Topic: The Little Un: An Alternative Tauranga Newspaper

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In December of 1884 Mr. T. W. Rhodes, a book seller on the corner of Hamilton Street and The Strand, began publishing The Little Un. His aim, as expressed in the first edition, was to publish an ‘independent journal bound to no party, or clique, in which freely to discuss matters of public interest’.

Mr. Rhodes printed The Little Un on a press from his Strand premises, which was the original office of The Bay of Plenty Times. A fact that was probably not lost on Rhodes or the residents of Tauranga. Although no records remain to explain the name The Little Un it seems plausible that the diminutive size of the newspaper, 170mm x 215mm, influenced his choice.

While the first two issues were free, following issues were purchased for a half-penny. Readers were informed of local events such as the Boxing day Good Templar picnic and a lecture by Professor Hugo on the science of Hand Reading to be held at the Temperance Hall. National news was covered, with the focus generally being on crimes committed around the country.

The Little Un continued for five months after which Mr. Rhodes began publishing The Evening News and East Coast Advertiser. In 1888 Mr. Rhodes left Tauranga for the Coromandel with the intention of publishing a newspaper there. The Bay of Plenty Times reported that ‘during his residence here Mr. Rhodes made himself very popular and took an active interest in matters generally and his departure from our midst is a loss to Tauranga and a certain gain to Coromandel.’

The Tauranga Heritage Collection holds several issues of the newspaper, which is now very rare.

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 New Zealand License
The Little Un: An Alternative Tauranga Newspaper by Tauranga Heritage Collection is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 New Zealand License