The Coastal Pacific is a long-distance passenger train between Picton and Christchurch in the South Island of New Zealand, operated by The Great Journeys of New Zealand. It was called the TranzCoastal from May 2000 until temporarily withdrawn in February 2011, it was the first train to use the new AK class carriages. The service was suspended after 14 November 2016 due to damage to the rail line from the 2016 Kaikoura earthquake, but, in 2018/19 will run from Saturday 1 December to Sunday 28 April. In November 2018 Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced that KiwiRail is to get $40 million from the Provincial Growth Fund, to provide a year-round service and to upgrade the Kaikoura and Picton stations. Before the Main North Line was completed, the open sections were served by mixed trains and the Culverden Express. On 15 December 1945 the line was completed and the Picton Express began operating, providing a daily service between Picton and Christchurch. In January 1946 the express was cut to thrice weekly, its popularity and profitability declined.
In February 1956 it was replaced by a more frequent railcar service. Falling patronage led to smaller Vulcan railcars being used from 1968 to 1975 with small trains, in summer, sometimes known as the Picton Express. In 1976 at the suggestion of Rangiora MP Derek Quigley, the old former first class cars used on the overnight Picton–Christchurch'Cabbage Train' were transferred to the day express to provide train heating, several other 56 ft carriages were fitted with heaters to make an economical train. Progressively the old carriages were updated and a buffet carriage was added to replace the Kaikoura pie and tea stop, at the last traditional NZR-style refreshment stop. In April 2006, Toll NZ announced its intention to sell the TranzAlpine. However, with the purchase of Toll NZ's rail assets in 2008 by the government, these plans never came to fruition. KiwiRail has upgraded the remaining three long-distance passenger services. Following the 6.3 magnitude earthquake that struck Canterbury on 22 February 2011, KiwiRail suspended the train, replacing it with a bus service until 10 April 2011.
They announced that it would return on 15 August 2011 under the Coastal Pacific. Since 2013 the train has been run as a seasonal service, serving the peak tourist season between about September to April, with no services in the winter months, to offset operating losses; the 7.8 magnitude North Canterbury earthquake on 14 November 2016 caused numerous landslides that destroyed parts of the railway line in the Kaikoura district. KiwiRail suspended the train service, due to operate until May 2017, for the rest of the 2016–17 season, it was announced on 1 August 2018 that the service would resume on December 1. The train runs daily between Christchurch and Picton, stopping at Rangiora, Mina, Kaikoura and Blenheim, along the Main North Line, it took 5 hours 20 minutes. In the present timetable the northbound journey takes 5 hours 13 minutes, the southbound 5 hours 21 minutes. From 1982 until 1988 the Picton Express and the Greymouth and West Coast Expresses shared a pool of 12 former second class NZR 56-foot carriages and guard's vans with six 50-ft wooden box wagons/parcel vans, all painted bright red with wall-to-wall carpet, fluorescent strip lights and a new design of seat from Addington Workshops.
Cars with luggage space seated 46, passenger-only cars seated 52. In 1984–1985, while the cars were being fitted with new seats, three Southerner cars and a modular van for baggage were used. In 1987, due to the need to re-equip the deteriorating yellow Northerner trains, cars were reallocated and refurbished to cover. With this change, the last three original Southerner day cars remaining were refurbished to the same design as the three "big window" cars on the TranzAlpine and the sole Connoisseur car. Two cars seated 51 each in the seats designed by Addington Workshops, which were reupholstered and re-arranged, alcove-style, around tables; the third car became a 31-seat servery/observation car fitted out to its TranzAlpine counterpart, but with detail differences in the buffet counter area. A Mitsubishi – built FM/AG van was fitted with an 11-kW petrol generator at the handbrake end for power/baggage duties; the new Coastal Pacific became a favourite with travellers, but it did not attract the same level of popularity as the TranzAlpine.
