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The Cyclopedia of New Zealand [Nelson, Marlborough & Westland Provincial Districts]

Mr. Thomas Potts

Mr. Thomas Potts has been long and closely connected with the sawmilling industry in Westland. It was he who, on the 8th of October, 1865, cut the first timber cut on the West Coast by steam power. He was associated with Messrs Findlay and Haworth, whose mill he constructed. page 522 and with whom he was for three years as managing foreman. About 1868, Mr. Potts and Mr. Peebles established themselves in the trade under the style
Mr. T. Potts.

Mr. T. Potts.

of Potts and Peebles, and conducted a thriving business for three years, during which they employed a large number of men. Mr. Potts next undertook the construction of various mills in the district. Amougst these were Messrs Malfroy and Company's mill, the Maori mill on the Maori reserve, on the banks of the Hokitika river, another at Rimu, and Taminelli's mill on the Kanieri Lake road. Owing to the keen competition which arose in the timber trade, Mr. Potts decided to give up the business, and has since worked in the capacity of an employee. Between 1893 and 1896 he acted as timber inspector for the Government at Greymouth, and in the following year he filled a similar position for the West Coast Timber Trading Association. Mr. Potts was a member of the first committee of the Presbyterian Church in Hokitika, and was chairman of the Woodstock school committee for nine years. He has also been an active Good Templar. In November, 1904, Mr. Potts completed a mill for the Woodstock Sawmilling Company, who appointed him manager. The mill is worked by water power and a Pelton wheel.