The Tuapeka Times was published in Lawrence, in Central Otago from 1868 to 1941. The Times was started by Andrew Ferguson, Andrew Burns and John Ludford.
In 1869 they took over their rival, the Tuapeka Press (1866-69). In 1881 the Times was bought by Thomas and Richard Pilling. They published it till 1896 when it was sold to the Tuapeka Times Company, managed by John Norrie. Norrie remained in charge of the paper until his death in 1938.
The Tuapeka Times expired quietly in November 1941. The only hint that it was about to cease publication was an editorial in the last issue exhorting the public to support local newspapers in general. The paper probably succumbed to shortages of paper and labour due to the War and the death, three years before, of its long-serving manager, John Norrie. In this the Times wasn’t alone: many other country newspapers in New Zealand shut up shop at this time for want of resources. It is likely that the paper had struggled for years to remain open. It had only published bi-weekly since 1873 and with usually no more than four pages to an issue.
The nature of the Times’ demise contrasts with its early years when the paper was at the centre of the gold boom in Central Otago. Gabriel’s Gully, the site of New Zealand’s most significant gold find, was nearby. The Times was a product of the boom and the issues from this time are an essential resource for the study of New Zealand’s history in the mid nineteenth century, when the gold from this area made Otago the leading province in the colony.
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