In 1993, a "backpackers" car was introduced, for a cheaper option. This premise proved popular, as did adding up to five wagons authorised to travel at 100 km/h conveying priority freight for the North Island or deep South. In the early 1990s, the cars were equipped with pressure ventilation like the Bay Express cars and the TranzAlpine rear observation car. On 19 January 1987, a private tourism firm leased a 29 seat single-lavatory South Island Main Trunk first class car refurbished in 1970 for the Southerner and attached it to the Picton train before expanding its operation to Greymouth and Invercargill, it was marketed as a luxury carriage: it offered the same level of comfort as other Southerner cars, but the service was to a higher standard. Named the Connoisseurs' Express car, it was refurbished to offer a superior quality service and renamed The Connoisseur car. During 1996, the original TranzAlpine observation car was overhauled and air-conditioning installed, this car, along with the two former Lynx Express cars and the car with luggage space, were permanently assigned to this train.
The backpackers' car was replaced by the only former Southerner car to escape rebuil
Britomart Transport Centre
Britomart Transport Centre is the public transport hub in the central business district of Auckland, New Zealand, the northern terminus of the North Island Main Trunk railway line. It combines a railway station in a former Edwardian post office, extended with expansive post-modernist architectural elements, with a bus interchange, it is at the foot of Queen Street, the main commercial thoroughfare of Auckland city centre, with the main ferry terminal just across Quay Street. The centre was the result of many design iterations, some of them being larger and including an underground bus terminal and a large underground car park. Political concerns and cost implications meant. However, at the time of its inception in the early 2000s the centre was still Auckland's largest transport project built to move rail access closer to the city's CBD and help boost Auckland's low usage of public transport, it is one of the few underground railway stations in the world designed for use by diesel trains. Seen as underused and too costly, it is now considered a great success, heading for capacity with the growing uptake of rail commuting.
Limitations on further patronage are due to the access tunnel from the east which provides only two rail tracks, the lack of a through connection via a rail link to the North Shore or to the Western line via an underground tunnel, which would change it into a through station. A tunnel to the Western Line is now as part of the City Rail Link project. Britomart is on reclaimed land in the middle of, it is named after a former headland at Commercial Bay's eastern end. In the 1870s and 1880s the headland was levelled in order to extend the railway line to the bottom of Queen Street, was used to fill in Commercial Bay. Auckland Railway Station moved west from its original 1873 site to Britomart in 1885 and remained there after the Post Office was built on the Queen Street frontage in 1911. In 1930 the station was relocated 1.2 km east to Beach Road and the former station site became a bus terminal in 1937 and car park in 1958. Many proposals were made to locate the station back in the CBD, most notably in 1973 and 1987, with the 1970s proposal of the Mayor of Auckland, Dove-Myer Robinson, envisaging an underground station at Britomart and a tunnel loop, but, stopped by the Muldoon National Government, which claimed it was unjustified and too costly.
In 1995, Auckland City Council purchased the old Post Office building and proposed to redevelop the area as a transit centre. Early designs called for both the bus terminal and the railway to be underground, but these plans were scrapped as consultation showed that buses were preferred above ground by both users and operators, projected costs soared due to the difficulties with potential water ingress; the developer defaulted on contractual deadlines, the project failed. In 1998, a cheaper option was decided on after a consultation process with stakeholders and citizens; the architectural design was chosen via a competition. It used part of Queen Elizabeth II Square and surrounding streets as a bus terminal, with the existing dilapidated bus terminal redeveloped to incorporate both bus services and a pedestrianised area; when nearby Quay Street was realigned in the late 1990s, a tunnel was built to provide the underground railway link. Bus services using the old bus terminal were diverted to other locations in June 2001.
Designed by California architect Mario Madayag in collaboration with local Auckland architects Jasmax, construction of Britomart commenced in October 2001, with structural design having been provided by OPUS. It involved 14 km of piling, some being 40 m long and driven 16 m into the underlying bedrock to provide good earthquake protection, to futureproof the area for potential construction of buildings on top of the station. 200,000 cubic metres were excavated for the station, 40,000 cubic metres of concrete poured. The station includes 236 m ² retail area; the main chamber of Britomart is one of the best interiors in New Zealand and shows the influence of the main hall of the Austrian Postal Savings Bank building by Otto Wagner. The station opened to passengers on 7 July 2003, with the official opening on 25 July 2003 by Sir Edmund Hillary and government ministers. Services to the Beach Road terminus ceased, except for some peak-time commuter services and excursion trains using the former Platform 4, renamed'The Strand'.
