Events In History


Fred Evans' violent death during the 1912 Waihi miners' strike made this otherwise obscure figure into a martyr of the New Zealand labour movement.

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The 1912 Waihi strike

  • The 1912 Waihi strike

    On 'Black Tuesday', 12 November 1912, in the midst of a bitter six-month strike by miners in the small New Zealand goldmining town of Waihi, striker Fred Evans was killed - one of only two fatalities in an industrial dispute in New Zealand's history.

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  • Page 2 – Further information

    Find out more about the Waihi Strike

The 1913 Great Strike

Waihī is situated 83 km north-west of Tauranga. Waihī began as a shanty town around a store and a hotel in the 1880s. When the invention of the cyanide process made mining profitable from 1889, the town boomed. Waihī housed a thriving electronics industry for half a century after a small radio-manufacturing and repair service opened in 1932. The first television transmission in New Zealand was made at Waihī in 1954. Underground mining finished at the Martha mine in 1952. However, rising gold prices and new, more economic mining methods rekindled interest in gold mining in the 1980s. The Martha mine re-opened in 1987, this time as an open pit mine.

Meaning of place name
Wai: water; hī: to gush forth. The name came from Hawaiki.