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In keeping with the times, Westport, at the northern end of the Westland goldfields, had a colourful and often changing newspaper history. Near the mouth of the Buller River, and on its eastern bank, Westport’s early growth was principally due to the gold rush at Charlestown, 26 kms to the south. From 1866 to the end of the decade, the population in and around Charleston ballooned to about 10,000. At the peak of this gold rush in 1867, Westport’s population was about 1,500 but growth over subsequent decades was slow and sporadic.

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