The commuter services ceased after a few months. Cost over-runs and differing tastes made the centre politically controversial, the design being described as a large hole in the ground and figuratively. Despite this and a NZ$204 million price tag, it has won numerous design awards and is internationally recognised for its innovative but heritage-sympathetic architecture; the main source of contention was the great expense of this public transport development in the Auckland Region, where for many decades the focus had been on private vehicle ownership and travel. Initial plans included underground pedestrian walkways to Queen Elizabeth II Square, the nearby downtown ferry terminal and the main shopping street of Queen St. Due to cost over-runs only the short walkway under Queen Street to the square was built, the other two being dropped in favour of a sizeable rain-proof canopy that ran from the square's above-ground exit northward toward the ferry terminal and southward toward the Queen Street-Customs Street intersection.
The underground walkway was closed to pedestrians from 29 March 20
A diesel locomotive is a type of railway locomotive in which the prime mover is a diesel engine. Several types of diesel locomotive have been developed, differing in the means by which mechanical power is conveyed to the driving wheels. Early internal combusition locomotives and railcars used gasoline as their fuel. Dr. Rudolf Diesel patented his first compression ignition engine in 1898, steady improvements in the design of diesel engines reduced their physical size and improved their power-to-weight ratio to a point where one could be mounted in a locomotive. Internal combustion engines only operate efficiently within a limited torque range, while low power gasoline engines can be coupled to a mechanical transmission, the more powerful diesel engines required the development of new forms of transmission; the first successful diesel engines used diesel–electric transmissions, by 1925 a small number of diesel locomotives of 600 hp were in service in the United States. In 1930, Armstrong Whitworth of the United Kingdom delivered two 1,200 hp locomotives using Sulzer-designed engines to Buenos Aires Great Southern Railway of Argentina.
In 1933, diesel-electric technology developed by Maybach was used propel the DRG Class SVT 877, a high speed intercity two-car set, went into series production with other streamlined car sets in Germany starting in 1935. In the USA, diesel-electric propulsion was brought to high speed mainline passenger service in late 1934 through the research and development efforts of General Motors from 1930–34 and advances in lightweight carbody design by the Budd Company; the economic recovery from the Second World War saw the widespread adoption of diesel locomotives in many countries. They offered greater flexibility and performance than steam locomotives, as well as lower operating and maintenance costs. Diesel–hydraulic transmissions were introduced in the 1950s, but from the 1970s onwards diesel–electric transmission has dominated; the earliest recorded example of the use of an internal combustion engine in a railway locomotive is the prototype designed by William Dent Priestman, examined by Sir William Thomson in 1888 who described it as a " mounted upon a truck, worked on a temporary line of rails to show the adaptation of a petroleum engine for locomotive purposes.".
In 1894, a 20 hp two axle machine built by Priestman Brothers. In 1896 an oil-engined railway locomotive was built for the Royal Arsenal, England, in 1896, using an engine designed by Herbert Akroyd Stuart, it was not a diesel because it used a hot bulb engine but it was the precursor of the diesel. Following the expiration of Dr. Rudolf Diesel's patent in 1912, his engine design was applied to marine propulsion and stationary applications. However, the massiveness and poor power-to-weight ratio of these early engines made them unsuitable for propelling land-based vehicles. Therefore, the engine's potential as a railroad prime mover was not recognized; this changed as development reduced the weight of the engine. In 1906, Rudolf Diesel, Adolf Klose and the steam and diesel engine manufacturer Gebrüder Sulzer founded Diesel-Sulzer-Klose GmbH to manufacture diesel-powered locomotives. Sulzer had been manufacturing Diesel engines since 1898; the Prussian State Railways ordered a diesel locomotive from the company in 1909, after test runs between Winterthur and Romanshorn the diesel–mechanical locomotive was delivered in Berlin in September 1912.
