We use cookies to help us understand how you use our site, and make your experience better. To find out more read our privacy policy.

Landmarks - The Main Trunk Line

Television (Full Length) – 1981

This eighth episode in the Landmarks series was the first episode filmed, to test how geographer Kenneth Cumberland handled being in front of the camera. On a Cook Strait ferry in a southerly, he begins exploring how trade and people have gotten about Aotearoa: from the “Māori main trunk line” (beach, water), sailing ships, Cobb & Co and ‘Shanks's Pony’, to the railways and Bob Semple’s roadmaking bulldozers.The episode ends with the national grid and airways, with a rocky landing at Wellington airport demonstrating that the wrestle with place is an unresolved one.

New Zealand history has few big moments, but the crowds who came to this remote spot in special trains from Auckland and Wellington to watch Sir Joseph [Ward], surely witnessed one of them.
– Kenneth Cumberland, on the 6 November 1908 driving of a silver spike to open the main trunk line, at Manganuioteao

Key Cast & Crew

Generic Profile image for Ken Dorman

Ken Dorman


Profile image for George Andrews

George Andrews

Director, Producer

Profile image for Kenneth Cumberland

Kenneth Cumberland

Presenter, Writer

Generic Profile image for Liz Cooke

Liz Cooke


Generic Profile image for Alf West

Alf West

Assistant Editor

Generic Profile image for Brian Nelson

Brian Nelson

Camera Assistant

See all 11 credits