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Following the first major discovery of gold in the Thames area in August 1867, William Wilkinson and Claude Corlett decided to try their luck as newspaper proprietors in the embryonic Thames settlement. Born in Derbyshire, England, Wilkinson arrived in Auckland on the Nimroud in 1863. He joined the Southern Cross newspaper, acting as a ‘war correspondent’ during the New Zealand Wars, notably at the battle of Gate Pa, Tauranga, in late April 1864. Corlett, from Manchester in England, a compositor by training, also worked at the Southern Cross. The first issue of the tri-weekly Thames Advertiser and Miners’ News appeared in April 1868.