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The Cyclopedia of New Zealand [Taranaki, Hawke's Bay & Wellington Provincial Districts]


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The Taranaki Herald is the leading evening newspaper published in Taranaki. It dates from the 4th of August, 1852, when it first appeared as a weekly paper, owned by Messrs G. W. Woon and W. Collins. It was issued as a weekly till the 28th of April, 1869, when it became a bi-weekly; and was thus published until the 14th of May, 1877, when it was issued as a daily, at the price of one penny. When the Taranaki Herald was first brought out there were only seven other newspapers published in New Zealand, and of these two survive; namely, the “Lyttelton Times” and the “Otago Witness.” In the period of more than half a century, during which the journal has been in existence, it has never failed to appear on its due date; although on occasions, in the old days, its supplies of paper frequently came in just in the nick of time. There was an incident during the war, when, after the first edition had been issued, Colonel Gold sent a file of soldiers to the office, and confiscated the copies printed, in consequence of his disapproval of a paragraph therein contained; the obnoxious paragraph was thereupon removed, and the printing of the paper continued. In December, 1867, Mr. Henry Weston bought the Herald, which has ever since remained his property. In February, 1868, Mr. W. H. H. Seffern came from Auckland to edit and manage the paper, and continued to edit it till November, 1895, when Mr. W. J. Penn became editor. A weekly edition, known as the “Budget,” made its first appearance in 1877, and has so grown in circulation and influence, that it is now the most widely circulated paper in the Taranaki provincial district. Both the “Herald” and the “Budget” have been closely associated with the growth of Taranaki, and there can be little doubt that they have largely assited in the development of the district. The population of the province when the “Herald” first appeared was barely 2000 souls, and a demy Albion
Devon Street: Looking East. Collis, photo.

Devon Street: Looking East. Collis, photo.

page 79 press sufficed to print the paper. As the settlement grew, a double-demy Albion became necessary in 1862, and twelve years later this gave way to one of Harrild's “Mains” patent machines. This, in its turn, was put aside in 1891, in favour of a double-feeder Wharfdale. In 1903, the growing circulation necessitated a still further advance, and a Lancaster flat web, to print and fold the eight-page paper from a continuous roll, was installed in the office. Some time before this, monoline type-setting machines had been adopted in connection with the “Herald” and “Budget.” The office of the “Taranaki Herald” is now in Currie Street, as the premises formerly occupied in Devon Street were burnt down in the year 1899. The present building is of two stories, in wood and iron. The public office, private and editorial rooms, and the printing machinery are on the ground floor, and the composing room is on the upper floor. In politics both journals give a general support to the Liberal Government.

The Daily News was founded as a weekly newspaper in New Plymouth, in the year 1857. Its first editor was the late Mr. Charles Brown, who was succeeded by the late Mr. Benjamin Wells, and later on the editorial chair was filled by the late Mr. J. Whiteley King, a grandson of the Rev. John Whiteley. In 1883, it was issued as a daily paper with the title of the Daily News, and under the proprietorship of Mr. John McKenzie; the first editor of the daily paper was Mr. L. L. Norris, and Mr. W. A. King had charge of the machinery. Messrs Norris and King afterwards joined in partnership, and bought the property. They were succeeded in the proprietary by Messrs srs W. E. Simpson and W. J. Guerin, who conducted the paper for about three years. Mr. Simpson then sold his interest to his partner, who continued sole proprietor for two years. Ultimately the property was transferred to a public company, known as the Taranaki News Company, Limited, with the late Mr. J. Bellringer as chairman of directors. In 1896, Mr. W. J. Guerin was appointed editor, and occupied the chair for two years, when he gave place to Mr. A. Hooper, who edited it for one year. Mr. Hooper was succeeded by Mr. E. G. Allsworth. In 1903, the paper was bought by Mr. John Henry Clayton, who had previously been proprietor of the Stratford “Post. Mr. Clayton conducted the journal till 1905, when he sold out, and bought the”Tauranga Times.” In 1905 the “Daily News” became the property of Mr. Thomas Currie List, who had been about three years proprietor and editor of the “Waimate Witness,” and before then part proprietor of the “Petone Chronicle.” The original name of the paper, when it was first issued as a weekly, was the “Taranaki News,” and a weekly is still issued under the same name every Saturday morning. The weekly paper contains thirty-two pages, of four columns each, and the “Daily News,” published every morning, is a large four-page sheet.