Bay Of Plenty Times
The Bay of Plenty Times is currently one of the New Zealand's largest daily newspapers but for many years its existence was precarious and it came close to folding on a number of occasions.
It was first produced on 4 September 1872 as a bi-weekly publication. It consisted of four pages in tabloid size and cost three pence per issue. The founder and editor was WB Langbridge.
Ownership of the Times changed many times over the next 40 years, including several times through mortgagee sales. Despite the hardships the Times issued a Christmas supplement in 1897, which featured one of the earliest use of photographs in New Zealand newspapers.
From 1913 the paper enjoyed stability after the Gifford and Cross families took over. Both families were associated with the paper until it was sold to Wilson and Horton in 1992. Ownership changed again in 1996 when Independent Newspapers PC from Dublin acquired a controlling interest in Wilson and Horton.
In 1976 a fire destroyed the newspaper's entire collection of back issues. Fortunately the publisher had kept copies on microfilm and these are now held by the Alexander Turnbull Library.
The Times has prospered in the last 50 years and appears secure. Its progress has been linked with that of the Bay of Plenty, which has grown rapidly and continuously since Mt Maunganui became an export port in the early 1950s.