Waihi Arts Centre & Museum

Waihi Arts Centre and Museum holds Time and Wages ledger books spanning the years 1892 to 1952.

As these 50 ledgers are transcribed they will be made available for online searching here. Files are in Excel format and require Microsoft Excel to open.

If you would like assistance to find information about a particular individual who worked at the mine please use this enquiry form.

Period: Aug 1896 to Jun 1900

Aug 1896 - Jun 1900 (Excel Spreadsheet)

Of a total of 690 men employed by the Company in 1896, 160 were miners and this ledger relates to a further group of 170-200 men (with a strong representation of Irish) who worked above ground. This group comprised roughly half skilled workers (bricklayers, carpenters, fitters, engine drivers etc) and half unskilled labourers. The average daily pay for a skilled worker was 8/- and for a labourer, 7/-. The highest paid was the Battery Foreman at 13/- per day and Tally Boys in the tank shed started at 4/- 2d per day.

This was a period of rapid expansion at the Waihi Battery - the erection of additional drying kilns, cyanide leaching vats, precipitators and other ancilliary plant, as well as starting the construction of the two-hundred-head Victoria stamper battery in Waikino.

On 21st Jun 1897 all workers were given a day’s paid holiday to celebrate the Diamond Jubilee (60 years) of Queen Victoria’s reign. This event also led to the naming of the Victoria Battery.

Period: Sep 1933 to Jan 1935

Sep 1933 - Jan 1935 (Excel Spreadsheet)

This ledger does not specify the occupations of the 300 employees it records time and wages for.

In 1933 NZ experienced its highest rate of unemployment, at 12%. This was an effect of the Wall Street crash in 1929 that triggered the ‘Great Depression’. Those employed at the Waihi Gold Mine were considered fortunate that their jobs continued and their wages were not slashed, as was seen in many other sectors.