facebook   twitter   mail  

The Gisborne Photo News



Last Big Job In The Waioeka

Ten years of what could well be termed "blood, sweat, and tears" will come to an end in a few more months with the completion of the last big reconstruction project in the Waioeka Gorge....blood to symbolise the dangerous nature of the work; sweat, because this has been one of the toughest highway jobs in the country; and tears to stand for the heartbreaking obstacles overcome in a long and awesome battle, which has been fought inch by inch down every bluff and bend in the whole 36 miles of the wildly beautiful Waioeka.

The highway, when completed, will at long last give Gisborne a fast, modern route to the north. It will also stand as a lasting monument to the engineers, overseers, and men who have built it.

"Foulston's Mile" is the name by which this last project is known. It is about nine miles from the mouth of the gorge, and, as in so many other places along the route, requires the road to be carved out of almost perpendicular hillsides.


River moves lazily past great scree slope below 250ft high scar made in precipitous hillside.


Euclid carry-all, nudged by bulldozer, scrapes up a load of rock rubble.


Bulldozer at work in precarious spot



Their job is tough and dangerous....the men on the job at Foulston's Mile are veterans of difficult road-building. Mr A. Graham (standing at right), overseer on the job, has 20 years' experience, has been on Waioeka work for 12 years. Of the other men shown, 75% have been road-building in the Waioeka for more than 10 years.
They are: J. Kurei (foreman), F. Hillier (ganger), J. Insley (ganger), and the following opera tors: K. Apanui, J. Apanui, J. Tai, W. Tai, W. August, M. Hudson, J. Pio, D. Wairau, B. Kurei, Niko Tai, P. Kahukiwa, D. Feani and K. Tawhai.
(Three of these men have been "over the edge" with machines, and lived to return to the job).


One of the most beautiful scenic drives in New Zealand....as well as a vital link between Gisborne and the outside world....a view in the lower reaches of the gorge.
Through highway will be completed when one or two bridges are replaced, and when extensive reconstruction is finished near Otoko, nearer Gisborne.



Looking down-river from a point about half-way along Foulston's Mile. Cars on bridge are waiting for road to re-open after daily closure. Beyond them is the last section of "old-time" Waioeka one-way road.......something that will soon live only in the memories of older motorists.