Mining the mining museum on New Zealand’s North Island: Rich veins of dissent
This account discusses two museums that collect and interpret industrial heritage in different mining communities on New Zealand’s North Island. The coal mining centre of Huntly is home to the Waikato Coalfields Museum, while gold mining on an industrial scale takes place at the bottom of the Coromandel Peninsula at Waihi, location of the Waihi Heritage Museum. Gold and coal feature strongly in the South Island’s tourism scene, but why has this mining heritage achieved less profile in the North Island, especially since both Huntly and Waihi have rich related resources in their local museums and are located on major highways offering tourists easy access? This enquiry revealed both internal and external constraints on these two museums’ ability to reach their potential to contribute effectively to their local economies through heritage tourism.