Author(s): Matthew Wright
No matter how you look at it, New Zealand is a young country. Its youth has presented a challenge for our engineers, who have had to build the infrastructure needed for a modern trading economy in little over 150 years, in terrain that is often still being shaped by the forces that are forming the land. Europeans came to New Zealand in an era when scientific miracles were an everyday occurrence. To a world that had been largely powered by muscle and built with wood and stone, the prospects offered by the industrial revolution and science appeared limitless. Nineteenth-century settlers set to work with vigour, transforming the landscape around them with agricultural machines, factories, rail and steamships. Building with iron, steel and ferroconcrete made it possible to construct massive structures that would have been unthinkable even a century earlier. From those early days to today's high tech engineering marvels - from New Zealand's first road and railways projects to America's Cup yachts and Auckland's Skytower -- New Zealand has a truly impressive engineering heritage. In 1990, the Institution of Professional Engineers of New Zealand (IPENZ) selected a number of significant engineering projects for special awards to mark the sesquicentennial year. These projects, plus others that have qualified since, are brought to life in this book by professional historian Matthew Wright. Heavily illustrated with both historical and modern photographs, New Zealand's Engineering Heritage presents an impressive record of engineering works large and small from one of the country to the other. Many, such as the Raurimu spiral and the Hamilton jet engine, are famous throughout New Zealand, while others like the Bluff all-weather package loaders are better known within their local communities. Over 65 projects, spanning more than 130 years, feature in this record of engineering works that have contributed to the shape of New Zealand today.