Wikisource:West Coast Task Force

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WikiProject West Coast

This is the Wikisource subproject of the West Coast Task Force, concentrating on digitisation of books and pamphlets relating to the West Coast of New Zealand.

The Wikisource West Coast Task Force was started by Westland District Library in Hokitika in early 2021 as part of the NZLPP programme, and in 2022 was supported by Grey District Library and by a grant from the Mātātuhi Foundation; we're seeking funding to continue/expand the project, not yet considered a donations button but maybe should! Completed books are added to Portal:New Zealand, and released them as borrowable EPUBs from South Island member libraries via OverDrive, soon hopefully all NZ public libraries.

The Wikiproject West Coast team:

Feel free to add yourself if you'd like to help with scanning, proofreading, or verifying. If you're a newcomer to Wikisource, contact for setup and support. You'll receive an occasional message on your Talk page.

Useful sources when hunting for West Coast books:



When proposing a book, check each of these to see if it's already scanned and available in one of these:


  1. Evans, D. J. (1921). Hokitika, N.Z.. Hokitika: Hokitika Guardian Print. 24pp. A pamphlet on the history of Hokitika and its street names. LibriVox recording
  2. Waite, Reuben. (1869). A Narrative of the Discovery of the West Coast Gold-Fields. Nelson. 30pp. Narrative of early gold exploration.
  3. Harper, Henry William. (1914). Letters from New Zealand, 1857-1911. London: Hugh Rees Ltd. 357pp. Correspondence.
  4. Hopkins, Isaac. (1907). Bee-Culture (2nd ed.). NZ Dept of Agriculture. Bulletin No. 5. 35pp. A short beekeeping manual.
  5. Preshaw, George Ogilvy. (1888). Banking Under Difficulties. Melbourne: Edwards, Dunlop & Co.180pp. Memoir of Australian and West Coast goldfields. LibriVox recording
  6. Du Faur, Freda. (1915). The Conquest of Mount Cook. London: Allan and Unwin. 250pp. An account of four seasons mountaineering in the Southern Alps.
  7. Lowth, Alys. (1906). Emerald Hours In New Zealand. Melbourne : Whitcombe and Tombs. 128pp. Travelogue with lots of photos.
  8. Lord, E. Iveagh (1939). Old Westland. Auckland: Whitcombe and Tombs. 270pp. History of Westland up to the gold rush, prepared for the 1940 centennial.
  9. Marriner, George R. (1908). The Kea: a New Zealand problem. Marriner Bros. & Co. 151pp. Examination of the reports that the kea attacked and killed sheep. LibriVox recording
  10. Moreland, A. Maud. (1916). Through South Westland (2nd ed.). London: Whitcombe and Tombs. 220pp. Travels to Haast and Mt Aspiring.
  11. Downey, J.F. (1928). Quartz Reefs of the West Coast Mining District, New Zealand. Wellington: Government Printer. 144pp. Technical survey of the West Coast's gold bearing deposits and attempts to mine them.
  12. Alexander, Vonnie. (2010). Gillespies Beach Beginnings: a Fox Glacier family saga. Christchurch: Alexander Publications. 110pp. Family history of Gillespies Beach and Weheka/Fox Glacier.
  13. Robley, Horatio Gordon. (1915). Pounamu : Notes on New Zealand Greenstone. London: T.J.S. Guilford & Co. 83pp. The first Pākehā book on pounamu carving.
  14. Lord, E. Iveagh. (1921). Revised Ballads of Bung and Other Verses. Greymouth: Grey River Argus. 16pp. Pamphlet of comic poetry about the denizens of the Recreation Hotel, Greymouth.
  15. Baughan, Blanche Edith. (1903). Reuben and Other Poems. Westminster: Archibald Constable & Co. 91pp. Poetry.
  16. Moss, E.G.B. (1908). Beautiful Shells of New Zealand. Auckland: Collins. 46pp + plates. First New Zealand book on shell-collecting.
  17. Reid, R. C. (1886) (2nd Edition). Rambles on the Golden Coast of New Zealand. London: Colonial Printing and Publishing Company. 228pp. Travels on the West Coast.
  18. Moloney, Dan. (1923). The History of Addison's Flat Gold Fields. Westport: Westport News. 16pp. Pamphlet on early gold claims and workings at Addisons.
  19. Baughan, Blanche Edith. (1898). Verses. Westminster: Archibald Constable & Co. 144pp. Poetry.
  20. — (1923). Poems From the Port Hills. Christchurch: Whitcombe & Tombs. 39pp. Poetry.
  21. Drummond, James. (1907). The Life and Work of Richard John Seddon. Christchurch: Whitcombe & Tombs. 392pp. Biography of New Zealand's longest-serving prime minister.
  22. Hickey, Patrick Hodgens. (1925). "Red" Fed. Memoirs. Wellington: New Zealand Worker Print. 75pp. Memoirs of the early days of the NZ Federation of Labour.

