Ohinemuri Regional History Journal 20, June 1976


[continued from Journal 19: Paeroa - A First Chronology (Part 2) - E]

Year, Date & Event (W.N. - Weekly News)

1895 Dec. 20th

Formal Opening -- Te Aroha-Paeroa Railway by the Hon. A.J. Cadman. A special train left Auckland at 6.30 a.m.

Many passengers from Hamilton and Te Aroha (where the Te Aroha Brass Band boarded at Paeroa Station (opp. present P. Hotel) the train broke through ribbon held by Minnie Shaw (rep. Europeans) and Mabel Tizard (rep. Maoris).

A telegram was read from Richard J. Seddon who had hoped to open the line. Mr. Cadman stated that 13 miles of line had been constructed in 17 years (laughter); 19 miles more had to be done. Up till 1891 £63,000 had been spent by the previous Government. The present Government in 4 years had spent ₤41,000 - a total of: £104,000; about £50,000 was required to finish the line between Paeroa and Thames. The portion constructed at the Thames end had fallen into a very sad condition.

Cr. Edwin Edwards and Chairman H.P. Barry of the Ohinemuri C.C., W. Kelly, M.H.R,, spoke of the "disgrace that the line from the Thames end lay rotting". Other speakers were: Mr. James Mackay, Mr. McAndrew Engineer for the line; Mr. T. Shaw, foreman of Works; Mr. Vickerman, Engineer-in-chief Auckland District, and Mr. Cassrels County Councillor. A number of the visitors made a trip to Karangahake before the train departed for Auckland at 6p.m. in the presence of a great cheering crowd.

Banquet at Royal Mail Hotel where about 50 participated in the "excellent spread provided by Mr. Crosby". This was followed by a Deputation to the Minister re:-

1. Completion of the railway to Thames.

2. Construction of a railway to Waihi.

3. Water supply and drainage for Paeroa.

4. Purchase of Paeroa Township: The Minister replied that there had been considerable negotiations but no offers from the owners of the lease. However, that day Mr. Cassrels and Mr. Bennett had madean offer and he thought it was a fair and reasonable one.

5. Pollution of river by tailings: River should never have been declared a sludge channel.

1896 W.N. Jan. 18

Ohinemuri C.C. protests against Govt. virtually stopping access to the new railway wharf by exhorbitant charges. Considerable heartburning in Paeroa as the steamers will not come further than the Junction.

Proprietors of SS NGUNGURU purpose fixing the masts and funnel on hinges to pass under the railway bridge and discharge cargo at the old Paeroa Wharf. (Wharf Street).

1896 Feb. 27

Paeroa: large meeting in Criterion Theatre to consider a water supply scheme; from Tarariki Stream: Messrs McKay, O’Hare, Mitchell, Cock, Nathan, Crosby, McAndrew elected committee authorised to take all necessary steps; County Council asked to assist and endeavour to secure loan. "At head of the list of promoters of the scheme are Mr. J.M. Sharp and Capt. Argall….. every probability of Paeroa having a good water supply before next summer".

1896 W.N. Mar 14th

Junction Road: Deputation to County Council from Master Carriers to metal Junction Road or most of the 64 carriers and their 164 horses would be out of work. Council asks Govt. for £200, Northern S.S.Co. for £200, & will provide £200 for the work.

1896 W.N. Mar. 28

A large brewery at cnr. Queen Street and the Esplanade to be built by Mr. Wagstaff of Pahiatua. Contracts have been let for building, well, and drainage.

1896 May 23

Paeroa: Opening of Presbyterian Church. (J. 16)

Note:- The 1st Protestant Church (Methodist) was opened in 1882. (Anglican Church, 1895). (J. 14).

1896 W.N. Dec. 19

Temporary water supply from Tarariki Stm. may be available in a week; prolonged dry spell having disastrous results in Paeroa; Tanks are dry; river polluted by cyanide.

1897 W.N. Feb. 27

New steamer KIA ORA completes first week’s running Auckland - Paeroa. Owners have let contract for erection of wharf and store-sheds at the Puke.

The new Criterion Hotel, one of best in Auck. Dis. completed.

