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Landmarks - The Main Trunk Line

Television (Full Length) – 1981

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
Ken[neth Cumberland] had the geographer’s gift of being able to draw perfect maps freehand. The sequence where he draws a map of New Zealand on the sand, shows how Māori couriers ran south along the coast from the mouth of the Whanganui River, places a shell on his map to show where he is now, and we cut wide to reveal Kapiti Island off the coast (the Māori jumping-off point for the South Island), is still one of my favourites.
– Series producer George Andrews
More than any other juncture the capital shows how vulnerable New Zealand’s main trunk line still is when nature runs out of control.
– Kenneth Cumberland at Wellington Airport