Ohinemuri Regional History Journal 53, September 2009

(Editorial January 1, 1886, reprinted from the Hauraki Tribune and County of Ohinemuri Advertiser (1881-1896), Paeroa)

The close of another year is opportune time to take a review of the past and we avail ourselves of it to take stock, as far as may be, of our present position also.

During the past 12 months, we have had a greater "boom" in mining matters than any that has been experienced since the opening of this country in 1875. For months past we have been waiting for the realisation of a "great future" on the faith of the opinion of a man who is now confessed to have made a mistake; and many are predicting for us deplorable collapse, instead of the great future.

Not having been the least excited by Mr La Monte's prophesies of a great future, we are not depressed by the jeremiads and lamentations of his disillusioned followers.

If we commence at the furtherest limit of our goldfield, Waitete, we see that the works have gradually progressed, and if there are no great finds, there certainly have been no losses. Even though the full force cannot be put on the various mines at the close of the holidays, yet it cannot be many weeks before there will be ample supply of water for crushing and all other purposes, and then ordinary course of working will have to be resumed.

The Waitekauri country is still locked up, and still staggers along under the mischievous influence of men who are not identified with the district, further than dragging out of it the highest percentage they can get.

At Owharoa, no effort has been made to assist the prospecting of the country, and the result is realised in a battery standing idle, and the mines closed up.

In Karangahake, up to the present time, making those few exceptions, which only prove the rule, the mining companies put upon the market nothing more than so many share-floaters' ventures. So long as the general public will rush in and take up shares in companies floating untried ground, so long must we reckon on being face to face with what is confronting us—a general collapse, arising from over-heated speculation.

For all this, however, we believe there are many Karangahake mines that will pay fairly well for working, and that we may, hope for even greater success in the coming year than any we have yet had.

In the work of general settlement the question as to freehold of the agricultural leases, has left hands of their holders free to carry out their improvements, and to spend money which they would otherwise not have done, upon their properties.

As it is, in many things production is outstripping demand, and the settlers who have hitherto worked along in the best way they could will have to be on the outlook for a permanent market.

The railway, which is now in actual course of construction from the Thames to Paeroa will, no doubt, give increased facilities for the transportation of produce, and will still further help open large blocks of land that have been hitherto lying waste.

In making our estimate, however, for the coming year, there is one factor in the calculation which must not lost sight of. It can hardly doubt that the King Country will now be opened.

Writing with authortive knowledge as to the probability of gold being found in that country, we say that we do not be doubt at all that gold has been found, and that it will be found in such quantity as will draw off a very considerable proportion of the mining population of this and other goldfield districts.

That is a matter, however, that always settles itself. Miners will go to the most promising field, whatever may be the inducement, in the district they then are, and we must, therefore prepare ourselves simply to meet circumstances that are sure to arise.

One thing we must not leave out of sight in calculating the future. We have now obtained local self-government, and it will be for the men that the ratepayers have sent in to the County Council to show that they are capable of performing the duties of the office imposed upon them.

We have a country eminently favoured in its circumstances: and it will be for our County Councillors and their chairman to prove to us that they are capable of developing the resources of the County.