Being proofread/validated


Scanned and ready to import into Wikisource

  • Baughan, Blanche Edith. In Wikipedia, which needs some work! A potential Wikisource project all on her own. She died in 1958, but published 5 volumes of poetry and 10 books of nature or travel writing that are now in the public domain in the USA and would be good candidates. Her remaining books were published in 1929, 1936, and 1945. There's also a new biography of her (Markwell, Carol (2021). Enough Horizon. Wellington: Cuba Press), so there's great scope for a Wikipedia/Wikidata/Wikisource project on her life and works. Who's keen?
    • (1908). "The Finest Walk in the World." The Spectator. (An account of the Milford Track, later published in Studes in New Zealand Scenery—but it would be good to get the map from it.)
    • (1910) Snow Kings of the Southern Alps. Christchurch: Whitcombe & Tombs. 51pp. Travel writing. (Mike has a copy to scan)
    • (1911) Uncanny Country. Christchurch: Whitcombe & Tombs. Travel writing.
    • L. Cockayne, & R. Speight. (1914) The Summit Road: its scenery, botany, and geology. Christchurch: Smith & Anthony. Travel writing.
    • (1916). Studies in New Zealand Scenery. Auckland: Whitcombe and Tombs. Reprinted in 1922 as Glimpses of New Zealand Scenery with an Akaroa chapter added. In Westland District Library. IA
    • (1919). Akaroa. Auckland: Whitcombe and Tombs. Google Books .
    • (1925). Arthur's Pass and the Otira Gorge. Whitcombe & Tombs. Papers Past, page images and basic OCR; Mike has a copy for rescanning if necessary
    • (1926, 4th? ed.) The Finest Walk in the World. Auckland: Whitcombe & Tombs. Travel writing. The 1913 edition is in Google Books . Scanning complete - may not be the 1926 edition - KAynsley It looks like the 3rd edition (1917? 1923? I'll try and sort out all the different editions of this book.) —Mike
  • Bilbrough, E. Ernest (Ed) (1890). Brett's Handy Guide to New Zealand. The Jubilee Edition published to accompany the New Zealand Exhibition. H. Brett, Auckland. Copy on loan from David Verrall (poor), (HathiTrust)
  • Fenwick, G. (1912). From East to West and West to East. (Scanning complete.)
  • Department of Tourist and Health Resorts. (1906). The Golden Coast, Westland, New Zealand. 53 pp. Copy in Hokitika Museum (fair), copy on loan from David Verrall (fair). Google Books – but public domain? (Have asked, but needed to go back to the old Google Books view to find a link to the feedback form). Google Books has cleared it as public domain and made the full text available.
  • Dodson, Arthur Dudley. (1930). "Reminiscences of Arthur Dudley Dobson, Engineer, 1841–1930". London: Whitcombe and Tombs. 225 pp. Google Books (copyright cleared by Google after request).
  • Grey County Council. (1939). By-Law No. 4 of the County of Grey. Greymouth: Greymouth Evening Star. 70pp. Interesting by-laws on building, offensive trades, water closet drainage and the like. (Scanning almost complete.)
  • Haast, Julius von. Geology of the provinces of Canterbury and Westland, New Zealand. 598pp. PDF in Internet Archive and Google Books
  • Harrop, Angus John. (1923). The Romance of Westland. Auckland: Whitcombe & Tombs. 187pp. Copies in Westland District Library and Grey District Library. (Rescanning complete).
  • Kirk, Henry (Harry) “The Mixer”. (1926). The Transport Workers’ Song Book.(scanning complete)
  • E. Iveagh Lord Greymouth District Diamond Jubilee 1868–1928 (Christchurch: Andrews & Baty, 1928). (Scan complete)
  • E. Iveagh Lord Westland to-Day : Land of Natural Wealth and Opportunity : A Handbook of Information for Investors, Settlers, Tourists and Traders (Auckland: Whitcombe & Tombs, 1940). (Scan complete)
  • Loughnan, Robert Andrew (1906). The First Gold Discoveries in New Zealand. 118pp. Copy in Hokitika Museum,IA.
  • Luckie, D.M. (1924). The Trial of the Maungatapu Murderers. Nelson: Stiles and Co. 158pp. (includes an Errata slip with a correction of dates glued to the first page).(scanning complete)
  • Mannering, G. E. (1931). "The Franz Josef Glacier, New Zealand." Christchurch: Whitcombe and Tombs. 52pp, mostly plates. (on loan from Franz Josef CDO, now scanned)
  • Money, Charles. (1871). Knocking About in New Zealand. (Scanned by Auckland University). An important-enough early account that it would be good to have it as an Ebook.
  • "Waratah". (1906). Tales of the golden west : being reminiscences of Westland from its settlement by gold-seekers and traders. Christchurch [N.Z.] : Whitcombe and Tombs. 222pp. Nineteen stories originally in the newspaper, "laboured, prosy, and dated" says Pickering. PDF in NLNZ collection
  • (1907). New Zealand International Exhibition, 1906–7. Grey-Westland Districts, Greymouth-Hokitika. (scanning complete)
  • Harper, A.P. (1896). Pioneer Work in the Southern Alps. T Fisher Unwin. Scanning complete (KAynsley)

