Martha Mine No 5 Pumphouse
Seddon Street, Martha Hill, Waihi
List Entry Information
List Entry Status
List Entry Type
Historic Place Category 1
Able to Visit
24th November 1983
Pt Secs 225 Special Sites No.8, 9 28 29 Pt 7 17- Martha Hill
Relocated 23 metres along Seddon Street 14 November 2006.
This historic place was registered under the Historic Places Act 1980. The following text is the original citation considered by the NZHPT Board at the time of registration.
The pumphouse was built in 1904 by the Waihi Gold Mining Company to house the huge 'Cornish Pump' designed to dewater the mine workings. The imposing concrete structure is now a spectacular ruin stripped of its machinery.
The huge Hotham Davey pumping engine it once housed was capable of raising mine water from a depth of 472 metres at the rate of 409140 litres per hour.
The Martha Mine began in 1890 and closed in 1952, during which time it produced 35,500,000 ounces of gold then worth £28,500,000. With underground horizontal workings totalling more than 160 kilometres it was the largest and most profitable goldmine in New Zealand.
Robert Lee and John McCombie began the mine but subsequently abandoned it. Later William Nicholl discovered their workings, sank a shaft and named the claim 'Martha'.
The pumphouse stands as a striking visual reminder of the great engineering feats of the later period of gold mining. While it has architectural merit it is of undoubted historical importance as one of the country's principal industrial monuments.
Moved almost 350 metres from original location
Public NZAA Number
Please note that entry on the New Zealand Heritage List/Rarangi Korero identifies only the heritage values of the property concerned, and should not be construed as advice on the state of the property, or as a comment of its soundness or safety, including in regard to earthquake risk, safety in the event of fire, or insanitary conditions.