The world's first diesel-powered locomotive was operated in the summer of 1912 on the Winterthur–Romanshorn railroad in Switzerland, but was not a commercial success. During further test runs in 1913 several problems were found. After the First World War broke out in 1914, all further trials were stopped; the locomotive weight was 95 tonnes and the power was 883 kW with a maximum speed of 100 km/h. Small numbers of prototype diesel locomotives were produced in a number of countries through the mid-1920s. Adolphus Busch purchased the American manufacturing rights for the diesel engine in 1898 but never applied this new form of power to transportation, he founded the Busch-Sulzer company in 1911. Only limited success was achieved in the early twentieth century with internal combustion engined railcars, due, in part, to difficulties with mechanical drive systems. General Electric entered the railcar market in the early twentieth century, as Thomas Edison possessed a patent on the electric locomotive, his design being a type of electrically propelled railcar.
GE built its first electric locomotive prototype in 1895. However, high electrification costs caused GE to turn its attention to internal combustion power to provide electricity for electric railcars. Problems related to co-coordinating the prime mover and electric motor were encountered due to limitations of the Ward Leonard current control system, chosen. A significant breakthrough occurred in 1914, when Hermann Lemp, a GE electrical engineer and patented a reliable direct current electrical control system. Lemp's design used a single lever to control both engine and generator in a coordinated fashion, was the prototype for all internal combustion–electric drive control systems. In 1917–18, GE produced three experimental diesel–electric locomotives using Lemp's control design, the first known to be built in the United States. Following this development, the 1923 Kaufman Act banned steam locomotives from New York City because of severe pollution problems; the response to this law was to electrify high-traffic rail lines.
However, electrification was u
Auckland is a city in the North Island of New Zealand. Auckland is the largest urban area in the country, with an urban population of around 1,628,900, it is located in the Auckland Region—the area governed by Auckland Council—which includes outlying rural areas and the islands of the Hauraki Gulf, resulting in a total population of 1,695,900. A diverse and multicultural city, Auckland is home to the largest Polynesian population in the world; the Māori-language name for Auckland is Tāmaki or Tāmaki-makau-rau, meaning "Tāmaki with a hundred lovers", in reference to the desirability of its fertile land at the hub of waterways in all directions. The Auckland urban area ranges to Waiwera in the north, Kumeu in the north-west, Runciman in the south. Auckland lies between the Hauraki Gulf of the Pacific Ocean to the east, the low Hunua Ranges to the south-east, the Manukau Harbour to the south-west, the Waitakere Ranges and smaller ranges to the west and north-west; the surrounding hills are covered in rainforest and the landscape is dotted with dozens of dormant volcanic cones.
The central part of the urban area occupies a narrow isthmus between the Manukau Harbour on the Tasman Sea and the Waitematā Harbour on the Pacific Ocean. Auckland is one of the few cities in the world to have a harbour on each of two separate major bodies of water; the isthmus on which Auckland resides was first settled around 1350 and was valued for its rich and fertile land. The Māori population in the area is estimated to have peaked at 20,000 before the arrival of Europeans. After a British colony was established in 1840, William Hobson Lieutenant-Governor of New Zealand, chose the area as his new capital, he named the area for Earl of Auckland, British First Lord of the Admiralty. It was replaced as the capital in 1865 by Wellington, but immigration to Auckland stayed strong, it has remained the country's most populous city. Today, Auckland's central business district is the major financial centre of New Zealand. Auckland is classified as a Beta + World City because of its importance in commerce, the arts, education.
The University of Auckland, established in 1883, is the largest university in New Zealand. Landmarks such as the Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, the Harbour Bridge, the Sky Tower, many museums, parks and theatres are among the city's significant tourist attractions. Auckland Airport handles around one million international passengers a month. Despite being one of the most expensive cities in the world, Auckland is ranked third on the 2016 Mercer Quality of Living Survey, making it one of the most liveable cities; the isthmus was settled by Māori circa 1350, was valued for its rich and fertile land. Many pā were created on the volcanic peaks; the Māori population in the area is estimated to have been about 20,000 before the arrival of Europeans. The introduction of firearms at the end of the eighteenth century, which began in Northland, upset the balance of power and led to devastating intertribal warfare beginning in 1807, causing iwi who lacked the new weapons to seek refuge in areas less exposed to coastal raids.