To scan

  • Anon. (1914). Jubilee of Westland 1864–1914. 18pp. Pictorial booklet with advertisements. Copy in Hokitika Museum.
  • Anon. (1914). "Planquette's Comic Opera in Three Acts – Les Cloches de Corneville (The Bells of Corneville) by Hokitika Amateurs". Hokitika: West Coast Times. 27pp. Programme. Copy in Hokitika Museum (good).
  • Anthony, Frank S.,1891–1927. (1938). Me and Gus. Hawera: The Hawera Star Pub. 100pp. Humorous short stories about bachelor farming life. Note: NOT the 1963 reissue, which has illustrations—still in copyright—by Nevile Lodge, and material by Francis Jackson. Frank Anthony died young, and his books were pubished posthumously, so are out of copyright in NZ and in the US (even if we accept a 95 year term for the US they're public domain in 2023). Interloan National Library copy?
  • — (1936). Follow the Call. Comic romance set in backblocks Taranaki. A.H. and A.W. Reed. Digitised by NZETC
  • Cockayne, Leonard. (1932). A scheme for the development and arrangement of the Otari Open-Air Native Plant Museum and other matters connected therewith. Wellington: Whitcombe & Tombs. 28pp. Pamphlet on Otari Plant Museum in Wellington. Copy in Auckland Museum, elsewhere?
  • Haast, Julius Von. (1861). Report of a Topographical and Geological Exploration of the Western Districts of the Nelson Province of New Zealand. Important early record of exploration. 150pp. Internet Archive + BHL + University of Auckland (full text)
  • Holy Trinity Church Greymouth 1865–1958. (August 1958). A brief history of Holy Trinity Church and Parish Greymouth 1865-1892 together with a very brief summary of the years 1892–1958 by the Rev. Canon K. G. Aubrey, Vicar 1947-. Greymouth: Greymouth Anglican Parish. (Canon Keith Aubrey died 9 September 1976. KAynsley – So perhaps the Church would approve the release of this under an open licence? Who do we contact? MD)
  • E. Iveagh Lord also wrote Greymouth State School Golden Jubilee Souvenir (Greymouth: Greymouth State School, 1926) – a candidate for interloan?
  • Mueller, Gerhard. (1958). My Dear Bannie. Pegasus Press. 238 pp. Letters from 1865. Mueller (1835–1918) is OOC in NZ, as is this 1958 edition of his letters (US typographic copyright is 25 years) so this should be OK for Wikisource. No, unfortunately there's too much later material in this edited edition—M.V. Mueller his daughter, who edited this, died in 1969—so still in copyright
  • O'Regan, Cornelius Joseph. (1896). Poems. Wellington: Whitcombe and Tombs. 52pp. Google Books but cover and page 3 is missing: needs to be rescanned.
  • Paulin, Robert (1889). The Wild West Coast. Thoburn & Co. Unreliable account of an unsuccessful gold prospecting trip to Fiordland. Check in repositories. Interloan?
  • Pfaff, C.J. (editor). (1914). "The Diggers' Story, or, Tales and Remininscences from the Golden Coast." Reprinted in a new expanded edition, but it would be nice to have the original available. Interloan?
  • Reischek, Andreas (Jr.) (1930). Yesterdays in Maoriland. - Scanning stopped - risk of damaging book - KAynsley (Copyright issues to resolve; it will be a few years before it's public domain in the US, and Reischek Jr died in 1965.—MD)
  • Washbourn, Harry (1846–1937). (1937). Reminiscences of Early Days and Further Reminiscences of Early Days. Two volumes of collected articles from the Nelson Evening Mail on early pioneer life. Interloan.

