Events In History


Regional rugby

  • Regional rugby

    The passion and parochialism of provincial rugby helped give the game a special place in New Zealand’s social and sporting history. Read brief histories, highlights and quirky facts about each of New Zealand's 26 regional rugby teams.

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  • Page 9 - Thames Valley rugbyHistory and highlights of rugby in the Thames valley

Thames is Hauraki–Coromandel’s largest town and the gateway to the Coromandel Peninsula, and is 115 km south-east of Auckland. Thames came into existence when gold was discovered in 1867 at the south-east corner of the Firth of Thames. The government chose Shortland, at the mouth of the Kauaeranga River, for the town. Meanwhile, many miners occupied Tookeys Flat on the Kuranui Stream, in order to be close to the gold workings. In 1868 Auckland entrepreneur Robert Graham purchased the land in between, which became Grahamstown. The three towns combined to form Thames. Thames has retained a wealth of historical buildings from the gold-mining days thanks to limited pressures for development subsequently, and local pride in the town’s history. Until recently, Thames was the most highly industrialised town of its size in New Zealand.

Meaning of place name
Named after the wider locality. The Firth of Thames was so named by Captain James Cook in November 1769. To the Waihou River he gave the name Thames 'on account of it bearing some resemblance to that river in England'.