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NEW ZEALAND DISASTERS AND TRAGEDIES
MAORI POINT LANDSLIDE, SHOTOVER RIVER
JULY 1863

On the 12 July 1863, a landslide blocked a steep gully running into the Shotover River at Maori Point, damming a local stream, Moa Creek.

A miner, Alexander McIntosh was drowned in the Shotover River on after being swept into the river by the land slip. Two weeks later on Tuesday 26 July 1863, the dam of debris burst during torrential rain. The resulting flood overwhelmed huts where gold miners were living, killing another 12 men.

From the Otago Police Gazettes: -

A magisterial inquiry was held on 16th July, 1863, at the Big Beach, Arthur’s Point,, Shotover , by Richmond Beetham Esq., Resident Magistrate, on the body of Alexander McIntosh, aged 37 years, a miner, who was drowned in the Shotover River on 12th July 1863, by being swept into the river by land slip at Moa Creek. Verdict accordingly. Deceased is reputed to have a brother working on Morrison’s Diggings, Victoria.

A Magisterial inquiry was held at Maori Point, on 28th July, 1863 by C. Williamson, Esq., warden, on the bodies of William Cummins, William Wilson, Samuel Wilson, John Hornbuckle, George Jack, Joseph Mortimer, David Angus, James Graham, John Frazer, John Allen, who were suffocated in their huts by a land slip falling theron on 26th July 1863. Verdict - Accidental death Two other men, Samuel Gretton and Peter Hunter , are also supposed to have perished at the same time, and their bodies were wept into the river, as neither has as yet been recovered.

The following additional particulars have been obtained respecting the above - Cummins was a single man a native of the County Clare, Ireland; the two Wilson’s, brothers, both married, their widows reside in Dunedin; Hornbuckle, a single man, a native of Nottingham, England; Jack, a single man, a native of Montrose, Forfarshire, Scotland, had a brother on the Eldorado, Victoria; Mortimer, married, a native of Dartmouth, England, had a wife and family in Melbourne; Angus, single, a native of Montrose, Forfarshire, Scotland, parents reside in Ballarat, Victoria; Frazer, married, widow resides at Buningong, Victoria, son, Robert at Arthur’s Point; Allen, a Scotchman, county etc unknown; Gretton, a native of Nottingham, England; Hunter, a native of Arbroath, Forfarshire, Scotland.

ALLEN John
ANGUS David
CUMMINS William
FRAZER John
GRAHAM James
GRETTON Samuel
HORNBUCKLE John
HUNTER Peter
JACK George
McINTOSH Alexander
MORTIMER Joseph
WILSON Samuel
WILSON William



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