Ohinemuri Regional History Journal 48, September 2004


By David Verran

Voters in the different Parliamentary electorates had been able to vote on local "continuance" or "reduction" or "no license" for liquor since 1894, and in the Auckland area the first electorate to vote "full licence" was Grey Lynn, in 1905. At the 1908 General Election, both the voters in Auckland's Eden electorate and those in Ohinemuri Electorate (including Waihi, Paeroa, Waikino, Karangahake and Waitekauri) also voted to prohibit both the manufacture and sale of liquor in their area. It is said that local miners had threatened to vote for "no licence" unless the publicans cut the price of beer in half. Note that the nearby Thames electorate was still "wet", for those willing to travel.

The area thus lost all of its fourteen hotel licenses. Of these, nine became boarding houses; including the Rob Roy and Central in Waihi, the Royal Mail, Commercial and Criterion in Paeroa, the Karangahake and Tramway in Karangahake and the hotels at Waikino and Mackaytown. The Golden Cross at Waihi was pulled down and, as of early 1909, the Sterling at Waihi and the Waitekauri were still untenanted. Nothing can be confirmed regarding the fate of the Paeroa Hotel and Montgomery's at Karangahake.

Liquor licenses were only restored in Ohinemuri following the 1925 General Election.


New Zealand Sporting and Dramatic Review, 5 August 1909, page 21

Duncan Waterson's "Notes . . ." held at Special Collection, Auckland City Libraries, especially his "The distillation and brewing industries of the Auckland Province" (1959)

EDITOR'S NOTE: For further information with regard to the Karangahake hotels following prohibition, please refer to Chapter 8 of the Karangahake School Centenary and District Reunion publication (1989 ). See also the article at page 35 Journal 40 (September 1996) [Journal 40: Prohibition Days - E].