1897 W.N. Apr. 10

Water Supply Loan Poll for £7000 carried by 131 votes to nil.

Nov. 13

Paeroa Water Supply. Govt. loan of £7000 made available. County Council resolved that as permanent supply could not be brought in for next summer, a temporary supply be gone on with.

1897 Nov. 10

Rifle Range for Paeroa Corps of Ohinemuri Rifle Volunteers opened. Parade led by band marched from front of Criterion Theatre. Capt. Fergusson asked Mrs. Bastings to fire the first shot, "the gun being trained by the Captain at 200 yards range and the lady registering a bull’s-eye amidst prolonged applause".

1897 Dec. 11

Water supply - temporary supply now on tap as far as the Bank of New Zealand (Cnr. Normanby Road and Victoria Street).

1898 W.N. Mar. 12

Water supply - tenders received for preliminary work. Asphalting main street footpath: Council agreed - from Bank of N.Z. as far as Wesleyan Church if property owners paid half the estimated cost of £45 to £50.

Paeroa Gas supply: Messrs Atkinson and Wilson hope to supply gas within 3 months. The work of excavating for the gasometer in full swing.

A new school is to be commenced at Komata.

1898 Apr

ss TANIWHA makes first trip up river to Paeroa. (Jnl.15.7).

1898 W.N. Apr. 23

Paeroa Library: public mtg. to consider its removal from back street to central site next C.C. Bldg. and to add a reading-room. May 14 deputation to C.C. who agree to subsidise public subscriptions to extent of £75.

1898 June 17

Paeroa should be illuminated by gas by end of July. Intended to light Karangahake also. "Paeroa saw its first really big pay day today when the 80 employees of the gas works received their wages".

1898 July 9

Hauraki Regiment formed as 2nd Bn. Auck. Rifle Volunteers with Hd. Qrts. at Paeroa. Became VI (Hauraki) Regt. by Defence Act of 1909. (Journal 4 Page 37).

July 23

Thames-Paeroa Railway: Steamer TUTANEKAI at Kopu with cargo of sleepers. Original permanent way and bridges being torn up and new ones put down.

Aug. 22

Persons using Thames-Paeroa railway works as a road to be prosecuted!

H.Oct 6

Thames-Paeroa Railway: capital headway at Thames and taking up rusty rails, rotten sleepers and laying new ones; all stations on the line will start being built simultaneously "in a few days".

1898 Dec. 8

Thursday: R.J. SEDDON and party left Thames for Paeroa, 8 a.m. on first train to convey passengers. It "ran smoothly - made the journey in 48 mins. Several coaches on the road were passed. Train passengers compared old and new, faster means of progress". At Paeroa station speeches by C.F. Mitchell and R.J. Seddon.

1898 Dec. 19


NSSCo WAKATERE made special trip from Auckland to Thames. Opening by Hon. A.J. Cadman, Min. of Railways and M.H.R for Ohinemuri. In morng. a train with some 50 passengers was run from Thames to Paeroa & returned to Thames with Paeroa people. It was 20 years since the first sod had been turned. A Liberal Govt. had commenced and now completed the line. The children’s Train of 14 cars, mostly "cattle trucks" was run to Puriri and back, the children then being treated to refreshments.

1899 July 13

Paeroa Public Library & Reading Room Belmont Road opened.

Paeroa Creamery: site purchased in July on land of Mr .J. Phillips Jnr., opposite the Race Course.

Public Abattoirs: Tenders for building to be called.

1899 Aug 7

Ohinemuri Coaching Co. incorporated; Geo. Crosby Managing Director having purchased coaching lines of G. Crosby, G. Johnstone, W.L. Hunter and Short & Co. - 120 horses, 10 coaches, 28 employees. Services to Karangahake, Waihi, Katikati, and Tauranga.

1899. Sept.

Paeroa-Waihi Railway: £6000 placed on Parliamentary estimates for the commencement of the work.

1899 Dec. 18

George Roland Bradford first Colonial soldier to fall in the Boar War died of wounds Jasfontein, South Africa (Jnl.12.23)


Paeroa Creamery established Thames Road. (Jnl. 10 page 8).

