January 9. Report Owharoa battery starts up.
January 12. New battery at Owharoa been working on stuff from Morning Light and Smile of Fortune with very satisfactory results. To continue on these for a fortnight, then Annie.
February 23. Re road, would suggest between Owharoa and Mackaytown making deviations to avoid Break-neck Hill and Sloppy Hollow.
February 26. Populations were Paeroa 156, plus around 150 "natives," "always shifting about," Mackaytown had 67. Karangahake had 36. "At one time there was a large population here, but in consequence of the falling off of the gold return there was a general clearing out. The Karangahake Coy. had a 16 stamp battery, worked by a water turbine. The mine was at present on tribute.
Owharoa had 48, miners 36, women 3, children 6, storekeepers 3, Battery Perry's, water power, turbine, 15 stamps.
Agricultural sections, 50 acres each, 15, residents 6, area cultivated 250 acres, grass, cattle 120, horses 61. Mining at present depressed state, which has the effect of reducing the population one fourth, but things improving, population beginning to return. "A good deal of bush is being felled by settlers for sowing grass."
Waitekauri district. Miners 135, sawyers 4 pairs, storekeepers 6, hotels 2, women 21, children 53. Batteries 2: Waitekauri Coy's. 40 stamps, driven by water wheel, on Waitekauri Stream. Wick's battery, on Mangakara Creek, 9 stamps, water power, turbine, not working, in consequence of not having tram communication with claims. 32 50 acre agricultural sections, residents 12, acres cultivated, 290 in grass and potatoes. Large quantity of bush trees cut down ready for burning off. Mining slack, but in 2 months expect great activity by miners, as be tram communication between the mines and the Waitekauri battery. Cattle 300, horses 25 (including mining).
Waihi Plains, 17 50 acre agricultural sections, residents 4, cattle 50, horses 6, 175 acres in cultivation, grass. Next year to double the amount in cultivation.
Feb. 28, 1877. Government extending road across the Waihi Plains, and Thames County hopes there will ultimately be good communication thereby to Tauranga.
March 29. But [Nut] shareholders wanted the Owharoa road extended to the proper right bank of the Ohinemuri and 18 chains east of Perry's battery, as a means of getting quartz to the mill. This would benefit a number of claims, and make a portion OF THE MAIN ROAD TO TAURANGA. Referred to Thames County Council's Works Committee.
April 2. The roading projected by the County would enable the Nut to get quartz to the mill and make it a valuable property. The battery was going better. By working the wire rope at a slow speed it "goes first rate, at 35 miles per hour. The battery at 55 strokes per minute not fast enough for poor stuff, so will have to make alterations so the wire rope will still travel slow and the battery fast, at a trifling cost.''
April 12. 1877. From Tairua there were good roads along the coast to Whangamata and Katikati.
May 11. Thames County meeting. Mackaytown to Tauranga - Bridge much required across the Ohinemuri River, beyond Kinsella's farm, to connect the Tauranga main road with the Thames district. "As advantage would at once be taken by parties interested to bring cattle and sheep from Napier to the Thames market, it would prove a work of great public utility."
Paeroa to Mackaytown and Owharoa. "Small contracts have been let for repairing all the worst portions, but no more to be spent than absolutely necessary to keep the road open for traffic, as the surveyor has been instructed to lay off a new line of road."
May 19. Owharoa. Smile of Fortune has purchased Mr. Perry's interest in battery for £300 and 1,000 shares. Will enable Coy. to crush low grade at small cost, and there will be no necessity to keep 2 managers and 2 distinct staffs of employees. The men, when not engaged in the mill, will find plenty of work in the mine.
June 7. Owharoa, Smile of Fortune had recent arrangements for the Coy. to have a half share in the 15 stamp battery and berdans erected by Mr. Perry and Co, for £300 cash and 1,080 shares in the Smile of Fortune. The remaining half now been transferred to the Coy, for 2/6 per ton of quartz crushed as a royalty.
June 21. Progress at Waitekauri was continuing. The big battery was now served by 3 miles of tramway. The back track from Paeroa had been improved, with obscuring trees cut down, and it took two and a half hours from Paeroa, on foot, to McCombie's hotel, which also had a store, with nearby Cloonan's store.
It was reported at the beginning of October, 1877, that the Morning Light mine at Owharoa being moribund, the Thames County Council purchased the BRIDGE over the Ohinemuri, as being useful for the road to Katikati and Tauranga, (For which it had already been a great deal used de facto.)
November saw Corbett now both mine and battery manager at Waitekauri, but the battery needed new shoes, which needed horse and dray, not the pack track. But the road via Mackaytown was now impassable for vehicles too. No dray could use the "dilapidated channel, dignified by the name of a road". And ex manager Wilson could not get out with his family and possessions - Corbett suggested the only way out might be by balloon.