Waihi

From Academic Kids

Waihi is a town in the North Island of New Zealand. It has a population of 4,524.

The town is at the foot of the Coromandel Peninsula, close to the western end of the Bay of Plenty. The nearby resort town of Waihi Beach, ten kilometres to the east, is often regarded as the westernmost point of the Bay of Plenty region. To the west are the hills of the Kaimai Ranges. Road access from this direction is through the winding Karangahake Gorge road. Waihi's climate is unusually wet and damp.

A large gold mine, the Martha Mine, is the major employer in the area. Until the electrical appliance industry was deregulated in New Zealand in the 1980s, Waihi had a television assembly plant operated by Philips.

Waihi was a major centre of union unrest in New Zealand during the early years of the 20th century. The 1912 miners' strike led to violence in an incident which still causes some resentment in the town.

In recent times, the town has suffered from the effects of the mining in other ways. In the late 1990s several properties had to be condemned after the land under them subsided as a result of the collapse of disused mineshafts, with visible holes and cracks on the surface.

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