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Kiwitown's Port: the Story of Oamaru Harbour
by Gavin McLean

ISBN: 9781877372636
PUBLISHER: Otago University Press
FORMAT: Paperback

DIMENSIONS: 215mmX280mm 446grams

Jazzing up waterfronts has been a theme in most of our cities over the past decade. Wellington's is probably the most spectacular example, but Kaiapoi and Wanganui operate restored heritage vessels and Hokitika has a waterfront historical walk. Oamaru has taken longer to wake up and smell the short black, but it holds a powerful hand. No other New Zealand town can match the richness and integrity of its wharves and waterfront buildings. It is now the subject of a book reviewing its history as a typical provincial port, Kiwitown's Port, by marine historian Gavin McLean. A politician inspecting Oamaru's first wharves prophesied that its docks would one day rival those of London. The 'progress industry' of the late nineteenth century, fuelled by the frozen meat trade, was reshaping New Zealand's destiny. Oamaru built its entire port from scratch, bankrupting itself in the process and being condemned by the Financial Times in London for constructing 'works quite beyond the needs of their business the true colonial way.' In this beautifully designed and illustrated book, the author revisits his hometown. He shows how its tempestuous history demonstrates our dependence on the sea. The need for a sheltered port ('breakwaters or bust!'), the need to dredge ever-deeper harbours as ships increased in size, the need to attract 'Home' boats loading cargo for London, the need to pay for it all - and the disastrous storms

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