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Photographer's Note

Founded on gold mining in 1864, it was a centre of the West Coast Gold Rush. By late 1866 it was one of the country's most populous centres.

On September 16, 1867 there were 41 Vessels alongside the wharf at Hokitika, in some places three and four deep. In 1867 the port of Hokitika ranked first in New Zealand in both the number of Vessels entered inwards and in the total value of exports (gold). It became the capital of the short-lived Westland Province from 1873 until the abolition of provinces in 1876.

The population has declined greatly since that time but the population of the Westland District is now on the rise thanks to "lifestyle inhabitants". Almost 30% of the district's ratepayers live outside of Hokitika.

Todays travellers still visit Hokitika in search of pounamu in the craftshops & galleries, or to fossick for themselves for pebbles on Hokitikas beach.

Carving pounamu has been the basis for the development of a strong arts & crafts movement in Hokitika. Visitors can also see gold & silver, molten glass, wood, paua, Ruby Rock, copper, bone, fur, silk, & greywacke crafted with love & skill. Painting, sculpture, pottery, writing & poetry are also strong here. Think of Hokitika arts & crafts as part of the story of the Coast.

West Coast Booker Prize-winning author, Keri Hulme sums it up well: the artist puts something of themselves into what they do & visitors buying Hokitika craft are getting a real piece of a Coaster, as well as a piece of the Coast.

This clock tower signifies you are entering the town of greenstone (Pounamu)

As you can see from the clock, it's 2pm with bright sunlight.

Apologize for the wooden block at the bottom.

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Additional Photos by Ralf Lai (kim_gwan) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 99 W: 0 N: 368] (1142)
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