As a result, the region had low numbers of Māori when European settlement of New Zealand began. On 27 January 1832, Joseph Brooks Weller, eldest of the Weller brothers of Otago and Sydney, bought land including the site of the modern city of Auckland, the North Shore, part of Rodney District for "one large cask of powder" from "Cohi Rangatira". After the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi in February 1840, the new Governor of New Zealand, William Hobson, chose the area as his new capital and named it for George Eden, Earl of Auckland Viceroy of India; the land that Auckland was established on was given to the Governor by a local iwi, Ngāti Whātua, as a sign of goodwill and in the hope that the building of a city would attract commercial and political opportunities for iwi. Auckland was declared New Zealand's capital in 1841, the transfer of the administration from Russell in the Bay of Islands was completed in 1842; however in 1840 Port Nicholson was seen as a better choice for an administrative capital because of its proximity to the South Island, Wellington became the capital in 1865.
After losing its status as capital, Auckland remained the principal city of the Auckland Province until the provincial system was abolished in 1876. In response to the ongoing rebellion by Hone Heke in the mid-1840s, the government encouraged retired but fit British soldiers and their families to migrate to Auckland to form a defence line around the port settlement as garrison soldiers. By the time the first Fencibles arrived in 1848, the rebels in the north had been defeated. Outlying defensive towns were constructed to the south, stretching in a line from the port village of Onehunga in the west to Howick in the east; each of the four settlements had about 800 settlers. In the early 1860s, Auckland became a base against the Māori King Movement, the 12,000 Imperial soldiers stationed there led to a strong boost to local commerce. This, continued road building towards the south into the Waikato, enabled Pākehā influence to spread from Auckland; the city's population grew rapidly, from 1,500 in 1841 to 3,635 in 1845 to 12,423 by 1864.
The growth occurred to other mercantile-dominated cities around the port and with problems of overcrowding and pollution. Auckland's population of ex-soldiers was far greater than that of other settlements: about 50 percent of the popula
NZR RM class (Silver Fern)
The NZR RM class Silver Fern is a class of rail motor in New Zealand. The three air-conditioned and sound-proofed 723-kW 96-seater diesel-electric twin-set railcars were built by Kawasaki and Toshiba, trading as Nissho Iwai Company of Japan; the New Zealand Railways classed the railcars RM, like all other railcars. The railcars are most famous for their service on the eponymous North Island Main Trunk daylight passenger train between Auckland and Wellington between Sunday 14 December 1972 and Sunday 8 December 1991. Built by Kawasaki and Toshiba, the Silver Ferns were introduced in 1972 to encourage passengers back to rail transport due to competition from air and road transport; the class was named the "Silver Ferns" because of their exterior was made of corrugated stainless steel, like the overnight "Silver Star" carriage train, replaced the three 82-seater Blue Streak railcars. In December 1991 the Silver Fern was replaced by the Overlander carriage train; the railcars were transferred to two newly introduced services: the Kaimai Express between Auckland and Tauranga and the Geyserland Express between Auckland and Rotorua.
In 2000, a third service was added, the Waikato Connection between Hamilton. All three services ceased on 7 October 2001. From 2002 two of the class were employed on Auckland Regional Transport Authority commuter services between Auckland and Pukekohe; the services were operated by Veolia Auckland as part of their contract with ARTA, with ARTA leasing the units from Tranz Scenic KiwiRail. This lease expired in 2009 and the units were replaced by additional carriage services; this freed the units such as KiwiRail's "Explore by Rail" specials. In 2010 a major refurbishment of the units commenced in Wellington to extend their services, with the program completed by mid-2011. Proposals existed for the units to be employed on a revived Waikato Connection service, but this fell through late in 2011. Following a refurbishment of RM 30, Tranz Scenic have been operating various excursion services under their new "Explore by Rail" brand; the first of these excursion services was the "Silver Fern - Otaki and Beyond Tour" which commenced on 19 September 2009.
