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The Coromandel Heritage Trust


The Oral History Recorders Group was founded in Thames over ten years ago when a group of people recognised the need to collect and preserve the oral histories from the wider area. While based in Thames, members cover and support the collection of stories from nearby areas. The group operates under the umbrella of The Coromandel Heritage Trust and their resources are available at The Treasury (The Hauraki-Coromandel Research Centre & Archive) at 705 Queen Street, Thames.

SEARCH OUR ONLINE CATALOGUE OF ORAL HISTORY RECORDINGS, all available on CD to purchase at The Treasury and online.


Catholic Church and School Reunion.

In November 2017, the Thames Catholic parish celebrated 150 years on the Thames Goldfield. In preparation for the event and preparation of a reunion book, the Oral History Recorders Group assisted with interviews of past pupils, teachers and supporters: Bill Kedzlie, Max Twentyman, Mary Martin, Eileen Campbell and Mary Connors.

The interviewees shared descriptions of the old church and school buildings, along with curriculum details, names of pupils and teachers.

REMEMBER: If you have a story to tell, we will always be delighted to hear from you.

Email us at The Oral History Recorders Group c/o The Treasury

Why do oral history recordings?

Our motto is ‘Our People Our Stories’, and we gather the stories of today for tomorrow. We all have memories of grandparents telling us stories and wish we could remember them. Let us not lose any more.

The stories give us:

  • An insight into the lives of everyday people.

  • Histories of businesses and local organisations.

  • Family histories recorded in the person’s own words.

  • A record of changes in spoken language.

  • Information that supplements other resources.

How is an Oral History recorded?

An initial discussion with the interviewee is held. Possible questions are drafted and background information is collected by interviewer.

Privacy agreement and biographical forms are completed.

The recording date is set, using the Marantz archival-quality digital recording equipment.

A CD of the interview is produced.

An abstract of the recording is prepared and checked.

A complimentary copy of the Oral History recording and its abstract is presented to the interviewee.

A copy of the Recording and documents are available in the Reading Room at The Treasury.

What does the Oral History Group do?

The majority of recordings are done with an individual in a one-to-one interview. Family members also participate at times.

We are always looking for new challenges, and welcome your suggestions (and help) for future recordings.

Who can do an Oral History recording?

The answer is that anyone can. While many of the recordings are done by older people, the opportunity is there for anyone to record their memories. For instance at the South School reunion, teachers past and present shared their memories about the school.

Please contact us if you would like to do a recording.
Email us at The Oral History Recorders Group c/o The Treasury or phone (07) 868 8827 during opening hours.

Who has been recorded to-date, and where are the recordings?

The list of recordings completed by the Oral History Recorders' Group as at 23 March 2018 is available HERE

The completed CDs are kept in the Reading Room at The Treasury at Thames.

The Recordings are also available in the National Library in Wellington. Search their Online Catalogue


The Oral History Recorders Group welcomes new members.

Yes we need your help!

Volunteers help with administration, interviews, mentoring and interview technique, machine use, typing of abstracts and transcripts, publicity and open days.

Contact us for further information. Email us at The Oral History Recorders Group c/o The Treasury

The Oral History Recorders Group meets at the Treasury every few months.


Each person interviewed, receives a complimentary copy of the recording.

Copies of any of the interviews can be obtained from The Treasury Shop at 705 Queen Street, Thames or ordered from our Online Shop.

Other items include two small booklets “Our People Our Stories”


  1. National Oral History Association of New Zealand.
  2. National Library Wellington: Oral History Guidelines.
  3. Oral History and Sound Recordings National Library, Wellington.
  4. Nursing Oral History Collection available to listen to online. From The New Zealand Nursing Education and Research Foundation.