Tom Moynihan

Tom Moynihan was born in Dillmanstown, near Kumara. He recalled: 'I learnt about the use of water power while I was engaged with my father and uncle, on gold mining in the Kumara area near Greymouth. My father, who was widely recognised as the ‘king’ of hydraulic gold mining, operated workings close to those of my uncle, Dick Quinn, who owned the then biggest gold mine worked by hydraulics in the world'.

For many years Tom Moynihan was owner of the Moynihan Coach Company, which ran between Christchurch and the West Coast. He later moved to Westport, where he was involved with hydraulic mining at a number of localities. His plans were often opposed by mine managers (who felt that the use of water was impractical) as well as the larger unions (who feared the loss of jobs). The remote area of Seddonville was one of the few places where he was able to test and refine the application of hydraulic mining to coal.

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