Story: Energy supply and use

Total coal production, 1883–1978

Total coal production, 1883–1978

As this graph shows, after the expansion of the late 19th century, the growth of coal production slowed in the interwar years before rising to 3 million tonnes in 1960. The growth, where it occurred, came mainly in the Waikato (North region) coalfields, as the West Coast fields suffered from the increasing use of oil in shipping, which had been their major market. The nationalisation of the mines by the Labour government in the early 1940s saw an increasing proportion of coal being produced by the state.

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Te Ara - The Encyclopedia of New Zealand

Source: Annual production reports, Mines Department (later Ministry of Energy, then Crown Minerals, Ministry of Economic Development)

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How to cite this page:

Megan Cook, 'Energy supply and use - Energy before the 20th century', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 21 September 2021)

Story by Megan Cook, published 11 Mar 2010