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At Owharoa both mining and prospecting were livening up further, and "the contracts for the Owharoa deviation of the Katikati road are getting on well." (The attraction was the Bridge already in being) (For the time being the route would be the old Maori back door from Katikati lands into the Ohinemuri - or vice versa.)

At Waitekauri, however, having to make a decision whether to amalgamate or co-operate was apparently too much for the Waitekauri, Welcome and Young New Zealand, which downed tools, leaving only the Shannon and Fergus, in a small way. "Some of the hands have gone prospecting." Lee and McCombie mentioned 1878 as when they started the first proper test of the often chipped at great quartz reef sticking up in the Waihi Plains, by way of an 80 foot tunnel, apparently in the summer of 1878-9, the first battery test of their quartz being in early 1879. And that was at Owharoa, which obviously was still keeping going.

However, the dry weather was good for roadmaking, and was over by May 10, when County Chairman Alexander Brodie and party went to Owharoa, "and rode along the new Katikati road as far as the Owharoa battery." The mining there looked well, including the substantial tramways and the carefully and energetically worked battery. The County Engineer laid out a new and better deviation from the Owharoa road "on to the old Constabulary Tauranga road," and "Mr. Aitken also laid out the line of road from the Waitekauri Stream to the Hikurangi Gorge, which, when completed, will shorten the distance to Katikati by thirteen miles."