A different kind of gold mining

Katrina Knill —  27/10/2009

Whilst debate rages about opening up more conservation land for mining, our local team have been restoring gold mining relics in the Kaimai’s and working with the local councils and communities to help them mine the tourist dollar.   

Butlers Headframe lift Waiorongomai 22 09 09 B Strange (40)

The replica headframe takes flight on its way to the top of Butlers incline

Last month, Ranger Warren capped off five years of work in the Waiorongomai Valley with installation of a 3.5 tonne head frame replica onto the top of Butlers incline, by heavy lift helicopter. Check out youtube for a glimpse of the action.   

And I hosted a workshop that brought together representatives from economic and tourism development agencies, councils and Te Puni Kokiri to look at how we can co-ordinate our efforts and assist local communities and businesses to identify, take advantage of and better promote business opportunities associated with tourism to the Kaimai Mamaku and Coromandel Forest Parks.

It’s all part of our Kaimai Heritage Trail project, where we are upgrading facilities, restoring and interpreting some nationally significant historic sites and working with locals and relevant agencies to promote these sites as an attraction that will get visitors stopping by and spending their money in the nearby small towns of Te Aroha, Paeroa, Waihi and Katikati.   

It’s work in progress that our tracks team of five fit in along with their routine maintenance of 400kms of walking tracks and seven back-country huts.

Yet to come this year are some toliet upgrades, improved signage at the Victoria Battery site and a heritage assessment of the Wharawhara Valley that will help us to plan the development of a major entry point close to Katikati.     

Families can enjoy more than just forest on the Kaimai Heritage Trail

Katrina Knill


I work for DOCs Tauranga Office, where I co-ordinate our public liaison efforts with stakeholders & the general public. I get to work with our staff and community groups as well as helping out in emergencies such as forest fires, whale strandings and dealing with injured birds, seals etc.

3 responses to A different kind of gold mining


    there is nothing environmentally friendly about gold mining and Katrina has never asked people in Waihi if they need her support instead she is busy ignoring any of the negatives associated with mining and is focused on helping local business access private and tapu lands for tourists,,,not for locals and not to conserve the natural assets but to mine and climb all over our heritage… DOC suck and steal lands and bully themselves onto properties, they will be right at home working under this government… after all Waihi has always been a Meintown !!!


      Thanks for your comments.

      I’d welcome an opportunity to discuss your concerns further, our policy is certainly not one of bullying and stealing land so if you’ve had a negative experience with our staff, we’d like to know – please contact me on 07 571 2737 if you’d like to do so.

      Whilst I recognise that we may not have reached every individual, we have made a number of genuine attempts to discuss the Kaimai Heritage Trail project with the local communities that may be affected by or interested in it; in 2006 we held a series of community meetings (including one in Waihi) to float the idea and the positive feedback we received was a catalyst to moving forward with the project. The project was also clearly articulated in our proposed Bay of Plenty Conservation Management Strategy which was notified for public submissions in 2008.

      Over the last three years we have had regular dialogue with district councillors (whom are the voted representatives of their local communities), iwi and other local community groups about the Kaimai Heritage Trail project. We encourage public feedback and do our best to work through any concerns that are raised with us.

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