Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Kaitangata Coal Mining disaster

On the 21st of February 1879, there was a loud explosion in the coal mine at Kaitangata and 35 people lost their lives.

There was an outpouring of grief and an inquiry. New Zealanders rushed to contribute money to the relief effort. Hundreds of pounds appears to have been raised in all the towns of New Zealand. The money raised exceeded the amount necessary for relief. A few years later a bit of the growing money tree was used for the Bulli Relief fund.

On the 2nd of March 1893 the Kaitangata Relief fund was given to the Public Trust to look after, use.

It's not looking good for the Public Trust at the moment, it seems they had been given free reign to hoard, over-charge and hide money. Their records have been destroyed, so the only method of checking up on them is through the newspaper reports.

But there is a real danger in using only the newspapers as a source but what else can researchers do?

A bit of better news is that the Kaitangata Coal Mine reopened in 1902.

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