Home About Us The Project Resources Research Journal Our People Oral History Shop Contacts Links


THE TREASURY is to be a heritage centre, with a purpose-built archive room, in Thames, New Zealand. The Treasury will preserve and promote the history and the interesting stories of this region - a region which played such a big part in the early development of New Zealand.

The search for early family members, where they lived, why they lived there, what their lives were like - their genealogy, their whakapapa - has become increasingly important to people all over the world. Many people are seeking an understanding of their heritage, and the events that moulded it.

The Coromandel Ohinemuri area of New Zealand has many tales to tell. The coming of the Maori people, the disappearance of the moa, the visit by Captain Cook, the felling of the tall kauri and kaihikitea trees, the lure of gold, all have left their mark on the history of the region - tales of settlement, of greed, of danger, and of the hardships and the pleasures of everyday life.

These stories are the foundation of what formed us as a people, as a community, as a nation.

The Treasury is well-named. It will provide safe storage for the records and stories of the people of the old goldfields region - Thames, Coromandel, Tokatea, Kuaotunu, Whitianga, Tairua, Whangamata, Waihi, Waikino, Karangahake, Paeroa, Te Aroha, and the Hauraki Plains.

Finding the stories about your early family is very rewarding. We will make this as interesting and as easy as we can for you. Our collection includes books, photos, maps, plans, letters, certificates, genealogies, oral histories, Commemoration Pages, the Pioneer Family Register. We will provide indexes to help make your research quicker. A research officer will answer enquiries for you if you are unable to visit us.

705 Queen Street
Thames, New Zealand.


On 30th October 2015, the New Zealand Institute of Architects held their annual awards night to recognise the best of the year’s designs in various different categories. The Treasury Archive was awarded one of two Heritage Awards with Lopdell House in Titirangi receiving the other. In our case, the panel of judges considered in particular how a modern building sat against a heritage building, the points of reference in the modern design to the older building, and the standard of the construction.

In awarding a Heritage Award to THE TREASURY ARCHIVE, part of the award citation stated:

'[the design] resulted in a fine piece of civic architecture and a handsome stretch of streetscape. …'

'the project is a textbook take on Edwardian and twenty-first century ornamentation; although very different, the buildings look like they’re made for each other …'

'It is heartening to see Thames’s architectural heritage honoured in this way, and credit must go to clients who had the vision to begin this project and the persistence to see it through.'


A recent article in ARCHITECTURENOW entitled TREASURY RESEARCH CENTRE AND ARCHIVE by Justine Harvey and image by Simon Devitt begins:

'The symmetry and rhythms of the historic façade are replicated in the new building's design.'

'TS Eliot wrote in his poem BURNT NORTEN:
Time present and time past,
Are both perhaps present in time future,
And time future contained in time past.'

Hauraki Herald 5 June 2015




GERALDINE BUTLER DUNWOODIE of Thames has been awarded the Queen's Service Medal for services to heritage preservation in the Queen's Birthday Honours List. The Queen's Service Medal is awarded by the Government of New Zealand to recognise and reward volunteer service to the community and recognises the major role Geraldine has played and continues to play in the establishment, building, organizing and running of The Treasury in Thames.

For the past ten years, Geraldine has worked tirelessly to collect and safely store the historical records of Thames, Hauraki and the entire Coromandel Peninsula District. With the help of the many other volunteers, she has meticulously planned and established The Treasury with its historical Carnegie Library Reading Room and the adjacent state-of-the art, award-winning archive storage facility. She has then set about reassuring and encouraging people to deposit precious family items and historical archives, photographs and records in The Treasury. The Treasury can now ensure that the records entrusted to them will be safely passed on to future generations in a good state of preservation. Geraldine's extensive knowledge of the people and events in the area has enabled her to recognise the value of both locally and nationally important records, resulting in many important record collections being deposited with The Treasury. The establishment of this safe storage facility to preserve the heritage of the entire Region has been Geraldine's dream and an all-consuming passion for the past decade.

The Trustees, Committee and Members of The Coromandel Hertitage Trust and the many volunteers and patrons of The Treasury join together in sending their hearty congratulations to Geraldine for this well-deserved Honour of The Queen's Service Medal for services to the preservation of the heritage of the community of Thames/Coromandel and Hauraki Region as well as the entire Nation of New Zealand.

Our hearty congratulations are also due to SUE BAKER WILSON of Katikati for the award of The Queen's Service Medal in recognition of her extensive research on The New Zealand Tunnelling Company of World War I. These miners from all over the Waihi and Thames goldfields volunteered to go to France during WWI to dig an extensive system of tunnels under enemy lines.
The New Zealand Tunnelling Company website
Hauraki Herald 12 June 2015.

The Thames Public Library taken just before the building was removed to make way for the new brick Carnegie Library. Mrs Grey's house is next door.

The Thames Public Library, pre 1905.
Photograph taken on a glass plate by George Wood.