The Greymouth Evening Star was the second newspaper to be established in Greymouth, although it was Greymouth’s first daily newspaper. Two important figures in the early life of the Star were James Snyder Browne and his son Montagu Lindsay Browne who is named as the sole proprietor of the newspaper in its issue of 1 June 1869. James Snyder Browne was one of the founders of Hokitika’s Evening Star and was later involved with a number of other newspapers, including being editor of the New Zealand Herald.
John Tyrrell, Robert Caldwell Reid and Joseph Ivess, founder of numerous newspapers throughout the country, were other early owners of the newspaper but Joseph Petrie was the most enduring figure in the early life of the Star. Petrie purchased the Star in 1875 and was involved with the newspaper until his death in 1908. Petrie combined his newspaper career with an active political life, including being mayor of Greymouth and an MP.
In 1891 the Greymouth Evening Star Company was floated, with 15 of the pioneering 75 shareholders being local publicans. Management of the Star continued to be characterised by stability and long-service; between 1892 and 1961 there were only two managers, Frederick Hamilton Kilgour, followed by Andrew Joseph Wilson. Another long-serving staff member was Arch Kibble, editor from 1921-1946.
The Star’s long term competitor was the Greymouth morning paper, the Grey River Argus, which ran from 1865 to 1966. The Star considered buying control of the Argus in 1912 but decided against it and eventually the Argus was bought by the labour movement. The conservative Star and the left-wing Argus engaged in frequent editorial attacks on each other.
Allied Press, publisher of the Otago Daily Times, bought a controlling interest in the Greymouth Evening Star in 1995. Two years later the Star started a weekly newspaper called the Coaster which ran until 2001 when it merged with the West Coast Messenger. In 2006 the layout of the Greymouth Evening Star was updated and the name changed to the Greymouth Star.