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Ohinemuri Regional History Journal 20, June 1976

Between 1908 and 1911 the Waihi Beach Road was formed and vested in the Waihi Borough Council by the Ohinemuri and Tauranga Counties who controlled the area through which the road passed - 6¾ miles and the full road width. The Borough was to pay 90% of the maintenance and the Ohinemuri County, 10%.

In 1913 the Borough Council started steps to acquire 200 acres of land at the northern end of Waihi Beach. 175 acres to be bought from a Mrs. Shaw and 25 acres from G.V. Stewart the founder of the KatiKati settlement.

By 1919 Beach Road was in a very bad state of repair and needed £4,000 spent on it. The Borough Council could not see its way to spend this money to benefit private property owners. (If the road was better, miners from Waihi would erect permanent houses and batches there, and the property owners would obtain rents from these), so since trying to buy the land had been unsuccessful the Council decided to take the necessary land under the Public Works Act.

Therefore in 1919 the Council put forward to the Judge of the court the following reasons to support its claim for compulsory acquisition of 200 acres at Waihi Beach.

1. Shanties were being erected by people from long distances away and the people from the surrounding district (particularly miners) should have priority.

2. The tenth acre sections being built on were far too small and invited slum conditions.

3. It was desirable (in the interests of the community) to establish a recreation and camping ground - which the present land owners were not doing.

4. Injured miners could then take up permanent holdings and live there with security of tenure.

5. Would be an asset to the Waihi Borough since many of the men working underground caught miners' disease or miners' phthisis (caused by fine fragments of quartz) and doctors had proved sea air beneficial for this.

6. If miners continued to settle at Waihi Beach there would be a need for town planning and sanitary arrangements particularly since many of them were ill; e.g. In 1919 there were already 11 miners' shanties on Mrs. Shaw's land and 8 on Mr. Stewart's with a total of 50 dwellings an Mrs. Shaw's and 28 on Stewart's. Paying rentals of £2 - £4 a year.

7. Neither of the owners would sell the land or lease it; only rent from year to year. Better houses could not be built with this lack of security.

8. The Waihi Mining Co. was starting an expansion programme and there would therefore be many more miners who wished to take advantage of the beach.

9. If the beach was under municipal control they could then pass by-laws governing bathing, dressing sheds etc.

The judge found in the Council's favour to the extent of it acquiring 76 acres.

8 acres from Mr. Stewart - from the creek up the face of the hill

61 acres from Mrs. Shaw.

7 acres of sand

The Council then took a poll of rate payers to strike a 3d. rate to pay for this land. The poll closed at 7 p.m. and at 7.15 p.m. the Mayor rang a bell and announced the results to the large crowd which was waiting. The majority for the proposal was 270 out of a total vote of 800.

The compensation court sat in 1922 and decided that the Council should pay £4,700 for the 69 acres from Mrs. Shaw and Mr. Stewart.

Once full control was gained of the land the Council sub-divided and leased the sections; 24 sections at £7/10/- p.a. 60 at £3 and 126 at £5.

Even these leases were considered too high and the Miners' Association protested that the building regulations were a barrier to workers putting up batches as the cost was going to be the princely sum of £90 - £120.

In 1924 the Ohinemuri County Council agreed to the Beach reserve being included as a part of the Waihi Borough and since then the settlement has not looked back, e.g. 1924 a School was opened in the old Shaw homestead loaned by the Waihi Borough Council. The road was repaired and 1,000 campers were at the beach over Christmas. 1926 Post and Telegraph facilities were provided. Railway excursions brought many visitors in the summer months.

Even now the permanent population is not very large (approx. 200) but during the summer is swollen by anything from five to ten thousand people.


ORIGINAL LEASEHOLDERS OF WAIHI BEACH

By THE LATE MISS JEFFERSEN

G

ALLEN

Annie

ANDREWS

A

ANDREWS

J

ARCHIBALD

S

ARDEN

MRS. E

BALLARD

N

BRAY

S

BROWN

F

CLOSE

J

COFFEY

N

COLLINS

L

COOPER

H

COTTON

G

CULLEN

J

CUNLIFFE

D

CURRIE

ELSIE

DAILY

THOSS

DAWES

W

DAWSON

J

DELANEY

FLORA

DENTON

MRS. M

ELLIS

E

EVERSHAM

W

FEATHER

H

FRITH

E

GARDINER

J

GILMOUR

C

GREEN

W

HALL

E

HANDCOCK

H

HARE

R

HARRIS

F

HEATH

Wm

HENDERSON

L

HENDERSON

A

HENRY

J

HERBERT

D

HILDEBRAND

J

HOGARTH

C

HOLLOWAY

E

HUME

F

INALIS

 

KENDALL

L

KENNEDY

W

KING

 

KINN

 

KIRSBY

A

LEARMONTH

A

LEGGAT

A

LINDSAY

J

LOCKINGTON

H

MANNING

RITA

MAUNDER

W

McWILLIAMS

J

MOFFAT

N Z

MOON

M

MUIR

 

MUIR

K

MULLINS

N

OLPHERT

A

PARRY

C

PASCOE

T

PATERSON

M

PATERSON

W

PERKINS

P

PILKINGTON

HUGH

POLAND

Wm

POTTS

 

PROUDLOCK

M

PULHAM

F

RADDINGS

A

RAE

H

RAFFLES

F

RANKIN

L

RAYNER,

A

RICHARDS

A

ROBERTS

A

ROSS

G

RUTHERFORD

D

SEATH

R

SENIOR

HOY

SHAND

W

SHANDLEY

W

SHAW

 

SHAW

THOS.

SHORT

E

SHORT

S

SIMPSON

D

SOUTHWARD

R

SOUTHWARD

B

SPARKE

H

SPENCER

H

SPENCER

W

STEVENS

A

STOBIE

A

TAYLOR

Jas

TAYLOR

A

THOMAS

W

THOMPSON

E

THOMPSON

R

TOOMEY

E

TREMBATH

 

TREWIN

John

TURNER

E

TURNER

W

VERRY

S

WALMSLEY

W

WALNUT

L

WATKINS

J

WHITEHEAD

L

WILLIAMS

ADA

WILSON

 

WOODWARD

A

WRATH

J

WRIGLEY