Events In History

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Twelve kilometres south-east of Balclutha, Kaitangata – ‘Kai’ to locals – has a population of abuot 800. Coal was first mined in 1869, and was taken to Dunedin by rail from 1876.

An explosion in 1879 killed 34 miners. In the early 1900s, when the town had nearly 1,500 people, 440 men worked in the mines.

The last underground coal mine closed in 1970, but some opencast mining continued in 2009. Nearby Lake Tuakitoto is a wildlife sanctuary.

Meaning of place name
Translates as - kai: to eat; tangata: man (Man eater)

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