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Known colloquially in Maori as Mawhera or “widespread river mouth”, Greymouth has the distinction of being the largest town on the West Coast of the South Island of New Zealand. It is also an administrative seat of power for the Grey District Council, with a substantial Māori population.
The land historically belonged to the Maoris before Thomas Brunner and the Europeans arrived in 1846, discovering coal in the Grey Valley and gold, subsequently. They then established their settlements and townships and named the Grey River after a prominent 19th century New Zealand politician, Sir George Grey.