“William White: pioneering bus & coach operator of Thames” by Clive Otway & Sean Millar. ISBN 978-0-908726-96-7. NZD $10.00. Postage within NZ NZD $3.00 if purchased singly, free if purchased with any other book. Overseas postage charged at cost.
24 pages. A4 format, staple bound.
Introduction: Thames is situated to the south east of Auckland across the Firth of Thames and some 115 km by road. In the early days, the main access to Thames from Auckland involved a 60 km voyage by coastal steamer. Large swamps to the south and west of Thames, in the area now known as the Hauraki Plains, made travelling by land rather difficult. Thames was connected to the national railway network in 1898 but, by largely by-passing the swamps, the route to Auckland via Paeroa, Te Aroha, Morrinsville and Hamilton was exceedingly indirect, being 236 km in length. The Hauraki Plains, particularly in the more northern parts, were extensively drained, starting from around 1908. Drainage opened up the area to farming and made for easier access to the settlements, such as Turua and Ngatea. Roads were eventually built and improved enough to allow reliable road motor passenger services to commence from Thames to settlements on the plains, and eventually to Auckland. William White was involved with road passenger transport in the Thames area from 1910. He was later joined in the business by other members of his family. White himself died in early 1947 and, a few months later, the surviving family members sold the business to New Zealand Railways Road Services.
The First Two Decades: 1910-1930
The Company Era: 1930-1947
Appendix 1: Vehicles taken over by NZR
Appendix 2: Timetables
Appendix 3: Company Details