Kauri stand amongst the giants of the tree world, able to grow more than 50m tall and girths of up to 16 metres, and live over 2000 years. This half-hour National Film Unit documentary looks at the ancient conifer and its relationship with people. A thoughtful narrative traces ways the kauri was used, and later efforts to preserve remaining trees — the tree’s timber and gum fuelled colonial growth, but milling devastated the great northern forests. Archive footage evokes the pioneer days: kauri dams, woodsmen dwarfed by felled trunks, and Dalmatian gum hunters scaling sky-scraping trunks.
There was no time or thought to replace trees that had taken centuries to grow, and the remnants of ancient forests wept their resinous gum for the passing of an age.– From the narration