The Golden Bay Argus commenced publication in 1883 in the town of Collingwood. The Argus was subtitled the Motueka, Takaka and Collingwood Advertiser and in the earliest issue located, 27 October 1883, Thomas John Metcalfe is stated as the printer and publisher. Metcalfe had previously run the Lyell Argus and he also established the Motueka Herald in 1884.
By June 1885 Richard George Peacock had taken over the Golden Bay Argus and his involvement continued until 1891. Ownership of the Argus then passed to George Henry Allan. In his first editorial Allan said the paper would ‘pursue a generally Liberal line’ and that he intended to ‘increase the size of the Argus to double its present size’. Allan included in the Argus supplements that contained significant Australian content; these provide an interesting illustration of the connections between the Australian and New Zealand publishing worlds at this time.
In November 1904 a major fire destroyed much of Collingwood and the Nelson Evening Mail reported that ‘not a vestige of the Golden Bay Argus newspaper plant has been saved’. The Argus was printed in Takaka until new printing facilities were set up in Collingwood.
Neighbouring Takaka was home to the Golden Bay Times, which had begun life as the Takaka News, Collingwood and Motueka Advertiser around 1889. In 1913 Allan bought the Times and in 1915 he amalgamated the Golden Bay Argus with the Times. The amalgamated paper continued under the title Golden Bay Times until 1938 when it was merged with the Motueka Star into the Star-Times. The Motueka-based Star-Times styled itself as ‘the morning newspaper of Nelson Province’ and aimed to be a daily alternative to the Nelson Evening Mail. Despite being a well-presented newspaper, it was not a success commercially and shortly after a title change to the Province in May 1939 it ceased publication.