Martha Mine No 5 Pumphouse

Seddon Street, Martha Hill, Waihi

  • Martha Mine No 5 Pumphouse, Waihi. Image courtesy of
    Copyright: Phil Braithwaite. Taken By: PhilBee NZ - Phil Braithwaite. Date: 23/03/2017.
  • Martha Mine No 5 Pumphouse. Image courtesy of -
    Copyright: geoff-inOz. Taken By: geoff-inOz . Date: 4/11/2009.
  • Martha Mine No 5 Pumphouse, Waihi. c.1905 Ref: 1/1-000715-G. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. /records/22745054.
    Copyright: Alexander Turnbull Library. Taken By: Unknown.

List Entry Information

List Entry Status Listed List Entry Type Historic Place Category 1 Public Access Able to Visit
List Number 134 Date Entered 24th November 1983 Date of Effect 24th November 1983


City/District Council

Hauraki District


Waikato Region

Legal description

Pt Secs 225 Special Sites No.8, 9 28 29 Pt 7 17- Martha Hill

Location description

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.


Additional informationopen/close

Construction Dates

Original Construction
1904 -

2006 -
Moved almost 350 metres from original location

Public NZAA Number


Other Information

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.