1900 WN Feb. 2

Paeroa - Waihi Railway: preliminary arrangements being made for commencement. Offices and stores being built at Paeroa. Route of line not yet fixed; endeavours being made to have it on the Paeroa side of the river.

Paeroa lease: Negotiations between Govt. and Messrs Cassrels and Bennett for purchase of their Paeroa leaseholds have been completed and Govt. will take possession.

1900 Feb. 1


1900 WN Feb. 9

Paeroa Public meeting in Criterion Theatre to urge that railway to Waihi be built on Paeroa side of river.

Paeroa-Netherton Road in such good condition - Mr. R.W. Bagnall drove a buggy from Paeroa to Turua - (first to do so).

1900 WN Mar. 30

Paeroa-Waihi Railway: work begun employing 40 men most of them on bridge over Ohinemuri River at Karangahake for the purpose of trucking out spoil from the Karangahake tunnel when it is commenced. Bridge to be a temporary structure.

1900 Apr. 23

Catholic school opened in Paeroa with 84 pupils. (J. 9. Page 48)

I900 WN July 13

Karangahake dispute: railway station wanted in the township but Department has decided on the original route through the tunnel which has yet to be driven. Good progress on the line between Karangahake and Mackaytown.


Thames Valley Dairy Co. formed – 67 suppliers. (Jnl. 10 Page 18)

1901 March

New Netherton School opened on present site. (J.13. 43)

1902 July 6

Paeroa Convent opened by Rt. Rev. Bishop Dr. Lenihan. (J.9. 48)


District High School, Paeroa estab. Frank Murphy Headmaster.


Puke Wharf opened. Drill Hall built.


Bradford Fountain Primrose Hill (Rt. Hon. R.J. Seddon).


Railway opened for goods traffic Paeroa - Karangahake.(J.10.15)


Railway Paeroa to Waihi opened.


2nd Criterion Bridge (iron).

1909 June 30

Ohinemuri voted "dry" - Paeroa Hotels closed. (12.16).

1910 Aug. 10

Paeroa School fire. (Journal 6. Page 28)

1912 Jan.

Bernard Freyberg swam the river from Te Aroha to Paeroa (13.3)

Aug. 11

ss TANIWHA sank at Puke Wharf (J. 15. 7)


Puke Bridge built to replace Ferry.


Paeroa Stopbanks to save town from floods, commenced with horse and dray. Later dredge and draglines used. (J. 12. 9)


First World War. Closure of Karangahake Mines.

1915 July 1

Paeroa became a Borough. Mr. W.J. Towers first Mayor. (4.21)


Thames Valley Electric Power Board constituted. (J. 4. 30).

1921 Mar. 31

Electric power for Paeroa switched on at transformer near Criterion Hotel, by Hon. Gordon Coates, Minister of Works.


Hotel Licences Restored. Railway Station moved.


New Post Office opened in Paeroa by Hon. Gordon Coates.(Jnl. 4)

1928 Apr. 5

New Criterion Bridge opened by Hon. K.S. Williams, Minister of Works. (Journal 4. Page 23).


Municipal Swimming Pool opened.

1930 Apr. 3

Paeroa Hospital opened. (Jnl. 11. 45)


St. John Ambulance Brigade Paeroa Branch inaugurated (registered as a Brigade 1934). (Journal 9. page 26)


Second World War.


Victoria Battery, Waikino, closed down. Last Superintendent Mr. James Noble. (Journal 15. 21).


War Memorial Hall, built by Lee Bros. opened by Rt. Hon. Walter Nash.


Waitawheta Water Supply for Borough.


Paeroa College opened (Te Aroha Road)

Miller Avenue School opened.


Historical Society formed.


New Fire Station erected by Walmsley Bros. opened by his Worship the Mayor Mr. L.J. Shaw.


New Govt. Buildings opened in Belmont Road.

Waihou River Scheme inaugurated.


CENTENNIAL CELEBRATIONS to re-enact the signing of the Deed of Cession the Opening of the Ohinemuri Goldfield, the official Birth of Paeroa and the opening of its first school in 1875.