Rock phosphate and guano (bird droppings) were mined in the South Pacific and converted into fertiliser in New Zealand factories such as this one at Westfield, Auckland. Handling the raw phosphate was smelly and uncomfortable work. It could also be dangerous, as inhaling the guano dust could cause chest infections.
Te whakamahi i tēnei tūemi
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.