This saw RM 30 travelling from Wellington to Feilding and return on 5 Saturdays between September and December 2009. Since the Otaki and Beyond Tour, RM 30 has been used on other Explore by Rail services including: A special Valentine's Day trip in February 2010 from Wellington to Chateau Tongariro for an overnight stay. East Coast Explorer: Runs during Easter weekend 2010; this sees RM 30 leave Wellington on the Friday heading to Napier up to Gisborne on the Saturday and return on Sunday. The service will return to Wellington on the Monday. Hawkes Bay Weekender: Operates every second weekend of each month between May and October 2010; this service departs Wellington and travels up to Napier on the Saturday and returns to Wellington on the Sunday. ANZAC Day - National Park Tour: A special ANZAC weekend service where travellers will go from Wellington to Chateau Tongariro on the Saturday. On the Sunday travellers will leave Chateau Tongariro for Waiouru where they will be taken to the Queen Elizabeth II Army Memorial Museum where they will attend an ANZAC service followed by a tour of the museum before heading back to Wellington.
After a recent petition by the Campaign for Better Transport which received around 11,500 signatures to start a Waikato rail service between Hamilton and Auckland, it looked that RM 18 and 24 will be used to provide this service, yet late in 2011 the councils involved voted against the Waikato Connection reinstatement based on financial and operational grounds. Since October 2012, RM 24 has been leased to Dunedin Railways for trips between Dunedin and Waitati and charter trains between Dunedin and Christchurch and Invercargill and Christchurch to Arthurs Pass. In October 2013 during the NZ Rail 150 celebrations, it was used on shuttle trains between Ferrymead Heritage Park and Lyttelton and Rolleston, Christchurch and Rangiora plus an evening run from Christchurch to Springfield and return. RM 30 has returned to service after a second refurbishment due to the withdrawals of the 56-foot'AO' carriages; the railcar is now available for KiwiRail charters. The Silver Fern offered airline-style service on board.
Drinks and the morning paper were supplied to passengers. From 1972 to 1988 there was a lunch stop at Taihape for services in both directions; that was replaced by airline-style meals heated on board, Taihape railway station dining room was closed, the station being demolished and replaced by a shelter. During October 2008, RM 30 was taken to the Wellington Passenger Depot for extensive refurbishment; this work included the stripping of the interior in the passenger saloons, allowing corrosion repairs to be carried out. New thermal, noise deadening insulation was added; the interiors now have new refurbished seats. Each seat bay now has a power socket for passenger use. Tables have been added with mahogany veneer, echoing the new timber-featured ceiling with ash and mahogany from sustainable forestry. Lighting has been upgraded to modern energy efficient standards, including individual reading lights in the new coat racks. Fitted were large, triple glazed windows, to give a more panoramic view. No significant mechanical work is believed to have been undertaken.
The two other railcars were refurbished in 2009. In February 2015, RM 30 was refurbished for a second time. New seats, a new engine and the power bogie from RM 18 were fitted. On 18 August 1981, half of the first and second s
New Zealand is a sovereign island country in the southwestern Pacific Ocean. The country geographically comprises two main landmasses—the North Island, the South Island —and around 600 smaller islands. New Zealand is situated some 2,000 kilometres east of Australia across the Tasman Sea and 1,000 kilometres south of the Pacific island areas of New Caledonia and Tonga; because of its remoteness, it was one of the last lands to be settled by humans. During its long period of isolation, New Zealand developed a distinct biodiversity of animal and plant life; the country's varied topography and its sharp mountain peaks, such as the Southern Alps, owe much to the tectonic uplift of land and volcanic eruptions. New Zealand's capital city is Wellington. Sometime between 1250 and 1300, Polynesians settled in the islands that were named New Zealand and developed a distinctive Māori culture. In 1642, Dutch explorer Abel Tasman became the first European to sight New Zealand. In 1840, representatives of the United Kingdom and Māori chiefs signed the Treaty of Waitangi, which declared British sovereignty over the islands.
