Hikurangi coal mine

Hikurangi coal mine

This photograph of one of the three coal mines at Hikurangi, 16 km north of Whangārei, was taken between 1907 and 1921. On 6 November 1913 the Hikurangi miners voted unanimously to strike in support of their comrades at Huntly.  Around 200 workers from the three mines went on strike. The coal strike also affected local industries such as the cement works and dairy factories.

Around 15 December an arbitrationist union was formed and began to enrol men. Work was not resumed until 5 January 1914, by when the arbitrationist union was established at the three mines. Those regarded as ringleaders of the strike were blacklisted. Not until 1920 did the new Hikurangi miners’ union shed its reputation for siding with the bosses and begin taking a more militant stand.

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