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Making New Zealand - Railways

Television (Full Length Episode) – 2014

The Making New Zealand series chronicles the nation's most significant milestones in technology and construction. This episode focusses on railways. it explains the key role trains played in shaping the Aotearoa of today. Many sides of railway history are explored — from technology and engineering, to politics and affects on local iwi. As quickly as the railway industry accelerated, it began to decline; this short golden age was frequently captured on-camera. Using extensive footage from Ngā Taonga Sound + Vision and Archives New Zealand, Making New Zealand offers a fascinating look into times past. 

...half a million acres was taken from us, principally for the establishment of the railway ... that's a lot of land to take for a small piece of railway track. And for the government to then on sell that land to settling farmers, and for us to see our paradise taken away from us...
– Whanganui Iwi, Che Wilson, early in this documentary

Key Cast & Crew

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Steven Barnett

Concept, Research

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Brian Holland


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Mark Everton

Director, Producer

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Amy Barber

Sound Mix

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Stuart Boone


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Mark Clare


See all 26 credits

Produced by

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Top Shelf Productions


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Top Shelf Productions


Made with funding from NZ On Air


Song 'Taumarunui (on the Main Trunk Line)' performed by Peter Cape
Music by Jed Town and the Audio Network