In 1841, New Zealand became a colony within the British Empire and in 1907 it became a dominion. Today, the majority of New Zealand's population of 4.9 million is of European descent. Reflecting this, New Zealand's culture is derived from Māori and early British settlers, with recent broadening arising from increased immigration; the official languages are English, Māori, NZ Sign Language, with English being dominant. A developed country, New Zealand ranks in international comparisons of national performance, such as quality of life, education, protection of civil liberties, economic freedom. New Zealand underwent major economic changes during the 1980s, which transformed it from a protectionist to a liberalised free-trade economy; the service sector dominates the national economy, followed by the industrial sector, agriculture. Nationally, legislative authority is vested in an elected, unicameral Parliament, while executive political power is exercised by the Cabinet, led by the prime minister Jacinda Ardern.
Queen Elizabeth II is the country's monarch and is represented by a governor-general Dame Patsy Reddy. In addition, New Zealand is organised into 11 regional councils and 67 territorial authorities for local government purposes; the Realm of New Zealand includes Tokelau. New Zealand is a member of the United Nations, Commonwealth of Nations, ANZUS, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, ASEAN Plus Six, Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, the Pacific Community and the Pacific Islands Forum. Dutch explorer Abel Tasman sighted New Zealand in 1642 and named it Staten Land "in honour of the States General", he wrote, "it is possible that this land joins to the Staten Land but it is uncertain", referring to a landmass of the same name at the southern tip of South America, discovered by Jacob Le Maire in 1616. In 1645, Dutch cartographers renamed the land Nova Zeelandia after the Dutch province of Zeeland. British explorer James Cook subsequently anglicised the name to New Zealand. Aotearoa is the current Māori name for New Zealand.
It is unknown whether Māori had a name for the whole country before the arrival of Europeans, with Aotearoa referring to just the North Island. Māori had several traditional names for the two main islands, including Te Ika-a-Māui for the North Island and Te Waipounamu or Te Waka o Aoraki for the South Island. Early European maps labelled the islands North and South. In 1830, maps began to use North and South to distinguish the two largest islands and by 1907 this was the accepted norm; the New Zealand Geographic Board discovered in 2009 that the names of the North Island and South Island had never been formalised, names and alternative names were formalised in 2013. This set the names as North Island or Te Ika-a-Māui, South Island or Te Waipounamu. For each island, either its English or Māori name can be used. New Zealand was one of the last major landmasses settled by humans. Radiocarbon dating, evidence of deforestation and mitochondrial DNA variability within Māori populations suggest New Zealand was first settled by Eastern Polynesians between 1250 and 1300, concluding a long series of voyages through the southern Pacific islands.
Over the centuries that followed, these settlers developed a distinct culture now known as Māori. The population was divided into iwi and hapū who would sometimes cooperate, sometimes compete and sometimes fight against each other. At some point a group of Māori migrated to Rēkohu, now known as the Chatham Islands, where they developed their distinct Moriori culture; the Moriori population was all but wiped out between 1835 and 1862 because of Taranaki Māori invasion and enslavement in the 1830s, although European diseases contributed. In 1862 only 101 survived, the last known full-blooded Moriori died in 1933; the first Europeans known to have reached New Zeala
North Island Main Trunk
The North Island Main Trunk is the main railway line in the North Island of New Zealand, connecting the capital city Wellington with the country's largest city, Auckland. The line is 682 kilometres long and passes through Paraparaumu, Palmerston North, National Park, Taumarunui, Te Kuiti and Pukekohe. Most of the NIMT is single track with frequent passing loops, built to the New Zealand rail gauge of 1,067 mm; the line is double track between Wellington and Waikanae, between Hamilton and Te Kauwhata, between Meremere and Auckland Britomart. Around 460 kilometres of the line is electrified in three separate sections: one section at 1600 V DC between Wellington and Waikanae, two sections at 25 kV AC: 412 km between Palmerston North and Te Rapa and 34 km between Papakura and Auckland Britomart; the first section of what became the NIMT opened in 1873 in Auckland. Construction at the Wellington end began in 1885; the line was completed in 1908 and was operational by 1909. It is credited for having been an economic lifeline for the young nation, for having opened up the centre of the North Island to European settlement and investment.
