coal mining

Events In History

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Seddonville

  • Seddonville

    The West Coast coalmining settlement of Seddonville, 50 kms north of Westport, was named in honour of the Liberal Premier Richard Seddon. It was also the site of an early experiment in state socialism – New Zealand's first state coal mine opened there in 1903.

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  • Page 2 – Coal is discovered

    After John Rochfort discovered fragments of bituminous coal in a river north of Westport in 1859, the search was on for accessible coal seams that could be mined.

  • Page 3 – Seddonville State Mine

    Premier Richard Seddon decided that the best way to challenge the coal companies was to establish government-owned mines that would provide cheaper coal as well as setting

  • Page 4 – Mining at Charming Creek

    The block of coal discovered in the headwaters of Charming Creek created interest after the closure of the state mine.

  • Page 5 – Hydraulic coal mining

    There are major advantages to using hydraulic mining for coal, including the lack of dust as well as minimising the risk of explosions and fires.

  • Page 6 – Decline of mining

    After 1956 there was a sharp decline in the demand for coal as many customers changed to oil.

  • Page 7 – Seddonville's rail heritage

    The Ngakawau-Seddonville branch line was built solely for the transport of coal from mines near Seddonville to Westport harbour, where it was then transported around New

  • Page 8 – Further information

    This web feature was written by Simon Nathan and produced by the NZHistory.net.nz team.

Pike River mine disaster

  • Pike River mine disaster

    On the afternoon of 19 November 2010, an explosion ripped through the remote Pike River mine on the West Coast of the South Island, killing 29 men.

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  • Page 1 - Pike River mine disasterOn the afternoon of 19 November 2010, an explosion ripped through the remote Pike River mine on the West Coast of the South Island, killing 29 men.

The 1913 Great Strike

  • The 1913 Great Strike

    The Great Strike of 1913 was in fact a series of strikes between mid-October 1913 and mid-January 1914. It was one of New Zealand’s most violent and disruptive industrial confrontations.

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  • Page 6 – The 1913 strike in the South Island

    Although the 1913 strike had its biggest impact on Auckland and Wellington, the South Island's cities and mining towns were also affected.

1947 Greymouth beer boycott

  • 1947 Greymouth beer boycott

    What would it take for West Coasters to boycott their beloved beer? Greymouth hotel-keepers found out in 1947, when an organised attempt to raise the price of beer sparked one of the most effective consumer boycotts ever seen in New Zealand.

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  • Page 4 - Industrial actionAfter the first week of the Greymouth beer boycott it became clear that the Licensed Victuallers' Association (LVA), supported by the breweries, was not going to yield.

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