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The Dangers of Coal - Roadside Stories

The Dangers of Coal - Roadside Stories


State Highway 7, Greymouth

A Manatū Taonga audio guide to the West Coast coal industry. Check out the Ministry for Culture and Heritage's audio guide in the image carousel above.

West Coast coal has been mined since the 1860s, and coal was a vital source of energy in the 19th century. But coal mining is back-breaking work that can also be dangerous – 65 men died in the 1896 Brunner mine explosion, New Zealand’s worst industrial disaster. In 2010, 29 workers died after an explosion at the Pike River coal mine.

Coal and coal mining,

Brunner mine disaster, 1896,

Grey coal towns,

West Coast region: mining,

Archival audio sourced from Radio New Zealand Sound Archives, Sound files may not be reused without permission from Radio New Zealand Sound Archives (Reference number CDR742, Spectrum 865).

Roadside Stories is a series of audio guides that follow major road trips in New Zealand. The stories cover the places you’ll pass along the way – their people, their history, their cultural and natural significance. For more information about Roadside Stories visit

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