Crossing the Brunner Bridge to the historic mine site
Image: Avara Moody | DOC


In 1896, 65 mine workers were killed here in one single explosion because safety wasn’t a priority.


Today, everyone expects to come home safe from work. When the Brunner Mine exploded in 1896 families abruptly lost their husbands, fathers, brothers and sons. This led to new hardships caused by a loss of income, with grieving families struggling to pay for food, clothes, rent or mortgage.  

The disaster and the plight of the families caught the attention of the whole nation. It ultimately led to improved workplace safety legislation and practices.  

Brunner Mine remains New Zealand’s worst work place accident site. Despite the improvements achieved, workplace safety remains a vital issue.   

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Tohu Whenua are the places that have shaped Aotearoa New Zealand. Located in stunning landscapes and rich with stories, they offer some of our best heritage experiences.

See more on the Tohu Whenua website.

Find things to do and places to stay Brunner Mine historic area


Paparoa National Park Visitor Centre
Phone:   +64 3 731 1895
Fax:   +64 4 471 1117
Address:   4294 Coast Road
RD 1
Runanga 7873
Postal Address:   4294 Coast Road
RD 1
Runanga 7873
Reefton Visitor Information Centre
Phone:   +64 3 732 8391
Fax:   +64 4 471 1117
Address:   67–69 Broadway
Postal Address:   PO Box 100
Reefton 7851
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