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North Island

New Zealand facts & history in brief               New Zealand Map


is a small town with about 7500 people, on the Coromandel Peninsula, on the Waihou or Thames River estuary and it's largest town.
Thames is the administrative, commercial and service centre for the whole peninsula, and Hauraki Plains, farming district, to the west and south of the town, with a population of around 20,000 people.
Thames is an old and historic site.
Captain Cook sailed down the Hauraki Gulf near to the mouth of the Waihou River and named it Thames after the River Thames in England.
In the early 1850s Gold was found nearby, but a major strike was found in 1867, and agreement was reached with the local Maori to allow the prospecting to begin.
Shortland, as Thames was then called, rapidly developed and prospered, with a population of around 20,000, greater than Auckland at that time.
After the easily recovered alluvial gold was recovered, mining companies were formed to mine the rich veins found all over the hills on the peninsula and continued until the 1920s.
In 1870, Shortland and the nearby Grahamstown were amalgamated and renamed Thames.
Three years later Thames became a borough.

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