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West Coast winners

West Coasters can see live footage of Greymouth’s winning team competing in the 1977 series of ‘Top Town’ in the new West Coast section of Te Ara, the encyclopedia of New Zealand, launched today in Greymouth.

Te Ara, the world’s first national encyclopedia was produced specifically for the internet. (

“They breed them tough in the West Coast. In 1947 the West Coast boycotted the hotels that put the price of beer up from 6d to 7d, derisively called the ‘sevenpenny pubs’. Poster suddenly appeared all over town with ‘7d beer is black’. That self sufficient, pioneering spirit of the past is still evident in the West Coasters today,” said Simon Nathan, Author of the West Coast entry.

“When European explorers arrived off the coast of New Zealand in 1642 the West Coast was the first stretch of land they saw. It is the longest region in the country, reaching over 500 kilometers down the coast of the South Island, the same distance from Auckland to Wellington, and yet its population is just 31,000”, said Jock Phillips, General Editor Te Ara.

“This isolated, frontier country is famous for its beautiful scenery, spectacular mountains and Fox and Franz Josef glaciers, five national parks and the UNESCO World Heritage Site – Te Wahipounamu”, said Jock Phillips.

Many West Coasters have also contributed to the site with their own stories and photos which include stories of the land, climate and wild life, Maori settlement, European arrival, history, agriculture, mining, government and politics, facts and figures and lots more”, said Simon Nathan.

Background information 

Te Ara
Te Ara, meaning the Pathway in Maori, takes you on a journey of discovery through interlinking text and images.

Jock Phillips, General Editor of Te Ara
After many years teaching at Victoria University and serving as Chief Historian for the Ministry for Culture and Heritage, Jock created the world’s first born-digital national encyclopedia. Jock, one of New Zealand’s leading historians, has also published a number of books, on subjects ranging from Royal tours to Kiwi Men.

Simon Nathan, Author of the West Coast entry
Simon, an earth scientist, has spent much of his career researching the geology of the West Coast. Simon is a New Zealand representative on the International Commission on the History of Geological Sciences (INHIGEO).

Updated on 23rd July 2015