Story: Railways

First sod ceremony for North Island main trunk line (2nd of 2)

First sod ceremony for North Island main trunk line

A group assembles for the turning of the first sod for the North Island main trunk line on 15 April 1885, on the southern bank of the Pūniu River, south of Te Awamutu. At right is Ngāti Maniapoto leader Rewi Maniapoto, wearing a top hat and black jacket. The tall man standing in the centre behind the barrow, also wearing a top hat, is Wahanui Huatare, another of the tribe’s leaders. Premier Robert Stout stands on the end of the plank.

Using this item

Alexander Turnbull Library, D. M. Beere Collection
Reference: 1/2-096208; G

Permission of the Alexander Turnbull Library, National Library of New Zealand, Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa, must be obtained before any re-use of this image.

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How to cite this page:

Neill Atkinson, 'Railways - Main trunk lines', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 19 May 2022)

Story by Neill Atkinson, published 11 Mar 2010, reviewed & revised 11 Mar 2016