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Browse the 1966 Encyclopaedia of New Zealand
Graphic: An Encyclopaedia of New Zealand 1966.


This information was published in 1966 in An Encyclopaedia of New Zealand, edited by A. H. McLintock. It has not been corrected and will not be updated.

Up-to-date information can be found elsewhere in Te Ara.



Fluctuation in Population

The downward trend in population associated with the decline of mining and timber felling was evident in the first post-war census of 1921 when 16,918 inhabitants (Maoris excluded) were recorded. Waihi borough, which possessed 6,436 inhabitants in 1911, had only 3,957. The general decline of population continued until the end of the twenties. Since that decade the region's population has increased slowly to reach a total of 21,565 in 1961 (Maoris included) and this increase has been associated with the development of the area's pastoral resources. Though on a national scale the numbers are insignificant, nevertheless, in the 30-year period 1921–22 to 1951–52, the number of cows in milk increased by 200 per cent and the number of sheep increased by 104 per cent. The effects of the earlier period are, however, still evident, especially in the decline of Waihi's population, which has hardly been halted by the policy of industrial decentralisation. In the last quinquennium its population increased by 89. The persistence of two large foundries in Thames, concerned mainly with overhauling locomotives, logging and sawmilling machinery, and earthmoving equipment, is a productive relic of the gold-mining days. In Coromandel village the predominance of colonial Victorian architecture indicates the limited development which has occurred since the turn of the century, and the presence of large numbers of retired people is suggestive of restricted economic opportunities.