July 29, 2009 06:53:36pm
Re: Uploader malfunction
re that thing you wanted me to scan. Which I could not get the original.
From memory, the date of the item relates to on the West Coast of NZ's South Island (Still our remotest area)was settled because of gold rushes, but always our best coal comes from there, today Japan buys it for steel making, a lot we used for gas making, railways, steam up to the '60s and '70s, etc, the North Island has lower quality coal, we still use for power generation, our dual coal natural gas power stations were 75% gas, but now since we wasted our gas to make power and petrol (gasoline), they are 75% coal, and we import some of that coal from the Philippines, land it at Mt Maungauni and rail it via another long tunnel to Huntley power station.
Back to the West Coast, we get a lot of timber from there, and it and the coal has to be railed to the East Coast (Christchurch) the nearest deep water port, via a 5 mile (I think) tunnel under the Southern Alps. The tunnel when built was the longest in the Souther Hemisphere (till our Rimatucka Tunnel built in the 50s, an hour by road from me
However the Otria tunnel is uphill from the West Coast, that line is bottle neck, a struggle to get coal out, to meet export contracts. Rail was the only reliable link for a long time, everything went thru that tunnel, except some coal went in coaliers to a small port near Auckland, in 68, one small ship carrying coal vanished, no mayday, after a long search, they found some floating wreckage, they suspect the cargo shifted during a storm and it capsized
So the West Coast has always been a hot-bed for union labour unrest.
What's your interest? I know of several books, one relates to the Blackball Coal Mine history, there are references which might interest you. From memory, (more than one mine) it was a strike at the Blackball mine in the 20s which crippled a lot of NZ industry relying on steam, I think the police had a big presence, and the military was brought in to dig out the coal.
That strike lead to the formation of the NZ Labour Politic Party, which until a change in how we elected our government about 12 years ago, took turns with the NZ National Party to govern NZ. National being for the capitalists, Labour for the workers.
So, you should do a search for New Zealand, Blackball, Strongman, both major mines, Blackball closed well before Strongman, but in 1967 Strongman was the scene of our biggest mining disaster.
Newspapers, I think some are on-line, but not sure how far back, Greymouth Evening Star (Greymouth is on the West Coast) Christchurch Press and the NZ Herald.
Unions had a stranglehold, NZ had to export, most of our finished goods came from England.
So check out our so called "Freezing Works" "Longburn" near Palmerston North "Manawatu Evening Standard" The unions would go on strike at the beginning of the season, and management had no choice but pay out. But Longburn is important, it was one of the last, before labour laws changed, they went on strike, management did not back down, no work for 2 seasons, then management shut down the works for ever. Petone Freezing works near Wellington
Other references, our port workers had the same strangle hold. Napier (a minor port), Wellington, Auckland, Lyttleton (near Christchurch, also exported West Coast coal coming via the tunnel)and Port Chalmers.
Lyttleton is a main coal exporter, Greymouth is restricted as it is on a river, having a sand bar, often coalliers could not get in, so they went into Westport, the coal was railed there to meet them. Westport had coal mines too, one being up the steepest rail incline in NZ. (cable)Greymouth in the '60s had Runanga, but I saw coal trains coming down into Greymouth from Rapahoe (I think that was the mine)part of the track was 3rd rail on the Fell System, but only used for braking, the wagons went up empty. other mines Dobson, Stillwater, Ngahere, Roa Taylorville.
Union hot spots in timber try Kawerau, Murupara, Whirinaki, as search items.
Rail was important to all that, and therefore all of the above, would be mentioned in texts on NZs Victoria University one line text archives.
Try also Wellington Trades Hall or variations, NZ Unions' HQ late '60s early '70s, early morning a cleaner was killed when a bomb exploded, nobody was ever charged, no motive, maybe political, nobody knows.
The Unions had enough power to bring down government, try Nash as our prime minister, the Unions, the miners, watersiders, and rail, had the power to bring NZ to a standstill.
And Springbox (I think thats how it is spelt)a Rugby Union team from South Africa in the '60s 70s and '80s touring our country, to play our national team the All Blacks, lots of protests, damage, etc because of the racist policies.
And my email is still valid, if you can find texts I can legally scan.
Good news, today I learnt of the possibility I can work unpaid at our Trash Palace, dismantling computers and scanners for example, and get first choice at all the books dropped off for recycling. its up in the clouds, currently its freezing, but in 2 months it will be warmer.
But will they have me? I am too outspoken about abuses, and they have disabled people working there.
Keep my fingers crossed