Spectrum 77. Men of Kauri Country. Part 2

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Tono kōrero mai

Spectrum was a weekly radio documentary series which ran on Radio New Zealand's National station from 1972 to 2016. Alwyn Owen and Jack Perkins produced the series for many years, creating a valuable library of New Zealand oral history.

The Men of Kauri Country Part 2, Tools and Technique

In this programme Laurie Swindell interviews Joe Gasparich about the tools, technique, felling and transportation of kauri in the bush camps of the Far North.

Introduced by Laurie, Joe talks about how jobs started under contract, how everything was provided by the contractor, except for the men’s axes which were their prized possessions. How they were paid by the hundred foot of timber.
The kauri were felled by crosscutters, pairing a left and right handed man. Joe describes how this was done with lower and upper cuts, the removal of bark because it contained the very sticky sap that might impede the saw and the use of wedges and mauls.

Joe talks about snippers, the men who prepared the logs for transport by trimming the log ends and cutting two gouges for heavy chains. To be fitted to teams of 14 to 18 bullocks so the logs could be hauled out of the bush, separate teams of men would prepare these tracks. The bullockies (bullock team drivers), their equipment, skill in driving the teams of bullocks, how the bullocks were fed and left free to roam the bush and the bullockies’ dislike of tui.

Joe also talks about other means of transport, steam engines and wood trams with draught horses running on long rails of rimu.

Laurie introduces Joe’s recollection of a wooden bush timber viaduct and its amazing engineering.

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Year 1973

Reference number 30059

Media type AUDIO

Collection Sound Collection

Credits RNZ Collection
Gasparich, Joseph George, 1890-1985, Speaker/Kaikōrero
Swindell, Laurie (b.1914?, d.2009), Producer

Duration 00:27:13

Date 1973

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