badminton, cycling, athletics, swimming and life saving.


What does the future hold for Waihi? It must be very different in at least one important respect. Until recently the name of Waihi has been associated with gold mining, and until recent years, goldmining has been the most important aspect of the town's economy. Gold gave birth to Waihi - Waihi meant "gold" - but this will not be the case in the future. After an existence of over half a century the famous Martha Mine is closing down. In a few weeks (ie., towards the end of May 1952) the extraction of ore from the reefs under Waihi will have ceased.

Enough has been detailed in the previous chapters to show that the life blood of Waihi is no longer dependent on mining. Waihi's future lies in its position as a town serving a rich farming area, as a centre of light industry and as the gateway to seaside resorts like Waihi Beach and Whangamata, which at the present moment are developing with great rapidity.

When endeavouring to forecast the future of Waihi it is necessary to take the following factors into consideration: its geographical position, plus surrounding farm lands, etc., its transport facilities, the type of raw materials available locally, and its present industries.

It seems as if very big developments indeed may be expected in the very near future. The road access to Waihi is being improved. The railway station is being enlarged with stock loading facilities. The development of Tauranga as a modern deep sea port must influence the future of the Waihi area. More and more produce of this district will be diverted towards Tauranga as that port comes into more general use. Raw materials available locally must also play their part in Waihi's developing future. As is well known, Tauranga is likely to become the chief port in New Zealand for the exportation of exotic timbers. At Whangamata the State Forest area contains 20,000 acres of exotics that are now ready for milling. All the timber produced from the Whangamata area must be railed from Waihi. New industries, too, will probably arise from the closing of the Mine. For example, a company has already been formed to take over the well equipped foundry attached to the Waikino Battery. This company will be engaged in general engineering activities, an important part of which will be the repair and maintenance of Government Railways trucks. An industry that may develop in the future is the manufacture of bricks and glazed tiles; suitable clay and kaolin are available in large quantities not far from Waihi, and the development of the large coal deposits at Maramarua would make available the necessary supplies of coal for the industry. The recent merger between the local Akrad Radio Corporation and Pye Radio in Great Britain should result in a considerable expansion of the local industry, especially if television develops in this country. Furniture manufactured in Waihi is already being sold as far afield as Wellington.

A further factor that must have beneficial results on Waihi's future is the very rapid development of Waihi Beach and Whangamata as seaside resorts. It is estimated that already the midsummer population of Waihi Beach is around 6000 and that of Whangamata 4000. In both areas plenty of further land is available, so that the rapid growth noticeable today may be expected to continue at as least as great a rate in the near future.

Bearing all of the above points in mind it may be confidently predicted that, notwithstanding the trend from a mining town to that of a town dependent on farming, on light industry, and on the development of the famous seaside beaches in its vicinity, Waihi has nothing to fear from the future.