In the early days, a passenger journey between Wellington and Auckland could take more than 20 hours. The NIMT has been described as an "engineering miracle", with numerous engineering feats such as viaducts, tunnels and a spiral built to overcome large elevation differences with grades suitable for steam engines. Auckland's first railway was the 13 km line between Point Britomart and Onehunga via Penrose, opened in 1873, it was built by Brogdens. The section from Penrose to Onehunga is now called the Onehunga Branch; the line was continued south from Penrose into the Waikato to support the Invasion of the Waikato, a 3.5 mi tramway being built from Maungatawhiri to Meremere in 1864, though turning of the first sod of the Auckland and Drury Railway took place in 1865, a year after the last major battle. This line reached Mercer by 20 May 1875, with 29 km from Ngaruawahia being constructed by the Volunteer Engineer Militia and opened on 13 August 1877, it was extended to Frankton by December 1877, to Te Awamutu in 1880.
An economic downturn stalled construction for the next five years, Te Awamutu remained the railhead. There were protracted negotiations with local Māori, the King Country was not accessible to Europeans until 1883; the Wellington-Longburn section was constructed between 1881 and 1886 by the Wellington and Manawatu Railway Company. The company was acquired by the New Zealand Railways Department in 1908. From Te Awamutu it was proposed that the line be built via Taupo or via Taumarunui, the eventual route. Four options were considered before the Minister of Public Works decided on the present route in 1884, when it was realised just how difficult that route was, further surveys considered two other options in 1888. Construction of the final central section began on 15 April 1885, when paramount chief Wahanui of Ngāti Maniapoto turned the first sod outside Te Awamutu, it was 23 years before the two lines met, as the central section was difficult to survey and construct. The crossing of the North Island Volcanic Plateau with deep ravines required nine viaducts and the world-famous Raurimu Spiral.
By the beginning of 1908, there was a 39 km gap between Erua and Ohakune, with a connecting horse-drawn coach service. From Ohakune south to Waiouru the Public Works Department operated the train, as this section had not yet been handed over to the Railways Department; the gap was closed on 7 August 1908 for the first through passenger train, the 11-car Parliamentary Special carrying the Prime Minister Sir Joseph Ward and other parliamentarians north to see the American Great White Fleet at Auckland. But much of the new section was temporary, with some cuttings north of Taonui having vertical batters and some unballasted sections of track. Ward drove the last spike on 6 November 1908, the'Last Spike' monument is at Manganui-o-te-Ao 39°16.44′S 175°23.37′E, near Pokaka. A two-day NIMT service started on 9 November, with an overnight stop at Ohakune. On 14 February 1909 the first NIMT express left Auckland for Wellington, an overnight trip scheduled to take 19 hours 15 minutes, with a sleeping car, day cars with reclining seats, postal/parcels vans.
The dining car went on the north express from Wellington to Ohakune transferred to the southbound express, so avoiding the heavy gradients of the central section. Several sections of the line have been upgraded and deviated: In 1913 the maximum speed limit on the NIMT was raised to 45 mph, reducing the journey time by 1 hour 25 minutes Auckland-Wellington or to 17 hours and between 30 and 45 minutes. Under T. Ronayne, the Railways Department general manager from 1895 to 1913, the section south to Parnell was duplicated and improvements made to the worst gradients and tight curves between Auckland and Mercer. Under his successor E. H. Hiley the second Parnell Tunnel with two tracks and an easier gradient was completed in 1915-1916. On the Kakariki bank between Halcombe and Marton a deviation reduced the 1 in 53 grade to 1 in 70. A 1914 Act authorised spending on the Westfield Deviation, new stations at Auckland and Wellington, track doubling, grade easements from Penrose to Te Kuiti, but the war delayed most of these works for over a decade.
In 1927 automatic co