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Hero image for Great New Zealand River Journeys: The Waikato River with Lynda Topp

Great New Zealand River Journeys: The Waikato River with Lynda Topp

Television (Full Length Episode) – 1992

There’s little doubt that we are beginning to understand much more about the spiritual value of this river. The Māori people are now encouraging us to understand that. It's about understanding how this is the lifeblood of the land, and therefore it's the lifeblood of the people...
– Hamilton mayor Margaret Evans
Ever since Tainui discovered it, it’s been one of the most important waterways in the North Island.
– Presenter Lynda Topp on the Waikato River
We've come about five miles up the river now, and in the great New Zealand tradition we're gonna have a cup a tea and a scone — homemade of course.
– Presenter Lynda Topp
The steamer and barge used to travel the river, picking up flax and offloading it at Mercer. Selling flax was the tribe's major source of income...that's how it used to be.
– Waikato local Waka Kukutai remembers the old days
[Caesar] Roose's paddle steamers were the Mack trucks of the Waikato. For more than 30 years they carried everything from cabbages to coal, from Hamilton to Mercer. With a piano on the top deck for a moonlight cruise to Horsham Downs, they became the Waikato's Mississippi Queen.
– Presenter Lynda Topp on Waikato River magnate Caesar Roose