Illustrations only

  • Leys, Thomson (ed.). (1883) Brett's Colonists' Guide and Cyclopædia of Useful Knowledge (1st ed.). Auckland: Evening Star. We have a volunteer scanning the engravings from this book and uploading them to Commons.
  • (1920) Beautiful Westland New Zealand. Awkward large format.
  • (1923). The British and Intercolonial Exhibition Hokitika, Westland N.Z. Christchurch: Simpson & Williams. Illustrations and some advertisements scanned, now in the Commons category and used in the Wikipedia article about the Exhibition.

Possible candidates

  • Parham, Mrs Charles J. (ca 1915). Fernleaves. Hand-painted by her little daughters. Hokitika. Poems and illustrations. Three editions. National library information

(Because the works are in copyright, they can only be digitised if the authors or their representatives agree to release them under an open Creative Commons licence.)

  • Latham, Darrell. (1984). The Golden Reefs - An Account of the Great Days of Quartz Mining at Reefton, Waiuta and the Lyell. Christchurch: Pegasus Press (and a 1992 2nd edition by Nikau Press). 462.pp. A significant historical account of early gold mining.
  • Madgwick, Paul. (1992). Aotea—a history of the South Westland Maori. Important source for local Māori history and place names.
  • May, Philip Ross. (1967 2nd ed.) A History of the West Coast Gold Rushes. Probably the most important book on West Coast history: it would be wonderful to have it freely available to all. See also Ross's 1970 history of the settlement of Ross, Gold Town.
  • Pearson, Bill. (1963). Coal Flat. London: Heinemann. 421 pp, Pearson died in 2002 so the book is still in copyright, and Wikisource would require it to be released under an open licence. However Pearson's literary executor Paul Millar has made a digitised copy of the book available on the NZETC site, but we would need permission if we wanted an EPUB edition to be distributed via Overdrive. Can rescan cover and add book/editions to Wikidata.
  • Read, Peter J. (1999). Enter the Crypt: a brief look at some of the famous and not so famous residents of Hokitika's Seaview Cemetery. Hokitika: West Coast Historical Museum. 23pp. In Westland District Library. Photos could do with re-scanning.

Not that Wikisource is hosted in the USA, so uses US copyright law, which has a 70-years-after-death term. New Zealand copyrights expire 50 years after death (although we will be changing to match the US term in a few years). This means there are public domain works in New Zealand that can't be hosted in Wikisource – here is a list of recent and upcoming authors affected by this.

For PDF release

  • Down the decades: a history of the Greymouth Anglican parish. (1997). Greymouth: Greymouth Anglican Parish. Contains numerous in-copyright photos so not a candidate for Wikisource, but could be made available on the Grey District Library website.